Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
29 December 2015
Grimsby Town 2 Harmless 0
From over the hills and 40 miles away, the Teletubbies came out to play.
There's a high wind in the trees and a cold sound in the air as twelve hundred Impites gathered in their coats and hats and their caps and macs making noise as the wind swirled downfield into the Pontoon. Well done, Lincolnfolk – after all these years you've finally filled out the Osmond.
Town lined up in a 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, Tait, Gowling, Nsiala, Townsend, Arnold, Clay, Disley, Monkhouse, Bogle and Amond. The substitutes were Robertson, Pearson, Henderson, Marshall and Pittman. Carry on regardless, no need for change in the house of fun. Welcome to the lion's den, Lincolnites.
Oh blubber, where art thou? Ah, there's Fat Matt, flopping 'n' flapping like a beached whale. Ooh, hang on, that's not him, nor that one. Or that one. Or that one. There's aghastness at their vastness, a vat of fat in yellow: a team literally in the mould of their manager. Has the humungous homunculus just got bigger, or the shirts just got smaller?
Time for Teletubbies.
First half: Podge and podgier
Town kicked off towards the Osmond with a sunny stumble.
Well, you can bump and grind, you can twist and shout and let it all hang out of your shirt, but you won't fool the children of Shorty's revolution. You are Lincoln City. Jeez, it's ugly.
Eventually some things didn't happen. Arnold wiffled waywardly wide. Lincoln chucked and chipped, hurled and burled and bealed. A corner, cleared, thrashed over. Pfft. You are Lincoln City and a leopard never changes its spots.
Up above the streets and houses Toto's welly climbing high. Everyone can see them smiling over at Sky at this amateur garlic football. Townsend crumpled after Spotty Muldoon's sneaky late slide-swipe. Pfft. You are Lincoln City and a Def Leppard fan never changes its underpants.
A cross flicked on by Stanley, and Amond arose alone five yards out to noddle down. Farman blocked, but sit down again, there's a wicked linesman standing still on the line. Forget it, erase this paragraph. Erase these moments, erase Matt Rhead.
After 20 minutes of arbitrary barges and a sinking feeling floating down on the tide, McKeown thrash-wobbled a diagonal punt. Monkhouse was the distracting nodding donkey and Omar chased after the bumbling bauble towards the covered corner. Waterfall wandered after the bogglemeister and wondered why he bothered as a stepover spin was followed by a beautifully crafted, beautifully dipping whipping cross over the six-yard line towards the far post. Amond drifted into a non-existent space, leant over Troy Tempest and carefully caressed a nod down into the bottom left corner. Three quarters of the ground bounced as Amond knee-surfed under the Frozen Horsemeat Stand.
Lincoln: a bunch of bundling, a calumny of chip and pinning, all channel balls and chucks. Miserable lowest common denominator dregs. Urgh. And people pay money to watch this. Then again, demolition derbies used to be popular. People are strange.
Out came the red card, up went the red mist as Impites claimed the sanctuary of an imaginary covering defender
Occasional moments of almostness, now and again. Tic-tac-toe, Arnold floated free and the last yellow toe-poked away from the lurking Amond. Omar flicked and Waterfall blocked off Amond. Wahey! Waterfall tripped over his own feet and grappled with his own failings. And Amond's shirt. The striped sensation hit the turf a couple of yards from the right corner of the penalty area.
Out came the red card, up went the red mist as Impites claimed the sanctuary of an imaginary covering defender. I think they imagined Troy Tempest was singing to Aquamarina. Calm down, calm down Impites; what goes around comes around. Townsend curled the free kick low and Farman plunged to parry firmly away from the foot of his right post.
Long punt. Flick. Spotty Muldoon through. McKeown smother-blocked. Imp free kick, long punt. Rhead rolled around risibly and Howe was a flying saucer in a teacup tumble. Good, that's them out of the way until half time.
A nothing of nothingness nowhere, and Disley and Hawkridge slid in for a bumper to bumper cinemarama 3D shin-ollision. The Scunnyman writhed and groaned as the remaining Impies indulged in faux outrage, throwing their handkerchiefs in the air and fainting at the first sight of a table leg. When push became shove, handbags were exchanged at the border and there was a call for a fish finger boycott. Disley was booked, Lincolnites cried. Oh how they cried.
Ah, Omar, we waited so long for the Omar thing. A wiggle and curl way out to sea. One day, one shot will lodge in the top corner of the net, not the covered corner. Ah, Toto we waited so long for the Toto thing. A wiggle and a stepover when facing Jamie Mack and only Rhead's hot tears of pain at his back.
And finally Cyril, Town broke away down the right. Amond strolled into the vastness, drew the last defender and rolled a perfectly weighted pass into the path of Bogle, on the left. Omar waited for the ball, for his mojo and finally for Bradley Wood's boots.
There were moments when football was sighted between the incessant aerial wrestleball. They get bigger and uglier every year. Town'll have to keep us shape when all around are losing theirs.
Second half: Fat bottom hurls
Neither team made any changes at half time.
There was a moment when Omar almost did something. Almost, but not quite. After four minutes Townsend waved his arms and hobbled off, taking the moment to linger and give panoramic slo-mo applause to every person in the ground. And thankyou too young man, glad to be of assistance. Jamboy Robertson came on for some sensible, unspectacular Scottishness.
Chippin' around, kicking the ball 'round the floor. Ooh, pressure. In-out-in-out and Amond jinked and dinked beyond the far post. Omar leapt and Monkhouse bearded meekly across the face of goal. Why can't we give ourselves one more chance?
Chippin' around, kicking Town defenders 'round the floor. Ooh, pressure from the midland Morlocks. McKeown plucked and chucked to the unmolested Arnold. The demon barber cut his way through the blubber, swaying infield and boiling down the centre as Troy Tempest tumbled. Amond screamed to his left, but Arnold had eyes blazing for glory and glory alone. A yellow leg returned to hook away.
Just fill in any gaps with an image of big booming balls towards Rhead's immobile body and balding head. Not so much one-dimensional as no-dimensional. Their evil plans to thwart the master Mariners were assisted by the referee's imagining of insults from the stars in stripes and curious blindness to big-bottomed barging. Particularly of Clay.
Amond header. A bit loopy, from the edge of the area. Nothing really. No harm in mentioning it though, just to break up the flow of fatball falling. That would be tedious. Oh, sirs, it was so tedious watching agricultural machinery at work. It was like being stuck behind a tractor between Wragby and Louth. There's nothing you can do until the driver gets a conscience or falls asleep.
Omar, Omar-Omar, Omar-Omar Bogle started to cartwheel rather than carthorse and had a cathartic half-hour, causing Impites to caterwaul
Omar, Omar-Omar, Omar-Omar Bogle started to cartwheel rather than carthorse and had a cathartic half-hour, causing Impites to caterwaul. Bogle tickled Arnold into the penalty area. Farman flung himself, but Arnold allowed the ball to roam beyond the failing limbs. From a narrow angle he chose to shoot and the ball hit the side net as Amond volleyed the far post in frustration.
Omar, Omar-Omar, Omar-Omar Bogle wiggled his waggle and flibble-blasted inches over the centre of the crossbar. Amond sauntered free down the right and smash-crossed into the centre of the goal. Bogle blocked himself with a majestic stretch and hop, clearing on the six-yard line, tumbling with Wood and receiving a cheeky double rabbit punch from old junior psycho.
Chippin' around, kicking the ball 'round the floor. Ooh, pressure. Punting and shunting and yellowbellies almost free but Tait, then Gowling, then Robertson arrived as if by magic. You know the nearer their destination, the more Town defenders were slip-sliding them away. Lemon-shirted snickering and a series of unfortunate non-events led the ball to Power's right boot, dead-centre. Power lacked power and the pink plunger plucked this wilting flower. Ooh look, Impies – the Dock Tower.
As the yellow hordes swept across the plains like wildebeest, Town's predators waited in the long grass, biding their time. Just don't wait for the trombone solo. A-ha. In the shadow of the Findus Amond, our fox in the box, the cat in the hat, the pixie in the pie shop, strolled and rolled into vastly unmanned acreage. Clay arrived and carefully placed a pass back towards the bottom right corner. The ball disappeared behind wafting yellow legs, Farman flung himself low and tipped inches past the post with the fingertippiest tap you'll see this side of Christmas on a Monday in December. Well done young man, a most excellent save. Just don't do it again.
There are plenty of holes in the desert. Amond, always Amond, was tickled pink to be tickled free by Omar. Farman advanced; Amond elevated beyond the net towards the awaiting Arnold but, but, but the lady linesman's flag was flapping.
Lincoln. Only long throws left in their locker. One of them even managed to cause mild befuddlement when some big-bottom barging pinballed bodies into the path of the bouncing ball. Accidents will happen after all that's said and done. You don't want to hear about it.
Ah, relax. Town'll shoot in the right direction. Bogle boggled Beevers and scrunched against Farman's outstretched right boot. Live those dreams, scheme those schemes. The waves of monochrome are crashing over the limpets. Clay swept, Amond wiggled across the face of the penalty area heading towards Spurn Point, squiggled away from a notional marker and sumptuously swept a fashionable reverse pass inside Troy Tempest. Arnold glided into the path of the ball, took a touch and, from six yards out, slashed high into the near post as Farman imploded. Off he ran to kiss the camera and wave to babies, or was it the other way around?
Oh we can party now. Break out that second cheese sandwich. Bogle was in his pomp, showboating and carouselling, a left side story. Omar twinkled Amond free on the inside left and Farman flew out to swamp. Omar sprinkled Amond free on the inside right. Farman flew out, but Amond, to the consternation of the nation and everyone in this constellation, elected to slap high rather than pass low. It missed. So what? Occasionally missing when it doesn't matter is acceptable.
Oh yeah, Rhead forearmed Gowling aside and one of their subs slashed into the side netting. Like we care.
Arnold was replaced by Mercurial Marcus Marshall, who ran around quickly in circles for ten minutes, and Lincoln brought on the fattest player they have. Or have ever had. Never has nylon stretched so much in the world of football. Bush made Tony Crane look like Peter Crouch. Bush? More like an untended shrubbery.
Pittman replaced Bogle just before five fun-filled minutes were added, just so we could get ourselves in tune for the community singing. We had some rolling and polling, some teasing Taitery and it all ended rather appropriately with an awful Rhead dive which everyone ignored.
Lincoln. There's no excuse. If you don't even try and play football, why should anyone take you seriously? Without being anything other than adequate Town worked out a way to stop them and to expose them to the light. One we expected to endure rather than enjoy, but it all turned out right in the end.
Three points in our pocket, and we're still rolling along.