Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
16 October 2022
Just walking along our clothes are soaked right through to the skin, but we haven't a doubt, that this is what life is all about. Roll up, roll up for the Mariners mystery tour, step right this way.
That's an invitation.
It's all alright, here comes the sun. Noooo, head for the hills, hide behind the billboards, hover near the toilets! It's hailing, we're wailing and here comes the rain again, falling on our heads like Brom-er-ley. Is it too much that we finally nail Challinor's coffin?
Don't tell the angry brigade, I can see a rainbow.
Town lined up in a 4-3-3 sometimes 4-2-3-1 formation as follows: Crocombe, Efete, Waterfall, Smith, Glennon, Holohan, Green, Clifton, Keirnan, Taylor and Khan. The substitutes were Maher, Hunt, Khouri, Maguire-Drew, Orsi, Richardson and Pepple. Are we serene with Mr Green in every room?
So what's in the Stockpot today? Madden, Hippolyte, Jennings and Wootton, four too many rusty old Irons for my liking, maybe for their liking too by the time the bell tolls.
Look Hursty, there's an aeroplane up in the sky. Goodbye blue sky, here comes the rain again.
1st half – The land of make believe
Woah, hang on. Flares are back in fashion. Finally around 3:30, the groundstaff emerged with a bucket. Crocombe was insistent that every last scrap of ash was removed, beautifully time wasting even before the kick off.
Town punted off away from 1,295 sprawled across the open terrace with the hoity-toity set caged beside. Into darkness, into light, in the air, on the ground, over here, over there, do we care?
The blind linesman failed to flag thricely in front of the pensioners and prisoners as the ball rolled out and sailed out of play. Collar drove down their right, Wootton's soft and gentle fairy liquid plipped and plopped for Crocombe to wash down the plughole.
Up and unders, nudges were nurdled, tackles were hurdled and Glennon's free kick flumped off the top of the leaping wall for a cheeky corner. Ah yes, our cheeky corner, so cunning you could run it up a flagpole, paint it purple and no-one would salute it when it danced on a harpsichord. Half cleared, fully cleared and suddenly the fully-clothed Sarcevic was in the clear and he could see clearly now there's no obstacles in his way. Ah, you're forgetting something, lad. A wallop on the gallop, Crocombe stood tall, raised a hand and swat-batted away this fly spray.
Biffs and bangs, crosses that hang, what's that you hear Boo Dave Boo? A warning bell that clangs. Kiernan drifted in from the right and curled narrowly over the angel of far post and bar.
Town's midfield gang roamed the streets of Stockport and the locals locked their front doors and closed their curtains. But what about the back door?
Piffling and wiffling, wafting, waving and drowning. Johnson rolled vaguely into nowhere land twixt halfway line and their penalty box and Little Harry pounced as Hippolyte flounced. A surge and switch, Khan coiled lowly, Jaros flicked and Clifton walked the ball in from a yard out at the far post. He's done it, he's done it again! Well done that man!
Ah, ooh, oh well, never mind. A fizzing flash across the face of goal, a Khan-based chaos and Clifton's neat feet foxtrot turned into a stumbling daisy cutter that rolled into the waiting arms of Jaros.
For all the whizzing there's naught to write about the homesters. They had the ball, but we're having a ball watching their wheels fall off. Ah, maybe this is it? Nope, a rare blue cross threatened the strategic balance in Europe, but the much-maligned Michee cleared from a lurking boot then headed off from a hidden home head. Congratulations Mr Efete. Jolly good show.
Nowhere of consequence, nothing happened, then it did. A Town chuck-in, deep, deep deeper and down by the toilet block was stoop-lopped on by Taylor. Kiernan bounded away unmolested up the right, unaccompanied through the middle, on and on and on, right up to their penalty area. Finally faced by a human being Big Bren tapped to Khan, who swayed away from his alleged marker and cracked a cross across the face of goal. Jaros flapped a flick again. The ball arced gently into the path of Holohan who took a touch of this thigh and smackered highly from but a couple of yards out.
Two identical strangles.
It's raining again, there's a crack in the clouds that reveals blue sky thinking as the Stockpotters replaced Croasdale with Oily Crankshaw, these mad hatters no longer wingless wonders. These hatters mad about our boys taking their time. No need to hurry up, Harry, now I think I understand how to have some fun in the sun.
Cranky boy widdled and twiddled, things almost happened. Almost. Now and then. Crosses. Heads. Blocks. Kieran Green is on our team. Some blue man bedraggled through a hedge.
With five minutes left a deep blue cross was headed back, rebundling off the scampering Camps' shins and out to their right. Collar coiled lowly into the mixer. Waterfall, Smith, Wootton and Crocombe collapsed in a puddle and Madden tapped into the empty net.
No reason to get excited, there are many here among us who think the Stockport attack is just a joke. This half is getting late. Six minutes were added and for all their head-banging all they had to show and tell during their half time cuppa is a Hippo swinger that sailed into the sun.
Had it stopped raining? We hadn't noticed.
What a shower in Stockport. We'd prefer a dry second half in every respect.
2nd half – The camera never lies
Hunt replaced the hobbling hobgoblin Holohan at half time. That sentence was brought to you by the letter H, available at all good book stores. Bad ones let you have the letter J.
Time is on our side, yes it is. Go ahead and light up the Town support. Clifton nicked and Keirnan knocked and Little Harry's shot was parried aside at the near post.
A swish, a swash, Collar and Crankshaw dancing on a Saturday on their right. Oily boy pulled back from the bye-line, Madden missed and Hippolyte steered from a dozen yards towards the fleetingly empty nettage. The Don Cheadle End rose in anticipation of salvation, but deflated as the open terracing arose to salute Max's magnificent Subbuteo-pose push over.
Don't hurry Glennon, just be happy to take the yellow card. Don't worry, Bluesmen just banging on the door. We won't let them in. Oh breaking up Stockport would be so very hard to do if we hadn't got the bug-eyed monster Green mashing in midfield.
Up and down and up and under. Hippolyte's prod chip-clipped across the face of everywhere. Green swept off Smith's toes, Green headed off Waterfall's nose, Green performed ten sommersets on solid ground. Crocombe slid across to swipe off blue boots left and right, Crocombe leapt up to pluck off blue heads right, left and centre.
Stockport made a substitution. If you care enough, use the internet to see who replaced who.
On and on the bluesmen played. Change the chord! Cranky wobbled way off and over, Cranky dribbled and drubbled and poked wide from near, Sarcevic big drippy volleyed straight into the clutches of Crocombe. Closer, closer they're getting closer. They may be persistent, but Town are making them keep their distance, for our resistance is high.
We need to keep it tight to stop these Blues dancing on a Saturday night.
And with around 20 minutes left something happened that will go down in history as a thing that happened. Camps sliced through Clifton, got up and launched himself immediately at the next incoming intercontinental missile. Blue boots met Green's thigh and out came a red card from the custardian.
Boos and hoos from the boys in blue as a surfeit of stripes surrounded the miscreant to advise on his future plans. Have an early shower, mate.
With the Hattermen feeling sorry for themselves Town ruthlessly purred up the right. Kiernan flicked, Efete dinked and Clifton drifted in between two blue stools, nodding firmly downwards and widewards from half a dozen or so yards outwards. Triangulation at the Railway End, a stripey corner elevated, Jaros panicked-prodded under a vertical plummet but was awarded a sympathetic free kick. Green kicked the ball away and the ground both hushed and roared as all knew he'd already been booked. The supremely magnificent and totally sensible and perfect referee in every way had a friendly chat and everyone was happy. Weren't they?
Hey, come on, there wasn't one person around me who wouldn't have made the same decision there.
Annoyingly the Stockermen didn't give up. Crosses, crosses, crosses and crosses. Stick it in the mixer! A spoondling deflection was Maxflapped over from under the bar, Efete let a long straight wallop sail over and pressure cooked. Green headed clear, Waterfall bazookered clearer. And there's their last ditch. Just there. Big Luke's triple Salkow back-flick volley to Crocombe brought desperate wails for a penalty.
Penalty! Khan's cross was handballed by a blue head. Obviously. Why not, it wasted a few seconds and distracted the masses.
Town double subbed with the K-force replaced by Pepple and Maher. Yus, my dear, it's the Maher Moment, that professional upgrade on the Parslow Point. This one works.
Heads and blocks, heads and tails, heads and fails. Head’s on the block, Dave?
With Stockport throwing their kitchen sinks there was time, there was space for Town to counter. Clifton rolled and Glennon was smothered by a sliding blue boy. A free kick lumped and Big Luke's header kissed the bar.
Where didn't he get the time from? As five minutes were added, despite claiming he has no time for law breakers, Taylor was booked for running over a teenage tearaway with his mobility scooter. Poor old Ryan, his legs are grey, his ears are gnarled, his eyes are old and bent. He just couldn't get out of the way quick enough.
In and out and back again as all awaited one last home heave-ho. Glennon mugged the last man standing in Stockport's half, Pepple tickled back, Ringo ran on and rolled across the face of the penalty area towards the gathering gaggle of Grimsby players. Huuuuuunt let the world know this was his moment, that the boy is back in Town, sweetly sweeping lowly back into the bottom right corner, before knee-sliding off towards the Peak District.
Has it started raining again? We hadn't noticed.
Well, that was fun in its own way. All in all just another supremely negatively competent stroll in someone else's park. A solid base and no frills is, when it all works out, quite a thrill. Town work hard for their money, it's what gives us the right to party.
Town did to Stockport what has been done to us all season (except Crawley, of course. Isn't that the golden rule of football?). A solid centre blocked off some predictable lines of attack and some ruthless exploitation of the home holes on the counter attack put a sweet and succulent cherry on top of the cake.
Ain't got much cash, ain't got much style, but Grimsby away will make you smile. Don't hurry, we're happy.