The sighing of four

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

2 February 2014

Grimsby Town 4 Tamworth 1

We've been walkin' these streets so long, singin' the same old songs. Well, we do know every crack in the dirty sidewalks of Cleethorpes. Welcome to the Pleasuredome, you turquoise tearaways of Tamworth with your 150 space oddities in tow.

Ah, the Pontoon is open and the people do pour in. If you open it they will come.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Hatton, McDonald, Pearson, Fyfield, Rodman, Disley, Kerr, McLaughlin, John-Lewis and Tounkara. The five toads in the hole were Thomas, Colbeck, Thanoj, Cook and Hannah.

Oumare – woa-oh-oh-oh. La Boutique. Fentycon's new Tonka toy. Hey, Oumare Tounkara, there's a new kid in town. Everybody loves you at the moment, so don't let them down. He's French you know. Welcome to the Cote De Moan, home of fine whine.

Right, let's not mess about. We all have better things to do this evening. Let's have just ten minutes for half time. No timewasting please – we're British.

First half: Lamb chops with a French dressing

Town kicked off downish wind towards the Pontoon. The breeze blew corner flags vertically, horizontally, left and right, like a roller-disco queen. We will survive the winds of bore.

Boring, boring, an old man is snoring. McLaughlin twisted his knickers to almost do something, but didn't. An almost moment of nearlyness floundering on the rocks of Tonka Boy's socks. The French Shop whiffled a waffle sniffily off turquoise toes. Belford stroked his beard and cackled like a pantomime villain. He then began to sing a song about a constipated cow.

The wind blew, the ball spewed nowhere. Then McLaughlin teased down the wing and Jean-Louis scraped slowly across the face of goal. Tonka Boy was perambulating nowhere near the Pontoon. Shall we say La Boutique likes to have clarity and precision; he simply refuses to waste his time on flashes of futility. There ain't no compromisin' of the road to his horizon.

They probably had a shot. Ah yes, I remember it well. They did have a shot. Shall we say I like clarity and precision; I simply refuse to waste my time on flashes of futility.

Tonka tossed a coin underneath the Police box and Rodman roamed to the bye-line. A cross scribbled away from the near post and the ball awaited a whacking on the edge of the area. Tonka declined the opportunity to bother. Hatton scruffled scruffily and, as if by magic, John-Lewis appeared behind the last defender to skyscrape over the dock tower from ten yards out.

What happened next? A plastic bag danced in front of the Pontoon, high above Belford's head. Now that's entertainment.

Oo-la-la, a-hoh-hi-hon. You Tamworth defenders, your goalkeeper is a hamster and your socks smell of elderberries. Tonka toyed, Tonka teased, Tonka pleased with an exquisite swish and pass through blue, straight to Le Shop's toes. One touch, one roll, one goal. C'est magnifique. John-Lewis had no time to remember how to miss and stroked past Belford in to the bottom right corner.

Out of nothing something wonderful, completely out of character with this dull regional repertory farce. Tounkara: from shruggable to huggable.

And then we settled back into the usual routine. The wind blew, Town blew cold and colder. Moronic ambling, shambling, hoofs and hoiks, defensively dilatory and dozing. The lambs were left to run around the field as they saw fit.

They gambolled, but rarely gambled, and even forgot to use their long throw.

A hoik, a chase and John-Lewis lofted lazily from way out left. It was hardly worth mentioning. They had a load of free kicks. Pfft, so what. Mahon mangled and McKeown spangled as bodies mingled in the middle. I never watched mingle in the middle – not the right demographic, you see.

Cheeses, this is turgidly tedious. I could have been taking some old tiles to the tip, you know. Or staring at my shoes for free, at home, in the warm embrace of central heating and sofa.

A headless chicken in Caistor wrote a formal complaint to the Office for the Regulation of Trite Metaphors for the hurt and distress caused by a comparison to Grimsby Town Football Club

Where are those big booming balls? Burgerboy, way inside the Town half, walloped straight down the middle. The ball sailed and sailed and lambs were flash-fried as Tounkara switched on his afterburners, waited for the ball to bounce and calmly lifted over and around the star-struck, star-jumping keeper into the left-hand side of the goal.

He never looked like missing. C'est la vie.

Let's just skip the rest of the half. The wind blew. That's all you need to know.

Town had been woeful, the game a terrible mess in a swirly wind. Apart from the goals, Town's strikers had been shockingly shruggable, the rest sloppily slappable. It would be an exceptional effort to ensure Town avoided victory.

Second half: The chaise longue game

Rodman was replaced by Colbeck at half time. Apparently.

For a brief moment there was the illusion of interest. Tonka milled around, a corner was won and McDonald's header gave up as it neared goal. It sighed into a sloppy void, which rather sums up the next half an hour.

Tamworth players moved. They passed to each other, they moved again. Town were inept, collectively and individually, and a headless chicken in Caistor wrote a formal complaint to the Office for the Regulation of Trite Metaphors for the hurt and distress caused by a comparison to Grimsby Town Football Club. Town just ponced about, all the time. McKeown missed a corner, missed a cross, Pearson sliced, Hatton slept, Colbeck and Kerr were Yorkshire puddings and crosses fizzed in low from underneath the Frozen Horse Stand. Pearson sliced and the ball clattered against monochrome blue thighs, to the sound of sighs. Chadwick, in the centre, swept lowly into the right side.

It was utter, utter panic for quarter of an hour: Town were useless, mentally moronic, physically pathetic. The Lambs suddenly realised they could escape from the abattoir.

McKeown missed a cross and Hatton grazed another from under the far post. More slicing and dicing as a shot was blocked and McKeown missed a corner. A cross pooped in and Chadwick glancy-flicked wide when stood between McDonald and Hatton, who congratulated themselves on this crass calamity.

Town were wasting our time. Offensively Town were really offensive to the paying public. Absolutely useless and barely bothered and… woah, fantastic, yeah, brilliant, what a guy, amazing!

Tounkara turned and burned on the halfway line, belting past his marker and belting across Belford, who flipped aside one-handed. What a guy, what a save. Another minute, another break. The Shopping Trolley trundled down the right and bashed other shoppers aside to blast lowly across Belford, who flipped aside one-handed. Straight to Tonka Boy. With an impressive Gallic shrug he expressed his disgust that the ball was not exactly where he demanded and expected it to be. It rolled away and McLaughlin calmly waltzed westward past one, then two blue blurs and rolled precisely past Belford with his right foot into the bottom left corner.

So, who'll we get in the semi-final then? There's a lot based down in that Hampshire type area. I suppose I'll have to see my sister sometime. Families, eh.

Look, we've won, we all know it, we're just going through the formalities of making the game last 90 minutes. Huh, typical meddling bureaucracy with their petty rules. Kerr, from a narrow angle, fraggled a free kick towards the top right corner as the orange paunchy puncher parried from under his crossbar.

Oh look, the new scoreboard is seeping into our consciousness. Will it be just pixels or a groovy digital screen?

Was it a free kick or corner that was headed near the line? Does it matter? Really? John-Lewis, in a marvellous return to form, headed several years over when alone in front of their keeper. Does it matter? Really? With a fish and chip supper calling, Kerr was replaced by Thanoj, for some youth-based central spinning.

Tamworth carried on regardless, with more unnecessary flappage and carnage inside the Town penalty area. Blocks were made. There was still panic on the streets of Humberside for no rhyme or reason, or ultimate consequence. Perhaps they just wanted to spice up their lives with a little danger. Townstoning rather than tombstoning.

Somewhere among all this jingle-jangling Le Chef replaced Lenell Jean-Louis. For those few remaining Mariners monoglots, that's Andy Cook and John-Lewis. I can't be bothered to remember anything else other than there were four added minutes of unnecessary time. Oh look, the new scoreboard is seeping into our consciousness. Look, see those poles in the open corner twixt Osmond and Frozen Horsemeat Stand. Will it be just pixels or a groovy digital screen? Ah, yes, they're still playing. McLaughlin scampered free, stood on the ball and poked onto the marauding Feefifofield. The yellow-booted yomper passed lowly, the ball squirtled off blue boots and Le Chef swept into the far corner with a plum sauce and added an iced glazing to the score.

That's it, you can go now. A flattering four that was really quite poor. Tonka has the air of a man who can create a marvellous Mariners pie if left alone in the kitchen but throws a hissy fit if someone is cutting his vegetables. He's an artist not an artisan.

Don't get excited. It's was all because Tamworth were short of pace, power, organisation and gumption. But you can be a daydream believer in this scoreline if you wish.