Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
14 February 2009
Grimsby Town 1 Bury 2
A flat, grey day in a silent stadium. We're back to normal and we're waiting for next season already. Is it too early to count the chicken before it's dead?
Town lined up in the 4-4-2 formation as follows: Barnes, Bore, Bennett, Atkinson, Widdowson, Llewellyn, Kalalalalala, Boshell, Elliott, Proudlock and Forbes. The substitutes were Monty, North, Norm from Cheers, Heywood and Heggggarty. WHAT! Bore at right-back and Lulu at right-wing? A finger of fudge is just enough to give Bury a treat.
What a bench! What - a bench? Ou est Mickael Buscher? Does this man exist? He's not even Glen Downey and these days even Glen Downey is not Glen Downey.
Bury were back, dressed in red. Sodje wore a bandana on his head. High nose and tippy toes Bishop wore lime green boots and walked the dog. Now that's a fashion faux-pas.
Ah, they have Bish, we have Bosh. What a load of tosh, get on with it.
Bury kicked off towards the Pontoon. Town backed off and they had a shot. Di-der-di di-der-di di-der-di dum. Bosh had a shot, Bish had a shot, the keepers saved and no-one raved. Formless Town and fruity Burymen. Ponder and wonder, what comes next?
Elliott moved, Forbes soothed and Proudlock poked at Tyler from the edge of the area. Tyler spilled his pint, but only over himself, so the bar was calm. No-one noticed the stain as he crossed his legs and sat back into his deck chair to write his memoirs. Be wary of these red beasts, they move in cunning ways. Morrell and Bishop tangoed with our teenagers, their wide men hugged the touchline and mugged the full-backs. Bore, Bore, will he be poor, or can he avoid being shown the door?
Mmm, nice football. From them. Bishop spun, Morrell sung and their Bennett side-stepped Widdowson to slice into the Pontoon. Mmm, nice football. From them. Dawson drivelled wide as Jones jinked and Barry-Murphy bumbled and mumbled Kalalalalalala aside. Town had no midfield, Town had no attack, but did have a defence. Lucky that. Bennett blocked, Atkinson stretched, Bore swept and Widdowson slunk mere moments aside as Bury gently probed and prodded.
Hoof - Forbes failed to out-jump Sodje. Woof - a dog barked in the back yard of number 83 Neville Street.
Barry-Murphy handballed. Play on. Dawson dropped a slip catch. Play on. Proudlock plunged and Kalalalala cracked the free kick into the wall and shouldered the rebound. Doh! The referee managed to see that handball. Bury pickled Town in some suspicious vinegar. The ball dropped inside the six-yard box and Bore calmly stroked a clearance. A rebound fell to Bishop and Bennett magnificently slid and slipped danger's dagger into the be-jewelled sheath of safety. Legs tangled, the ball skipped to Bury again and again and again. Bennett blocked again. The boy is a man, leaving Atkinson behind on the bridge of mere adequacy.
A ship sailed by. A train yawned towards Cleethorpes: the end of the line. Town almost had an attack. Elliott and Lulu old and slow, tired and weary. They tried but their legs could not propel them beyond young men. Shame no-one was moving for them to pass to.
Bury broke and poked Town with a pair of tongs. No, we do not wish to have a perm. We don't do perms, not since the days of mismatched moustaches Now, who was the last Town player to have a moustache? No beards, no stubble, just a singular and proper moustache that crawled without apology along the top lip. Perhaps we shouldn't have asked Peter bumfluff Bore, for as he delved deep into his memory Jones sneaked behind and onto a cutesy Bishop flick. Alone, 15 yards out and with Barnes crumbling, Jones swished wonderfully high. He never looked like scoring.
Hang on, was Peter Grotier the last moustachioed master of mirth?
After half an hour of cosmic comic meanderings Town humped the ball forward yet again. What a waste of time, nothing ever comes of it. Forbes flicked on, Sodje threw him in to the Humber and the linesman flagged for a foul. Play on. Proudlock bounded down the middle, pursued by three big bears. Tyler advanced and Adam was adamant that this was his moment. Proudlock poked the ball under the dissolving sugar cube and it rolled in to the centre of the net.
Was it Mark Hine? I'm sure Bobby Cumming had shaved his off by then.
And Town did roar forward with a plethora of passing and mirage of movement and I'm making this up, just a little. There were moments, where previously there'd been aspirations. Widdowson wriggled free and rolled a cross behind all. Boshell raced on and was smothered by a red blanket. Elliott marvellously hooked a diagonal pass over the full back, releasing Boshell down the right. The Bosh bounced along towards the penalty area, stepped inside the last defender and from a narrow angle curled a shot towards the top right corner rather than dink a cross to the waving Proudlock. The ball dropped inches past the right post and a corner was given. Why? Who knows. A foot or finger was just enough to make the Main Stand bleat.
Or was it Steve Sherwood?
Boshell flat-packed a corner to the centre of the area and Forbes rose mightily to loop a header across the angle of post and bar and everyone remembered it must have been Gary Childs, the last of the West Midland playboys. Yes, he was the last 'tache in the Town.
They had a couple of shots: nothing special, in fact they were stopped by Peter Bore. I'd tell you a joke to fill in the gap, but you've probably heard it before. "Let Newey take it!" The loan deal, we mean Tom, not a free kick in the future. Bury carried on passing and passing, rolling and roving, gently testing Town's pressure points. They did nothing, yet a lot. They were stopped by individual moments of excellence, resulting in the illusion of solidity. It was like they were teasing us.
Oh, is that it? It's all going swimmingly. Let's take the money and run while the going is good. Town were without any discernible method and without any attacking cohesion. We looked like a bunch of blokes again. Neither of the winger-types looked match fit, though Llewellyn wasn't poor, just on the medium side of adequate. Kalalalalala and Boshell played like strangers, with Kalalala looking like a rebuilt watch with a couple of springs left out. It all whirred round but the time was unreliable. Poor Forbes and Proudlock were left to leap and chase lost causes.
Bury were nifty but Bennett was thrifty. Get yer tweezers and magnifying glass out Mr Re-Newell otherwise we're going to miss the night boat to Cairo.
No changes were made by either team at half time.
After a couple of minutes of minor jousting Boshell left the pitch clutching his face after some Cumberland wrestling in the centre circle. Boshell waited to return. And waited. And waited as Bury attacked and the referee ignored the tumult and hints from passing strangers. Nothing happened, we just moaned a bit. It makes us happy.
Bury shivered down their left and Town didn't clear, once, twice and thriceley. The ball fell to Bishop who spun and slam-poked a shot straight at Barnes, who parried aside. Those are the facts, I cannot hide them from you. Town did not exist as anything but Bury's stooges. When were they going to score? We know it's going to happen, they know its going to happen. Let's get it over with.
Bury pushed, Town pulled. Bury hushed, Town, mulled. Bury pressed, Town messed. Was that three or four attempts at clearing the ball? With Elliott flagging and Widdowson lagging their bouncy Bennett bounded into the area and pulled the ball back slowly from the bye-line. Bishop lurked eight or so yards out at the near post, unmarked. One touch, one slap, one goal. The ball smacked against the static Barnes' forearm and dropped into the bottom right corner. Hard cheese Town, the stinking Bishop had scored with his lemon curd boots.
I can't remember Town getting near the Pontoon. It was all far, far away in another land, where the grass grew high and white feathers floated by. Bore brilliantly headed away from a lurking Shaker-maker. Bore again as the ball rolled loose. Are we nothing but a wall against which they kick and scrape? Elliot pivoted on his right foot and levered the ball away to a Buryman. Back it came. Elliott pivoted on his right foot and levered the ball away to a Buryman. Back it came. Elliot pivoted on his right foot and levered the ball high, high, high into the air and straight to Barnes, who caught it by his ankles. Elliott was replaced by Hegggggarty.
Raising his right arm to the sky Bennett heard trumpets blow, the sky turned grey and the accidental linesman said that he didn't know how Bishop came to be completely unmarked 30 yards out. Bishop spurtled through the centre, pursued by an irate Bennett and a hirsute Atkinson. The shot was poked, Barnes parried aside and Morrell slid and toe-poked achingly slowly and lowly towards the bottom right corner. Barnes scrambled and scratched and clawed but the ball rolled into the net as 3,000 heads rolled into 6,000 hands.
Come on Chester, we know it's going to happen, so you may as well do it now. Here's a list of Insolvency Practitioners to help. Get your administration over with and let us all sleep more easily.
Town were nothing.
Bore was clattered and a Buryiite was finally booked. At some point following this isolated moment of nearlyness Forbes grazed a header wide at the far post. Do not fool yourselves, this was no chance. It hit his head and bounced slowly further wide. Slowly. And wide. A minute later someone big-berthaed forward and Proudlock waited underneath and induced Sodje into the spider's web. A free kick was awarded 25 yards out, right of centre. Boshell and Llewellyn puzzled over who was going to miss and Boshell carefully lifted the ball over the wall towards the top left corner. Tyler swayed and stretched and grasped as the ball curled an inch or two wide and kissed the side netting.
At this, North replaced the ebbing Forbes. North has long since ebbed and there is nothing of substance to report. Danny boy miscontrolled twice and ran near the ball a couple of times. That is all.
Easy-peasy lemon boots squeezy: Bishop tapped to Dawson and he shot wide. I can't be bothered to dress this up. He didn't score, Barnes didn't save, it's an irrelevance. Bury swirled around and around, dizzying and delightful, sometimes de-lovely, and Morrell deliciously volleyed from a dozen yards. Barnes rather spectacularly parry-punched aside as the ball veered towards his ear.
Did you know that Heerenveen have a player called Elm?
Don't worry it's nearly over and we have something to rage against. Boshell was badly booked after a third grand slam tackle in a row and then there was the incident in the 88th minute. Town pimpled the ball into the left side of the Bury box, Proudlock pursued and his sleeves were rolled, his shirt ruffled and his armpit tickled by red shirts. He stumbled, half fell and kept going. As the ball stopped on the bye-line shielded by two defenders, Proudlock kicked them up the backside. They did not like this. We did. The ball ricocheted and bamboozled out towards Heggggarty who shambled a shot goalwards. Cresswell, half a dozen yards away, flung himself forward, arms stretched out in front him and brilliantly parried away. Did we really think this referee would give us our daily bread?
There was loads of added time in which Town did precisely two crosses nowhere near and a free kick. There is just one more question to ask: how high are the clouds?
It doesn't tell us anything we don't know already. The squad is not sufficiently strong to withstand more than one injury or a couple of below par performances. Elliott and Forbes looked weary, as did Kalalala. Llewellyn was not bad, but nothing other than ordinary. Boshell just doesn't fit into this new Town look. He's so last year and turning up his trousers doesn't make any difference.
Maybe Town've just hit a plateau; we're taking a rest before the next assault on the mountain. Got your oxygen tanks, woolly hat and crampons? Right, onwards and upwards: just don't look down.