Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
1 November 2015
Grimsby Town 0 Cheltenham Town 1
A gentle evening of Pontoon pumpkins and inflatables in the Findus with around 80 little dots in the distance. Oh yes, one of the big teams has come down. So long ago, was it all a Cardiff dream? Eighty. Wow. That's massive.
Town lined up in a 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, Tait, Pearson, Nsiala, Townsend, East, Clay, Disley, Arnold, Bogle and Amond. The substitutes were Gowling, Brown, Mackreth, Marshall and Pittman. No changes from last week's spa town break, just two ordinary right-backs roaming, and two right-wingers contemplating ringing their agent.
Bogle ran out wearing big mittens. Omar, you big pussy cat.
Cheltenham played in purple, with Pell and Parslow prominent. Pell and Parslow, eh. Pell and Parslow. Poor and pointless in our past. This introduction was brought you by the letter p.
First half: Circles of perception
They kicked off towards the Pontoon as a fusillade of fireworks exploded above the Osmond. Chips, chips, chips and chips again. There's a chip on our shoulder and were watching some spam.
They spammed, we spammed. Spam fritters with no sauce. Waters was a dogged little terrier, running around, around and around again in a purple haze. And? Indeed.
Well, well, a Town attack. I say 'attack'; the ball was kicked and men in black and white leapt. East cornered shortly and drooped trippily beyond the far post. Amond snuck around his marker and scrubbed wide from near.
A Tait tip up top, Bogle chested and East shuffle-scuffled over a pair of ploughs. Phillips swooped to clamp away. Tait caressed back and Amond snoogled a header wide of the right post.
Hmm, whoever scores first isn't going to lose this game of humanoid pinball.
Amond flick-headed loopily, Arnold plonkey-volleyed dippily, swervily wide and high. Moments within moments. They throw in like a Pakistan spinner. Straighten the arm, laddie – 15 degrees of bending only.
A firework exploded below the tree line and a rain of red fiery baubles dropped at the players' feet, like space invaders. The referee walked off wielding a big stick
A firework exploded below the tree line and a rain of red fiery baubles dropped at the players' feet, like space invaders. The referee walked off wielding a big stick.
Another Town lump was dumped into the edge of the purple penalty area. Three defenders jumped, an arm thumped and the referee pointed to a spot, but not the spot. Much chagrining and harrumphing in the mist, especially when the texting couch potatoes confirmed the truth. What happened next? Bogle. Wall. The end.
Finally Cyril, in the 34th minute Blubba Bear had a shot, Wright walloped way over. Well I never, an attack. Well, did they ever, another attack. Townsend grazed away and Storer bedraggled lowly as McKeown saved scruffily.
More? Pell fell and the free kick was winkled over the wall into the waiting arms of the pink plucker. All pink today, no grey socks. He can deal with soggy chips.
Ooh hello. Bogle boogied down the right and swished into the centre of the penalty area. Amond swept lowly. Phillips swayed to his right as the ball rolled left and swiffle-kicked away. That's your lot for this half. Some things in between nothing.
A game of moments, with Town having more moments than their Arkansas Chuggabugs.
Second half: One more ride on the merry-go-round
No physical changes were made by either team at half time, though Bogle emerged bare-knuckled, unbegloving himself. Yeah, the gloves are off now.
Movement. Things. Moments. Triangular chucking and Townsend crinkled into the centre. Bodies merged, then dropped in an emptiness; Disley swivelled and a purple duvet squished to squirtle. That's all, folks. Our moment had passed.
Cheltenham ran around more, quicker and were just that bit slicker in foot and mind. They were like antibodies zapping a rather weak common cold virus. Townites shinned and spluttered and continued to chip away.
And still Waters ran deep. What a pest. Granny will be proud. Briskness and nearness, all rather cheerless, and always down the Town right. Two tipples, a ripple across the penalty area and McKeown spread his wings to fly across and swat away. Wakey, wakey.
What's that? Heh, a slice of Pell never did anyone any good. Waywardly wide, highly high.
Town slowly disintegrated as the purple press squeezed their pips. They were not bearing up well to some intense scrutiny. It was all so terribly ping-pong.
Arnold got stuck in. It raised the spirits for a moment. It was a highlight. It was a thing. There was nothing else but hoofs and hope, all hopelessly hoofed onto the roof
Another free kick on the edge of Town, sprawlingly saved by the pink parrier, the rinky-dink parrier. What a groovy cat, what an acrobat. We're waiting for the damn to burst. A corner on their right, pulled backwards, toed and teed for Waters, who scruffed mis-hittily, straight into the path of Downes, on the penalty spot to sweep a swipe into the top left corner.
Marshall replaced Tait and East went to right-back. Pittman replaced the curiously timid Bogle. Vertical leaps were leapt. Arnold got stuck in. It raised the spirits for a moment. It was a highlight. It was a thing. There was nothing else but hoofs and hope, all hopelessly hoofed onto the roof.
They broke away a few times. Tackles were tackled. What more do you need to know?
Welly up! Amond raised his eyebrows and Pittman toggled The Dizzer free. The ball dropped onto the toe of destiny and reached its destination – the shoal of undeflatable Harrys hiding in the deepest, darkest Peru. Sorry – deepest, darkest Pontoon.
Brown came on for someone who was in the middle of the pitch. Did we notice who left? Did we notice he'd come on? What difference did it make? It made none. Town were looking very old tonight.
Minutes were added and those added minutes ended. And so to bed.
As we slunk off home their keeper took exception to the pre-teen choi-oikers, being ostentatious in his over-celebration in the face of furious children. Booo, silly man, booo.
What had we watched? An example of why a Hurstian construction won't get automatic promotion. Town had been out-bored by professionals.