Groundhog games: Eastbourne (h)

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

30 October 2010

Grimsby Town 2 Eastbourne Borough 2

Welcome to Punxsutawney, Lincolnshire. They say we're young and we don't know, we won't find out until we grow a sense of perspective. Let's try: there were thirteen in the Eastbourne charabanc. They have more players than supporters, as do the management of Grimsby Town Football Club plc. Mr Woods must watch his bottom line, for it's Mad John's Sacking Season. Do they use perspective glass for the corporate loungers' whiskey and gin?

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: O'Donnell, Bore, Atkinson, Garner, Ridley, Coulson, Wright, Cummins, Eagle, Connell, Peacock. The substitutes were: Arthur, Kempson, Hudson, Wood and Ademeno. Bore was right back where he started the season, Peacock was back up front and Kenny Fingers was back on the bench. There is nothing else to say: it's just a bunch of blokes in black and white.

Eastbourne wore a very red kit: would Town turn very red at five o'clock?

First half: Come on
They kicked off. They kicked it in to the Findus. Someone threw the ball back. Idiots! That's how to spoil a picnic.

Slow, slow, slower-slower, slow. Slow. Slllllllllow. Slllllllllllllllllllllllllllllow. Stop! Slow. Slow. Ssssssssssslllllllllllllloooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww.

Connell offside.

O'Donnell rolled it to Bore, who passed to Garner, who passed to Atkinson, who passed to Ridley, who passed to Garner, who passed to Bore, who lumped it nowhere near the ear of Needlenose Ned. You know, Ned the Head. You know, Lee Peacock, our Old Ned. He's a character. But is he still a footballer?

Eastbourne walloped it straight down the middle. O'Donnell ran out, missed the ball and chased it back towards goal, with a Boroughboy in hot pursuit.

Shush! Hush! There's a certain little forward who's on our mind, no doubt about it he looks so fine. Charles Ademeno, the pocket silver dude flexed his pecs to the dentists. Such a lovely smile, he doesn't suffer from odontophobia.

Nah, nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah, nah-nah-nah. Can someone please turn that iPod off, there's a football match going on. Isn't there?

Slllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllow. When someone said Town could win a trophy this season did we mishear? Town atrophied. Ho-ho, the ribs do tickle the fickle as Town got in a pickle. Go get a sickle.

Eastbourne broke away, their Rooney shot straight at O'Donnell. It was something in the tumbleweed.

Town were patient, possessive and profoundly deaf as the ball always ended up with Bore, who always chumped it long and high to where Peacock had no intention of being. They say we're young and we don't know, we won't find out until it's time to go home.

Eh up, what's this then? Eagle chipped a free kick to the far post. A free header. A Peacock free header. Slow, loopy, wide and completely devoid of hope. The Findusians fooled themselves with an "Oooooooooooooo". Ah, those long gone memories of "Oooo"-some moments. Now, it's just gruesome.

Eastbourne simply stood around in front of their own fan and watched the black and white rabbits feed the head. When Neil Woods is talking backwards the Main Stand tells him where to go.

Remember what the dormouse said...

Shall we indulge in a double Connell swiping? Town passed pleasingly but the corpse was without a pulse. Welcome to the afternoon of the living dead.

Eastbourne mishit a cross and it nearly went in. They hit a shot and it nearly stayed in the ground. These were the moments, these were these days of our lives. This was it, this was simply everything.

Please stand back everyone, we're going to use the defibrillator. One, two, three...

Eagle barundled, Connell mumbled and Ridley trundled and took a touch instead of shooting. Eagle floated a corner and they cleared to the centre of the D. Coulson shouldered the burden to his right and flabbergasted a shimmering sucker through heads and tails and into the bottom right corner.

There's a pulse! Grimsby's alive!

Eastbourne moaned to the referee about something. Now, who is caring about that sort of thing these days?

The visitors dispatched war rocket Rooney with some twisty-turny, bumbly-stumbly Towny nonsense of non-defending. Rooney crossed low and flat, O'Donnell flicked and the ball rumbled to some bloke - later identified as that bloke who was on their left - six or seven yards out. Garner flung himself across and superbly blocked with his bottom. Finally we do unto them what they do unto us every week.

There's a kind of hush, all over the world tonight, all over the world...

What? Oh, you didn't realise that the half-time whistle blew five minutes ago. I understand your need for a siesta; Blundell Park is the perfect place to come.

Second half: Little red rooster
Neither team made any changes at half time. They say we're young and we don't know, we won't find out until they score a goal.

Town kicked off. Town kicked it in to the Findus. Someone threw the ball back. Idiots! That's how to spoil a party!

There was a... no, that was later. Then... no, that was just a dream. Ah, yes, Eagle. He swayed and swished and skulked a surprising slapper which Rrrrrrrrrrrrrikki the keeper slurped up to his left. Rrrrrrrrrrrrriiiiiiiiikkki wore a fetching powder blue ensemble.

Slow, slow, slower, slower, slow. Slow. Slllllllllow. Slllllllllllllllllllllllllllllow. Stop! Slow. Slow. Ssssssssssslllllllllllllloooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwww.

O'Donnell rolled it to Bore, who passed to Garner, who passed to Atkinson, who passed to Ridley, who passed... who passed... who passed... who lumped... why is Old Ned still a footballer?

Eastbourne flipped, flipped, and flipped again into the centre of the area. Bore headed out softly and straight to the unmarked, in-rushing Rooney. From eight yards out he swept low and hard across O'Donnell. Ah, the force was with you Luke.

Well they've scored a goal now, we'll soon find out what we don't know.

A bit of this and a bit of that from Wright bumbled near Connell. A bit of that and a bit of this from Wright crumbled at Ridley's boot. Wide, high and forgotten before... what was that again?

Wright was clumped, then a Boroughboy held his hand as the Bunnyman advanced. The referee was blind to this heinous act of Hell's Granny mugging. Then Wright was booked for the very next foul he committed. The ref had it in for him from the start, you know.

Bore did something, then wasted his time with a tippling nurdlebunger straight at Rrrrrrrrrrrrrikki. Eagle flimbled and dimpled across the area, sweating a pass into the path of the unmarked Cummins in the middle of the D. T-i-i-ime was on his side, yes it was. Go ahead, go ahead and light up the Town baby! Cummins slurped straight at Rrrrrrikkki's throat. Another minute, another Cummins volley; a rather excellent scissor-volley blocked by one of their anonymous defenders.

Peacock tackled Wright. Peacock blocked Eagle. Peacock's contributions to Eastbournian safety were not being appreciated locally.

They say we're young and we don't know, we won't find out until they score a second goal.

A Town half-attack died with a huge hump out of defence way, way, way down their left, deep, deep towards the corner flag. The Lower Findusians hollered and wailed for offside as tiny Taylor chased. Garner lumbered and marked space. Taylor cut in, cut inside and from the edge of the area perhaps seven or eight yards out, swerved a lofty dipper up, over and around the crumbling O'Donnell. Utter silence in the ground, followed by some Town fans applauding the audacity.

And all the while Ademeno had been waiting, and on he came for the ephemeral Coulson. A minute later Hudson replaced Cummins. Peacock was still on the pitch. There was little support for this in the empty stands.

Their sub walloped low, O'Donnell saved easily. Cue another substitution: Wood for Bore. SPB had been shoddy, but Peacock remained on the pitch. There was no support for this in the emptying stands.

Eagle bounced infield and reverse-swung to Ademeno. The silver dude bumped and barged and badgered his way into the penalty area with the third red boot finally diverting. Connell retrieved with his back to goal, way out towards the right corner of their area. The foxy silver lining spun, felt a small tickle on his ankle and fell with a double salchow. Penalty. Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrikki twanged the bar and dived the right way as our foxy in the boxy swept low and hard into the bottom corner: Connell the saviour. They say we're young and we don't know, we won't find out until he's sold.

They'd long since given up attacking, and so Town dominated without conviction or purpose, poise or much professionalism. Town were a weird 4-1-2-2-1 formation with Wright the fulcrum and Peacock the... no, let's not use language that will offend.

Wright slithered and slathered wide after what was looked back upon, in context, as 'good football'. Peacock got in the way again, then started to do his old trick of giving away free kicks every single time the ball went near him with obvious leans and scrapes. Then Peacock tackled Ademeno.

Hudson nearly stumbled through; Connell spun and sliced wide. Wood British-bulldogged the mighty Pacquette aside on the halfway line but Eastbourne were wasteful on the counter attack, barely getting over the halfway line before passing out for a throw-in.

Ademeno rocked and rolled. With his stocky little legs and massive muscles, he rollerballed opponents aside. Dear Santa, please let Charles be fit for more than 26 minutes every calendar month.

And, in added time, a corner floated off a red head to Connell, unmarked a dozen yards out. He waited and wafted a lofted dink way over the bar.

And that was that.

An awfully dull, flat game, with dormant opponents and doormat hosts. Town were fearful, fretful crabs, forever passing the buck sideways, confusing possession with purpose. Holding on to the ball is a good thing, but not if you are going to end up chucking a long diagonal ball towards someone who is 65 per cent Steve Livingstone and 35 per cent Isaiah Rankin. The bad 65 per cent and 35 per cent. He can't move, he won't move; he can't score, he won't score. He is left with the appearance of a footballer. Town are wilfully starting each game with 10 men.

In parts, occasionally, Town cohere and impress, but Town are a collection rather than a collective. They are disparate individuals doing desperate things. And (whisper it quietly) Connell is playing generally quite poorly now.

And we all know it's really Peter Bore's fault - he should never have told the Telegraph he saw no reason why Town wouldn't win every game in October. 'Cos it's Town, you berk.

The fear of being out of range of a mobile phone signal is nomophobia. Now that's something that none of the absent Town fans get during the hours from 3pm to 5pm every Saturday.