Night Fever

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

9 February 2023

It's been a week now…waiting for this mission…who's getting softer?

Now in our place there are so many others standin' in the Pontoon line. Just one turnstile? Would it matter if Town are puttin' on the style?

Town lined up in a 5-4-1 formation as follows: Crocombe, Efete, Smith, Waterfall, Maher, Amos, Clifton, Green, Morris, Holohan and Orsi. The substitutes were Battersby, Glennon, Pearson, Hunt, Khouri, Scannell and Essel. It's the cup, so check there's no balls left in the bag Hursty…nope, they're all in the bowl'. Go on, give 'em a swish around.

There are people in the Osmond wearing orange. Each time they looked around the walls moved in a little tighter.

Listen to the ground, there is movement all around. There is something goin' down, and I can feel it.

1st half – Orange squashed
Luton kicked off towards the Pontoon with a big dipper towards the tallest poppy in their pocket. Efete and Maher arose. Titans will clash. Maher remained turfbound. Dave Moore stared down. All is well.

Fizzing, whizzing, an orange head emerged and headed over flapping Max for a goal kick. Whizzing, fizzling out as Luton were consumed by doubt. We ain't got a barrel of money, but Luton are ragged, now that's funny. Side to side, side by side, silence on all sides.

Some enchanted evening you may see a stranger thing happen on the way to the fans forum. A Maher loopy-chuck past the dugouts down by the riverside. Bouncy-bouncy, Holohan headed on. Bell closed his eyes, made a wish and swished. Orsi-Orsi mugged and chugged, Clifton slippered and slapped a nutmeg through Horvath's Charleston. There is joy, there is fun, has the season just begun?

Up 'em, at 'em, Maher's long chucks causing awkward glances but no chances.

Luton played a squeezebox and Town got no rest. They're dinking all night, but Max is playing all right. Ah, messy Morris, not Messi Morris, not magic our Morris. Oh no! Oh yes! Adebayo headed into the void and for many a Hatter they can only see the knees of disappointment, and sigh at the sight of striped shins.

Lutonites, fouling their throws, falling and failing freely. Waterfall. That's all I have to say, that's all I need to say; say a little pry for Luuuton. On yer what? Onyedinma whacked a mole, Cru-cum-bee stood tall, stood straight and looked the world right in the eye.

Orange sparring, stripes barring the way with a surfeit of negative excellence. In the shadows of the Frozen Horsebeer Stand, Smith lobbed gently. Effete glanced, Clifton flicked, Orsi-Orsi swooped and whooped away to hug his Harry after prodding a poke past the static caravan they claim to be a keeper.

The harrumphing Hatters had a minor go. An insertion, an incursion and Big Luke sailed through the tangerine dreamers to dive-head away from approaching menace. Oh you beauty! Green has knees! Amos has hands! Shhhhhhhhhhhush! I see no ships. Well, it is dark.

The Southern Belles swiped right in forlorn search of the perfect match. A loft back leftwards towards the lankiest Lutonite and the ground drained of noise as Adebayo arose alone and Crocombe slipped. The ball softly, gently, arced across mudman Max who stuck out a boot, stood on the ball and fell into its path as it began to roll towards his empty net.

And that was the precise point every single person inside Blundell Park knew that our eyes have seen the glory of the coming of a trip to Soton.

You say smile, I say cheese. Michee fell off his bike trying a Muzzy Izzet. Are we there yet?

Three minutes were added and Little Harry found a leg to stumble over. Way out west Danny Amos waited for the bat signal. ELEVATION! A swing, a ping into the middle of a muddle and we shall sing his name forever, for Amos’s loft flew over Horvath's waft and crinkled in off the far post. The Monochrome swarm chased Danny Boy back upfield and, near them on the sand half sunk, the shattered visage of poor Ethan Horvath lay.

We're there, yet…

My-oh-my, what a beautiful day, let's not let it get away. Hold on tight, keep it tight! Keep us shape! We can see their heart has broken.

2nd half – A fish and chip supper
Luton took off some ephemera and put on their bigger boys, doughy Doughty and Mpanzu. It's business time. You know how I know it's business time? Because they're down to their socks.

All hands on deck! Full steam ahead Mr Boatswain, full steam ahead. Cut the cable, drop the anchor! Town sat back and watched the ships go by. Occasionally someone tried to land, but they didn't have the right paperwork, they just had to go back out to sea in their sieves.

A tinkle into the emptiness that was the centre of the centre of Town's penalty area. Woodrow waltzed and grazed downly. Crocombe star-flapped in his face and spectacularly flipped aside. There's nothing they can do, it is ordained, it is Max's manifest destiny to expand his dominion and spread his wings across the whole of his goal tonight.

Doughty dinked. And? Don't be concerned we have the Max factor, a tremendous actor, a man who has crossed many rivers. He laughs in the face of Adebayo's plopper. Ooh, matron. Clark and their Morris arrived. More pans were flashed. Their Morris wallflowered, Berry steered, Crocombe swooped low and left to scoop at the foot of the post.

Pressure, crosses, corners, headers. These things happen all the time. You have to admit it's getting better, a little better, all the time. Doughty dripped wayly over.

Tremendous triple tackles up left forced Luton back where they belong, far from the world they know, where the clear winds blow. Yeah, back down by the burger bars.

Are we there yet? Have we reached the Parslow Point? Hunt replaced Green. Ooh what a cheeky chappy Hursty is, bringing on the anti-Parslow, reducing the height and weight, replacing a tractor with a little red corvette. Saucy.

What is left? Moments, merely moments. Their Morris flopped a header, Clark wellied well wide, Woodrow fell over his feet in sweetly slicing his carrots. Michee blocked, Smith swiped, Clifton clattered and then there was Luke – they shall not pass.

More moments, mere moments. Does it really matter, did these trees really fall? A cross here, a pass there, tricky triangulation under the Police Box, Holohan crossed and Our Morris nearly magicked a fun-filled fourth. Alas he bedraggled a wiffle that riffled the netttage. Hunt released little Harry and, well, it was nice while it lasted.

With ten minutes left Glennon replaced Morris and we finally had the psychological comfort blanket of the double full-back pivot. Full-backs are like toilets, you can't have too many.

Ticking away, ticking away, we're all just waiting for mass hysteria to begin. Wahey! Wayhoo! The madness of foamfools, we're all having a jolly good time. The ref finally saw a foul throw, amusing himself by awarding it the only time he was not implored to do so.

What more? Mpanzu managed to miss, side-footing wide when tickled. Young Edwin came on for Orsi-Orsi and three minutes were added. Surely there were at least eight for all that Crocrampery. Three minutes will do, three goals will do, three is a magic cup number.

Town were compelling, completely in control of their destiny, totally disciplined, totally dedicated and totally decisive. And this is something cobbled together from what was left in the freezer.

Humility, humanity and Harry: hail to the chief.