Ploughing ahead

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

27 December 2013

A clear but misty 'noon in the prim and proper home of the county elite with 1,700 artisans, artists and architects penned inside the former home stand. It's just a seasonal obligation to visit the old granny. Grit your teeth and smile through the pain.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Hatton, Pearson, Doig, Thomas, Rodman, Kerr, Disley, Neilson, John-Lewis, Hannah. The substitutes: Bignot, McLaughlin, Colbeck, Southwell, Cook. Burgerboy was conspicuously absent from the turnip patch, with many a whisper and twitter floating by.

Lincoln. Silly shirts, narrow pitch, same old same old, no doubt. It really isn't a football town, is it. Gymkhanas and squash are more their thing.

What now?

First half: The dirtiest team of the year
Town kicked off towards the Town masses. Within 20 seconds Doig was crawling up from the dirt as Rowe cut him into little pieces. Just a yellow card from the cowardly custard.

Town wellied, Hannah spun. Offside. Calm down.

Lincoln walloped wide, Lincoln walloped long, Lincolnites walloped Townites. No charge. Down we went again and again and again. Town were scythed, harrowed, chopped and tomatoed. Welcome to the traditional Joskers' Boxing Day treat: The Sincil Bank Ploughing Championships 2013.

All they want for Christmas is a throw-in: it's the gift that keeps on giving. Hurled, hurled, hurled again and again, long and loopy, long and flat, way beyond the penalty spot from here, there and everywhere. Doig dinkled, Pearson sprinkled, Jamie Mack punched and parried as redshirts swarmed like a pitch-forked mob.

We could do with old MacDonald on this farm. They plough the fields and scatter Town's players on the land.Fill in the rest with pictures of red shirts scything, lunging, hooking and jumping at blue shirts.

Rowe swung and sprung a surprise by kicking the football along the ground, Jamie Mack scooped. Take a deep breath. Kerr fell into the blades of a combine harvester. The referee was unmoved: he'd seen Watership Down.

Rodman wasted into a red wall and John-Lewis careered crazily for a corner. Kerr clipped to the penalty spot as everyone ran into the six-yard box. Except Hannah HAHAHAHAHA. It's like stealing candy from a baby. Sagely nodded.

Here comes the bazooka – FFFFFFFFFFFWWWWWWWWWWWWT futt. In the hole! Here comes the mortar - boom, woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo plonk. Red foot poked, ball bumbled wide. A big bloke hit the bar, Jamie Mack stoop-scooped. The chances of anyone scoring from Mars is a million to one.

Boom, boom, boom, ffffffffwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwt, futt, futt, futt, screech. The snivelling siege of Sincil has begun. Hatton hooked Robinson and was booked. Another chance to dump waste on Town's homeland. Boom. boom, boom. You can have too much of a bad thing, Lincoln.

Tomlinson drifted and sniftered over, some other bloke scrimbled something or other wide.

Moments of arbitrary almostness. The appliance of a dim science that got them nothing but a pile of deepest green gunk. Behold the alchemist of Lincoln.

This is just boring. Can we go home now?

Woah, this ain't boring. John-Lewis was finally awarded a free kick for being attacked in the street. Kerr caressed, Imps washed their socks by night and Disley stooped to steer lowly across Farman into the bottom left corner and disappeared into the excess of nylon and knitting behind the goal.

Added time sir, added time. Nielson roamed and curled low. Farman tipped spectacularly with his fingertips. A corner, a panic, a scramble, a save and LJL lashed against the post from a very narrow angle.

These were just some of the moments I haven't forgot. Fill in the rest with pictures of red shirts scything, lunging, hooking and jumping at blue shirts. Add two gallons of bazooka-long chucks and you get an inedible stodge of vegetable-based gloop.

Town need protection from local psychopaths.

Second half: Psychopaths on cyclepaths
McLaughlin replaced Kerr at half time.

And so the second siege of Lincoln began in 2013AD. Lincoln replaced their monotonous long hurler with a stumpy lad who hurled it even long, even faster and even flatter. Fizz, fizz, phwat, phwoar, twang, pfft. Doig headed it, McKeown punched it, Pearson was flattened as the ball accidentally collapsed mere metres from the goal line. Pearson went off, Pearson came back.

Pearson down, Pearson down again, Pearson down yet again, Pearson off and Bignot on. Bignot booked as a redman collapsed. The bouncing bombs skipped over and through, occasionally glancing against Town's dam and hurtling off down the valley of darkness that is Lincoln's anti-football.

Did I tell you Hatton went to centre-back? Oh, I see that I didn't. Well, Sam Hatton went to play at centre-back after Mr Shaun Pearson eventually succumbed. He was much better there than at right back.

And in the end, finally, the weak-willed wally in black found his red card.Bazooka bombs, bazooka bombs, bazooka bombs: a trite turgid travesty of sporting endeavour. McKeown sailed left, soiled right, flipped and flapped aside, plucked and scooped and swept danger into his little pinney. Impites hoiked and hooked and scrambled and scruffed and glanced and found a thousand ways to embarrass themselves. Lincoln City: awful, atrocious, cynical, desperate and dreadfully dreary.

Cook had replaced Nielson, just to add some brawn, if not brain. We didn't need brains, we needed some bulk to keep the mucky flood water behind the sea wall.

Woah, where did that come from? Hannah swinging a swirly-curly smacker that Farman flipped aside.

And in the end, finally, the weak-willed wally in black found his red card. Sheridan, the two-footed human cannonball exploded at Disley's feet. The locals had long since given up. There were five minutes of added gloating time, and no more Townites had limbs amputated by roaming bodysnatchers.

A truly terrible rugby league game between some hungover hooligans and amateur golfers.