Ailing and failing

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

25 April 2016

Grimsby Town 1 Chester 2

A spluttering two-sock day with around 200 or so cheerful Charlies from Chester cackling in the covered corner. Who's that coming over the hill, is it Marcus Marshall? Yes, it's Marcus Marshall. He exists! And you thought he was the new Glen Downey, just an accounting error, a replacement filler, a man for no seasons.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Tait, Pearson, Nsiala, Horwood, East, Nolan, Disley, Monkhouse, Amond and Bogle. The substitutes were Robertson, Clay, Henderson, Jennings and Pittman. It worked in Woking. Whatever will be, will be.

The Deviants rolled up in yellow with something old, something borrowed and something huge. Number 17, Astle, was Porkinesque in stature. Get out the chocolate cake and have a party in the Pontoon. Omar and Amond can go scouting for goals in blob-a-job week.

I see darkening clouds rolling over the Wolds. Do you see yonder cloud that's almost in the shape of a camel? Oh, sorry, that's Ryan Astle.

First half: From tepid…

The devious Deviants kicked off towards the Pontoon and that really was a lovely chocolate cake. Oh, Alabi, failed Big Unit mark IV, bundled about. What was that? A corner, low to the near post. Are you sure? Ah, you are Shaw. Carry on, there's nothing to see.

East flat-flobbled a big diagonal cross and Monkhouse, seven or eight yards out, stooped to steer a low nod. Thompson scrimbled low and right to flip away from the foot of the post.

East piddled, Alabi diddled and Horwood middled a long hop into the members' pavilion. Toto tottered and Alabi trotted away to tickle to the totally forgotten Chapell, who swibbled a swipe from their right. Jamie Mack lay low and flipped a flap up into the heart of the penalty area. Richards swung his pants and the goal was invitingly absent of monochrome. Toto tossed himself in front of the fire and Pearson thighed away off the line.

Toto lay motionless upon the turf. After a minute of Moorian manipulation, massaging and messaging, Nsiala returned, still clutching his side.

Slowly, slowly Town started to light the fire, wheezing the bellows and gently blowing upon the smouldering sticks. Tait dipped deeply, Monkhouse snaked beyond the fringe to tickle back and Amond, ten yards out, swivel-hoiked over. Monkhouse dinked, Bogle softly winked widely high. A-ha, the old squeezebox is playing: Town went in and out and in and out and in and out and in and out, dropping bombs from right to left and a flood of flips and tricks into the twilight zone 'twixt Dandy Thompson and his comic creations. Heh-heh-heh. Astles is more a man slag-heap than a man mountain.

McKeown missed a corner. So did everyone else. A couple of Cestrian crosses left the scene in body bags. That is all.

Monkhouse dissected amphibians, Horwood roamed and raided and Amond arose alone at the far post, five yards out. The rest writes itself; there's no need for hyperbole or the preening poetry of the pompous. It's Amond, so it's a goal, that's just the law, there's no need for the jury to retire. Eh, what, err, ahhhh. Ahem. A freak gust of wind blew the ball two inches towards Spurn Point and the impossible was made possible.

The moral of this story is don't count your chickens before they've crossed the road.

And still Town jigged to the accordion players jingling. Omar boggled and wiggled his woggle to spin and welly. Thompson spectacularly flew and jazz-handed aside. Monkhouse redinkled and things almost happened, but didn't as the Deviants smuggled rumly.

A quick chuck and Amond sneaked to the bye-line, twinkling a tickle across the face of goal to the unmarked East. An open goal. East took a touch and failed. The Charlie Chesters hailed a mighty yellow sprawl; homesters merely saw East fail.

There was one minute of added time and we have visions of volleys flying down to Rio.

It had the intensity of a pre-season friendly. No-one wanted to get hurt or run too far, too fast. Everyone was doing just enough to tick over until the real season starts

Town should have been several up, could have been singularly down. It had the intensity of a pre-season friendly. No-one wanted to get hurt or run too far, too fast. Everyone was doing just enough to tick over until the real season starts.

This tea party was a bit lukewarm. Stick it in the microwave for a minute at gas mark 5 (reduce for fan ovens). Ooh-ah, just a little bit more oomph and there's goals in them thar hills.

Second half: …to turgid

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Slow sweeps along the carpet and much fluff was removed. Monkhouse wafted well over.

Yellow moogling, monochrome droogling and general faffing about after a foul throw. Horwood slurped across the face of goal. The unmarked Tait headed back to where the slip-shod Horwood wasn't. A yellow dink and Rooney, a dozen yards out on the left, stepped inside a glove puppet and coiled around McKeown into the bottom corner.

Wakey-wakey. Well, plenty of time left, eh.

Dink, dink, dink, dink. We're sinking.

Toto wrestled with an imaginary octopus and down went a yellow man, way out right. The free kick was coiled high and obviously to the far post and a flying camel arose alone, two yards out with Toto and Monkhouse standing staring at each other. Oh. Astles the Porkboy had scored. An hour gone and several sulkers skulked off home.

Dink, dink, dink, dink. Why are we obsessed by Astles' forehead? Hey keeper, leave our posts alone.

A free kick, 20 yards out, and Horwood patheticked way, wimpily over. Dinking, dinking and finally accidental happenings. A chip slid off yellow and Omar, six yards out, drew back his right boot but was drowned in a sea of yellow. Off the cheeky Chesterians cantered. Alabi alarmingly scampered and hammered from afar. McKeown magnificently parried up and away. This isn't going well, is it?

Don't worry, a change is afoot, we'll bring on the popular hard-working goalscorer now. The whole ground stood up and applauded Ross Hannah. Oh, hang on, we're living in the past. Have we reached the Parslow Point? We usually do against Chester. On 70 minutes Monkhouse and Bogle were replaced by Jennings and Pittman.

Toto was felled again and was replaced by Robertson. And finally we have the perfect storm – a full complement of four full-backs on the pitch at the same time. Rusty Robbo partnered Pearson and was just as effective as the ailing Toto.

Jeez, I'm bored of watching Town chip the ball unerringly on to the tallest, flabbiest footballer's head. Is this what promotion looks like? Is this was promotion feels like? Dear reader, it does not.

Let's get this nonsense over with as quickly as possible. McKeown unkicked wildly when well out wide and Robertson blocked Hannah's loft towards the emptiest of nets. Pittman walked onto a dinkle under the artist formerly known as the Frozen Horsemeat Stand. Roaming Robbo coiled a deep dipper beyond the far post. Jennings collided with the ball, Amond's sweep was blocked and Disley carefully steered into the top left corner.

Ooh yeah, listen lads, we can still do this! McKeown chased the ball over the ground, clambering over seats, leaping barriers and wrestling with ball boys. There were four minutes added. Pearson shanked a free header over from five yards, Pittman flicked on a punt and Amond jauntily jinked around the slag heap and into the six-yard box. Thompson simply bowed at the feet of greatness, acknowledging the inevitable, prostate before the march of history. Amond slapped into the Pontoon and slapped the mud.

Yeah, woo, we're in the play offs. And done in such style.

Town. You fill me with inertia.