Cross: Bournemouth (a)

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

25 April 2009

Steve Tanner's Bournemouth 2 Ever Reducing Grimsby 1

What a beautiful noise coming out from the ground. We all love Aldershot today.

A bright and breezy day in beautiful downtown Boscombe as the four bananamen of the apocalypse trudged across the cricket pitch to join a thousand grimacing Grimbarians in the three cornered hat of a stadium. An entire end was bare, save for two trees within which three leisurewear layabouts lurked.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: Henderson; Stickdale, Atkinson, Bennett, Widdowson; Jarman, Boshell, Sweeney, Heggggarty; Conlon and Ak-Ak. The substitutes were Lund, Heywood, Hunt, Proudlock and Forbes. That's pretty obvious, isn't it. There is no need for exposition or explanation for these representatives of the Town nation.

Amateurs! Sir, you're no Dave Boylen. The tannoyman wandered the pitch asking for some noise for the boyz to a mixture of hoos and haahs. We're professionals at this ‘end of the world is nigh' stuff. Count and sway, wahey!

They had a beach ball, we had a beach ball, let's have a ball on the beach later. C'mon you Shots!

First half

Town kicked off with a Boshellian flake into the corner flag. Which Accrington player had 1.8 seconds on the spread for first throw-in?

Bournemouth bonked it forward, Fletcher, that habitual criminal, mauled Atkinson. No action was taken by the authorities. Bournemouth banged it forward, Pitman chiselled Bennett and wrestled Widdowson. Action was taken by the authorities: the cheery Cherries got a free kick.

Town strolled, Bournemouth rolled over the dilatory dreamers with simple rock and roll football. Fletcher headed high, headed wide and Pitman thrashled past the left post. Town had no width, no depth, no fact, just fiction in their library. Town were outmuscled, outfought and outpaced, hanging on grimly with last ditch tackles and thrashes. Boshell sliced, Henderson raced out and missed his punch, Feeney crunched the wiggling ball agin' the post and back to Moley Merkin on the left, who crossed and someone diverted wide.

Ak-Ak chased the ball into their penalty area. That sentence does end there.

Fletcher, Pittman, Moley Moleworthy, Feeney. Four names, four pests that Town were not exterminating. We're just waiting for them to score. Cherry trees falling in the breeze and the crowd calling for penalties, but none arrive on Desperation Drive. Town are on a whist drive, shake it, shake it, shake it Barry. Conlon twisted and shouted a header against a red chest on the line. This ball of confusion ended with some silly nonsense from the referee, seeing foul where there was fair.

And then the game settled into a dire, dreary midfield bumpfest. Town achieved parity through inanity. Sweeney got bored and thrashed a long, long, long shot through the wilderness and a foot wide of the left post. Yes, we know Chester are winning. You don't need to keep texting us. Does anyone know Bonjela has been banned, but not Bon Jovi?

And then the referee laid the foundations for his thatched bungalow of shame. Boshell was booked for kicking the ball away, when the Cherrymen had been permitted similar sins. Fletcher sneaked up on Widdowson as the ball bounced near the touchline and clattered into the tiny Townite. The old bruiser clutched his head, the crowd bayed and the referee booked Widdowson for being small, then Bennett for being captain, then the team bus driver for driving whilst over the statutory limit of Tom Jones CDs.

Fill in the blanks with scenes of mayhem as Bournemouth lumped and Town humped and bumped inside the penalty area. But Henderson didn't have a save to make; he was near, he was far, but he may as well have sat in the car listening to Pick of the Pops with Dale Winton. Me? I prefer my nostalgia in stereo but without stereotypes.

Ooh, hang on! At one point Conlon flicked on a cross and Ak-Ak nearly poked a shot that may have gone near goal if he had touched it. It was that close. Wahey!

Yabba-dabba-yabba, we're back to normal. Crosses, corners and little Jack Horners on into the night. Bennett blocked as Fletcher prepared to scrape five yards out. Sticky Robdale robbed Moleyman, Feeney squiffed awfully wide, Pittman roamed and ribbed Town's cage. Town looked like they would concede, but Bournemouth didn't look like they could score. How is that square circle going to be shaved into a triangular cheese?

With about five minutes left of the half Ak-Ak decided to explore strange new worlds and boldly go where no Town man had gone before - to the bye-line to cross! Into their penalty area! He got to the bye-line! And crossed! Into their penalty area! Conlon, beyond the far post nodded loopily back to the unmarked Jarman, seven or so yards out, who steered a flickering flame in to the bottom right corner.

Pitman sneaked through Atkinson's legs and crossed to Fletcher, five yards out. I just have to say one name: Ryan Bennett. You know how it ended now.

In the several years of added time Stockdale legged up a Cherryman near the halfway line and, as the ball rolled, Boshell swept through a gap to swipe the ball away. Two red dusters fell upon The Bosh and started to rouster him. More Redsters appeared and put a straitjacket on Boshell, wrestling him away. The distant linesman trotted across and, after a long chat between these quivering quail eaters, a yellow card was wafted, followed by a red. It was a firm tackle, the ball was loose, and the Bournemouthies only arrived after the ball had gone. Boshell was sent off because of their reaction.

That was it: the half over, and we knew then the game was over too. How are Chester doing?

Second half

Neither team made any changes at half time, with Town emerging in a 4-4-1 formation, Conlon wandering alone with Ak-Ak on the left and Heggggarty in the centre.

They kicked off, then they scored. Bigged up, bogged back, Hollands surged onto a clearance mid-way inside the Town half. No-one was near. He va-voomed in a straight line into the area, pinged a shot against the diving Atkinson's thigh and watched it glide against the crossbar. Ha-Ha said the clowns with frowns as the ball dropped right into the path of Feeney, eight yards out beyond the far post, who squiggled into the centre of the empty net as Henderson lunged and plunged in vain. What a pain.

When's the next one coming then?

They'd had their cakes and now the Cherries were on top. They crossed, we headed. They crossed, they missed. They crossed, they crossed again. They crossed, they got cross and the referee booked Town players. They crossed, they crossed, they crossed…they crossed. The clues were there. They crossed.

On the hour Hunt replaced Sweeney. Hunt should have been on earlier and his presence was enough to stop the flow of the game. Bournemouth were no longer encamped on the edge of the Town area; there were almost Town attacks. Woah, did you just blink? Ak-Ak lifted the ball over the last defender, spun and horribly sliced well wide.

They crossed, they crossed, they shot, they missed. They headed, they missed. Atkinson blocked, Jarman smocked, Bennett rocked and Henderson made two comfortable saves from scuttling swipes. Who's that bothered about the odd game of pinball now and again? It's what you do at the seaside.

They crossed, they crossed and Bradbury swerbled a shot a yard wide from many moons away. Then they crossed again. Someone headed over, someone else flaggled against a Town shin. C'mon Cherryboys, you can be West Germany and we'll be Austria, OK? You know it makes sense: Algeria are drawing with Aldershot.

With about quarter of an hour left Forbes came on for Conlon and he immediately went on a searing run down the right, across the face of the penalty area and then tackled himself like Devon Loch. He's a contemporary dancer imagineering football through the movement of his body.

They crossed and, finally, scored. On their left, dinked from the bye-line, the ball was half cleared by Hegggggarty, but straight to the late blossoming Cherry tree at the bottom of the garden. A dozen bodies hubbubbed around in front of Hendserson whilst Fletcher slowly controlled the ball and thrashed a shot from about eight yards out which hit someone on the way in.

I blame the beach ball.

Proudlock replaced Jarman and he made a difference. Bournemouth defence quivered like a quaver and Ak-Ak swiped a yard wide after Proudlock had shaken his maracas on his way to sunny Spain. Town were almost looking coherent and dangerous. Almost.

With a couple of minutes left the Cherrymen bibbed and bobbed down the Town left and the giant Moleyman ran into Widdowson, coiled himself around mighty Joe's neck and they both tumbled in a heap of indignation. What happened next? With this referee you need to ask? Widdowson was sent off for being molested and he was not happy.

Proudlock was tipped free down the left and was given offside by the feeble poltroon skulking underneath the Cherry trees. He was at least three yards onside. We know, we know as it was right beneath the massed ranks of Marinerdom. Town lobbed and a sapling blew over as Proudlock and Forbes lurked. Alone in the box, and a free kick given for a foul by that cynical gust of wind. The referee booked the wind for unsportsmanlike behaviour.

What are we bothering for? Four minutes were added so that the two sets of supporters could line the pitch and strike poses. The local plodders pretended to be kettles and it ended in a soiled sheet of damp squibness as the referee picked up the ball and ran away.

Chester had drawn! Hoorah for architecture and morality! Those gangsters from the cowshed were no more of this professional land.

This game? It wasn't a game, it was a land clearance by oafish farmers. Town were terrible before and after every event. Bournemouth just bulldozed on and on and on and eventually the referee caved in, followed by Town. Like the season, it isn't worth remembering.

Awful game, awful ref, but a lovely day. Go home to your caravanettes and prepare for a summer of Re-Newell.