Fixtures and results so far
Al Wilkinson's poems
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What came before
Review previous campaigns covered by Cod Almighty
Home from home: Torquay (a) report
23 September 2009
Torquay United 0 Grimsby Town 2
Ah, the English Riviera on a balmy indian summer day, the golden sands where Torbay palms grow as tall as... trees. If your team has made another appalling start to a season and you have the blues, brother, then testify with us down on the shores of the riviera of England and Re-Newell your faith!
Have faith, brothers and sisters, and believe! This ain't no love song, The Damned have no ticket to ride this crazy Town train. It's a seven-pound taxi from the station to the church of Plainmoor so I is drivin' this time.
I park in Springfield Road 100 yards away but there are no yellow folk with three digits. This is a civilised small town where a lil' old Gulls lady parks her Yammy 250 and directs me round to the corner to the away end. She says: "You're alright, love, my two other teams play in stripes, Forest Green Rovers and Juventus." I love her! If I were just 50 years older!
I count 200 exactly on my five bar gates into the away end. The official total is 274. The 74 must be in the seated stand plus the squad and officials. Lovely old ground, Plainmoor, like a patched-up Morris Minor with a third replacement engine. Not physically exciting or racy but a
British classic nonetheless. Blundell Park, you enquire. Well, the same analogy applies, but for Cleethorpes' finest piece of real estate I give you a 1981 Ford Cortina 2.0 Ghia in silver/grey, arches rusted by the salty air but gallantly limping along at only 64bhp. She'll get a rebore
and new carbs when we've paid the taxman.
Town kick off away from us, to the family stand. It's all up-in-the-air, tentative stuff and percentage long ball lumping but at least the poor ball stays in play a fair bit.
The Gulls have the better of the first few minutes, with two corners and a free kick but these come to nothing. Another Torquay corner and Ellis beats our defence this once, heads on target but our new real keeper makes the save look easy. How reassuring for everyone after dodgy sticksmiths of recent years.
Sweeney has a shot and someone shoots just wide. Town are looking offensive.
Torquay have a corner where two TQ and two GY men all seem to head a looping ball definitely going under the crossbar but Lillis recovers and pushes over. Remarkably, the linesman and ref give a Town goal kick. Funny old unfair game, football. Like life. Don't get me started...
After half an hour things get a bit tasty with a few fouls. Linwood gets a yellow card for upsetting Benyon with words about his lack of ability or some such. A mini siege on the Town goal results in nothing of note, except Wroe downs a Town man with no yellow card forthcoming.
Widdowson plays a weak back-pass to Lillis but they get away with it; a better team would have crossed and passed into an empty net.
Benyon and Linwood are told off again by Mr Langford and if they can't be friends then please be civil to one another.
So ends an OK half. Because it's 0-0, doesn't mean it was turgid as some reports made out. We've all seen a lot worse.
Who are Town's High Fidelity Top Five Goalies? (post-WW2)
1. Nigel Batch
2. Aidan Davison
3. Harry Wainman
4. Danny Coyne
5. Erm... Lillis? Hopefully!
Straight Peter Bore and Akpa Akpro replace Jones and Forbes for a bit more attacking bite... hang on a moment, please... just scribbling down... 46 mins – TQ header just wide after free kick from left after 30 seconds... What? Eh? Arse. Goal to Town. I missed it! No, I don't know what happened. OG? Really? Spectacular was it? Bizarre was it? Buy a dictaphone shall I, Yoda? Yes, I saw it later
on the BBC interweb and resolve to forsake ye ancient quill and parchment and get modern.
In celebration Mr Blue Sky lets the sun break through onto the Town choir. Oh happy day.
The next five minutes are all TQ in Town's half but not much end action. Then SPB and Akpa Akpro give Town more attacking acceleration and it looks promising. Penno for Town, surely! Goalie Mr Poke takes out North as he pushes
ball around him. Off, off, off... but just a yellow from the lenient Mr Langford. That satanic curvature of the Earth fooled my far corner eyes: it's not a penalty but a Bennett free kick on the edge. Fumbled and saved by Mr Poke.
Moments later Ellis flattens North again 25 yards out on the left but Capt. Bennett runs over the ball, letting Sweeney hit a low left curving shot around the Gulls wall, past a flailing Poke and into the net.
Heggggarty replaces North and Town generally look comfortable. Torquay huff and puff in the last ten minutes but just can't cut it as the Town defence deals with all that is thrown at them. TQ win a couple of corners which are cleared. Then some heading ping-pong which ends safely
in the arms of Lillis and a shot through several players but our new real goalie saves well.
Full time and a well deserved away win for Town. Hope you Blue Bros had a great Saturday night out in Torquay and you other 267 had a long but safe journey home.