Counting cobwebs: Chesterfield (h)

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

24 August 2008

Grimsby Town 0 Chesterfield 1

Around 400 Derbyshire Dalers day-tripped to the land of the ice and the snow, hoping for a show as the locals fled from the scene of grime. Another thousand lost off the gate, Mr Fentycon, in just two weeks. Outstanding.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: Barnes, Bennett, Heywood, Newey, Heggggarty, Till, Hunt, Heslop, Skiptothellewellyn, the Butler, the Taylor. The substitutes were Monty, North and the BBC: Boshell, Bore and Clarke. With a left-back at centre-back, a centre-back at right-back and a left-winger at left-back, there was an air on a G-string playing over the tannoy. Your hopes need coolin', baby, I'm not foolin'; gonna send them back to schoolin'. No-one is drooling over this Town.

I've asked before, but you may have forgotten: do you know the fourth line of the Top Cat theme tune?

Chesterfield played in red, the atmosphere was dead.

First half
Town kicked off towards the Osmond stand. Newey shot an arrow in the air; where it would land he knew not where. I've asked before, but they may have forgotten: do you know how to pass and move?

Town lumped, Butler was bumped away by Austin, as the Page boy ushered Taylor into the vestry. Currie twisted Bennett into a chicken chaat and Lowry headed straight at Barnes from ten yards. Would you like some pickles with your floppadoms sir?

Town walloped forward, the hulks headed it back. There is no style, there is no art, just artisans digging for turnips with their feet.

Ward shot wide, Ward was away but Newey tackled marvellously. Ward pestered, Ward shuttled and scuttled, Ward buttered parsnips whilst riding a tricycle and whistling Dixie. Ward annoyed, Ward annoyed a lot, Ward really, really annoyed a lot.

Has anybody seen Jamie Lowry? I say, has anybody seen Jamie Lowry? They're hardly Brazil, but Town flaked out. The crooked Spireites whacked high to the wings where tall Lowry towered and powered headers beyond all reason. And Town's defence. Hegggarty and Newey spent hours knitting daisy chains before smacking the ball out of play upfield, anywhere, but nowhere.

Heslop and Hunt, slow and pursued by low grumbling. They had nothing to offer but their dignity. What is going on? Nothing.

Taylor was flicked free by Butler after three, count them, three passes were almost made down the left. His shot was blocked by the hand of Page. Or foot. Whatever. It was some extreme body part that dangles from his torso that stopped Taylor's dribbler dribbling vaguely towards goal. Hey, Town are awakening at last! Butler held off Austin and Taylor shimmied around this waterless fountain before lapping a pass to the unmarked Llewellyn, inside the area. Alas, time is as elastic as his underpants and the long, long moments of freedom were wasted on a tea and a slice. This was a Town moment. This was the moment. This was it, and that was that.

Carson dropped the ball and we got semi-excited for nothing. Ward shot wide, Ward shot into Bennett's boots and Heywood's thighs. Ward this, Ward that, someone please clip the oik around the ear. If you don't nip this sort of behaviour in the bud he'll be running an international credit card scam before you know it.

Chesterfield broke away from a Town corner. Lured by the beautiful lullaby on the Chesterfield left, Hegggarty and Newey rushed to the arms of Lowry, who steered a cushion volley into the Town half, right into Ward's path. Scampering towards the Pontoon Ward feebly flipped a pass back to Barnes. Warning number six, for Town had been saved by the linesman's bell with monotonous regularity.

Till stared at Ward as Lowry chucked a throw in from underneath the Frozen Beer Stand. Till carried on staring as Ward turned and levered a cross into the centre. Half headed clear, the ball fell to Heslop, who shinned a perfect pass into the path pf Lowry, who curled the ball around Barnes and over the bar.

Jeez, I'm bored with this. The fourth line of the Top Cat theme is "Providing with dignity", unlike Town.

Something happened down in the Chesterfield area, with the accusation levelled against Town that they passed the ball to each other. Call the lawyer! Hunt had a shot blocked, which flubbled through to their keeper. Hold the lawyer, call an ambulance.

Town are never more vulnerable than when they are playing football. Town had a corner: it was cleared. Heggggggarty controlled the ball and decided to ignore Newey, Till and the opportunity to simply lamp it back into the penalty area. He diddled about in his allotment, fiddled with his brassicas and had the ball whipped off his toes. Currie looked up and laughed a diagonal pass over the retreating Hunt straight into the flight path of The Annoying One. Ward shingled down their centre left and stroked beyond Barnes in to the bottom left corner. He then annoyed the Pontoon with his celebration.

There were three minutes left in the half, so obviously nothing happened.

What a waste of time. Maybe Town'll wake up and stop whacking great big punts towards Taylor's head. Maybe, but May is a long way away.

Second half
No changes were made by either side at half time.

The second half was nothing special; in fact it was a bit of a bore. Shall I tell you a joke about Newey? You've probably heard it before.

Town oompahed a bit, blurting out comedy tunes for the hard of hearing; this wasn't what we came here for. Taylor tried, but Taylor carried on being small. He's been a boy for three years now, will he ever be a man? He needs to know it's a man's world, but he's lost in the wilderness, he's lost in the bitterness of 3,000 Grimbarian gripes. He's lost, lost and...

Town won a free kick just outside the penalty area on the left. The wall stood five yards from the ball and the referee started to count out the yards. Count them: one, two, three four, five, six... he stopped; the crowd kept on counting and the ref sheepishly followed the crowd. Success! Failure! Heslop slapped the ball into the wall.

Town won a free kick just outside the penalty area on the right. The wall stood five yards from the ball, and the referee started to count out the yards. Count them: one, two, three four, five, six... he paused with one foot in mid-air then continued as the crowd kept on counting. Success! Failure! Skippy Lubiloo flipped the ball to the far post where Heywood knocked it down near Butler's flashing feet, but Carson calmly plucked the ball away, as if teasing a favoured nephew.

A few minutes later Skippy greedily cracked a shot over the bar as Hegggarty za-zoomed up the left in support. And that's just about it for Town.

On the hour Lowry headed down towards goal but Newey shinkled the ball away from Barnes' feet and Heywood blocked twice form some red dust devils. Why is anyone bothering? Isn't there some rhythmic gymnastics on TV?

Ah, the return of the Bosh! He replaced Skippy Lubilooellin and Town moved to a 4-3-3 formation. Taylor was on the left, Butler the centre and Till on the right. All very well, but if no-one moves there's no-one to pass to. Till moved, Till shot, Carson saved. That is definitely it for Town, we've had our shot. Boshell kept dropping off the centre-backs to receive the ball and start some passing but... but... but... no-one moved. Radio Boshell may play some mighty fine tunes, but it can't be heard through the static.

They had loads of shots but they were rubbish shots. Barnes had to stop just one of them, that's all you need to know. Well, maybe you don't need to know it, but it won't hurt, just like their shots.

Town won a free kick just outside the penalty area in the centre. The wall stood five yards from ball, and the referee started to count out the yards. Count them: one, two, three four, five, six... he paused with one foot in mid-air, took another step and paused with one foot in mid-air as the crowd kept on counting. Success! Failure. Boshell tapped a shot into the wall and flaked the rebound way, way, way over.

With ten minutes left Heslop was replaced by North and Town moved back to 4-4-2, with Taylor still out wide on the left. Taylor poked a shot over the bar and Chesterfield continued to dwibble shots towards Phil Barnes as the home support dwindled further.

Ah, Town's been dazed and confused for so long it's not true. Wanted a striker, never bargained for you Peter Bore, who replaced Till in added time. All the while Bennett hurled a bunch of long throws towards Heywood, whose shirt was being ironed by Spireites. Nothing happened, not even the vague suggestion of erotic dancing.

Town never looked like threatening to threaten. No passing, no movement, no income tax, no VAT, no money back, no guarantee. Where the goals will come from is a mystery. It's like the changing of the seasons and the tides of the sea.

I shall not wear these shoes again.