Refresher's week

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

11 September 2014

Lincoln City 3 Grimsby Town 2
I see a bad moon rising, I see trouble on the way. Flares should be confined to trousers. A jam-packed Town end and some locally sourced Impites too. So that's what a crowd looks like. Who knew? Ah, the Jam and the Who on the tannoy, just the sort of low-key easy listening music to soothe the excitable masses.

Town lined up in a 4-it-could-be-5-it-could-be-3-1 formation as follows: McKeown, Bignot, Pearson, Nsiala, Magnay, Pittman, Clay, Brown, Disley, Neilson, John-Lewis. The substitutes were Walker, Doig, Mackreth, McLaughlin and Hannah. Neilson played on the left, Pittman the right and the three little piggies were in the middle trying to blow the big house of straw down.

Lincoln were full of long and lean machines. Put on the old tin hat and watch out for them thar drones.

First half: Shilly-shallying shambles and gambles
The Impites kicked off towards the empty end with a hoik and a hoof from their yoof. Harem-scarem, dodgems and dodgy decisions. Biff-bang, wallop. A nibble, a nudge, Pittman swiped and we oohed a little ooh as the ball arced achingly close to the door of Legal Foods Chinese takeaway, nibbling agin the windows of the Nail Fairy. We're laughing with you, Ringo.

They're biffing again. A clip and a clottish flop-scoop away by McKeown for a corner. A corner that was mis-flapped by Jamie Mack as Burrows treacled a trickler not near goal. Don't panic, don't panic!

Shall we pass? You can rely on the chubby charmer to alarm the locals. Shall we shoot: you can rely on Lennie to disarm the danger. Great turn, grating shot straight at the keeper. We know his job is to not score. Lennie lost possession. Lincoln lumped it forwards and wide-ward. Lincoln crossed, Lincoln scored. Toto dozed, Burrows glanced, Jamie Mack flounced, the locals bounced.

Attack! A cross! Neilson steered a header into the centre of the six-yard box. Streets full of people, no-one there. We're a united kingdom: in our hour of need let's turn to our great Scotts. Neilson nibbled, Brown dribbled… no-one there. Never anyone there. Moments of danger but not even a lone ranger to follow Toto. Keep your big booming balls in the bag.

Big booming balls, Impies scuttling, Toto tumbled and bundled atop the stripey. The fickle finger of fate pointed spotward. McKeown flew right, Tomlinson carefully placed against the outside of the left post, and Town got a throw-in. It doesn't matter what you wear, just as long as you are there, for we're dancing in the seats.

When in Rugby, do as the rugby players do, eh. Route one keeper assault leads to a goal against Lincoln? Now that's irony, my friends

Long chucks, huge chucks, it's a chucking hell for Jamie Mack. Breaking news… breaking news… a breakaway. Neilson be-drumbled straight at Townsend. A Cod Almighty exclusive… Lennie surged and was removed from this earth deep, deep down the right, right by the bye-line. Neilson clipped the free kick and Pearson thumbled a header slightly over the bar.

There's light, there're cameras and there's action. Roll tape. They're back with the fizzing and frictionless flan flinging. Hoof, hook, hook, up, up and Macca parry-punched away. Power powered from afar. The ball snuckled off some bootage, careered up crazily, looped over McKeown, kissed the bar and spun out for a corner. Cue more flappage and aerial mugging. Phew, what a scorcher, we'd settle for this at half time. Could be worse, should be worse. Town might get worse.

Somebody put a brick through the Shop window. Brown lobbed up a garryowen and Townsend waited and waited as the blue tide advanced. Oooh what cheek we have! When in Rugby, do as the rugby players do, eh. Townsend waved while drowning, Disley fish-hooked and we were laughing and singing, the Mariners music was swinging.

Route one keeper assault leads to a goal? Now that's irony, my friends.

One more thing you need to know before you scoff your cream cakes: big beardy Bencherif walloped a low free kick from halfway up Steep Hill. Jamie Mack slowly collapsed left and slapped aside.

Not losing? How did we do that?

Second half: Better call Saul
Neither team made any changes at half time.

Ah but sirs, things were not the same, though nothing had changed. Lincoln were bit-part players. This was all about Town. A little tweak to Disley's position and suddenly Town were having a ball.

Brown jinky-jinked, Neilson rinky-dinked and the free-scoring Willy was free inside the area. Lennie lurked on the left and carefully curled across the keeper wide. Lincoln lumped into the corner. Nsiala nonchalantly nibbled the ball away from the inferior being. Did this man never watch Lato score against Argentina in the 1974 World Cup! What do you mean he wasn't born?

Toto tippled terribly, straight to Power, 20 yards out with McKeown stranded in the corner of his penalty area. Pearson snuffed out this candle, advancing imperiously to nibble to Neilson. The slimline tonic ran on and on and on, disco dancing through the midfield mirage and cracking an outswing swirler against the inside of the left post. Townsend was kissing the grass, the goal was agape and Neilson ran on to side-foot into the ground and over the bar from near the edge of the penalty area.

Ah, what a shame; never mind.

Ah, do mind: Pearson collapsed and hobbled off. Doig was ready, the fourth official had his number ready. Doig waited. The ref looked across expecting the substitution, but Doig was stood alone, waiting for the call. Disley filtered back to centre-half, Lincoln lamped it long, Bignot let the ball bounce, panicked, and hoped McKeown would run to the far corner of his penalty area to scoop up the mess. He didn't. Tomlinson slithered past, Bignot stroked his shirt and they both fell over. Oh that fickle finger of fate again.

Newton swiped to Jamie Macc's right, and the gloves arrived milliseconds late and millimetres shy of saving. Newton ear-cupped his way into our hearts.

Lennie flicked an utterly atrocious, awful lob with the outside of his right boot. The ball itself suppressed a snigger as it stumbled wide

Doig replaced Pearson. Too late TMFKAS.

Mumble, mumble, boo-hoo, wahey!

Lennie delightfully dinked into the left corner of the Impy area. Pittman calmly waited for the ball, adjusted his underwear and marvellously Dalglished a coiling curler over and around the flailing finger of the home flapper and into the top right corner.

It's all Town, they're just legging us up when they can get near. Neilson swibbled straight at Townsend, Pittman knocked the lights out of the scoreboard and then there was the moment. Which moment? You know, the Lennie moment; there's always one. A long wallop and good old Lennie bounded free behind the invisible defence. The keeper tiptoed out, leaving a magnificently massive hole. Lennie had visions, Lennie has nightmares. He steadied himself and flicked an utterly atrocious, awful lob with the outside of his right boot. The ball itself suppressed a snigger as it stumbled wide.

What had they done in all this time? A cross. Bognit did do well this time, credit where credit is due.

Lincoln resorted to karate. The unmolested Toto glanced a free kick, Townsend spectacularly parried away to his left. Them – they are nothing, nothing, they are doing nothing, a spent force, bereft and hanging on to what they got. Just the three minutes left.

Ah, a Town corner. The moment of maximum danger. A series of unfortunate incidents followed, mostly involving the fortunate thighs of red-clad lopers. The ball ended up behind Town's goal. Swung in from their right, Jamie Mack fell backwards while being cuddled by Tomlinson. The ball sailed on and hit the unmarked Bencherif's thigh.

Hannah replaced Neilson. No comment.

There were four minutes of added time during which Town finally got a corner. McKeown raced up and joined in the mid-box can-can as legs furiously flailed at the bouncing ball. Out it emerged and Delaney-Yorke hurtled down their right, pursued by McKeown. On they ran and ran and the Impy finally outran Jamie Macc, sizing up the untended nettage and carefully swinging a pass across the face of goal and out for a goal kick.

The end.

The game was lost because of Town's first-half tactics, and particularly because of individual slackness in front of both goals. Could have been a lot worse, should have been a lot better. Typical Town, eh.