Regarding ennui

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

1 January 2017

Grimsby Town 0 Blackpool 0

It's the end of the year as we know it, do you feel fine? It started with Guiseley, it ends with Blackpool. That's progress for you.

A middling, nothing day of anonymous animosity with just over two hundred Blackpuddings stretched across the Osmond. No fun, no sun, no wonder it's dark and silent. I see humans sitting in seats, but everyone around is acting like a total stranger. There's a kind of hush all over the ground. Perhaps everyone is worried where the goals will come from in the absence of Vernon.

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 type formation as follows: Henderson, Mills, Collins, Pearson, Andrew, Bolarinwa, Comley, Summerfield, Vose, Chambers and Bogle. The substitutes were McKeown, Davies, Gowling, Jones, Disley, Vernon and Jackson. Vose was restored to the wing while Chambers was fluttering around Omar. That's a very old bench – perhaps we could Flog It and go on the holiday of a lifetime?

Blackpool, being clever types, realised that bright orange and white shorts clashes terribly with monochrome shirts and black shorts. They turned up tangled up in blue.

It hasn't even started and we're bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored. Bored.

First half: While you were sleeping

Town kicked off towards the Pontoon. Vose dribbled, Blackpuddlers scribbled notes. When I wake up early in the first half I lift my head, but I'm still yawning.

I see footsteps slowly walking. I can't see how Town think they'll ever score again. There goes Town's only possession, there go the boys in blue. Destiny is calling, opening up his eager eyes, 'cos he's Mr Bright Osayi Samuel. Nah, Pearson crushed his dreams like a grape with a crackerjack snap.

Please, don't wake me, no, don't shake me, leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping…

…Huh, what's that? Did something happen while I was in another land where the breeze and the trees and the flowers were blue? I awoke, is this some kind of joke? Zak! hurled from under the Police Box, there was hibble, there was bibble and the ball bounced around into the very centre of the penalty area. Summerfield ducked, a blue foot hooked up his nostrils and the referee put his whistle to his mouth and… play continued.

Off they raced with many against nary a stripe. A tickle to their left and Vassell was only waiting for this moment to break free. He whelped lowly and the lonesome loanee swooped leftly to make us swoon with a grappling finger tipper past the right post. Henderson caught the corner, probably. And if he didn't, he would have done if he'd tried to.

Around the 20th minute Chambers collapsed in a challenge and was, eventually, replaced by Jackson. Chambers had been a complete waste of time playing as Omar's chum.

Omar swayed and swung around a serial groper and bedraggled limply and lowly. Slocombe carefully collapsed to his left and failed to miss the ball

Ah, that's better, a candy-coloured clown they call the sandman. I close my eyes… I looked to the sky where an elephant's eye was looking at me from a bubblegum tree and all that I knew was a hole in Blackpool's defence was almost letting in water. Bogling and bundling, Summerfield in-stepped and friggled a low fruggle from inside the D and into Mrs Slocombe's mittens.

Blue Bogle-bundling under the Police Box and a Blackpuddler was given a fixed penalty notice. Andrew and Vose debated the ethics of Essex, and the metamorphic stages of the frog, just to distract the tourists. The Frozen Horsebeer Standers arose to acclaim Andrew as he whipped some cream to the near post. The ball drizzled and dripped over the bar and rebounded into the back of the back of the nettage as two Blackpuddings swung.

Suddenly things were almost starting to happen.

Underhits and overhits and Henderson calmly swept up the chiff and chaff of naff back-passings. Vose swung his pants and delightfully dinked into the yawning centre as Summerfield infiltrated. Alas, the ball skipped on gaily. A series of scratchings were swept out to Vose, in the shadow of the Frozen Horsebeer Stand. The Ozil of the Fourth shrugged his shoulders, dropped his aitches and drifted a dreamboat googly into the feet of Bogle on the corner of the six-yard box. Omar swayed and swung around a serial groper and bedraggled limply and lowly. Slocombe carefully collapsed to his left and failed to miss the ball.

Slippings and slidings and the blue horde swept through the sea defences. Mr Brightside shinned on into the outer depths of the penalty area. Henderson flew out to the farthest left corner, sliding feet first and spinning on his bottom at the same time. Samuel poked the ball on and out and fell to earth. Up went the tangerine 200 and the ground waited for the fickle finger of fate to point spotward. One, two, three, four, let them watch a little more. Five, six, seven, eight, it always pays to make them wait. Nine, ten… goal kick.

Wahey! And take that yellow card too, you bounder.

Well, that's a bonus.

Two minutes were added. Scrufflings out wide, Andrew sniffled a scriffler easily wide of near post.

Was I dreaming or was it really that tedious?

Second half: Attack of the 50-yard passes

Neither team made any changes at half time. As the kick was about to off, Summerfield gingerly gingered off and Disley hurriedly put on a shirt.

So there were changes after all.

Them and stuff. Big blocks of Town cheese, but fortunately no-one melted. Henderson scooped up a soft wibbler. Stuff and them. Comley was disrobed and Vassell swung a coiler from afar. O'Henderson. O O O O O oh Henderson, you do spoil us. Flying high and left, O'Henderson gilded many lilies with a spectacular flying parry-punch. What a splendid picture that will make for you to sign and for Town to auction off with your shorts.

Maybe if we think, and wish, and hope, and pray, it might come true. Wouldn't it be nice if Town passed, maybe moved, perhaps even had a shot? Ah, your hopes and dreams came true. Everybody seems to think he's lazy. He doesn't mind, he thinks we're crazy. Vose glided infield, ballerinaed beyond the human in blue and wibbled a wobbler inches beyond the far left post. A pair of Millsian doodlings were dangled but no-one bought at the auction. Tombola almost had a shot, but was smothered in blueness.

Something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear. The left side lopsided, like a Modern Romantic's hair

And you can have your post-pie perambulation around your own head. Don't worry, I'll give you a little nudge when something happens.

Oi, wakey, wakey! Something's happening here, what it is ain't exactly clear. The left side lopsided, like a Modern Romantic's hair. Cullen arose at the near post to glance past the far post as Henderson pumped up his ego and tried to pump up the volume of the Pontoon. Someone laughed and some cried; the rest carried on glaring into the void. Mills brilliantly blocked after more tippy-tappy snapchatting from the trippers.

Slackness and slapdashery with a seaside special slapshot shivering over Hendofingers and the bar. A dim chuck across the middle of the middle put Dizzer in a pickle and simply set up a Blackpuddle attack. The ball was slipped to the unmarked Cullen, who helpfully and hopelessly shanked a slasher into the deepest recesses of the Pontoon. Other things from them, foundering on last-ditch shins. They simply ground on and on as Town ground to a halt.

Disley got hot under his collar and took off his thermal vest. Perhaps a clear view of his tattoos discombobulated the Lancashire lollipoppers.

Jackson scriddled free and scuffed lowly through the middle of the six-yard box as no Townites appeared. Omar wobbled weakly, or weakly wobbled, and then was felled by a distant sniper for a distant free kick. Vose arced an outswinging drooper into the centre beyond many heads, to the far post beyond many feet. Collins stretched and diverted wider.

Three minutes were added. Please, don't spoil my day, I'm miles away, after all everyone is sleeping. Including the Town defence. A dink from their left and Cullen, at the far post, leaned back and gently grazed away and the game faded away to grey.

It should have been worse, but wasn't. It was the sort of game Town would have lost a couple of months ago. Uninspiring but important dullness.

And where are we now midway through the season? Mid-table, mid-range, the middle of nowhere, which is fine really. No-one who was at North Ferriby on 14 July 2016 would have thought that humanly possible. Not too bad, all things considered. It'll do.