Where were you at 3 o'clock?

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

14 December 2014

Nuneaton Town 0 Grimsby Town 2

Typical Town. We're standing around on a piece of ground in a dull town as they fritter and waste our time on a motorway. Why should I care? Why should I care? Ah, those seats are seductive. We're out of our brain waiting for the kick-off at 4:15.

Town have smashed through Lady Bracknell's thumb rule of competence. It really is time Town took that secret mystery road, the A46. We always get there on time and we don't have to.

Town warmed up and never went back inside, lining up in a psychedelic frenzy 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Magnay, Pearson, Parslow, Thomas, Mackreth, Brown, Disley, Arnold, Pittman and John-Lewis. The men in duvets were Bignot, N Walker, Clay, Hannah and Neilson. What do you want to know? What love is? Percy Parslow was partnering Pearson.

I could guess at the crowd or simply name everyone present. There were 37 Andys, 24 Steves, 18 Peters and 12 Pauls, who were all married to women called Marie.

Town were in red; the Nunnies in blue and white stripes. That's all very well but how can we logically solve Town's problem with logistics? We could get their mums to give the Town players a lift to away games. That's what we used to do at junior school, never a problem, if you ignore the time my mum was banned 'cos she drove round Hewitts Circus roundabout three times.

It'd be less embarrassing. Just get on with it and don't embarrass us any more today.

First half: 16:15 is the new black

Town kicked off at quarter past four, away from the major mass of humanity and towards the home end. Are we getting a sense of Derbyshire déjà vu? We start when we want, we start when we want, we're Grimsby Town and we start when we want (which his usually quarter past four these days). Three o'clock kick-offs are so analogue: you'll find Town on the red button.

Lennie turned and scoopled from wide and afar. Officer Dibble in goal saw banjos and barn doors in the distance, sauntering with complete disdain and indifference to ball based events. The Townites sang songs of ancient mariners as the bright lights of Nuneaton's industrial estates seasonally twinkled in the distance. The ball descended and bumped off the top of the crossbar. We chuckled seasonally. Ho-ho-ho.

A Nunny up-and-under and hilarity ensued for all the family. That's the Grindlegrub family from Fenny Drayton. Ooh, they're a funny lot in Fenny Drayton. Jamie Mack missed, Jackie Mack messed – punch and cross in that order, with ten seconds in between these non-events. A local stripe spun and levered a little lollipop across the face of the Town goal. Like, whatever.

The Town hundreds started to taunt the laddies in red with a resounding rendition of "Where were you at three o'clock?"

Passivity. Dude, where's our donkey? Arnie swingled to the remarkably unmarked Lennie who spangled against the keeper. Ho-ho-ho. Wait five seconds… Brown chipped, Lennie chested down, stumbled blindly, prodded across the keeper and across the universe from the edge of the six-yard box. Sounds of laughter, shades of strife were ringing through his open ears.

Nothing's gonna change our world. Is Lenell John-Lewis cognitive dissonance in football form?

All balls lead to a gnome. Poor little Jack Mack – life's not very fair, is it? We'd love him to be Jack the Knife. Brown surged and slowly scrumbled, the ball slithering mildly as it slipped away across the face of goal. Do we care what's going off out there? A game with no tension, no competitive edge, a stroll in a foreign field. The Town hundreds started to taunt the laddies in red with a resounding rendition of "Where were you at three o'clock?"

They had a shot. Slashed wide, slapped high. And that was them in toto, and he wasn't even playing.

Magnay urged incisively straight at Pittman, who rolled around a Nunnyboy and walloped straight through Officer Dibble's legs. No messin'. We may as well go home now. That's that.

Aswad ambled and ticked a cross onto Lennie's head. Lennie's head diverted the ball crawlingly over the bar. Or crawled the ball divertingly over the bar. Or barred the crawl ballingly over the divert. That doesn't make sense. Neither do Town's travel arrangements.

Let's sing a song about Ashley Fickling's washbag.

Second half: Jambusters

Neither side made any changes at half time. Probably.

Officer Dibble jogged jauntily towards the wall of sound. His shorts were too tight for 'Nam. Someone said something horrible and he nearly cried. He was wrapped too tight for Nuneaton. He couldn't handle the ferocious fence of mumbling.

So, you ask yourself, what happened next? Not much. Nuneaton sometimes had the ball. By mistake. They soon gave it back so Town could continue soporific dominance. Nobody not scores better than Town. The Dizzer was nobbled and hobbled off. On came The Feet of Clay.

Corners. Arnold. Elevation. Pearson headed high, Magnay headed wide. Lennie graze-tickled over the bar. These things happened, sometime, before the end, and after the beginning. Magnay had a shot, probably. I think. Or maybe I was daydreaming. Brown surged and scrumbled, the ball drifting through the open goalmouth. Oh what a day for a daydream.

A punt, Lennie legged it, and a Nunnyboy legged him up. Off the ninny from Nunny walked without waiting for fluttering redness. Aswad arced a drooper over the wall. Officer Dibble sailed to his left and plucked spectacularly. When are you gonna come down, when are you going to land? Officer Dibble descended, headbutted the post and headed off into the sunset. Goodbye you yellow-kitted rogue.

Mackreth ran between the walking dead of Warwickshire, slaloming around Mr Sensible Hair and tapping into the empty net

Nuneaton did not have a keeper on the bench. A sensibly coiffured chap put on the gloves of despair and the shirt of hopelessness.

And he never had a save to make.

Pittman tickled the Lenster free. After all the things that we've been through. If you don't know him by now, you will never never know him. Christmas is a time for indulgence, so we chortled merrily. The ball bounced, Lennie pounced and spun-volleyed against the top of the crossbar. Now that's what I call football: a Lennie big dipper.

They had a shot! Jamie Mack had to make a save. A proper save, a save-like save that involved moving and hands and things.

He wore a scarlet tunic and his mum wore a furry hood, it looked quite good. He had a big adventure amid the grass; fresh air at last! Winding, sliding, biding his time. So then today – hooray – Mackreth ran between the walking dead of Warwickshire, slaloming around Mr Sensible Hair and tapping into the empty net.

Lennie and Arnie were replaced by Hannahoffside and Little Nicky Walker. Hannah offside, Walker gave the ball away twice. And then was offside. And Thomas kicked a shot off the line and then we went home.

This wasn't a competitive fixture. It's not worth thinking about – you'll only get annoyed that Town didn't score eleventy.