Running on empty

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

31 December 2017

Grimsby Town 0 Accrington Stanley 3

Well, here we all are, as happy as can be in the land of the Fenty. Drink another coffee and try to stay awake; it's just another day, another game, another hoofball and another bore.

Another day of nibbling numbness with a wicked wind blowing into the faces of every single one of the 79 Accringtoners down in the Osmond. They're from Lanky-Lanky-Lanky-Lanky-Lankyshire; they're used to it.

Town lined up in the traditional festive 4-4-2 formation as follows: Killip, Mills, Clarke, Collins, Davies, Dembele, Rose, Summerfield, DJ Jinky, Matt and Jones. The substitutes were Dixon, K Osborne, Woolford, Berrett, Hooper, Cardwell and Vernon. Seventeen men in search of an author.

What more can I say? Accrington kept their tracksuit tops on as long as possible and, by popular demand, Killip's had his fringe lopped off. Sensible hair for sensible soccer.

I have nothing more to say. Let's just get this over and done with.

First half: Urge for offal

Town kicked off towards the Osmond. Well, someone did, they must have done, for Town were kicking towards the expanse of emptiness. That's the physical void, not the metaphorical, allegorical, existential or emotional void that is the Town support.

Town need to order some longer studs.

DJ jinking, winking, blinking and sinking into the red jelly. Dembele dribbled, Mills dithered and red socks slithered. A corner.

There is nothing.

Clarke, shortly long chucking. Summerfield crinkled a low, slow dipper widely. There is nothing.

A red tip towards the corner twixt Pontoon and Police Box. Collins slipped, Jackson whipped, Summerfield blocked by Kee and McConville carefully side-footed wide from the penalty spot. That should have been something.

There is nothing. Nothing. Nothing. There is nothing.

Big punts and little shunts as Killip collided with Mills. Bibbles bobbled as Town wobbled. It's still nothing. Davies used his charm to halt a nipper napper. Jackson was booked after Donacien wasn't for a double dose of Mills culling. Kee collapsed and McConville coiled around and over the wall. Killip flung low and left to parry-punch aside. What happened next?

Ooh look, a big red boat.

Jones. No reason, just thought I'd mention him.

Ah, you missed it, that one was blue.

The red hordes swarmed. A Town mess, plopping and dropping and Kee, alone on the edge of the six-yard box, leant back and successfully swiped over the bar. What a swellegant, elegant misser he is. A corner, a free header thumpled back across the face of goal from double-barrelled Dickie Toffeeman.

And three minutes were added because we got distracted by a fascinating cloud.

Knock-kneed and hackneyed: it was ever thus. If we're not waiting for a pass or two we're waiting for a bus. Or a taxi for Mr Slade. How much is he paid to create this anti-tainment?

Second half: Evening of swing (has been cancelled)

Neither team made any changes at half time.

What's to do, what's to see round here? We linger and gawp when the council dig a big hole, and we cheer for a corner and don't know why as they rarely lead to a goal. Sladeball, Sladebore, what a chore, will we ever score?

Flibble, dibble, soil and scribble, Jackson sneaked adroitly and Killip tweaked aside with minor spectacularness. Mis-shapen twaddling from Town with red twirling and swirling. Demeble bounced off Donacien down by the covered corner and the cat crept along the bye-line, looked up and licked back. McConville looked in his rear view mirror, saw Rose waiting to follow him on the roundabout and slammed on his brakes. Kerching! The insurance scammer arose to celebrate the pay-out with his mates down the pub, as Town paid the penalty for not paying attention. Kee waited for Killip to sail left before rolling right down the right.

Summerfield curled around and over the bar from afar. And there's you, wishing on a star.

Ding-dong, ding-dong. Hello, is there anybody in there, is there anybody home? Knock-knock, who's there? No Town defenders. No Town defenders who? No Town defenders who bothered to go near the ball and challenge a Stanleyman at any point, that's who. Yes, I know that's not funny, but it is joke defending.

Piddles and fiddles in red, Kee spun and dinked from their right as monochromers admired his Spanish steps. McConville zoomed above and around Mills, frozen on the penalty spot, to thwonk back across Killip and in off the underside of the crossbar.

Jones. There is a reason why I'll mention him. Pants were swung and Jones sliced a swisher that simply faded away.

Say hello and wave goodbye to another few hundred non-returnable fans flipping their seats and lids. Goodnight fainthearts, well it's time for you to go

And on came Cardwell for DJ, a straight swap. The trouble with Harry? He didn't touch the ball for 20 minutes. That's what happens when you play as a Town 'striker': your life is doomed to be an endless forlorn chase after aimless chips.

A mess of nonsense upon nonsense. Can't Phil Collins help us with a charity single? Matt was booked for seeking solace in some amateur archaeology, digging up a Stanleyman and finally giving them a reason to howl and whine and waste some more time. Dembele dribbled through several counties, Jones stepped inside the last defender inside the six-yard box and a dandy highwayman dashed in to grab our attention, and the ball.

And so Hooper replaced Jones, with Cardwell moving centrally.

Another plunge after an imaginary lunge and another free kick. McConville swayed a swisher from a grand distance just over the angle of post and bar as Killip said hello and waved goodbye to the passing ball.

A red chuck by the dug outs was flicked on down the line. Action Jackson outpaced and outfought Collins, danced along the bye-line and swept a slap over the kneeling Killip into the top of the goal. Say hello and wave goodbye to another few hundred non-returnable fans flipping their seats and lids. Goodnight fainthearts, well it's time for you to go.

How can you laugh at a time like this? What else you going to do?

Some Hooperactivity with a jink and jive and low fizzer-cross parry-flapped in the corridor of uncertainty between Cardwell and Matt. Oh, and Clarke headed wide at a corner. Yeah, oh, so what. Dembele dribbled and wibbled and lilted vaguely goalwards through a thicket of heads. A red head arrived before goalkeeping gloves to snuff out the false hope. A red cross deflected behind the plunging Killip and Mills walked the ball away from the line.

Ah-ha, more added Hooperness to soothe a little soreness, and Summerfield's steer was pushed aside by the giant Accrington keeper, their jolly green giant. He has a name too: Chapman.

Four minutes were added during which Cardwell was snickled behind the last man and Chapman sighed leftly as we all sighed at the latest non-scoring striker. Look Stanleymen, you're just delaying your journey home with all this amateur theatrics, don't you want a fourth goal? Don't you want to go home? We do, we most certainly do, for that's another fine mess you've gotten us into Stanley.

As the players gingerly approached the Pontoon they were clearly informed, for the avoidance of any doubt, that the negative noises they heard were aimed exclusively towards the management, not them.

Other than stopping the opposition, I see no method at all. There is nothing here. Town aren't even interesting enough to be boring.