Lost in an amoral maze: Bastard Franchise Scum (h)

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

7 March 2008

Grimsby Town 0 The Others 1

It's Friday: it's Fenty's folly time again. Where will this cringing, obsequious grovelling at the altar of evil get us?

This is D - detestable
This is I - immoral
This is S - sickening
This is C - c-c-c-craven
This is O - oh, oh, oh

We're doing them a favour? Why? What about our interests?

Town lined up in the flavoursome 5-3-2 formation as follows: Barnes, Clarke, Atkinson, Fenton, Newey, Hegggggggarty, Bolland, Hunt, Boshell, Till and Straight Peter Bore. The substitutes were Montgomery, Bennett, Whittle, the Lump and his manservant, The Mysterious Butler. It's the oranges and lemons strike force, with Till joining SPB in the pastel fruity boot parade. There's not much meat on the bones up front, so no high balls please.

The others were in red.

First half
Town kicked off towards the osmond Stand as the medium-sized, dirty flag collapsed in apathy halfway across the Pontoon. Let's walk towards Wembley.

We are D - dismal
We are I - immobile
We are S - shambolic
We are C - constipated
We are O - oh, oh, oh… no, they've scored Dave.

After eight minutes of fawning, a nibbly-noodle over the top drifted towards the bye-line way to the right of the penalty area. Atkinson turned to schmooze the ball out for a goal kick, but was tripped by one of them. He stumbled, tumbled and crumbled the ball out of play and the deadhead referee awarded a corner. Curled in towards the near post, their number six, just a number but also a free man, rose to thwiddle a header down and across Barnes. Boshell stooped on the line to scoop-head away, but the little linesman with the tight shorts flagged flaggily. Perhaps he had an itch. We did find him an irritant, after all.

Are Town going to do anything apart from letting Newey stylishly curl the ball into the Dentist Stand? You know the answer.

I'm not interested in them, and neither are you. Town? Nothing to report. Can you not knock it, Newey? Do we not like that.

After 24 minutes Hunt punted a free kick vaguely goalwards, Fenton nudged it on and Bore headed towards goal. The ball looped and bounced and would have gone in too, if the poltroons at the FA and Football League hadn't allowed them to steal Wimbledon's identity, and Macclesfield's worldly possessions, to turn up like an exceedingly bad penny. Is it too late? Do we forgive and forget through the passage of time? Aw, that Margaret Thatcher, bless, she was lovely wasn't she. Next up we ask ourselves: the devil, is he all bad?

To stem the flow of effluent from the broken sewer, Town reshuffled their deckchairs into a 4-5-1 formation, with Bore alone on the Strand and Till way out right. Fenton splurged out of defence and Town had two minutes of rocking, rolling possession, tweaking, teasing and seeking out a chink in their armour. During these minutes, Straight Peter Bore walked from the left corner of their penalty area into the middle of the D and Hegggggarty finally crossed to nowhere.

Town crossed, Heggarty headed plumply to their goalkeeper. Hegggarty crossed, Bolland headed lumpy-pumpily to their goalkeeper. It is necessary only for the good man to do nothing for evil to triumph. Stop pointing, Bolland, and do something.

The game drifted across our eyes like an oil slick. Birds were dying.

As the lights of half time flickered, Town were mesmerised by the piercing eyes of Doctor Caligari. Newey slept as one of the littler mercenary munchkins of Beelzebub spun around his backside. A shot from six yards out flanged low across Barnes, who magnificently sprawled and flicked the ball past the far post.

One minute of added time was announced and one second later the referee blew his whistle. We've been wasting our time; Town didn't even have a bust to flush. Aimless punting towards an uninterested ambler never succeeds. Three balls were kicked over the stands, and therein lies your path to understanding, my little Buddhas of Scartho.

Even if a fool lived with a wise man all his life, he would still not recognise the truth, like a wooden spoon cannot recognise the flavour of the soup.

Second half
As Town emerged, a question was posed from the upper echelons of the Pontoon. Forsooth Sir Alan, what of our diluted orange and lemon strike force? Here comes a candle to light you to bed; here comes a chopper to chop off your head. Chip chop chip chop - Lump and his manservant replaced Bore and Till, and Town changed to a 4-3-3 formation with Hegggarty floating in the Black Hole.

Town tore into them, despite the referee ignoring Hegggarty being tethered with ropes and skewered by grappling hooks wherever he roamed. They don't like it up 'em, they don't. Butler shuffled his bottom and old Lumpy sprinted, yes sprinted, to shake the apples from their tree of happiness. A corner! Hegggarty croaked it to the far post where the unmarked Atkinson, about a dozen yards out, steered a firm header a few inches wide of the left post.

The Town fans suddenly roared and roared; the ground was seething and imploring justice. Hegggarty was hugged and mugged, but play continued. Butler barged, Lumpy loomed, and The Others wobbled like a giant plate of lime jelly in the shape of a goat's hoof. Boshell tapped out a little rhythm and Bolland started to surge and urge, rather than splodge and dodge.

About five or six minutes in, their number 23 wiggled and wriggled on Town's right through several shrubs to slap a shot into the side netting. It's not about them, remember, but about us, and it's our side netting you need to know about. You felt its pain?

Town turned up the volume to 10.3 as Lumpy turned his man, but was crudely defenestrated. Jones was prostrate and their lamb lay down beside him. Their number six was booked when something redder may have been waved by a man-ish, not a mouse-ish referee. Gerald the mouse paced out ten short steps, passing the wall on his way and leaving them where they were. Clarke and Newey considered the lily and it was Jamie with his magic touch who coiled a delicious free kick over the wall and six inches wide of the right post.

And still Town revved forward. Bolland burst through the middle but was pole-axed by a forearm across the neck and studs in the gentleman's particulars. Their assassin rolled around on the ground and the weak-willed wally only fluttered a yellow card when he finally arose. Newey smacked the resulting free kick two yards over. We grumbled and gurgled at the wasted opportunity.

We grumbled and gurgled at the weak-willed wally when Sir Lump chased the ball as it rolled gently behind for a goal kick, being ostentatiously shielded by one of The Others. A slow-motion Poutonian slide swiped the ball away and… our man was booked, stupidly, by the stupid official.

Roar on, sweet chariot of fire, for Butler and Lumpy flicked and tricked through the centre. Jones rumbled goalwards, did a little soft shoe shuffle and thwacked a shot from the edge of the area. An Other slid across and blocked, with the ball striking a red arm, but the referee remained Townophobic.

If you must know, their Big Number Six headed over in a cheap sweatshop replica of their goal, then Barnes punched a couple more of their corners away. They crossed, we cleared, the referee gave them free kicks. They had a shot, Barnes saved, he kicked it away for our Sunshine Boys to do a little song and dance routine in the centre circle. I refuse to get excited or concerned by anything down there, with them.

They are D - despicable
They are I - indecent
They are S - so-so-sleazy
They are C - contemptible
They are O - oh, oh, oh

With about quarter of an hour left Bennett replaced Hunt, with Clarke moving into midfield. This meant Town had a tallboy to defend corners. This worked; perhaps we should have thought about it earlier.

The clock ticked down and the referee kept peeping off. It was ending with a whimper, for the storm had blown itself out. The forces of goodness were being smothered by the Dark Side. But wait…

As the end was nigh Town pummelled the goal at the Pontoon end. Headers were headed, thighs were thighed and a long throw was scruffled clear via a red arm, unseen by the Nelsonian referee. A big boomer was nudged away, but Bolland machete-ed his way through on the Town right to tickle Lumpy's ivories. Jones spun and clipped a perfect levered loopy cross to the far post where Fenton, about six yards out, soared above two little boys and slaughtered a header down towards the bottom right corner. From nowhere in particular, and for no good reason, their keeper threw himself across goal and kung fu kicked the ball away for a corner. What a bummer.

There were three minutes of added time.

Town carried on regardless, wave after wave of desperate throttlings. Newey clipped a low cross along the face of the penalty area and Clarke stretched to steer a volley a yard over. And still Town threw themselves into the fiery pit. Newey, again, rambled on and was released on the left. He looked up, saw Butler peeling away from his marker at the far post and shlurped a delicious flat cross the way of the dog. With two defenders tugging his forelocks Butler leapt, arched backwards and, from six or seven yards out, steered a header down and six inches wide of the left post.

And then the game ended and we all went home.

After Tuesday's exertions and exhortions we had Friday football failure: our soul was sold for shekels. At least the massed Mariners completely ignored them and their camp followers. Unfortunately, so did the Town team for the first half. The second half was much better than the non-existent first 45 minutes. Butler and Jones showed everything Till and Bore didn't, including some pace. Did I really just write that? Mmm, yes, they moved and menaced and Town were occasionally thrilling in a blood and thunder way.

Play for 90 minutes next time Town. Why? Because we're worth it.