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Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

7 October 2015

Grimsby Town 2 Gateshead 1

I spy with my little eye a couple of dozen Tyneside terriers tapping and clapping through the drizzle sheets. It's wet, it's warm, it's dry and I see a little boy cry at the exile of the main strikers.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, East, Pearson, Gowling, Robertson, Arnold, Clay, Disley, Monkhouse, Pittman and Tomlinson. The substitutes were Nsiala, Mackreth, Marshall, Bogle and Amond. Arnold in: good. The Boglmond Alliance banished to the bench: bad. A low hum of sighing seething rumbled around the drying ground.

Gateshead. Osterless, but Paddy powered – forever stealing our past and stealing our shopping habits. They just looked like men standing around in blue.

First half: Silent punning

They kicked off straight towards the Pontoon. I say straight, in the sense of straight outta play. They may have had the ball once or twice now and them. Passive actors in a local passion play.

Ooh and aah, fast and furious in controlled possession and aggression. Tic that toc, tick that box-to-box triangle of tremendous tipping. East splurged and wellied well. Russell slapped down. Town were pressing the grapes and squeezing them pips until they squeaked. Arnold roaming in the gloaming, running down that hill with promises. Pittman licked at the near post, Tomlinson stretchy missed in the middle.

East side-slid a shot over the angle of post and bar. Corner and corners and headers and blocks. The Baron swooped to head an eaglet wide. We're on a one-way ticket to the moon.

Pfft, I see them. You see them. They are nothing, this is nothing. In the shadow of the Police Box Baxter chucked hoopily, the soupy gloop befuggled back. Biddy Baxter arced a soft, loopy-droopy dolly. Jamie Mack awaited on the goal line and no headman bothered to approach. McKeown hopped too soon and the ball spuffled off his soft rubber gloves and squirmed into the net. A stone cold silence as we all squirmed in our seats, far too embarrassed for the enervated Pink Panther. Oh dear, dear me. Don't look Ethel.

No attacks, one goal. That's efficient, we're deficient.

Let's just ignore the pink elephant in the room and carry on as if it never happened.

It's nice to go in at half time leading, isn't it? What? Oh yeah, that 'goal'. Doesn't count, obviously. It wasn't a real goal

A free kick punted deeply, heads tennised and Pittman steered a noddle on to the outside of the post. A free kick punted deeply, heads tennised and Biddy Baxter toe-poked away. Tomlinson turned and scruggled a swerver across the face of the crowd in the Main Stand. We all sighed sadly.

In, out, in, out, shaking all about, nifty natty Nathan twisty-turned and swivel-swerved down the line and through three blue streaks deep into the penalty area. Arnold cut infield and carefully bedraggled against the near post, where the ball buffled out against Russell's bottom and rolled in. Let the record show that Nathan Arnold had scored with an in-off. He is the pied piper of the Pontoon, the piper on Gateshead's lawn.

That's better, a little bit of va-va-voom; what vivacious verve from the swerve king.

The Baron Munchausen bedonked inchlets beyond Russell's left post after a big wide-eyed cross-border Pittman punt. Plan A, route one. Slot A, tab B.

Ah now, here it was, that magical moment when the visiting professors took off their sandals and socks and tentatively approached the sea. In the 42nd minute an accidental block-punt boomed towards the Town penalty area, skipped beyond Pearson and one of them headed. McKeown caught it. No fuss, no problem, no danger, nothing to get hung about. It was nothing and it was their only thing.

It's nice to go in at half time leading, isn't it? What? Oh yeah, that 'goal'. Doesn't count, obviously. It wasn't a real goal. They didn't mean it, so they can't have it. So there.

Town? A lot of vim, but not quite in trim up top. Poor lad, Tomlinson's just the latest avatar for annoyance with snippy Mr Shorty.

Second half: A simple twist of the Nath

No changes made by either team at half time.

A big punt, right up Tomlinson's alley. He chased and chased and chased and waggled lowly across Russell from a narrow angle and narrowly wide.

Two triangles, a rectangle and a rhombus. Arnold swung his pants, swivelled his eyes and walloped a welly from 20-odd yards across Russell and into the middle-middle-right of the rippling nettage. Too much pizzazz and placement for Old Sam.

Monkhouse bearded on a hulking punt and the Dizzermeister slipped a flying volley into the night.

With no rhyme or reason Gateshead formulated plans and dug some footings. With no rhyme or reason the locals did nothing to stop this out-of-town development. Phillips hook-volleyed from their left across the face of goal within winking distance of the far angle of post and bar. That wasn't called for – don't they know they are guests? When we said make yourselves at home, we didn't mean it.

From under the Police Box Arnold zippled a free kick through the dodgy and stodgy heart of the penalty box. The ball hit Pittman's chest and softly-softly into Russell's unexpecting but grateful hands.

Woah, here they go again, squatting and trying to build a bungalow without permission. Townites stood admiring their hardhats, Phillips opened his body and coily-curly swivel-dropped millipedes past the far post. A soupçon of Osterness is not enough to give your kids a treat.

Lovely. Football. Tomlinson momentarily outgrew his Lincolnness to exchange passes with Arnold. The ball rootled on to the unmarked Tomlinson, just beyond the penalty spot. Tomlinson's Impish roots overcame his environment and he squiggled straight at the keeper.

I saw the burger stand, I heard the drummer band and I've seen a needle wink its eye. But I will've seen just about everything when I see Ben Tomlinson score.

At that, off he and Pittman went, replaced by Boglmond the Amgle to great popular acclaim.

Arnold crossed, a defender sliced. Arnold cross again, a defender sliced as Amond lurked. Clay tickled, Bogle nickled, Amond knockled and Omar stretched. It was a moment. There were no more.

The handbrake was partially released. We gotta control that momentum.