Drift: Brentford (h)

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

3 March 2009

Grimsby Town 0 Brentford 1

The gale, it plies the saplings double. It blows so hard, 'twill soon be gone.

It was windy. It was wet. The Pontoon net was billowing. Ballboys were sent like tumbleweeds underneath the Main Stand.

Town lined up in the 4-4-2 formation as follows: Henderson, Clarke, Bennett, Atkinson, Widdowson, Jarman, Kalalalalala, Boshell, "Neil" Heggggarty, Ak-Ak, Forbes. The substitutes were Monty, Bore, Newey, Proudlock and Elliott. Henderson looks like Barnes with a haircut and Ak-Ak was back, with hair band and added bounce. I bet he uses Harmony hairspray.

The Brentford Pylons wore a two-tone blue ensemble; their manager wore tan slacks; and their keeper had bad VPL.

First half
Town kicked off towards the Pontoon. The wind blew harder.

The rain fell harder.

Goal kick. Goal kick. Throw-in. Goal kick. As Hamer prepared to waft the ball wobbled and rolled. The ball blew backwards, the ball skewed sidewards. As Hamer prepared to quiff the ball shivered and slumbered. The ball blew sidewards, the ball skewed backwards.

Ak-Ak rolled, Ak-Ak fell and everyone got wet. Hegggarty crossed, Forbes body-popped and everyone wept. Something almost happened. Town pressed, Brentford messed and Osbourne clobbered a panic against Heggggggarty's stomach with the ball za-zooming six yards wide. We're 'avin' that! A shot!

Awful weather, terrible game. C'mon ref, abandon ship! Can't you see the soffits are perishing. Any more of this and all we'll have left is the gutter.

Brentford managed to kick the ball out of their own half. Well done. Brentford managed to get some corners through lumping the ball down their left. Well done. Brentford managed to get free kicks through squealing. Well done. Wotcha geeza, orwight! They wellied a free kick high, high, high in to the Town penalty area and Henderson danced and sung as he flew through the ring of defenders. Up he hung, plucking the ball off a blue head, the plunging head over Bennett's heels. Ten somersaults he undertook on soaking ground as the ball sprung a leak; all the kiddies had a splash in the puddles and Bean bonked high into the Osmond stand.

I suppose you could describe Henderson as positively curious. He was keen to leave his area and investigate every sod in sodden Blundell Park. He was the Anti-Barnes, doing the opposite of what fumbling Phil would do.

Well, well, who'd have thought it. Town passing thricely, Forbes and Ak-Ak promising hints of moments. Too many dummies my dear Ak-Ak. A corner! Another corner, Boshell clipping, their Bennett slipping galoshes on and clearing his decks of spratlings. Kalalala retrieved and rolled up his sleeves to squeeze the ball back to Boshell on the left, who drifted inside, chipped delicately into a huge open space at the near post a dozen yards out. Atkinson, unmarked and ready for his close up, sprung and slung a ploopy header a yard wide.

Hamer hammered the goal kick nearly to the halfway line. There was hopping, there was clopping, there was a calculated clatter over Clark and behind Atkinson. MacDonald scampered, Atkinson rose and cleared out towards the bye-line, but straight to a blueboy. The motion speaks for itself, or maybe you can write the punchline yourself. To the bye-line, a cross, a slide, and silence. MacDonald scored.

Tumbleweeds scuttled across the pitch like ballboys.

Have we heart?

Widdowson premiershipped to the ground, winning a free kick 25 yards or so out on the centre-left. Clarke took three steps and carefully caressed a curling clump over the wall. For a micro-second somebody in the Main Stand who'd dropped their phone looked up and got excited. Hamer sailed gently to his right and tickled the ball under its chin like a pet poodle.

Throw-ins, free kicks, goal kicks. There are no verbs, just full stops and muttered adjectives.

Once in a while Brentford shook off their torpor and got near the Town penalty area. A scrimble-scrumble-scramble in the 'D' left the ball at MacDonald's feet. He snapped goalwards, Henderson slapped the ball aside. That's all from them, thank you and good night.

There were times when Town almost connected with each other and the ball. The wind, the rain, the pain...

When all other routes are closed, you sometimes have to take the long route via Louth. Henderson drop-kicked downfield. The ball bounced once, bounced over Hamer and on to the top of the net. We're 'avin' that! Another shot.

It is entirely possible Kalalalala volleyed in to the upper reaches of the Pontoon, possibly aiming for his more vociferous detractors. With so many targets he still managed to miss.

Have you got it yet? Wind, rain, and pain.

Second half
No changes were made by either team at half time.

With about 25 minutes left Elliott, Proudlock and Bore replaced Hegggggarty, Forbes and Jarman. A handful of feather dusters decided the way to ensure Town rallied was to boo Bore's arrival.

And the game ended.

Is that it? Yes, it is, really.

The referee didn't book a faux cockernee for trying to punch the ball in and, two minutes later, diving badly. Proudlock once passed to Elliott, who crossed dangerously and one of them kicked it over the bar. Ak-Ak was blatantly pushed and then got booked for clattering. You know everything now.

It should have been a draw as both sides were unable to do anything much. The wind. The rain. On the two occasions Town did pass it, which was when Proudlock came on to act as a fulcrum, they looked zippy and pert. Brentford didn't even do that: they spent the entire second half heading the ball from their halfway line out for a goal kick, or, if they miscued, a throw-in underneath the Police Box.

We can moan at individuals, wail at the moon, but we are where we are. Town played like they believed they'd lose and believed the crowd believed they'd lose, so the opposition believed that they'd win. Sure, Clarke and Heggggarty were weak. Kalalalala was flimsy and wayward, while Boshell was painfully slow and without confidence. What's the point of growling at them during the game? This is the time where we find out who we really are. Yes, you and you and you, and the dog who boos next to you. Stand up and fight to the last.

If we can beat Wycombe and Rotherham we can beat anyone. Yes We Can!

Shall we fight them on the beaches or sit in the car with a thermos flask and a blanket, complaining about the council? Twelve games for belief to be suspended. The time for show trials is in May, not March.

This is the land of lost content, we see it palling plain. Those happy highways where we went, and they can come again.

The season begins here.