Up, up and away

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

10 December 2023

And all morning it's raining again, all we can hear is it pitter-pattering down. It's wet in the street, its wet all over, yes it's wet all over. What, our day's not over - the game's still on?

It surely is.

Heavy pitch, heavy skies and heavy metal football to boot. We'll be racing with the wind now we've got that Artell feeling, a feeling deep inside, oh yeah. Well, everyone's had a hard year, now it's time to have a good time as long as this lot pull their socks up.

Town lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as follows: Cart-Wright, Mullarkey, Maher, Rodgers, Glennon, Hunt, Conteh, Gnahoua, Clifton, Eisa and Rose. The substitutes were Eastwood, Waterfall, Efete, Green, Holohan, Khan, and Ain(s)ley. What pace we have is on the pitch, what skill we have is on the pitch, let's hope they don't get stuck in that muddy pitch.

And in the covered corner 192 Creweites clustered. Fourth in the league and that's all you take away? Jolly poor show, dear boys. There does seem to be a little bit of chunkiness lurking beneath those red shirts, and I'm not referring to the corner boys. Cooney, in particular, wobbles far too much for a professional athlete. Farcical.

Let the dawn of the new age begin.

1st half – Workin' on a groovy thing
Town kicked off towards the Pontoon. That's three lost tosses in row at home now, it just proves Danny Boy is a useless tosser.

Mmm, smell the glove! There's hardness and a freshness we've barely known before. Zipping, zapping, swishing, swaying and Arthur blocked. Maher nudged Tracey and off Town swayed and swished with Arthur unblocked and Hunt swept over.

Crewe? Dinkers and donkers, espying aerial superiority. Have they even tried to pass the football yet? Direct whackery, stick it near the mixer! A chuck-in near the covered corner noodled back and crossed back in. O'Riordan rose near the penalty spot and thwonked towards the top left corner. Cart-Wright adjusted his feet, sprung high and spectacularly parried away.

The occasional Crewe foray is merely a blip on an otherwise uninterrupted Pontoonward trajectory. A series of Town corners. Town corners are rubbish. Apart from the ones that aren't. Elevation! A corner finally elevated and Rose glanced over at the near post. Driving runs from marauding Mariners, a sea of stripes surging North. Harry half-blocked, the ball spindling away for a corner. How are Town going to waste this one? Glennon tapped to our idling Sudanese swinging winger, standing alone near the corner of the penalty area. Eisa remembered the good old days, shuddered at the thought of Danny La Rue singing a saucy song or Roy Hudd with a ukelele, and simply coiled a dripping dipper into the top left corner. That's the way to do it. He did it, like he used to do it.

What's their tipple? Red mixers, all on the rocks. Harvey plucking corners, plucking crosses, plucking dribblers and drabblers. Dynamic drive-by shooting as Glennon galloped gaily down the left. Rose stretched near Ringo's near-post fizzer. Ringo surged again, his cross bamboombling up off Crewe boots and Rose headed straight at the keeper. Ah, a flag is fluttering afarly. Offside, no need to worry about spilt milk.

Mullarkey felled and a free kick on the halfway line after half an hour. Treatment over, Toby waited for the cavalry and…was bizarrely booked for time-wasting. How bizarre, how bizarre.

Hunt surged and slapped off a triplet of sliding defensive thighs, the ball scrumbled through to the keeper. Fizzing, whizzing, Town a whirling dervish of passing and moving.

It's only fair to say they had their moments in the lack of sun through the appliance of science, or rather the application of a statistical model based on probability. Chuck it high, whack it long, get a set piece, head it on. Billington scraped across the face of the farthest, leftist post after some mixed-up myxomatosis in the heart of Marinerdom. If that's the bag they're into so be it. We've been doing that for 20 years and look where it got us.

And all the while Conteh was stepping in to step out. Instant Karma with Kamil the calm. He's done it again, he's done it again. Clifton drove all night, Eisa shuffled on, Glennon carooned a cross and Rose, beyond the far post, stooped to conquer. Bish-bash-bosh. Lovely-jubbly. Ooh, that were nice and easy.

Two minutes were added. And in these two minutes The Choo-choomen whacked it long, chased it long and scraped wide. You no longer have to wait for your Twix, there is no more.

Marvellous and occasionally magic in the muddiness. Town were superior, Town were decluttered, dynamic and delightful. Please sir, can I have some more?

2nd half – One less bell to answer
Crewe removed Billington at half time, replacing him with White as they unkept their shape, moving to a back four with more blokes elsewhere doing this and that now and again. They merely found a different way to do the same thing.

Stick it in the mixer!

Mooching Mariners wandered around the mudflats as Creweites chugged and mugged and hugged and tugged and plugged their approach shots into the bunker. Dinks and winks, wallops and gallops, rhyming this and rhyming that, oh you haughty technocrats.

And what did they have to show for all this illusory pressure? Demetriou slashed highly, widely and nicely after Crewe cornering.

Stick it in the mixer!

Don't look so frightened, this is just a passing phase, it's one of their bad days.

A bit of ooh and ahhh, here and there, with Town strolling and rolling through Crewe. Harvey plucked, Eisa surged, slashed and lashed against red laces. There ain't nuffink going on out there in the boggery. Have you seen Arthur lately? Why does the ball always fall to Little Harry and his amazing dancing shins? Time passing, no-one else is.

Ram-raiding on the right. Toby crossed, Ringo crossed back, Davies fumbled his flumbles and Rose arose to head over the emptied net. Moments. I'll have the gooey caramel please, it goes with the pitch.

Near the hour Crewe took off chubby Ray Cooney and, err, someone else. Hang on a tick, let me look up which invisible man was hooked. Ah yes, Thomas their tank engine. What a farce.

They passed out of play, Town's quicksilver wingery stuck in the quicksands. A word in the ear from Dr Mesmer released Town's animal magnetism. Sweeping across the Savannah Mullarkey took it all in his stride and walloped a whacker over the angle of post and bar.

With around 20 minutes left Town suddenly subsided. Red roams as Townites tired; nothing happened. Eisa ran off and nearlyed nearly. Hunt visibly flagged and flailed, it's time...for a change. Eisa, Arthur and Little Alex were replaced by Ain(s)ley, Khan and Green.

The invisible man, the invisible wand and the man with the invisible touch. Sometimes less is definitely less.

Wahey, a bit of jiggery-pokery and Little Harry snapped and steered wide.

And then it happened, that thing that always happens, where the opposition happens to score. Way out left, way upfield Khan failed to hassle, chasing his quarry across the marshes. Town sat back, Crewe edged forward and Demetriou calmly, cutely, stuck it in the mixer from under the Frozen HorseBeer Stand. The ball sailed over Maher beyond the far post where White wrestled and wriggled in front of Ringo and volley-steered across Cart-Wright.

In and out and in and out and in and out and in and out but their music's not all right. Hummery-drummery flummery from the Cheshire cats as Town picked them apart on the break. Khan disrobed and dripping the free kick deeply and dippy. Rodgers ducked alone at the far post and the ball sailed on and out.

It's a contact sport, let the naysayers talk. Crewe up and Crewe under and Crewe crewed into the mixer. Scrambles, blocks, deflections, corners, clearances and nothing to see here.

Is there anything to see up there? A Conteh blockbuster nearly knocked a red block off, Khan curled a wibbler wide and I distinctly remember Ain(s)ley being near the ball. I did, honest.

Four minutes were added. A chip, a chase and Rose ran off down the right, slobbering a slither safely wide. Well, it wasted another ten seconds. We're watching the clock tick down with a frown.

Mixers were stuck into, ups were undered. Town tapped and flapped, Ringo scraped a pass across the face of the penalty area straight to a lurking redster. Minor panickery, mild pandemonium and blocks by appropriate socks.

Hello, hello hope you're feeling fine now as we hear the whistle downwind.

First half was juicy, real juicy junior. The second? More Hurstian than we'd like to believe was possible, with a triple Parslow Point substitution that almost backfired, for on came three players who added nothing but scuttle and scuffle. Big Dave needs to see before he knows what to believe.

We're not going down and on this showing Crewe aren't going up. We can see a brighter tomorrow.