In the pink

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

13 August 2014

Grimsby Town 0 Nuneaton Town 0


Another year over, a new one just begun. So this is new Town. I hope we have fun. A day of breezes and wheezes with around 30 aliens experimenting with happiness in the covered corner. There they were, and here we are, back on the chain gang. Will our sentence ever get commuted? Which level of purgatory is this, Mr Dante?

Town lined up in a superficially 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Magnay, Nsiala, Boyce, Thomas, Clay, Disley, Brown, McLaughlin, John-Lewis, Connell. The substitutes were accompanied by their legal guardians, it being night time. The junior kick-starters were Bastock, Humble, Winfarrah, Walker and Bemrose. Ah, do you see it? A midfield four. That's four men in midfield. That's four men standing between the defenders and the attackers. Is it a fake diamond? Or do double diamonds work wonders?

What can go wrong with a shop and an estate agent up front? It's the high street to hell approach.

Nuneaton turned up with a lot of big blokes in violently vibrant orange shirts, and a keeper clad head to toe in shocking pink. What an appalling fashion faux pas. Darlings, it's an abomination!

Let the heartaches begin. They can't help it, they can't win.

First half: Brownian motion

Nuneaton kicked towards the Pontoon, which logic determines means Town attacked the empty end. Logic: what does that tell you when it comes to Town? Logic and proportion? Sir, you ask for the moon. Lovely moon, a supermoon. Diverting. We need diversions. Is Ray Wilkins the Astronomer Royal? Eh? Oh, some kind of cross by Town.

Brown fizzed and whizzed, like a psychotic Scott Kerr. He was the fulcrum, the focal point, the vocal pointer, the crackling decoder. Connell crossed goodly, Clay was nearish. A moment.

The Shopping Trolley spun and bunned lowly through a thicket of legs. The pink ‘un flung himself right and superbly parried. Connell swooped and up popped Mr Pink to smother and sprawl. Mr Brown went into Town and crossed to the near post. Mr John-Lewis was in the vicinity as orange legs flapped, slapped and clapped away for a corner. Totes was not amazeballs, heading highly high.

And then Brown was clobbered. And then Aswad hobbled off. And then we may as well have gone off with him. And? And then what?

Winfarrah took off his bib, got down from the high chair and scampered to left-back. He missed a tackle and Streete wellied straight at McKeown, who scoop-shovel-flumped to no-one but himself. Nsiala scrimbled a Clay back-pass straight to an orangina and within two shakes of a camel's nostril it was midnight at the oasis. A cross crossed into the centre of the penalty area and Hutchinson, alone with his thoughts, carefully steered a volley straight at Jamie Mack's nose.

Woohoo! Connell the visionary swirled a magnificent hooked volley pass. What is the point?

Nothing. Nothingnothingnothingnothingnothing. No thing to tell, no thing to dwell upon. Plodding plopping and static caravanning is a day out in Cleethorpes.

Woohoo! Connell the visionary swirled a magnificent hooked volley pass. What is the point?

And finally, in the very last minute, Connell cheeked and checked a fine old cross to the far post. Clay arose and bumped firmly down and across the face of goal towards the bottom left corner. The Raspberry rippled and icy screams melted away.

I really cannot be bothered to lay out the dreary details, to identify individual indolence and incompetence. It was stultifyingly boring.

Second half: Tipping point

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Town raced off and Winfarrah crossed.


No, still nothing.

Take a nap for ten minutes.

Ah, you're back. Thanks for returning but can you go away and have another nap please while we look for the on switch.

Nsiala dipped like a donkey and an opportunistic Orangeman coiled over the angle of post and bar from afar. Brown dinked a drooper straight down the middle and out came the Fuchsia flapper to flip past the onrushing John-Lewis, our rumble in the bungle.

Magnay and Winfarrah started to prowl the touchline and the midland mutterers began to stutter. A passing movement, a passing moment of clarity. Magnay and Disley peeled the orange, the feet of Clay skimmed a cross into the very centre of the six-yard box. Dead centre. Perky Mr Pink was a frozen yoghurt and the totally unmolested John-Lewis spun and shrank and scooped the ball over the crossbar from four yards at most. Magnificent, utterly superb. It takes immense skill to continually avoid scoring open goals from inside the six-yard box. This man is a master craftsman, he is the Master Misser of the Conference. That was Wagner's only comic opera, after all.

Town were paceless, faceless and scoreless. Just read any report from the last three years. Nothing changes except the names in the scapegoating frame

And then one of them turned and blumped over from somewhere near goal. No-one particularly noticed, as the ground was still agog at Lennie the perpetual missing machine. You know some people don't get angry any more. They just laugh. It's the only way to cope.

The rest of the match was rubbish attack versus not particularly good defence. Nuneaton gave up on the concept of moving in to the Town half. They just walloped clearances to McKeown and waited for the inevitable lump.

Corners! Brown coiled dangerously, Nsiala and Magnay hinted at chaos. Toto was almost the hero, smackling one of them thar dangerous corners onto an orange head. The ball looped archly onto the top of the crossbar and out for a corner. Another moment of almostness followed. Almost, but not quite. Passing! The Shop barundled beefily past some lad and shot a cross, or crossed a shot way, way waywardly nowhere. A shot? A cross? More like a crot – a totally shoss crot.

Well, at least Dear Old Lennie wasn't shrinking or shirking. He's all there is left in the biscuit barrel so we'll just have to grit our teeth and smile.

And here we go again. A semblance of sensible passing and John-Lewis steered a cross, softly without menace slightly to the right of the impassible rinky-dink Pink Panther from near the penalty spot.

Some scrambles and overcrowding around Connell were occasions of occasional opportunity, but nothing comes of nothing. A hash of a slash from Brown, a miserable muffle from Captain Dizzerpointing, a something else from someone else that may have occurred or I may have simply dreamed it while staring at the lovely lunar lighting over Chapman's Pond.

And in the last minute Boyce rose at the near post and noodled into the back of the Pontoon as others awaited behind. There were four minutes of added time. And then it ended with a simper.

Briefly excited by Brownian motion, it all collapsed in to the usual gloop of gumptionless, guileless guff. Town were paceless, faceless and scoreless. Just read any report from the last three years. Nothing changes except the names in the scapegoating frame.

Grimsby Town? You're a big team in the Bananarama, but you're not in shape.