Size isn't everything

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

15 November 2023

Watch out there's some discarded fruit about.

After Morecambe, all is well again. But in this brighter future we can't forget our past. It is Town after all, the club that make the impossible possible.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: Cart-Wright, Mullarkey, Waterfall, Maher, Amos, Gnahoua, Green Holohan, Andrews, Pyke and Rose. The substitutes were Eastwood, Glennon, Rodgers, Bramwell, Ainley, Hunt, Conteh, Wilson and Gardner. No Harry, yes, cry.

Well, we could chat all day about roofing felt, but life is too short for plain crisps they say. We just need to get this over with, no fussing, no pussy-footing around.

1st half – You should be dancing
Town kicked off towards the Pontoon and chilled down with some ambient jazz, schmoozing languidly around the back of the dance hall.

A piffle, was it Arthur? Probably. Davies hit the roof, not literally, that would be rude. The chubby charmer caressed a free kick over the wall and against the fluttering guttering whilst muttering about state of the A46 between the Nottingham turn and Leicester. Shocking, positively shocking on the suspension. Ooh he's a martyr to his back these days.

Half-paced, half-baked, then Arthur snaked and Pyke steered the deflection around the Luthra. Yeah, go the Grimsbys. Hoos will be wooed.

Rose? Rose. Rose rose and Rose posed as the ball went near his nose and steered a shot into the waiting hands of Mr Orange. Blue moves past striped shoes, Ogbonna wizzing and fizzing around Danny Amiss like an eager Scottie Dog in search of the last, lost Boneo in Brereton Avenue. Boneo, Boneo, wherefor art thou Boneo?

Ambling, shambling, huffling and scuffling. Elevation Mr Amos! Mr Amos elevated precisely and perfectly. Maher raised his eyebrows before the near post, Rose stretched beyond the far post. It's all so easy, is it Wedneday morning yet?

After all that's said and done, it was right for you to run. Ewaka collapsed again and on came Parillon and on and on. Da da da, la la la, aye, aye, aye, aye moosey. When I hear those trumpets and congas play I see football being played the Slough Town way. Football, not run-ball-chase-ball.

Don't fell him Pyke!

Poncing by Pyke twicely and Parillon's woofler deflected over the Hands of Harvey onto the roof of the net. The corner arced, no-one could be arced to mark Dyce. He nodded as stripes barely plodded.

Now I've got something to say that might cause you pain, for if we catch Amos walking near Ogbonna again, he might let us down. We've told him before, you can't do that, not at this level. Launch it!

A Town corner. Waterfall wearily winked wider than Jock McWide. Dr Teeth plunged under a barely imagined lunge and Maher nodded down and out for a goalkick. Shots, we had a few, but then again so many to mention. Amos coiled wide, Amos slashed wide, Amos was wide in the narrowest sense of the word.

Slough down, they move too fast, they're just looking for fun and feeling groovy. It's a new wave. John Goddard left Luke breathless down their left, passed across the face of goal and Ogbonna stepped past Danny Amiss and flipped in. Flipping heck.

I hear the wind whisper…Town are gonna lose this…Town are gonna lose this…Town are gonna lose this. Will the wind ever remember the leads w'’ve blown in the past? No, this will be the last.

A bunch of stuff. Stuff happened in bunches. They had a shot, Goddard again. They had a free header. They aren't a pushover, unlike our lot.

In between the roll call of drossery, when Townites raised their pace of passing and movement by the merest soupcon of smidgeonness, Slough were almost in despondency. Corners, schmorners, panic in the streets of the small suburban town that Town jogged around. Higgledy-piggledy puffleslumping and kerfuffling slapstickery from the inevitable Town set piece. Rose volleyed and Davies headed up and over the bar whilst standing on the goalline. Pyke glanced a free kick down and across the face of goal and across the face of the farthest post.

Score from a corner, we never score from a corner. Except when we do.

An Arthur header, an Arthur shot and 'alf a corner is better than 'alf of nothing. Amos coiled, Green grazed and Pyke bowed in the middle of the centre a yard out. A Town goal, that's the way to relieve backache. Boy, is Town's backline aching.

Five minutes were added. Men ran around. You can never be sure when the toilet queues end and the queues for the toilets begin.

2nd half – Too much heaven
Neither side many any changes at half time.

It would be nice to have the ball. We are, after all, at home.

Andrew filleted a fish, Pyke prodded, Pyke missed, Pyke passed the rebound into the net but it had all been a dream. Offside. Stop leaping around you loons.

Blue bamboozles, a barrage of balloons and much midfield buffeting of our buffoons. Hapless slapstick inside the six-yard box as balls bounced with under-eights cup football at its most under-eights cup football. Yakety Sax.

Adjectives of annihilation bury Danny Amos beyond redemption. Venomous swerves of ruthless splendour displaying Ogbonna's fancy feet and footballing fervour. And Danny Boy was booked for legging up his nemesis. A chip and pin, Cart-Wright flumpled, Rose retreated to spectacularly nod Goddard's sand iron off the line.

Glennon put Amos out of our misery by arriving to a fanfare of raspberry rippling. Poor old Danny, lovely, lovely lad, got a terrific cheeky smile.

Wilson replaced Holohan. Poor old Gav, lovely, lovely lad, but sometimes your legs move but we can't tell that you’re playing.

Rebels causing trouble, running rings around our wingers, threading needles through our haystacks. Town just holding on, clinging on and then Pyke ran on, looked up and passed across the face of the penalty area. Yes, now Arthur! Gnahoua stepped back and draggled through some twiglets, low and left of Luthra, the static caravan.

Can we relax now then? Nope. Everybody knows the score, four to draw.

Nothing, nowhere, sometime, somewhere. A slouching Sloughman carthorsed goalwards as the linesman snoozed. Cart-Wright tossed his hair back, raced towards his suitor and swept him off his feet.

Triple double subbing, them and us, us and them, as we took off some ordinary men.

And that, my fine furry friend, is the end of soft lights and laughter for the day trippers. The Berkshire blues, beautiful plumage. They are no more, they have ceased to be. Shuffling off this mortal coil, running down the curtain and joined the choir invisible. They ran out of puff.

And life turned cruel, far too cruel for the dreamers and schemers from Sloughland. They didn't deserve this unsuitable ending. Let us not hit downwards with our satire, we've been the beached whale far too many times. Let us take pity upon these poor souls and just give the facts, just the facts.

Ainley to Glennon to Hunt to skidaddle a half volley wide. Hunt to Arthur and back to Hunt to pass across the immobile home parked in Blundell Park. It's barely worth cheering this procession of perfidy.

Ainley to Gnahoua to coil around a bean pole into the right corner. What's our highest score?

Hunt surged, Hunt crossed, Andrews headed down. Double figures?

Bada-bing, bada-boom, Luthra flew left to parry-paw a flashing swipe away.

Five minutes were added, most of which were taken up tending to their physical and mental wounds. They were tired, they were weary and feeling a little teary as their adventures in proper football you see on the telly finally ended. For us it was Brighton, for them it is Grimsby. It's all about context.

And so endeth the exercise in exercising, if not particularly excising every ghost in the house.

Let's have some humility and a grasp of reality. We're glad it's all over.