Dandies on parade

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

10 March 2016

Grimsby Town 1 Southport 0

On a dead end night, on dead end street, a dozen Sandpipers swingled through the drizzle sheets and into the heart of darkness. What shall we do to fill the empty spaces where waves of boredom roar?

Town lined up in the usual, some say normal, 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, Tait, Pearson, Nsiala, Horwood, Arnold, Nolan, Disley, Monkhouse, Amond, Hoban. The substitutes were Robertson, East, Clay, Jennings and Pittman. And still no Omar, fallen into the Marshall void with Commander Straker. Hello… how are you? Have you been alright through those lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely nights?

Southport bounded out in lurid lime yellow. There you are, what a pretty picture.

First half: The shifting whispering sands

Town kicked off towards the Pontoon and triangulated them Toblerones. A corner in the Burgerbar corner, elevated lightly, Monkhouse arose at the near post, the ball bumbled out and Toto poke-prodded through the mellow yellows. Crocombe slipped low and left to flip onto the post and Amond wandered lonely as a cloud to be-jigger in from a yard or two. Less than a minute to win it.

Another minute, another suitcase in another hall. Punt, dink, wink and whack. The Hobanator: inches high and millimetres wide.

Another minute, another raid. Horwood swooned and Amond stooped to flick on a bouncy castle straight at Crocombe.

Welcome to the Cleethorpes Operatic Society's presentation of Showboat. Gotta keep rollin'.

Heads clashed and the yellows had a mass ding-dong sorting out the underwear as brows were mopped. They found the keys to their minibus and reversed it past the ambulance, past the collapsible goalposts by the police hut and gently into position in front of the Pontoon.

They headed a corner over the bar. They kept falling over. They kept chipping free kicks onto Gowling's head. I'm bored, you're bored, he's bored, she's bored, it's bored, we're bored, they're bored.

Good to hear the youth retain the local dialect: haddock patois. Or is that the Ocean's special on a Tuesday? With or without peas

Moments, merely moments of momentary maybes. Hoban twisty-flicked and fell; Amond passed to Crocombe's shins. Nolan wellied into the sophisticated depths of the Pontoon, disturbing study groups pondering existentialism on the East Marsh. More unmagical moments between the chuntering chattering of the youth of today. Good to hear them retain the local dialect: haddock patois. Or is that the Ocean's special on a Tuesday? With or without peas.

McKeown rubbish rabbit-punched rubbishly and a yellow claimed to be in peril. A dive from a diva, Gowling deflected danger and old bald Jones wellied wide.

Horwood arced over Amond and under Arnold. Ah, so near, yet not near at all. Horwood arced again and Amond carefully steered a header straight at the keeper.

Them again? How cheeky. Town faffed about, Horwood stopped, Gowling plopped and Jamie Mack shovel-flopped Hewitt into the nearest sandpit.

Attritional irritation with Town in need of irrigation.

Second half: Experiments with mice

Neither team made any changes at half time.

For 50 more minutes men moved on the grass under the beautiful sparkling spotlights. A cross here, a cross there, and everyone mildly miffed by the mundanity and drift.

Nolan nicked and Arnold crossed through the six-yard box. I clutched that straw and grasped no nettles.

Clay replaced Nolan. Monkhouse headed meekly and hobbled off. On came Jennings, who scuttled and scuffled a cross. The keeper parried. Hoban was felled several years away and everyone got in a terrible tizz over nothing, which rather describes this game.

They had a corner. I only mention it to give the illusion of activity. Four minutes were added and, finally, in added time something almost happened. A swinging cross from the left was delightfully directed back across Crocombe, who undelightfully sprung low and right to spectacularlyish parry away.

East came on for… Amond. I am sure that happened, or was it just an illusion?

The ref carried on being a silly-billy and fell for their falling. Arnold poked and Almond croaked.

Less than nothing occurred after nine o'clock. Three minutes of football, ninety minutes of nurdling nonsense.