We've had it

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

28 April 2013

Newport County 1 Grimsby Town 0

We made it down to Newport with everything intact. But as for getting back to the Football League, it wasn’t just the booers who made the jokes. 

Town lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation as follows: McKeown, Hatton, Miller, Pearson, Thomas, Thanoj, Colbeck, Disley, Naylor, Marshall, Hearn. The substitutes were Wood, Artus, Southwell, Cook and Hannah. Niven and Devitt, leaning on a lamppost on the corner of the ground, watching a certain little laddie go by. Oh me, oh my.

Town don't give you any hope, but they'll leave plenty of rope for the virtual hanging.

Big wind, bad pitch, giant Bunsen burners for hand dryers and a Fenty-baiting ceremonial corridor of flag-waving children, with tears of joy in the eye. Lennie the Piglet practising fly-kicks from the bobbles. Who knows how to play on a pitch like this? The clues are there.

Away support: 667. Yes, this is all we take away on a bad day.

First half: An April shower
Newport kicked towards the flimsy whimsy of the Town end. Peekubu dredged Marshall. Free kick wasted, the future tasted. Bitter, not sweet, pass the smelling salts. Or just pass the ball. Please. Just once’ll do.

A pass. Colbeck colbecking. Corners. Nothing. Staccato gibberish live and exclusive on S4C.

Ahoy-hoy Jamie, slicing, slicing. slicing into the stands. The wind, the wind, the wicked wind from the west. 

As it happens moments of almostsness almost happened. Naylor slashed into a tyre yard by the docks; call the fire brigade. Hatton clicked a cross, Miller nicked a knock, Naylor scraped and Piglet taped his save for posterity. This was the save of the game. No, no, no. This was his save in the game; he may need proof of his involvement in this event. 

Pipe arose and nodded widely wide. Hi-de-hi campers. Ho-de-ho scampers. Windy swirls and curls. It’s a mess, a muddle, a cuddle, a rancid curdle of clots, not cream.

Thomas semi-dithered, an Amber nicker-nudged and Jolley shimmied past the ailing Pearson. Jolley shot, the locals were jolly happy.

If we go home now we won’t get wet, or hear 'Hey Jude' on a loop.

McKeown fell onto the ball at some point. Probably a shot. I blame Gilbey.

Disley unfurled himself and curled wide. Disley volleyed widely wide. Disley tried. Disley: pointing. The rest? Disappointing. 

That was nothing and that was all. 

Town had slightly the better half chances. 'Better' isn’t a word that sits easily in the literature that will be devoted to this sub-class of sports fiction: zombieball.

Second half: Return to sender
Town replaced Pearson with Cook and moved to 4-4:2. Don’t waste your time.

Town replaced Hatton and Hearn with Southwell and Hannah. I told you not to waste your time. Go away, do something more interesting with your life. Dry-cure some prunes. Create an amusing twitterstorm over Tesco’s discriminatory treatment of red grapes. It’s grape apartheid! It’s the story that must be told.

Are you still here? Town aren’t.

Cook won one header. Hannah won a goldfish at the funfair. Marshall nearly crossed. Cook was near the ball near the goal.

They, the dockside divas, did things, sometimes. I really, really don’t give a floss. They passed it to each other. They tackled Town players, they watched Town players, they laughed up their sleeves at Town players as aimless punt followed aimless punt. I think that’s what Mr Purple was saying.

Newport had a lot of goal kicks. 

Mr Ball, welcome to our shins and ankles. Townites chasing memories, rainbows and unicorns.

In added time Pidgely grappled with his driving licence outside the penalty area. A grand finale? A rousing end to a rousing season? A waste of time.

No chances, no chance.