Once upon a time in the West

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

23 September 2013

Well, at least Ron Nasty has finally gone.

Chester Zoo time! Heartbeat, increasing heartbeat as the Town 200 march upon the Exacta Stadium of Dreams, the border-straddling pongfest of muckspreading aromas.

Town lined up in a wacky, zany experimental 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Bignot, Pearson, Doig, Goodall, Colbeck, Kerr, Jones the Beardless, McLaughlin, John-Lewis, Hannah. The substitutes were Thomas, McDonald, Neilson, Hearn and Cook.

Do you hear the thunder of stampeding rhinos, elephants and tacky tigers? Ah, it's only Radio Humberside, John, on the noisy road to nowhere. Calm down dear, this town ain't big enough for the both of you and Matt Dean. Or that Rob Hurst bloke you did or didn't sack.

Town turned up in disguise, clad from top to toe in red. The refreshments were delightfully underpriced and served with a smile. What a funny place this is.

Wahey, it's 1985 and Johnny Hates Jazz. Have you seen Kay's hair? The tight curly-wurly look went the way of turquoise spats and white jackets (sleeves rolled up compulsory).

Shall we get on with the show?

First half: Hoofs and roofs

Town kicked off away from the Town 200 towards Wales. What a beautiful sky. Ooh look, a plane, a plane! Welcome to fantasy Townland.

Stripey chucks and hurls. McKeown flapping, defensive scrapping and lumpy Mills stumble-hoiked a Maccadrop into the Dee. Curdling Kerr noodled and a little cat burglar boogled away and way too wide. McKeown's toes diverted, Goodall devoted. Stripey hurls and chuckles a-go-go.

Ooh, a shot. We don't usually do those until the cat lady sings

Are we going to a-go-go? The Unhappy Shopper shrugged aside his marker, twisting in the windless breeze to thwingle slightly wide from afar. Ooh, a shot. We don't usually do those until the cat lady sings.

A Town corner: we're almost into something almost good. McLaughlin clipped lowly to the D. Hannah looped and stooped to steer a volley goalwards. The goalkeeper dived to his right and saved the football. This, my fine friend, is what is classified technically as a 'shot on target'.

Ten minutes, two shots. Ambassador, with these efforts you're really spoiling us.

Thirty minutes later…

Moments of pressure from the Redsters with a passing movement of moveable passes. Hannah harried the homesters and LJL turned into a hamster, barely touching the ball as an openish goal beguiled and be-beckoned.

Then the local farmer spread some more muck in the fields yonder.

Town: Bognit all over the place, the Unhappy Shopper hopelessly devoted to Norman Wisdom. The midfield a flapping stable door with a honky-tonk piano playing in the background.

What happened in those missing 30 minutes? Heartbeat, decreasing heartbeat. The pain is pouring in this foreign town. Just think big balls over the Exacta Stand. How very exacting. You see now why the experienced Town traveller eschewed the car park. Who wants a dent in the roof?

Shower, another shower. But a better shower than the Halifax horror show. Be positive: being rubbish is an improvement.

Second half: Cards and shards

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Twiddle your thumbs for a few minutes. Sort out your paperclips. You haven't got any? Go out and buy some so you can sort them. In the name of cod, GO, please, it's your only hope.

Chester were utterly useless – even more than us. Yes, I know. See that kettle over there? It's Kingsley Black

Colbeck hared away and was felled by a little lad. Free kick to Town. As they wiggled and wriggled and writhed on the floor, the Dumb Winger pathetically, idiotically face-pushed the Cheshire Cat and out came the red card for the ruddy-faced redster.

Town moved to 4-4-1 then 4-3-2 as it dawned on them that Chester were utterly useless – even more than us. Yes, I know. See that kettle over there? It's Kingsley Black.

Town caused more problems with ten men, especially when Cook and Hearn arrived. Ah, you sages and sidekicks out there will have already worked that that'll be when the artist formerly known as Shorty took LJL off.

Poor old Lenny-boy, like a psychopath on a cycle path, he sounds good but makes no sense at all.

Hannah was perfectly fine, buzzing like a busy buzzy thing

Them? Err, err, err. Were they still here? I thought they'd gone off to redeem their loyalty card points at the local Frankie and Benny's. At one point McKeown made a save – feetward as Pearson and Bognit were idiosyncratically inverted by the bye-line. Bye-bye Chester, you've had your chance.

The game ended with Town pressure-pressure-pressure but with not a drop to drink. Those devious divas dived when crosses were crossed and corners corned, clutching heads and holding hands, the con-man-in-chief being Higginbotham the Livvobreaker. The black-clad clod ended this farcical fillet-o-fish with a gentlemanly drop-ball after a theatrical head clutch when Town were in possession just outside the area.

Town were the less worse of two terrible teams. The change of formation had them generally getting in the way of the local layabouts, with the Cook-Hearn axis showing a glimpse of hope that one day we will see something others would recognise as football.

The midfield? Four then three flimsy flan flingers.

It's a long way to Tipperary, but even longer to watch Town at the moment. Not my favourite waste of time.