Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
21 April 2016
Woking 1 Grimsby Town 3
A police car and a screaming siren, a pneumatic drill and ripped-up concrete. Welcome to Woking on an unbitterly pleasant evening. Around 233⅓ exiles in various textiles strung along the shallow sideburns and halfway up the Big End awaiting the news of the world: is the Hooobanator back? The truth is what you see, not what you read. No, not quite. Wahey-ish.
Town lined up in a wild, wild Wurlitzer 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Tait, Gowling, Nsiala, Horwood, East, Nolan, Disley, Monkhouse, Amond and Bogle. The substitutes were Pearson, Clay, Jennings, Pittman and Hoban. Amond and Bogle: back together at last, like Chas 'n' Dave. Let's rock out some boogie-woogie piano and have a sing-song: it's party time.
The grass was long and tufty, and the penalty areas full of divots. And the game hadn't even started. Watch out Jamie Mack, that's a sinkhole, not the six-yard box.
Read between the lines and you'll find the truth.
First half: Start!
The Cardigans kicked off towards the Little End and ten seconds of tasty triangulation ended with a Nolan starburst and underpass. A nice little chaser to whet the appetite.
Ticking, tocking and Townites flocking like greedy gannets towards the sinkhole end. Monkhouse nodding, Noland prodding, Amond near and Omar not far away. Bogle clenched his strubbles and wibbled a wobble. Cole parried. Nolan waltzing, Bogle barundling. Crosses, corners, passes. Shots. Things. Happening. Shapes of things before my eyes, just teach us to despise the toshery and tinkering. Will time make Hurst more wise?
Interesting, very interesting! Just look at his face, just look at our faces. Pitter-patter feet and chicken tikka masala flummoxed the local lads on the left. Monkhouse swept simply and Amond, with his back to the Big End, flicked on and across the edge of the penalty area, swayed and slashed a whipping dipper around Norman, around and over the clutching claws of Cole and into the left of the goal. Oh, you have to say that's magnificent.
It's the shape of things that should come.
Omar ooh, Amond aah. Ooh, aah, ooooh, aaaaaah. Ooooooooooh, it's like butter through a knife. Town triumphant toreadors toying with the bull. Ole, ole, ole, ole. Bogle boggling and Nolan blocked, or was it Monkhouse, or was it Disley? Dear sirs, 'twas all three. The Cards a torn and tattered curtain through which the stars of the show danced and sang and told jokes, old and new. Meet the boys who will entertain you. Oh my word, did you ever see such a thing? Omar back-boggled a flick over his head, Amond nodded on, Nolan plodded and the last boot in Woking saved their gammon and the game. Triangles. Running. Passing. Elan and elation, with cornered elevation to boot.
Moore oohs, more aahs. Amond underhit a swivel, Amond swiped over through the divots. Crosses grazed away from lurking blue.
And them? One thing and three twinges. East stupidly slid stupidly. Norman coiled the free kick over the wall onto the outside of the post and out for a throw-in. McKeown scooped a long scuffler. Tait was crushed at a cross and some slender chap cleared his throat. That was all they had during momentary lapses of Town reason.
And finally Omar squellied over from another sumptuous flick and flock around the clock.
Pictures at an exhibition, such blues variation.
Second half: Just who is the nine o'clock hero?
Neither team made any changes at half time, though Woking seemed to have shuffled their Cards. Wasn't that bloke over there before, and that one over there? Oh, wingers.
Oh, fast wingers, winging fastly and Town sinking towards the hole. Jamie Mack was feeling bored and drowsy, while his defence was sitting in the penalty area reading a book with no pictures or conversations. McKeown looked up and noticed a small ball fly past. Suddenly it disappeared down a rabbit hole to a fantasy land where a Grimsby goalkeeper drops the ball a yard out from goal and nothing happens.
Nothing happened. Move along.
Is that the best example we have of literary nonsense?
Whoops, steady on Town. Moments of nearlyness from the red swarm. Ah, nice one Omar, nice one son. Let's have another one. He wiggled and waggled and wellied like Amond. Cole leapt right but the ball moved to his left. A grope and slap and Amond was pounding to pounce. A red arm diverted the Irish rover and Cole clutched.
C'mon Town, keep it down.
Please fast forward 15 minutes. There's nothing to see but bob-bob-bobbing bobbins. Confused by Irish eyes smiling? Woah, you went too far – go back 37 seconds. A chip up the left and Bogle bounced and tippled into the flightpath of the Dizzer. Holes. A tickle on and the remarkably unmarked Amond calmly advanced, waited for Cole to sigh, and clipped over the prostrate plunger.
Well, that's that then. No worries.
Ah, worries. Town sat back and Woking were working. Woking wondered and wondered. A cross uncleared, uncleared again and uncleared again, and clipped and flicked and the unmarked Andrade slapped inside the near post as oranges peeled and here we go again.
That sinking feeling. Sinkholes and sinking back, Woking alive to the sound of their own music. Town strapped and stripped, flailing on the flanks and crosses flashed through open legs and open goals. Shots flicked up off feet and toes and divots, flicking wide and flapping over. A shot-cross flickered off a floppy fringe and into McKeown's chest. And out. And back into his chest.
And relax. We're passing again. Monkhouse grazed a header wide, Bogle boggled over, Nolan volleyed into the snooker club and Tait wafted airily into the nether regions. Amond chased into the corner of the penalty area, shrugged aside mere piffles and slapped high into the roof of the net from a narrowing angle.
Time simply slipped by in a blur of blue substitutions and the sight of Town fans edging to the exit to catch the last train to London.
Bogle and Amond = excitement, goals, victory. Facts are facts.