Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
26 April 2023
We've arrived, and to prove it we're here.
Ignore the poisoned atmosphere, open up another beer for here we are in Shangri-La where everybody's on tea. And biscuits.
The shadows lengthen, the evening comes, the busy world is hushed as not many have rushed to see the end of days.
Town lined up in a flexibly fluid 4-1-4-1 formation as follows: Crocombe, Emmanuel, Smith, Waterfall, Glennon, Hunt, Clifton, Holohan, Khan and Orsi. The substitutes were Efete, Maher, Green, Braithwaite, O'Neill, Lloyd and Taylor. I'm glad I opened my eyes, for the hunt for Hunt is over. There he is, over there, standing in the shadows twixt defence and midfield waiting to make his play, for the play's the thing.
Between the essence and the descent falls another shadow: there's no Big John. And so it ends with a whimper.
Kick off your shoes, sit back and relaxez-vouz. Easy watching, we're in that easy watching mode.
1st half – Blame it on the Bell boys
Town kicked off and out towards the 63 Creweites hiding in plain sight. Or is that their average age?
Alright, we're rolling again. Let's take it nice and easy. Hey, baby, what's your hurry?
Evan everywhere and Khouri clamped a clumpy-lumpy centre hacker. Orsi hugged and mugged and Clifton chugged and slugged straight at the star jumper in blue.
Relax and don't you worry. To rush would be a crime. Monochrome plunging over vague red-booted lunging and a central free kick emerged from this gorse. Hunt espied sleeping Creweites and sneaked a snickle down the side. Holohan spun-dried his trousers and swished lowly across blue toes into Booth's bottom right corner.
It's not too hard to figure out, you see it in every game, that those that are the farthest out of position are going to get the blame. Bell's boys, they've gotta get runnin' now.
A red sweep and Emmanuel's too hip to be square. Well, the ball bamboombled square off his hip and little Long skipped to the loo, crossing across the face of goal, past purple gloves and many toes of many colours. Mellor waddled and wallied well wide of the opened goal. That's nice.
Red falls at night to no-one's delight. Free kicks quacked here, free kicks quacked there, Rod McDonald caused no harm, ee-i-ee-i-oh.
Fliggling and wiggling, moogling and droogling with scoops and droops and Uwakwe bigly looped beyond the farthest post. Agyei arose over Ringo and his soft and gentle header hooped high, high, high and back across the goal. Crocombe scampered and improvised a sensational slap-waft away from the back post and lurking redsters.
Something, almost, nearly and never somewhere down there. Holohan was shaken down for his dinner money and the muggers chugged off towards Crocombe. You make your choice at this time - the brave old world or the slide to the depths of decline. Nevitt just stopped and withered like an old pea as Waterfall arrived.
Orsi-Orsi bumbling and stumbling, swishing and missing, slashing and bashing into redsters' shins, the ball biffled straight out and Holohan shot straight back. More redsters' shins, bigger shins.
Ah-ha, Hunting high and low. A pass intercepted and little Long surged through the emptiness, tickling to the unmarked Agyei. Big thighs go a long way. Emmanuel made a suggestion, Agyei complied with our wishes and fell over.
One minute was added.
If they upped the intensity this could be mistaken for a Testimonial.
2nd half – Sweet charity
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Have we started yet?
Tinkling, winkling and ship lights are twinkling. A smattering of clattering and the ball arced beyond the Town defence. Crocombe edged out to his right corner and was bamboozled by the bowler's wrong 'un, the ball spitting and spinning over him. Agyei was awfully nice, dissecting no invertebrates or amphibians with a precision pass to no-one. And Crewe carried on rotating the chicken. Long cheekied past the dithering Waterfall and oompled wiffily straight to the stranded Crocombe.
Little Alex Hunt, pinging and grinning, swinging through the bollards. Khouri, Khan, a chuck and bundling by Orsi. Skittling and scuttling and Khouri swingled over from in front of Khan. Hunt chipped for Khan to chase, Khouri swayed and caroused across to the ghosts of our striking past. Khan, fiddling and piddling, slippering a pass off red thighs and back-passed to Booth.
After ten minutes Crewe double subbed. Men came on, men went off.
Crewe. What a waste of time they are. A header high, a header wide, a header high and wide, a header wide and high. A slap low, a slap high, a slap into the side netting, a slap into Crocombe's gloves. A corner, a corner, another corner, a corner, a corner, a free kick, a header, a shot, a header, a shot, a corner, where are we going, what are they doing, did they do any of that, or are we trapped inside their nightmare?
Ah, yes, this definitely happened. A red corner flicked on by Old McDonald and hooked away from near the goal line by Glennon. Never ever have they ever felt so low, they ain't going to get out of this black and white hole.
It's party time, with Hunt pinging passes left to right and right to left, Khan sumptuously swung and oh heck, does it matter? It was a lovely moment of almostness. Party on! In the boglands below the Frozen Horsebeer Stand Khouri back-heeled Khan momentarily free. Otis doesn't do flying wingery, but does do short passes back to Khouri. Exemplary Evan exquisitely rolled a perfect pass between two red stools and Khan ran on and, oh dear, well. That moment epitomised Khan's night, a series of shuffles, shuttles and scuttles ending with wasted wafts into cul de sacs.
A Clifton surge down the centre. Mariners left, Mariners right, and Little Harry chose the correct option. A tickle left to Khouri, a step back infield and a side swipe straight at Booth's nose.
With quarter of an hour left Braithwaite came on, replacing the curious curate's egg that is Gavan Holohan. Angular Aaron doesn't look very athletic, but he was enthusiastic in chasing the ball.
Don't forget the Orsi lob! I won't, I promise to never forget it today. So what was the Orsi lob? Orsi tried to lob volley the keeper from 35 yards. The keeper caught it. That's it. Nice try.
Don't forget awful Agyei! If you want me to I will. Agyei's absolutely appalling evening continued with a shuffle and slap into the side netting.
Biff that bang, Khouri harassed a stray redster under the Police Box and the ball rolled to Big Josh. A caress down the line and Clifton swept, Orsi leapt unmolested to gracefully glide a graze down and across the keeper. Bella, bella.
With the conclusion forgone, Town brought on Little Tommy Turgoose and Lloyd Griffith for a little comic relief, like you do in these charity games. It keeps the kids amused and it's all for a good cause.
Or did O'Neill simply replace Khouri?
A Long shot from nearby. Crocombe was required to touch the ball. Glennon slept and Brook ambled down the centre. Crocombe tried to be nice, laying down several hours earlier and pointing to his right. Brook tapped timidly against purple stockings. We're trying hard to let them win a goldfish.
Three minutes were added and Town headed for the hills, via the corner flags.
Nice at times, here and there, once or twice. What a lovely pre-pre-season friendly with generous guests, so thoughtful and humble they even washed Town's kit before they went home. Not a complete waste of time; worth seeing, but not worth going to see.