Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
17 January 2016
Grimsby Town 3 Weston-super-Mare 1
Oh, the cry of the Seagulls! Have you ever heard it on a bit of a cold, rather than bitterly cold, day? A minibus of Supermarians marvelled at the mass of empty seats, as the mass of empty seats marvelled at a minibus of Zummerzetians being bothered to haul themselves northwards.
It's all marvellous; fewer fatheads too.
Town lined up in a big standard 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, Tait, Pearson, Nsiala, Robertson, East, Venney, Henderson, Marshall, Bogle and Pittman. The substitutes were Warrington, Clay, Clifton, Amond and Arnold. East was on the wing and the old men had a day off, with Gowling, Monkhouse and Disley running the gauntlet of selfie row. They'll do their backs in ducking down for the tiny tots.
Look around and there's no Brown or Wee Jackie Mackie to be seen or heard. Where are they now? Under a patio? Gone for a walk in the woods? Leaf clearing in Humberston Avenue? Where are the un-people in Red Shorty's reign of terror?
Blessed are the Cleesemakers. The supertroupers from Somerset turned up in a snazzy red and blue halved shirt, like Genoa, with a sexy European formation of blurred lines and swivelling hips.
Have you ever seen Weston Super Marians weep? Let's find out.
First half: The wrong trousers
The Seagulls kicked off towards the Pontoon and 15.45 seconds later Omar oomphed straight at Purnell.
Sorry, is there a football match going on? We're indulging in celebrity deathwatch poker up here in the empty seats. I'll see your hand of The Laughing Gnome and raise it with Over the Wall We Go. Ah look, Conor Henderson. He used to play for Arsenal reserves, you know.
Slippy Wilson slipped away from the alarmingly alarmed Pearson. Alarm bells belled. For whom the career bells toll. Maybe Shaun Person is just being Mr Rusty in the selection magic roundabout of our vast deep squad of deeply vast talents.
A corner. Pearson arose. Pearson a-headed over. Skippy Wilson skipped away from the dilatory defence and Tait was the last man standing. Dashing Wilson dashed away to bash from way away. These day trippers are tripping up our style. Town are just a bit grubby, while the Supertroupers have Grubb as their flummoxing fulcrum of football.
Some Townite hit the turf and Henderson coiled the free kick beautifully. Over the wall we go. Leave Purnell a note saying happy New Year, for a decent plunge and paw to his right deserves acknowledgement.
Some Townite hit the turf and Henderson coiled the free kick awfully. Over the wall we go: not all his free kicks are bananas.
This is incomprehensible gibberish. Welcome to the first half. Sometimes the Blundell Park experience is an exercise in imagination and illusion.
At last, something to comprehend. Henderson disrobed a visitor and rolled to the rockin' Bogle, on the edge of their penalty area. Some hickory-dickory clocking flipped the ball out to East. A long, high, slow, drooper dropped way beyond the far post. A Marshall chest-off hung and Henderson side-swiped lowly, curling through generic legs and into the bottom right corner. Conversations were interrupted at the sight of an excellently struck goal. That's why he used to play for Arsenal reserves, you know.
And you just know Town have the capacity to blow it. Even the Seagulls can walk through Town's dozing defence. And they did. Doze and walk
Oh sumptuousness layered upon sumptuousness of swishing and swaying. East flowed west under the Frozen Horsemeat Stand and Bogle's sub-Reesian flick flowed into the path of the roaming raider of the right. A feint fainting feign followed and a careful clip from the centre of the penalty area clopped against the inside of the left post, bounced across the face of goal and a Main Stand migrant asked for a decaffeinated coffee from the Pontoon burger bar. These two events are unlikely to have a causal link, but would have been considered equally unlikely just two minutes before. You never can tell, for when it blows here even the seagulls walk.
And you just know Town have the capacity to blow it. Even the Seagulls can walk through Town's dozing defence. And they did. Doze and walk. The Somersetters slinked their way through the Town midfield, tickling rinky-dinky taps into the gaps. Pearson hesitated as Grubb laced daisy chains into his hairband and set Mawford free under the giant shadow of the stand normally known as the Findus. Tawdry Toto tattiness allowed the bearded one to sneak into the area, to the bye-line and cross lowly. McKeown parried into the void and towards the penalty spot. Grubb slapped under the sprawling Pearson. Conversations were interrupted at the sight of a shoddily conceded goal. That's why he used to play for Everton reserves, you know.
Facing one thousand of your friends, can anyone be so lonely, eh Toto.
Omar twisty-turned and scooped a loop, which was deflected hoopily wide of the left post. The resulting corner is something of which you have no desire to have details. Town raised the pace of their passing towards military medium and there were, indeed, moments. Tait slapped a cracker through thick and thin that was parried aside. All hail the Purnell beater.
Slow, slow, crabstick slow and the crowd getting crabby at the shabby shufflings. The grumbles are grimbling.
As the half ended Henderson, in the centre of the centre, espied a coiled spring and dinked delightfully over the last defender, right into the flightpath of a flightless bird. Stand by for Omar Bogle's boggletastic slapstick, triple trip and slip, and eventual snack into the net. It's a goal, Mr Grimsdale! Mr Grimsdale? A goal accompanied by its own comedy slide whistle. Well done for persistence Omar.
Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. There is no decaffeinated coffee, but there is a lucky lead.
Second half: A matter of youth and deaf
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Flipping heck! Welcome to the world of the fuchsia flapper. The Supermarers swept and Town crept back. Corners, free kicks, pressure. A corner coiled in and McKeown one-handed weird-punched off the line from behind himself for another corner. And another corner. And another corner over and through everyone. And a free kick that Jamie Mack flipped away for another corner with a one-handed flip.
Venney impeded a West Country wanderer on the halfway line, so what? The referee took the chance to stamp his authority on the game by booking the smallest, youngest player for the most feeble of fouls.
Pleasant plucking along the Dentists' Stand allowed the denizens of the dark to watch the world go by. Henderson snickled a tickle towards the suddenly spritely Pittman. He twisted this way and that, went on a little detour along the face of the penalty area, heading towards the setting sun. With a sudden swizzle the juggling, jangling Pittman smackled a left-footed sizzler straight into the bottom left corner. Yeah great goal. Well, we've won, so what shall we do for the next half an hour? Have you seen the funky façade at the Ocean Fish Bar where the chips are movin' and a groovin'? Ooh, funky façade, a black funky façade. Sorry, lost in a haze of vinegared middle age.
Pittman cutely scooped and Marshall… was mercurial in the extreme. He wouldn't get in the Weston-super-Mare squad. Robertson's roaming was defeated by the bobbling divots and Town started to mentally leave early, to beat the absent traffic. The Seagulls were anything but absent, keeping on keeping on; jolly laudable it was.
A free kick out beyond the right-hand corner of the penalty area, in Townsend territory. Grubb sketched out some thoughts on a brillo pad and coiled towards the top right corner. The pink plunger flew right for a top notch top corner claw onto the post and away. Super free kick, superb save. Super… grrrrrrrreat.
Around this point Clifton replaced Tait and East retreated. Clifton gave it a go. Neat passing. Got stuck in. Good lad
Around this point Clifton replaced Tait and East retreated. Clifton gave it a go. Neat passing. Got stuck in. Good lad. Around this point Robertson swayed a simply scrumptious pass around the last defender to Omar, dead centre. Bogle bore down on goal with Lenny-esque poise, waited for Purnell and feebly scooped straight at the keeper. Up went an arm to flip aside and the Westoners rolled away upfield in party pack Toblerones. Micro-man McClennan body-popped in the centre circle and dribbled up to the edge of the penalty area, tickling and teasing a pass behind Robertson. Wilson shrugged off a celtic hip haul and, from a very narrow angle, swished low across Jamie Mack and inchlets past the far post.
Omar missed again. We can't avert our eyes and clear our minds; he was offside anyway. Here's number four. Miss number four. Their giant centre-back passed directly to Henderson, exactly in the centre, with no-one else around, 25 yards out. The Surrey stroller with the fringe on top lolled forward, watched the keeper advance and silkily scooped. The gentle parabola was intercepted by the last of Purnell's flingers and the matter was pawed aside. Oh well, no harm done.
Arnold replaced Bogle. Oh well, no harm done. Arnold ran around quickly. That is all. I haven't mentioned Marshall recently. There is a reason.
And finally, for all their teasing and pleasing, the Seagullers had one last effort. From way away, a long, long shot was lamped lowly and the strawberry saver swished aside with disguised discomfort. You have to admire their pluck and ambition. And style.
Three minutes were added. East got himself booked for chest beating and Clifton shimmied a shot which at least caused Purnell to get in the way.
Enough was done, eventually, but this isn't saying much for those in reserve. They rarely did good things, they often did bad things and they barely did anything out of the blue. No-one did anything to break the ice and get in the first team.
Let's just move on shall we. It's all about the Big Mo.