Pale Riders

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

4 October 2023

It's rather dull in town today, I think I'll take meself to Paris. Wouldn't it be lovely to win once in a while.

The moon is red, Blundell Park is dead, that's all that needs to be said.

Town lined up in a 4-1-4-1 formation as follows: Eastwood, Mullarkey, Rodgers, Waterfall, Efete, Conteh, Khan, Holohan, Andrews, Eisa and Danny, Danny Rose. The substitutes were Cartwright, Glennon, Maher, Clifton, Gnahoua, Wilson and Pyke. Huntless again, both left-backs snubbed again and Harryless too. There's quite a bit of old stodge in there.

Is there anybody out there?

Is there any…body out there?

1st half – Any which way but Khan
Barrow kicked off towards the Pontoon with what people call passing the football. Durr, don't they know the rules, lump it long and straight out of play.

That's an amazing moon, it really is. A deep, deep crimson floating above the tide and rising slowly over Spurn Point. Rose headed wider than Mad Jock McWide. It's something.

What a masterclass in sensible refereeing. Ten glorious minutes of peeping and bleeping. Then, like Julian Dick's hair, it all went pear shaped. Garner cried once, cried twice, and sat on the floor until he got a free kick. The linesman under the Police Box had an existential crisis. Left? Right? Out? In? Why? Why do you exist?

And the Wild Boys began to play. All neat feet and clean finger nails, Gotts dancing and prancing past striped shallots. Luke's legs and Harvey's head diverted danger. Andrews absent, Campbell galloped and galumphed towards the Dock Tower from under the Pier, drifting past Mullarkey and whelping over the angle of near post and bar.

Hear that sound? A low groan floating down, through the clouds, a foghorn in the Humber, but there ain't no fog.

Local limbs moved, no goldfish died. Eisa swung his pants and triple-jumped into the penalty area over the nearest yellow sock. We opened our eyes and to our surprise Mr Orange was pointing spotsward. Eisa snaffled the ball, waited, waited, waited and puffled a pathetic penalty lowly, slowly to Farman's left. The ball squiffled back across the open goal and as Abo ambled to tap Charlie Chester swung something simple and the foghorn did get louder.

Beware that linesman on their right, he really will give you a fright.

Beware the yellow peril. Trigonometric teasing and Telford swept freely into the Pontoon.

Grimsby growling at the non-fouling as Garner lay down and squealed again and again, and Conteh was booked for nothing much at all.

Here they come. Stripes slain, sliding in vain, Spence whacked straight at Jake through the forest of gumps. Toby on toast as Khan and Holohan melted away as a triple whammy of waltzing wingery advanced. Poor lad, threatened by shadows tonight, exposed on the right.

1-2-3 wahey! An attack. A shot. Eisa. Straight at Farman's ankles.

Swiping and wiping in the Town box with nicks and knocks off flesh and socks. And here comes the shock.

Way off, way down there in the covered corner, there were throw-ins, there was the suggestion of human movement. Efete crinkled a sad, slow drooper into the near post. A big lump of cheese putrified, Rose smiled and so did we. A sneaky prod and happiness abounded around.

What they got? You're going to like this a lot even though Town lost the plot. A Robbie Gott shot. Where did it go? I do not know. On with the show.

Three minutes were added. Passing, movement, Barrow swinging, Town dodgy. Newby marmalised Mullarkey and caressed around and over Eastwood from the bye-line. Rodgers hit the goal line and back-headed off the line and away from lurking yellows.

How did we manage that?

2nd half – Every which way and loose
Neither team made any changes at half time.

It's funny how the colours of the real world only seem really real when you watch them on a screen.

It was like a bird of rarest-spun heaven metal or like silvery wine flowing in a spaceship, gravity all nonsense now. Andrews flicked, Rose ran around the keeper and up went the flag. How unlucky can we be, the linesman chose that one moment to make his only correct decision all night.

Barrow barrelling, Barrow bundling, Town fumbling, the Pontoon rumbling, the Dentists grumbling and we're heading for a humbling. Tick-tock, get on a block! Crosses grazed, eyes glazed and fingers were crossed. Cross, block, block, cross, Harvey's head, Harvey's toes, at least they're not chasing Waterfall. Rodgers penalised for heading below the Maginot Line, Town full of holes below the waterline. Barrow missing and messing, messing and missing. Wide, high, highly wide, off the cuff, into the rough, is it enough?

On the hour. Triple Barrow subbing. Off came the little men, on came the big boys to hang 'em high.

Town in a blob, Charlie Chester headed at Eastwood. Barrow breaking, Town shaking, Acquah raking the soil and flibbling through the hedgerows. Jake jived.

Acquah bundled and flashed, Garner poked and Eastwood accidentally chinned off the line as he headed for the Humber, seeking the sanctuary of passing ships as the bluebirds passed by overhead and underground.

A little of the old in-out, in-out as Barrow played hogs of the road. Get it out! Get it back! Do something!

Today, Matthew, the Parslow Point arrived in the 64th minute. Who had that on their bingo card? Maher replaced Khan the Invisible. Let's do the hokey-cokey.

They're shooting, we're hooting. Left, right, backsides and shins. Laceration of the striped nation. Get it out! Get it back! Do something!

With a quarter of an hour left Clifton and Wilson replaced Conteh and Eisa.

Tickles and tackles and an Andrews spin chip came back to the languid loanee. Whoops he spun it again, a spin chip and chase for Don the Destroyer into the nether regions on their centre right. The hurdy-gurdy man muscled around a tub of butter and passed between Farman's legs. Wilson the Enforcer yet again with a sudden impact.

We're strolling, we're rolling, they're bowling down the middle. A lift and lob and just like Saturday, a little scuttler scuttled alone. Foley sauntered and slinked lowly and left to the sound of silence. The mood, the midfield, flat.

With their incessant stalking they're becoming a pest. Rabbit-rabbit-rabbit in the headlights. Pressure cooking, hoiks and hooking, deflecting, scooting, pootling, tootling, flashing and slashing. There they go again, swishing and missing. Again and again and again.

Holohan big-dipped and Farman skipped gaily across to pluck. That was the long and the short and the tall of Town.

And again and again and again and again they roam and were foaming at the mouth as the ball heads south.

It is time for Town to stop your blobbing. Yeah, yeah, stop, stop, stop, stop.

It is time for us to laugh instead of crying. Six minutes were added, the custard flowed from left to right. Infiltrating, deliberating, a cross whipped, a header dipped and dropped, Efete grazed away, a big bloke blasted high, a bigger bloke blasted wider. Lumping, dumping, Town clumping, bodies bumping.

We're through, we're through. It's over, it's over, it's over. We'll just have to take what we have somehow gathered, whatever confidence from this footballing farrago. You don't always get what you deserve.