Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
9 April 2011
Grimsby Town 3 Kidderminster Harriers 3
There's no-one here.
Why are we here? The sun, the sea, the candy floss of Shouty and Shorty? This Town has long gone like a ghost town. Just how many fans will pay any more? You may live in a fancy apartment on the Avenue of Humberston, but where do you go to John Fenty, when you're alone in your head?
Yeah, sunny, lovely day, a hundred and something Kiddypeople, hardly any of us. Town lined up in the usual 4-4-2 formation as, woah, hold those galloping stallions as they leap over the empty, empty seats. Town lined up in a 4-3-3 as follows: Arthur, Samuels, Garner, Kempson, Wood, Hudson, Hughes, Oh Leary, Connell, Peacock, Coulson. The subs were Atkinson, Bore, Cummins, Eagle and Duffy. Hughes was the midfield fulcrum while Connell and Coulson spun on Peacock's top. It's going to be long ball again isn't it.
Arthur missed everything Croudson tapped at him in the warm-up and name check. Everything low went under and in; everything bouncing lurched off his chest and hands. He knelt in the mud, cursing the skies and thumping the ground. He didn't look content. He looked up at the scoreboard and saw his name in lights: ARTHER. The final indignity: his own employer can't be bothered to spell his name correctly. More Arthur on the rocks these days.
Kidderminster played in red and they all looked the same. Same height, same shoulders, same knees, same haircut and same outcome expected as normal. Normal is numb, dumb and a right rum do for a club that Once Were Kings.
Does any of this have any point?
First half: Kid gloves
Kidderminster kicked off towards the Pontoon with a pass and a pass and another pass. There's fancy! Practising for the Football League already?
Kiddy passed with a twiddle and ran down the middle. Arthur sprung and tipped aside with spectaculaborismousness. Kiddermen whirled like wheels within a wheel, never ending or beginning, like a carousel that's turning running rings around our loons. Ping-pong pinball in front of the Pontoon saw balls fly off thighs and shins; Connell slacked a clearance to Wee Shuey McPhee, who flannelled over. Near, but not far.
Town? Were visibly more committed, running around a lot and tackling with intent to get the ball. And in the end Samuels crossed dippingly well to cause a minor fricassee in the Findus Stand. A frozen fricassee, surely.
Samuels did the hokey-cokey trying to lever away a punt, sniggling the ball against his own hands. The free kick was tapped aside and Garner magnificently flew across to parry away with Arthurian spectaculaborismousness. What handball? No Kidderman appealed. Weird scenes inside the fools' goldmine.
More wiff-waff inside the Town penalty area with a game a donkey shins. Things can only get better: Town did another cross and Lewis flappy-dropped near a disinterested, distracted Peacock. Well, summer is here and the deckchairs of England are calling.
Well, well, said the rocking chair. Who'd have thought it. Town walloped and the ball broke this way and that, with monochrome booties poking and prodding vaguely. The levee broke as Hudson, 20 or so yards out, gracefully swished his left boot to caroon the ball in a dipping, whipping arc over the keeper into the top of the middle of the net in the goal. As the teenagers uttered: very Lorimeresque.
The Kids were united, they would never be divided by the mere flick of a foot, the rattle of a dying Town. Corners flicked off thighs and sighs, ricochets abounded, rebounds delighted wide. But Town's defenders defended, Samuels scraped his man into the toilets, Garner swept sawdust, Kempson flexed his biceps and Kenny Fingers stayed on his line as Hughes shielded the ball expecting a glove to scoop. Kenny Fingers came out for the corner...
Oh well, Kenny can't help about the mental state he's in. He came, we saw, he floundered. He tipped, not caught, a corner from their right and the ball was knocked back over his head. Garner rose and grazed to the edge of the area, instead of out for a corner. Hudson ambled towards Blair, who shimmered a skimmer back low across and under Arthur.
Town may have had a coherent attack. It is possible. Mr Shouty shouted at the referee, Mr Shorty disappeared and Peacock rose in front of Lewis and sniddled a free header wide. Town had moments of near adequacy at times, with Hughes shaping passes beautifully for team-mates he used to have a few years ago.
Now there was nearly something. A Town corner was cleared and Coulson took a touch, superbly snapping a volley across the face of goal. Lewis flew and parried, Garner upended his derriere and bicycle-kicked back to the lunging plunging keeper.
They ran up the other end and scored. Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Town allowed them to cross and Blair, four yards out, dunked a header down and past the frozen Arthur.
Ah, words that jangle in your head. Why doesn't summer come so quickly.
Second half: Kid Rock
Samuels was replaced by Bore at half-time. Samuels had been perfectly adequate. Who knows why things happen these days.
A funny thing happened on the way to the supermarket. Town started to play like a (non-)League team again: they played with intensity, they played with some integrity. Coulson surged and the corner flumped off Peacock's bleached follicles, Lewis parried and clung as Connell's boot neared. Peacock retrieved a cross, ploughed a lonely furrow under the Findus and scraped a cross into the centre of the penalty area. Oh. Leary rose alone and was left alone to cry alone. He was nearer the Imp than the goal.
Town rambled on, with Hudson hoity-toitering behind the defence, hitting the bye-line and crossing at head height. Peacock crinkled his nose like Samantha, but there were no modest but effective special visual effects accompanied by music to highlight the magic and Lewis clutched at his near post. Coulson robbed a boy under the Police Box, swung his pants left and right, swayed in to the penalty area to the bye-line but was blocked by a final red riding boot.
Ah, just hors d'oeuvres.
Whack! Hoof! Boom! Arthur punted and the ball dropped deep inside their half. Hudson flicked on and Connell rolled inside the penalty area. The ball bounced off his thigh up, up in the air, inviting and inciting him. Nothing's gonna change his world view - he leapt back, his legs swirling, the ball arcing in perfect parabola, p.a.r.a-bola, of beauty and precision into the top left corner. Simple harmonic motion.
It's a mixed-up, muddled-up, shook-up Town world except for the parabola of Connell's goal.
Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Town allowed Wright to wander and waft. Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Town allowed a cross to infiltrate the six-yard box. Arthur superbly parried and Bore shushed the puppies away.
Wood shaved a beard on the halfway line, Connell flicked and Coulson danced to the bye-line to dink delightfully into the centre of the penalty area. Peacock, unhindered by a red mist, grazed a flick header into the bottom right corner. This wheel's on fire!
Town flowed forward, searing the burgers in the barbecue. Wood did a Rambo rampage down the left, depositing his marker on the turf before carefully passing to the unmarked Oh Leary, who carefully steered across Lewis in to the bottom left corner. This wheel shall explode! With rage? The linesman's flag flickered and fluttered as the Town players spluttered. Offside? Who?
And still Town poured condensed milk upon tinned fruit. Connell sliver-volleyed a foot or two over, Leary speed ploughed down the centre on a breakaway. Coulson to his right, Peacock and Connell unmarked to the left. Just two red shorts panicked in front of him. Oh Leary, Ohhhhhhhhhh Leary, Oh dear, dear me. He smacked the ball right, and smacked the ball straight out of play for a goal kick. The few, the unhappy few that remain made some observations which were rammed full of pith.
About this time Cummins replaced Hughes. Hughes looks like he was an excellent player, and his brain still retains those memories.
Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Kiddy hit the post.
Connell was given offside when he wasn't and Lewis wellied upfield. The ball higgled and piggled, with Wood toe-ending and Cummins sinning and shinning as Blair nicked infield from their right. Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Bore half tackled and Blair slapped high and in from a narrow angle.
Red for blue: the Town world looks just the same, and history ain't changed yet. Remember the Tamworth equaliser.
Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle, Town didn't tackle and a funny dink was linked into Arthur's waiting arms from a few yards out. Every game ends the same: Kiddarlheadworth pressed, Town depressed.
But Town had moments. Bore attacked and stumped a cross beyond the far post. Peacock bumped back over the keeper and...oh nearly learly. A little red rooster clucked off Leary's head from a yard out. Maybe a shove and a shovel on Oh Leary, maybe not.
There were four minutes added time during which one of their players fell over and Connell stooped and steered a free header straight at Lewis from six yards out. That was that again.
Town played with more intensity. There's something, I suppose. It was relatively entertaining in the end, that's some something too. Not all bad.