A soft landing in the sea of tranquillity

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

3 September 2023

When I wake up in the morning and the sunlight hurts my eyes. Something about the transfer window bears heavily on many a mind. Oh no, they've found the Wolds Panther buried in Loch Ness. Which is, coincidentally, where Andrew Salad is now playing. How the flighty are fallen.

A lovely day by the seaside: sunny, hot and hardly a wind. Poor old Maher will look like a teenage mutant ninja turtle when he takes off his bandage.

Town lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation as follows: Eastwood, Mullarkey, Rodgers, Maher, Amos, Conteh, Gnahoua, Holohan, Clifton, Eisa and Rose. The substitutes were Cart-Wright, Efete, Waterfall, Hunt, Khouri, Andrews and Pyke. Just Arthur for Slim Charles. Hursty is immune to your keyboard consultations, he doesn't do ch-ch-ch-changes. I've told you before he'll never change horses midstream.

Gillingham? Boy, I dunno. Shall we just wait and see what nonsense they come up with this time. Never assume, never presume, why don't you just wait a few minutes before you start to fume.

OK fire up the chimenea.

1st half – There ain't no cure for the Gillingham blues
Town kicked off towards the 407 Gilliepeople safely secured in the cauldron of the covered corner with a trite toss up their right. Fifteen seconds later, after Harry-scuttling and a desperate diving header at the near post, Town had a corner. And what happened at this corner? Town tried the short-pass-to-Eisa-whack-into-the-top-corner routine. Ah-ha, they that are Blue had wised up to that. They've been watching the telly.

Amos setting sail in a seive, here, there and nowhere. Absent yet present, seen, but unseen. A Blue corner flickered through and flicked well, well wide. Well, that'll do.

Amos surged and tickled, Gnahoua swung the corner lowly. Swung low, Maher stooped at the near post and glided a graceful arc into the far post. We're rockin' on the stage with all the home hands clappin'.

So what did the king of the Gilliemen do next?

And so Harris commanded the most mighty man that was in his army to cast the ball into the burning fiery furnace. And Shadrach Ogie did chuck longly. Town did keep bringing the ball out of the flames, for the fire had not had any effect on their bodies, the hair of their heads was not singed, their shorts were not harmed, and there was no smell of fire upon them. Truly they are the sons of Cod.

Surging stripes, sexy stripes, and I know it sounds funny but the Blues just can't stand the pain. You know it's Eisa and Town won another corner. Little Harry walloped over. Easy, junior, easy.

Wakey-wakey, Bluesmen breaking. A sly slipper from Piggy Malone and Nadesan knock-kneed wide as phantom raspberries were blown in old Gillingham town.

Town triangulating, strangulating the cool cats. Mobbing, robbing, hob-nobbing through the daisies.

A chip and chase, Town askew on the almost Amosless left. Clark carefully caressed, Amos photo-bombed Nicholls from behind in front of the open goal.

Blue dinks delightfully drifting twixt Blue toes, Blues noses and day-glo glovage. Fly-kick faffing from Eastwood.

Arthur! That's a one-word grimace that launched a thousand quips.

Rodgers. That's a one-word picture that paints a thousand portraits.

Harvey nicks. You shopped well, O Short One.

Mariners movin' through the trees, buzzin' with the bees. The sound is gettin' louder, sound is gettin' louder…The beat is gonna getcha, beat is gonna getcha…

Nothingness in Nowheresville, Arizona with Bluesmen faffing after Rose headed a wild upfield wallop back infield. The Ogie from Misskicky was mugged by the rambling Rose, Clifton scuttled on to the bye-line and pulled back perfectly to the awaiting Eisa, dead centre of the D. A shimmy, a shammy, and Holohan swept by and swept in under the purple plunger.

Solid goal, Eisa action. Stroll on.

Gillingham seem broken and blue as Town walk on by and walk on through. Foolish pride, that's all they have left.

Live those dreams, scheme those schemes. Relax. This game. There's nothing to it. Moments. Nice and Eisa does it. A deflection, a corner, and a Toby wallop. A snazzy Harry high steppin' lift over a lapel badge came to nothing but nothing. Moments.

Is that it? The ref said no dice, son, you've got work a little later. Four minutes were added. Four minutes is a long time in politics these days. At least Town's roof didn't crumble.

Mariners mugging well on a sunny afternoon, in the summertime, when the weather is fine and this game is easy. We've got winning, we've got winning on our mind. 

2nd half – Tootle power
Gillingham made two changes at half time, taking off Ginger Cornweaver, who don't half sound like a character in a Jilly Cooper romp and someone else. Someone no-one had seen nor heard, so could not possibly be missed. Let's call him Mr E the mystery man.

Town? It's still the same, we're still living in the crazy world of Arthur Gnahoua. So which Arthur is it gonna be in this half? The good Arth!

Right on cue Arthur's on the rampage. Skipping over lunges, slinkily slaloming over and between Blue toes and Blue boots, from far east to middle east. A tap to the criss-crossing Harry, a slapshot back across Mr Purple, who splendidly, annoyingly finger-groped aside.

Eisa was felled most foully by Ehmer Fudd. Townly triangles, a Clifton clipper snickled away from the lurking Rose. Town triangles, triangles by Town, mugging and chugging, crossing and winging. Oi, no whingeing at the winging. Oi, don't you touch Arthur's seat!

Them? Head tennis from high jinks and a dilly-dolly Dieng drooper. Slightly shorter long chucks for heading practice.

And in the main the metronomic Mariners mesmerised and mugged the Men of Kent. An Eisa drift whacked into the back of the Pontoon. Some more Eisa action, all swaying hips and delicious dips, and Turner battered back the blistering blast. A Town free kick was cleared and humped back high. Maher headed onto the roof of the net, a Maher clearance cleared the Frozen Horsebeer Stand roof. There's something in the air that I'd like to share: Maher's not having a 'mare. So shall we talk about flair?

Hearts went boom as Rodgers' crossfield pass went zoom. Eisa took it in his stride and carelessly coiled into the void. Oooh. Ahhhh. Are the Worzels back in town?

An isolated moment of false hope for the travellers as a Blues break widdled on and on and on. A long high cross and Gnahoua arose to scrape-graze off a waiting Kentish head. Let's throw in a vague, arbitrary Rodgers interception. There's no holding him down, there's no turning him round, he's getting better all the time, swatting aside scrapes and long chucks. And rosy-cheeked Dr Teeth too.

Ooh, hang on, here we go. Jaunty Williams long-levered, Bonne crossed and Malone rose farly. Eastwood's raggle-taggle flop spluttered the plopper into the middle of the penalty area. Conteh put on his brown overalls, picked up his broom and it all turned nice again.

With a minute left Pyke and Andrews replaced hard-running Holohan and Gnahoua the skewer. And then three minutes were added. Three? Just where did he get so much?

Time ticked, legs moved and with the last kick of the game Amos dredged the Humber, dumping six tonnes of sand and a daytripper into the nearest hole. And finally someone was booked by the official orange.

Well, there you are then. Ninety minutes of non-stop activity, and we're feeling tattyfilarious for hustling and hassling the itty bitty Gilliemen into submission.

Town just worked very hard to make it look easy, and justice was done. The wobbles were containable, Danny, and we got to see the good 'alf of the crazy world of Arthur Gnahoua in the end. More goals would have been nice, but it was all so nice and easy, nice and easy, nice and easy does it.

Now do it all the time.