Salmon soufflé with mashed vegetables

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

22 November 2020

Tranmere Rovers 5 Grimsby Town 0

Someone's just seen Paul Hurst in Rock Ferry buying energy drinks. He's deffo taking over at Prenton Park.

I don't know about you but I always enjoy not going to Tranmere. Nothing personal, it is all about the business.

Oh, Little Harry at left-back with his piccalilli shinpads. Town in salmon. That reminds me, where are my Joy Division oven gloves?

You fill me with inertia.

First Half – And some fell on stony ground

Town kicked off into the void. Stare into that void and what do you see? A cat's foot and an iron claw, neuro-surgeons screaming for more. The future and the past, how are we not last?

Foul throw! Vaughan swept over as the virtual majority wept at the time, the space, the lack of pace on the right. Town: a team defined by an absence.

Life goes on day after day, the heart of Town's midfield torn in every way. Blackett bludgeoned past Hendrie as Town's soft cheeses melted. Vaughan arose alone unmolested by non-leaping salmon, slowly be-donking down and up past McKeown's grasp into the top left corner.

What took them so long?

Boys will be boys, men will be men, Townites brushed away like dandruff from a barber's floor. The local children will be laughing at us about our back four. Vaughan surged past several falling leaves, Blackett bashed against McKeown. Town's right so very wrong. Town's left bereft. Is there anybody out there?

This one's for now – let's cheer for a corner. I don't know why, they rarely lead to a goal. Gibson failed to be offside and biggled against big pseudo-Scouse legs. Edwards zipped and simmered wide. Or was it that cross he did, or that blocked shot? Was it anything at all? Is it all a dream, I know, it seemed so very real. We say we want a revolution, we dream of a number nine, number nine, number nine.

And now five minutes of sadness.

And now this one - let's not cheer for their corner, they always lead to a goal. Clipped and flicked from their right Waterfall skating on the thin ice of modern life. Big old Bagpuss boomped goalwards, Jamie Mac parried, and Clarke carried on his amble alone to dunk in from a yard out.

A waddle, a noddle, a doddle.

Rose flicked off like a dead fly as Blackett bounced off inflatable an bollard, Rose stretched and fumbled as Blackett tumbled. Vaughan slapped straight down the middle as McKeown sighed left.

Lord I've tried the best I can, I've asked everybody in Kazakhstan, but I still don't understand. Danny Rose – anchorman.

Rose Williams was Tennessee Williams' sister you know. It sure ain't no midfield. Is it a flood, is it a tornado? The shy, lame young men were shooed away by the gentleman callers they didn't expect. Khan wiggled his woggle across the face of the penalty area and carefully passed around McFingers into the right side of the net.

Just over half an hour gone and the game was not so much gone as an historical document being perused in the British Museum by careful young ladies with clipped accents in white gloves. White gloves for the ladies, a white flag from our laddies. Gosh!

Where's the fight? Where's the heart and soul? Hendrie investigated the soles of Blackett's boots and was booked for the shock of the new: a Town tackle. Taylor ducked and headed wide at a free kick. A bald fact. It happened, so you may as well know.

George Williams? No-one cares about our creative hub so let's get our wage bill cut. Off he went, replaced by Preston as Holloway fixed the hole where the rain had been coming in all day and all of the night. Too late, mate, the little children had drowned already.

Clifton replaced the hologram in midfield as Preston went to left-back, where he should never have not been all along.

And as the light gets dimmer, we watch the chances get even slimmer. A Town shot on target? It's about as likely as hens' teeth. Edwards swayed and swished off white thighs. A Town corner. Two minutes were added. Eat your curds and whey.

Deep in the heart of our Holloway prison is an endless, bottomless pit. Rudderless, formless, hopeless, in every sense. What have we done to deserve this?

Second half – False grit

Neither team made any changes at half time.

I disagree, neither Mungo, Mary nor Midge Ure look like a milk thief. I'm sorry, did I miss something? Forgive me, a Frazzle wrapper got wedged in next door's hedge.

It's a sign! Or maybe it's just rubbish, like modern life. If only we had an affable man with a plausible plan in charge.

Edwards surged, Windsor rolled around the keeper and wide. Gibson and Edwards did things here and there, but Windsor wasn't there.

After ten minutes of perfunctory injury avoidance from the Wirralites, Green replaced Gibson. You know, facts and that. On the positive side it meant that Town were offside less; we failed in different ways. Now that's a gamechanger.

They had a shot, McKeown made a save. I wasn't watching, that Frazzle wrapper's heading for my escallonia bush.

On the hour Holloway hoiked off wilting roses, posers and who knowses. Rose, Windsor and Taylor off; Wright, Scannell and Hewitt on. I could tell you where they all went but I can sense your relief at the friendly tone, revealing itself in our karmic moan. You can wait 20 minutes and nothing comes along, and then all of a sudden three Mariners mugshots relieve the tension.

A Pollock header plopple-popped pooperly to Davies. Clifton had a go once, battling tops with crème de Monthe and getting a corner. A corner, eh, a corner. And? Short and curlyed to their keeper. Scroll on baby. A full Monthe on Edwards and the free kick was back-flicked with vague interest through to Davies. A free kick sauntered through the middle the inaction. In days of yore these were things. Today, this day, this season, it is a straw-clutcher's last hurrah.

Ah, Ferrier. A cross into the Mersey. There's people around every Tranmere corner, and Town never turn them away. With five minutes left Ferrier trod on Hendrie's ego, rockin' and rollin' to Lewis, who carefully curled around and over the oohing Waterfall and aaaahing Hewitt into the far left corner.

This is the end.

Every minute Town stay in this gloom we get weaker, and every minute Scunny and Southend squat in the bush, they get stronger. Each time we look around the walls move in a little tighter.

There really is absolutely nothing in this old empty barn, despite the noise from the farmhand. Is this is Town's future? Dead men don't need season tickets in a mortuary.