Play your cards wrong

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

1 September 2015

Grimsby Town 0 Macclesfield Town 2

Tipping down on a typically tropical Bank Holiday afternoon with a charabanc of Cheshire cats huddling by the guttering.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, Tait, Pearson, Nsiala, Robertson, Mackreth, Clay, Robertson, Marshall, Bogle, Amond. The substitutes were East, Disley, Monkhouse, Pittman and Arnold. The old heads could stay in their beds.

A change is as good as a rest, you say? The rest may be history.

Are you itching for your i-ching? Remember, a movement is accomplished in six stages, and the seventh brings return. Shall we get on with chapter 7, for action brings good fortune. There are no Martians in the Main Stand.

First half: Tipping point

A stut-stut-stutter-start and the Macclads rapped straight outta the Denis Compton play book. A lofted drive into the crowd for a beautiful six.

Mercurial Marcus Marshall teased at first for a second and there was never a third. Jacky Macky fizzed and banged, whizzed and wheezed past a paperclip. He crossed and crossed and crossed and crossed again. Short and long, long and short. Four crosses, ten minutes. Hey, you at the back post, stand still laddie. How can you have any pudding if you don’t eat your meat?

Robinson lurked, Mackreth jerked, the keeper twerked and Bogle was felled by the invisible hand as the open net pined for the fjords. Crosses, moments of momentary momentum with raspberry flavour. Bogle boogied, Amond avoided scoring. A header, somewhere in time, as their keeper fell into a puddle of doubt and despair.  

Are they really here? A back-pass, a dawdle and Jamie Mack fly-hacked against Dennis’s back. The ball skewered towards and away from the top corner. Nsiala nfuriated with ndolence and souciance nfront of the Ntoon. A bad joke stretched beyond its limit? The medium is the message. Oh, so very medium.

Marshall walloped wide and walloped high, but Marshall rarely galloped. A smiggering, sniffling silent procession of occasional Town-ness. Oh, hello, a shot from the blue. A keeper whack, a big chase and slice slap from Dennis the tousle-haired menace.

Two minutes added and McKeown addled. A Town free kick wasted, Clay disrobed, a chivvy and chase and rinky-dinky-dink beyond the far post. The pink plonker plucked the ball off no-one’s head and flipped straight back to a blue man. A cross-shot, shin-blocked by Dennis from five yards out. It’s not even the end of August and the end is near, yet so far away.

Jamie Mack only touched the ball once. Perhaps Town need to man-mark him to snuff out the opposition threat.

Second half: Blankety blank

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Town this, Town that, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.  


No, no, no, no, no, no, no idea where this is heading? I think you do.

Bogle boggled, boogied and other things beginning with B. Have I mentioned Town’s midfield? No, better not – their mums might get upset. Impotent dominance gets you nowhere slowly. Amond shot blocked, the ball spooned up and Robinson shrank.

They had an attack. They scored. Dennis flipped up and lobby-looped from far right to bottom left corner. McKeown motionless, the crowd emotionless. Hope drains away quicker than the pitch.

Yeah, yeah, yeah and all that, some children were mildly diverted. Bogle volleyed over. Amond probably had a shot. Disley finally came on; so did Pittman. Arnold was already on, apparently. Players were taken off, but who knows which is which and who is who? After all they’re just ordinary men. Three at the back, four go mad in the middle, and three men on a sinking boat.

Amond succeeded in noodling a nod wide. Arnold wallied wide. Or was it high. Or was it all a dream? The dream is over. You can safely go back to your nightmares now.