Unfinished business

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

4 May 2015

Grimsby Town 3 Eastleigh 0

April showers on a bright May day with around 250 travellers swamped by local love. Big day, big crowd, great expectations. Let's not get jilted again – we're still wearing the same dress.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, Nsiala, Pearson, Gowling, Magnay, Mackreth, Brown, Disley, Arnold, Palmer and John-Lewis. The substitutes were Parslow, Clay, Chapell, Pittman and Hannah. Steady as you go, me hearties.

It rained. It stopped raining. Let the sun shine through. Eastleigh? Who cares? We only have eyes for Town. This is all about us.

You won't know the facts ‘til you've seen the fiction. Let's get in character and go to work.

First half: Acute schizophrenia paranoia blues

The Eastleigh Ersatzers kicked off towards the Pontoon.

Hang on, yep, there it is, I knew there was a fast forward option hidden in the menu for the director's cut. Let's fast forward half an hour. This isn't a time for dwelling on the dreary details of the dross that made you cross at the boss for playing with fear of loss. This is good news week. Town've found a way to give the rotting dead a will to live.

>>| A veil is now drawn over an embarrassing 33 minutes of our lives, for Town weren't cutting the mustard: they hadn't even mustered a meaningless attack. It's gone now, like it never existed.

Ahhhh, Magnay swumped down the line, deep into the Blueboy half. Lennie chased Turley, wiggled and higgled a little bit of bump 'n' grind, a little bit of rock 'n' roll and a-tumbled to scrape to the ponytailed peacock on the penalty spot. Palmer spun a dainty dance with a sedate twizzle and swizzlingly scrooped into the top left corner.

It's time to bounce like a rubber ball, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bouncy, bounce. It's our party and we'll cry if we want to.

They had a free kick like their Thursday goal. Pearson knee-swept away, unlike their Thursday goal. This is Sunday: another day, another world. Dickie Hillock's dreams are over, looks like he's in another world.

An attack. Balls. Running. Tackles. Palmer took the ball off Mackreth's toes. Moments. Who cares? Play the drum just a little bit louder and listen to the band. We've got a handful of songs to sing you.

Them. Humps and lumps, pressure and mild momentary panic. A Magnayficent block. Utterly magnayficent. I'll have a Babycham.

Sing-along-a-Town with a greasy chip buttie. Don't sing with your mouth full. Manners!

Wait, there's more. Evans diddlying and dallying on the halfway line. John-Lewis nicked and knocked and rocked on to roll inside the near post. Levitation, elevation and elation throughout the nation. Break out the ginger beer, it's gonna be our year.

Here comes the sun, and I say it's all right.

After 56 minutes 42 seconds, McKeown was forced to make what historians will finally conclude, after a three-day symposium in Baden-Baden, was a save

Second half: World of our own

They made three changes at half time. Off went Long Tall Harry, Constable Savage and Howard the Duck. On came… others. What have we done to Eastleigh? Well, I guess it doesn't matter any more.

Olympus is down again. Gowling felled by a headbash. Olympus is rising again. Alles klar.

And their moment arrived. Just the one. After 56 minutes 42 seconds, McKeown was forced to make what historians will finally conclude, after a three-day symposium in Baden-Baden, was a save.

Hampshire's finest hoofers almost had another moment. But they didn't. A cross, a header. Over and out. Goodbye, goodbye, they're leaving now, tatty-bye; goodbye, we wish Eastleigh goodbye fartatata, fartatata.

We won't yield a sigh for Eastleigh.

Feetov Clay replaced the booked Brown in a sensible substitution sensibly done.

A hoik over the top and we're bundling about with Lennie and Ollie. Palmer unbundled himself to scrump lowly across and through the salmon stopper.

Well, it's been a long cold lonely winter. It feels like years since we've been here. Here comes the sun.

Palmer was replaced by Pittman. He almost almosted and nearly nearlyed. Was anyone watching the game? The ground beneath our feet was rumbling as the massed choir sang their hallelujahs and their Wembley warning towards the West Country.

Can you feel it? If you look around the world is coming together now, Lennie.

Hannah on, Arnold off. The unmarked shopping trolley shouldered over from a Hannah corner. Turley tackled tremendously to sweep off the toes of Hannah as the masses gathered along the touchline. The Pontoon perambulaters spilled onto the pitch, shaking hands, ruffling hair and holding up their umbrellas to shield their heroes' heads from the rain. Rain or shine? It's just a state of mind.

If Jaws isn't about a shark then this game wasn't about the football. It was a party in the park, a stroll by the droll and we're on a roll. So many years we were searching, so many years you've been wasting. It's been a long, long, long time since we felt this good about ourselves.

The smiles are returning to our faces.