Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
16 August 2023
Summer returns and so do we, to the place we call home where the buffalo don't roam. Is it too early to panic? For some it's never too early to panic. Oh my word, have you see the team.
Town lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation as follows: Eastwood, Mullarkey, Rodgers, Waterfall, Amos, Conteh, Gnahoua, Holohan, Clifton, Eisa and the many teeth of Danny Rose. The substitutes were Cartwright, Efete, Hunt, Green, Khouri, Vernam and Pyke. Huntless and without the unfathomably iconic Wolds Panther the ungelled Town were newly configured for a new day.
Salford? A hopeless cause. We've never beaten them. Apart from when we did. Yeah, that just proves my point.
Is the Tannoy on mute?
1st half – When you swish upon a star
Town kicked off towards the Osmond. Yes, they did.
Salford shuffled towards the Pontoon. They did, yes.
Red corner on the right, red corner on the left, red heads arising and what was surprising was that nothing happened. Huffling, scuffling, nudging and finally a begrudging free kick to Town. A shot, a block, a cross. Things. They happen. They indeed happened. Such as Rose volleying into Deputy Doig's face. He did not flinch. Rose ran away and didn't dare look his way for the next half an hour.
The mumbling became a grumbling became a rumbling rage as the ref saw no ships only imaginary striped slips. One would hope he doesn't know what he's doing otherwise he'd be a two bob note. A red corner for a red header that didn't go out. The crowd stirred, Town purred. Eisa wiggled and walloped waylay over.
A roaming red shirt was erased inside in sight of the Pontoon. Holohan crinkled up the line down under the Frozen Horsebeer Stand. Rose sailed towards the turf decrying the state of the nation. The ball bounced on and Arthur turned and burned and Abu was about to begin his journey. Drifting in from the Dentists Stand Eisa's shake, rattle and roll rattled off Ashley's hairline into the right side as Cairns simply sighed.
Niggles and nurdles from the narky nabobs of the north. They don't like it up 'em do they.
An Amos free kick drooped and Waterfall was mudwrestled into what used to be mud. One day there will be mud again. A Town break, Arthur was viciously felled by a cutting remark and…back of the net! Waterfall headed along the back of the net.
Silky Salford, such sexy football. Boom-boom-boom stick it in the mixer for the big bloke. The big bloke is just an ageing rock star, just a big bloke. There's plenty of them sat in the stands.
Is anything happening. Is anybody out there?
Now and again, this and that. A red corner drooped between stools and a full Tilt wallop boombled against Amos's cheeky smile. He didn't flinch an inch, barely noticed. Waterfall wandered way out right and passed directly to a Salfordian. McAleny waltzed into the Lukeless void, shuffled his shorts, bedraggled under the stretching Rodgers, past Eastwood's toes and the ball winked across the farthest post.
Three minutes were added. Conteh brushed aside a stray waif and advanced. And we need not intrude further on private grief.
Oddly messy and marvellous for that.
2nd half – Fate steps in and sees you through
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Ashley! Wahey, off you go, silly boy. You can't touch Toby, not like that.
Salford double subbed. Whatever.
Eastwood punched crosses and out came the party tricks and flicks. Who didn't adore Eisa's big back-stepping high kick? OK, we know one person who wouldn't have adored this lack of shape keeping.
Hustled and hassled, Salford were pushed sideways and back and backwards again. Amos intercepted, Holohan swept and Eisa surged down the left. A trickle and tickle to the galloping Gav and Eisa accepted the accidental wall pass to carefully coil a curler through the red mist and beyond the barely diving keeper.
And finally, finally, the referee noticed the misdeeds of these mirthless mercenaries from Manchesterish. Or perhaps he was entranced and enchanted by the colour combination of yellow against the twilight as the moon rose above the abandoned cold store. Referees are human, after all. Apparently, they say.
Eisa good, Eisa good, Abu Eisa's come good. A wibble and wobble, a dribble and cross defloombling off frantic red toes. Eisa's toes twinkled, high-stepping up and over and through several red shirts. A cross across the face of goal, a Rose flick, Little Harry dragged a bumbler back across the face of goal and the face of the far post. Town swarming in the warming weather.
Green replaced the rejuvenated Holohan and with what used to be called in olden days of yore five minutes left, the crowd got what it wished for as on waggled the Vernamator, replacing Adequate Arthur. Movements, moments, and Slim Charles swung his pants, swung his right boot and watched the ball swing past the post off red shorts.
A red punt and Smith inspected some mole hills 20 yards from fame. Some wattle and daub was hastily erected, Mallan's coil whipped and dipped, Eastwood took a moment, took a step left and magnificently pawed aside. Now that's what I call goalkeeping.
Seven minutes were added.
Do you need to know Pyke had come on for Rose? I suppose you do, we should not hide the facts of life from children. Clifton surged, Pyke didn't stretch at the near post. The Wolds Panther stalked the left and fliggled across the face of goal. Harry stretched, but Harry's socks are too short.
Eisa, baby, Eisa.