Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

18 September 2022

Colchester United 0 Grimsby Town 1

Into the valley of dearth drove the near six hundred, mystified by the cashless, cardless society in the park and ride. Someone had blundered and the man behind the Perspex thundered, for his not to make reply, his not to reason why. We're bugged by his shrugs: "Get the app mate".

Ah, but what if you haven't got a smart phone? It's the tyranny of technology.

Welcome to the Jobsworth Stadium.

Do they know who we are now? Don't they know under Chairman Wow the only way is ethics? Haven't they read his little black and white book yet? Criticism is part of the Mariners' dialectical method which is central to improvement, as such it must not be feared, but engaged in openly.

Yeah, sort it Collywobblers, get a ticket machine or let Jimmy Jobsworth take cash. When you get down, down to the root, they don't give a damn, they don't give a hoot. Money talks, so listen to it.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: Crocombe, Efete, Waterfall, Smith, Glennon, Keirnan, Holohan, Hunt, Clifton, Richardson and Taylor. The substitutes were Maher, Pearson, Khouri, Wearne, Maguire-Drew, Orsi and Simmonds. Ah, so no Morris dancing today, we'll just put up an H-block instead. Gav O'Groves and his little droog, little Alex, were little against the large.

Hang on sloopy, are we in a bad part of town? Every gambler knows that the secret to survivin' is knowin' what to throw away and knowin' what to keep. Shorn of a keeper on the bench, but the Shaun of Pearson glowering and glinting in the sunlight.

Them? Distant bobbings, perhaps distinctly bobbins given their long-term trend of ailing and failing, the next cab on the rank bound for the Bananarama.

Put in your ear plugs, put on your eye shades, we know where to put the ball.

First half: O Sphinx of black quartz, judge my vow

They kicked off towards a North Stand fullish of Northerners. The induced call, mysterious, mirthless, comes forth: hit the North!

Stumbling, grumbling, fumbling free, free kicks and catches, catches win matches. Word association, association football. What ball? Where's the ball? Where's the beef? Where? Why, why am I here? What's going on? Did the app work?

Punting, shunting, passing, passing out. We surely are.

A thing, not of great beauty, but a thing none the less as Holohan booted and O'Hara muted nascent gnashing of home teeth with a plunge and parry. A corner! What happened next? A quick brown fox jumped over a lazy dog and Waterfall headed back into the mix for some homeopathic Efeteness.

Shunting, punting, passing out, passing the time, everything's fine in the world la-di-da, la-di-da. Und du meinst, dass nichts mehr geht, aha, da-da-da.

News from far off lands: his name is a shop, Lennell John-Lewis, still doing his job. Plucky Scunny, the gift that keeps on giving.

Wake up! There's something happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear. Chips and chases in exposed places with homesters tripping on their right. A cross, and lonesome Appiah headed straight into the waiting arms of Mad Max. Waterfall joined the Kiwi keeper in finger pointing and arm flailing fury, barely doused by the sight of a fluttering flag.

You want it straight, not on the rocks? Appiah was offside. That's a bit of a dull way to put it, isn't it? Oh yes, it was a bit of a dull day indeed as they punted it high and low. And low and high, side to side and out, out, out of play.

Waltz, bad nymph, for quick jigs vex! Lobbing and sobbing as Appiah rolled around Big Luke and deep into the heart of darkness, barely six yards out. Crocombe calmly curtsied and the ball balloombled off his mighty shins way, way on down, way on down where we hoped it would – straight out to Big Frank, way out, who wobbled wayly over.

They, them, themming, humming, drumming, a moment summing them up. Slippy-sloppy nonsense in pink as crosses slipped and slopped through from left to right or right to left. Hey, it depends on your point of view, it's a matter of perspective. The ball droobled out to the right corner of the Town penalty area, Clampin clumped lowly across the face of goal and Nouble nudged in from a yard out. Fear not, dear reader, for Heffalump Frank was fabulously offside. No Wayne, stairway denied! How vexingly quick daft zebras jump.

There’s only one thing to say about the Collywobblers' life: "Geht es immer nur bergab?"

Town? A good question. There is no answer. A mish-mash of meandering Mariners going nowhere slowly with a series of plopping set pieces from Hunt.

Plop, plop, plop.

A long, long cross stretched widely wide by Clampin as Efete carelessly watched the world go by.

Plop, plop, plop.

Leftish lampings as Smith leaned in to divert to the sound of the suburbs blubbering for a penalty. Richardson ran around in circles, like a wheel within a wheel, and walloped from way out. Mr Purple plunged low and right to spectacularly push aside for a corner.

Plop, plop, plop.

Moments, merely isolated moments, fragments in time. Clifton turned and buffled straight to O'Hara. Pippi Longstaff was booked as Little Harry ducked. The heads. You're looking at the heads. Sometimes he goes too far. Efete was booked for whoopy cushion control and a clip to the sole of a blue boot.

Hey, what's this? Passing, movement, we'll have none of that here. Little Harry was bundled away in a duvet after a soupcon of sexyballing.

Aaaahh! Turn it off man, turn it off! It's sucking my will to live! Oh, the humanity!

One minute was added.

And you may ask yourself "Where does that high ball from Holohan go to?" And you may ask yourself "Where is their large lump called Frank?" And you may tell yourself "This is not a beautiful game". And you may say to yourself "My God, what have I done to deserve this?"

Maybe I should only go to Colchester once in a lifetime. That's enough.

Second half: Glib jocks quiz nymph to vex dwarf

Neither team made any changes at half time. No, hang on, they did make a change at half time. Skuse replaced Judge. Facts are facts and people are people, different people have different needs.

Pink toes twinkling, Taylor made. Richardson buckled his shoes after a one-two, fluffing his lines by walking rather than whacking and falling over his disappointment. I bet it looked good on the dance floor, Lewis, but in the adult world just shoot when you are standing six yards from goal.

Plop, plop, plop from the home flops. They flock forward, Town block backwards. Has ever a car crashed so slowly in Essex?

Some Town moments, here and there, fizzling away, now and then. Glennon roamed and Clifton fell far too theatrically after a nudge from a neighbour. Nosegays were dropped throughout the North Stand. Forsooth, heaven is forfended by the denial of justice.

On the hour Sears replaced nibbly nobbly Nouble, who'd caused very little trouble. Tinkering and winkerings, a block, a sneak, a tip, a tap and Town slowly triangulated up the right. Taylor turned, saw a vacant unploughed field and carefully coiled into the void twixt penalty box and last local urchin. Little Harry sprinted down the middle into the emptiness. The ball bounced in the 'D' with O'Hara caught squawking in no-man's land beyond the penalty a spot. Sausages! Little Harry's lovely chipolata looped over the Irish rover. What a narrative arc that was as Clifton headed for the nearest camera for another magic Mariners Moment.

Woah, woah, woah, it's magic you know. This team never believe it's not so.

Irked and narked by the turn of events, or perhaps simply nirked and arked, there were hooh-haahs and ooh-aahs as Colchester upped their pace to a stroll. A cross here, a cross there, a slice, a slip, a quip and a nippy lad came on for them as, in Wayne's World, it was time for a triple subbing. Schwing low, sweet chariot of dire.

With quarter of an hour left Danilo Orsi's teeth replaced Richardson: we're blinding them with science.

Tchamadeu and Lubala, running rings around rings on the Town right. Efete slathered in goose fat but fortunately they forgot to turn the oven on. Overhit nonsenses, underhit underpants. Semi-demi long chucks, demi-semi quivers and quavers, bluesmen heading down and wide, left and right. A leftist corner flick-looped at the near post, swerved across the face of goal, across the angle of post and bar, dropping onto a blue foot beyond the post, beyond the bye-line. It's all beyond their ken, Ted, as Town's double glazing kept the heat in and the cold out.

Town? No more than a cross punched away from no-one, to nowhere and nothing happened.

Peturbed by climate change, Hurst took out some insurance for acts of god, with Maher replacing Keirnan and Efete moved forward as a vertical sleeping policeman. Mmm, I spy with my little eye something beginning with PP. Is this the new Parslow Point: the Maher Moment?

More of the same sameyness with the same old, same old. Blue crosses into the crowd, blue crosses into the side net, blue crosses into yellow hands. There's always somebody tempting somebody into doing something they know is wrong. A pink back, a pink sock and a pink derriere but there's nothing to fear. Blue bobbles and blue bumbles through everywhere and nowhere for nothing of note for the hopeless, hapless homesters.

Six minutes were added. Khouri replaced Little Alex as Little Harry moved infield to fill the void. The appliance of science would suggest that something would happen in these six minutes. Science, it's just a best guess really for the future cannot be predicted with certainty, only a probability of a series of events ranked in order. Colchester tried, but they were already fried.

This is it, that's the end of the joke. Town were pretty in pink again. Hats off to Harry, he broke their heart.