Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
23 April 2023
So I'm walking down the road and heading towards me is somebody I know, but not like a brother or a mother but some kind of other. With a nod of the head and a timely hello I can carry on walking, don't wanna get talking.
Rule number one – carry on walking.
Ah, the four lads who shook the Wirral dressed as ancient Mariners….keep your eyes fixed firmly on the ground and carry on walking.
Blue Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: Crocombe, Emmanuel, Waterfall, Maher, Amos, Clifton, Holohan, Green, Khan, Taylor and Orsi. The substitutes were Efete, Smith, Hunt, Morris. Khouri, McAtee and Lloyd. Rule number two – keep carrying on talking about the love that's going cold on an afternoon for T-shirts in the sun and overcoats in the stands.
Apart from the unscheduled disassembly of their collapsing crossbar has Mad Max Crocombe got anything to fear from Tranmere? Is anybody actually here from your actual Tranmere? Is there anybody out there?
It's such a perfect pitch you could drink sangria on Prenton Park.
Apart from the people who hide themselves behind a wall of illusion can anyone bring themselves to go to Stevenage? This is the end, the last away day. So who is going to be in our dreams tonight?
1st half – Soft verges
Town kicked off away from the 500 or so ravers confusing the dotted Rovers with their songs from a throng gathered around bongo boy, with Zebra Kid and Horace Batchelor on percussion. Yeah what a team.
If only we'd managed to get Emmanuel Macron to bring his accordion. Dig it?
Is Emmanuel playing with an accordion in his pocket?
Roaming Rovers on their right and Khan slept as a shortened corner was wafted and wasted. White shirts moved between blue shirts and the ball occasionally introduced itself to the hoardings and boardings. And then later, when it gets dark, we'll get home.
Snickles and snackles and off came the shackles. Clifton's alive! A shimmy, a shammy and a hammy pass to the overlapping Emmanuel. Little Harry steamed on, steer-volleyed into a static caravan of footballers and the ball flumped off Orsi's thighs, drimbling wide of the nearest post.
And representing the flower people…Quasimodo on bells. A tickle and barely a tackle as Hendry and Hemmings performed the old in-out, one-two. Hendry's shoes buckled and he laughed along with Luke at such larks. White plunges under blue lunges. A free kick dumped farly and hoiked hugely behind the sky, beyond Jupiter from beyond the farthest post. Crocombe caught the diving bomb exquisitely and excellently, your excellency. If he was a dog in World War One he'd get a medal for that. And a statue in a park.
Statues in the park, islands in the stream. Both teams are soft inside and there's nothing going on. Everything is nothing if you've got no-one running up front.
Blue moves, but we're all in a blue mood as higgles were piggled with rebounds ricocheting and big-thighed Josh befumbled a droobler of so little consequence it never even reached the fence. Get in the groove, we gotta move. An Amos free kick dumped deeply to a balding head. Headed back, headed out, headed back, headed up, giddy-up giddy-up a-ding-dong. Orsi-Orsi sneakled behind to bump an ailing homester aside. A chesty turnyhook hit the swooping Hewelt's legs and Cogley spindled away from near the goal line.
I've got a feeling, a feeling deep inside, oh yeah, that it's one of those days where we cut them into little pieces but leave all the pieces on the plate.
Time goes by and time goes slow, it just doesn't seem true that only a few moments ago we were happy in blue. A white offside ungiven and piddling about at a chuck-in on Town's right. Under bridges, over bridges and finally to their destination. Careful with that flick, Gavan, it causes exasperation if you let a Tranny take a trip. Holohan's touch thrilled Hughes like the rush of the wind and our boat was rocked. A peeping penalty amidst much shrugging and mugging for the cameras. The one and only Hawkes, previously just a player in a crowd scene, stutter-passed low and left as Crocombe sighed and sat down rightly, but wrongly. Our high hopes and aspirations left behind at Rock Ferry Station.
We're a one-man band, ain't nobody out there wanna lend him a hand?
Clifton, Clifton, Clifton again and again and again and only Harry. Striving and driving, help never arriving. Khan floated a free kick that drifted beyond Green and Big Luke stomped and prodded into the side-netting. Free kick central Khan chipped nicely for Hewelt to pluck. It's Harry again, crossing. It's Green again, free heading highly. Heeeeeeere's Harry! Slippering, slithering across the face of goal, across the face of Orsi's non-stretching toes, across the face of the farthest post. Don't look at Deputy Doig's cross face.
One minute was added.
It’s all so very la-di-da, la-di-da, la-la-la-la-la, boom-bang-a-bang but only the Wirral world is as happy as can be.
We're losing a dud rubber.
2nd half – Keeping two socks apart
Neither team made any changes at half time.
A bit of this and that after not very long and Town quickly shortened a corner deeply. Bristow wellied as far as he could and their lonesome striker forlornly ambled after Emmanuel. Big Josh, bamboozled by the perfect pitch, let the ball bounce, eschewed the easy nod back to Crocombe and flapped like a parrot in a pickle factory. Saunders took the opportunity to sunbathe, reclining upon the grass and putting on his fancy shades. Hughes looked inside the bric-a-brac store and noticed an orange figurine standing towards the back left of the glass cabinet and chipped over the wall into the centre right of the goal.
From on high I hear a choir of angels singing, no more caterwauling in a minor key from the men and women of Tranny. And all at once the Kiss fans disappeared as half a dozen of the most passionate Town fans headed off for the Copacobana Club. Well, they are young and they have each other.
Can we ask for more?
Hewelt pumped a goal kick straight down the middle, then it started to hook just a wee bit and Maher lost sight of it. The Manc Lad hooked high, hooked backwards and Lemming swarmed. Hemming slipped, Hawkes slapped and Crocombe spectacu-flipped over using just one of his human arms. Whatever happened at the corner is of no interest to you or I or me or you. No, it really isn't, please move along, there's nothing to see here.
Blue pressing, blue missing. Maher headed over from a deeply dripped free kick, Orsi appeared near a cross that crossed through the keyhole, a wall-passing Holohan shied overly and possibly finally, Cyril, a corner bibbled and bobbled its way to Clifton's feet and Orsi stood in front of Hewelt to block both keeper and goalbound ball.
At last the old Horsey-Harry combo! Holohan chipped deep towards the corner flag. Orsi ran on and reversed the polarity. A stretching white sock deflected to Taylor, on the corner of the six-yard box. Clifton swept by and swiped against a lurking big white toe and the ball skittled across the face of the far post. Gadzooks, a goal kick!
Halfway through the half McAtee and Lloyd replaced Orsi and Taylor. This merely added some sexier cheekbones.
Now and again things almost happened. Town pressed, Tranmere broke away. A long ball and last man Maher laid out two flying whites, stretching around Hemmings and tripping up Saunders. The nice man in charge let the Limpopo flow on, the hippos can look after themselves, there's no big cats seeking prey, just pussycats looking for a chin stroke or two.
Lloyd was clattered by the corner flag. Khan's free kick dipped into the middle, Maher ducked and thwunkled straight at Hewelt, who parried out, straight to a whitester. It sure ain't our lucky day. Boo-boo.
At a precise point in time Hunt replaced Green, which was nice. Hunt started to pull at the tattered threads of Tranmere, fetching, carrying, teasing, almost pleasing. McAtee scribbled into the adverts then wibbled after Hunt dribbled. Parklife has just dribbled away for Big John, yesterday's man. It must get better in the long run, it has to get better in the long run for him and us.
Them. Breaks. Now and again. Snooker loopy and a deflection drooping wide. Amos twisted like a melon, the ball pulled back from the bye-line and Hawkes swiped lowly through waggling leggery. Crocombe flew low and left to excellently push-parry aside from the foot of the near post. Well done, young man, you still do saves.
With less than ten minutes left Khouri and Efete replaced Emmanuel and Amos. We like Khouri. He gives it a go and isn't a weeble.
Twiddle your thumbs if you must, it's all very comfortably numb here in the dead zone of nothingness, the least meaningful match in football today. If Tranmere didn't play Grimsby would anybody notice? Has this just been an elaborate hoax created by an AI chatbot in a basement in Moscow?
Alright boys, fill the skip.
Five minutes were added. Hunt legged up a flying winger, Lloyd slapped a bully and finally Townites were booked. Another spectacular save from Crocombe and the rebound was knock-kneed wide of the emptied goal by some white knees and all this is lost in the white noise of a waving flag and the end of days.
And then home…
Where were the Stop Oil protesters when you needed 'em? This was a complete waste of time and money.