Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
8 April 2018
Grimsby 1 Chesterfield 0
Well, here it is and here we are. A season boiled down to one week, two games and three hours of football. This is it. Strap yourself in and soak up the irrationality of life. Everything is for the best in this, the best of all possible worlds.
I see skies of blue and clouds of white and queues to the loos way off to the right. And I say to myself what a wonderful world this can be on a still, clement afternoon on the Costa Del Troll with fifteen hundred Spirites still believing in miracles with their hot chocolate down in the Osmond.
Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Hall-Johnson, Clarke, Collins, Fox, Dembele, Summerfield, Rose, Woolford, Vernon and Hooper. The substitutes were Killip, Mills, McAllister, Cardwell, McSheffrey, DJ Jinky and Matt. It is time for us to laugh instead of cry. Better stop sobbing at that selection.
Chesterfield turned up in blue. Err, yeah, there we are. Shall we just go on with life?
1st half – drowning by numbers
Life is the name of the game and Chesterfield kicked off towards the Pontoon. Life can be terribly tame if you don't play the game with two.
To roar can be such a chore when you know Town won't score.
Men scurrying and burying their cheese in case it rains. It didn't rain, but it was poor. Oh, so poor. Tame blue-booted boobies landed on the deck and Mariners licked lips in anticipation. A sliver of saltiness and Fox coiled a free kick onto the roof.
Slow and yawnsome, 22 crabs scuttling around in search of a puddle.
Flushed with fever, embarrassed by the crowd, Fox floundered and Jamie Mack soothed any pain with his fingers as Hines was heading softly into his hands, heading it softly into his hands. To his hands.
Blue, blue, if there was anything at all it was blue. Brown swingled down the centre and Kellett stepped inside Fox to shuffle-scoop vastly over. Kellett grubbled lowly straight at McKeown. Kellet grubbled lowly straight at McKeown. Kellett, flattering with his flutterings near the flummoxed Fox.
A Town free kick miffled scruffily and Hall-Johnson plaster-boarded the hole in the fence. Minor fricassees in the frying pan of tosh, here and there. A poverty of passing, a surfeit of passion, incidents and accidents, hints and accusations that football occurred somewhere in Lincolnshire.
Not here, mate, try Skeggy.
He's here for the long hurl, if not the long haul. It's much ado about Mitch, the new school javelin champion, hurtling his flat-lining chucks into the centre of the panic zone. A scribble-off near the line and a scrubble nearly off the line. Almost passing, almost movement, almost famous. The infamous Hooper didn't pass to the unmarked Woolford and smirkled onto the roof of the Osmond. He brings joy to the world. At least the Derbyites were chortling.
Blue breaks at Mariners' mess, sailor’s warning.
Rose settled for a pose and Collins swept up the mess. Summerfield withered and many wept as he reverted to the York version – blind passing to blue, stumbling and a-fumbling in dark corners, diverting a desperate interception perfectly into the path of Dennis. A swivel and smack and Jamie Mack flew left to parry-punch spectacularly aside. The quick Brown jumped over the dogged Fox and lazily ambled to the bye-line. Collins lunged and the shot deflected up and against McKeown's chesty face at the near post.
With Town all of a terrible tither they reverted to the Wycombe patented 4-1-4-1 formation. A sense of calm and order was restored. In context. The gentle blue waves stopped nibbling at our toes.
And hello Hooper! Woolford persisted, Hooper flick around and over his marker into the vast vacancy inside the penalty area. Mr Ramsdale glided out and Hooperman flicked against the orangeman's chest.
That was the first half. That really was it. The flimsy against the clumsy. A neutral would not have been able to tell which was 22nd in the league and which was 23rd. It was a contrast in styles: stylishly vapid against the vapidly stylish. If there be a difference between the two teams, perhaps Chesterfield looked slightly less likely to not score by accident.
Oh Chesterfield, you are awful, but we're like you.
2nd half – ref in the afternoon
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Never mind the quality, feel the whiff of blue panic. Town upped their intensity, actually moving. The special new plan was put into operation. Get Mitch to chuck it.
Mitch chucked it.
Long and long and long again. Heads arose, heads squirmed, things almost happened. Clarke grazed a Roseball and Talbot hooked away from near the far post. Dembele dribbled through the rubble and Ramsdale parried back into the centre, where no Townite lay or lurked. Woolford wove daisy chains and Ramsdale parried back into the centre, where no Townite lurked or lay.
Oh yeah, them. A couple of thisses and thatters. An overhead kick squirted around briefly and Dennis, six yards out, softly grazed a header down to McKeown after Clarke dreamed about going to Barbados. How typically tropically inattentive of Slade's flagpole.
And more. More Town. Every movement forward collected a couple more decibels of desperate desire. Cross here, crosses there, everyone getting cross with Rose and Dembele as, on the edge of the penalty area, they tackled each other to slice out for a throw–in. On the other side of the pitch. Dembele carefully coiled waywardly beyond the far post as fellow stripes gathered nearby. Dembele dribbled through their drivel and Summerfield slid into an unmolested space eight yards out, dead centre. He nodded down and Ramsdale prodded back. The keeper prostrate, the ball bouncing and Rose awaiting. There's only ever one outcome when Town's leading scorer has an open goal in front of the Pontoon.
Ramsdale arose to flick-block Mitch's wafty prod.
Pressure. Crosses. Momentum gathered and neatly tucked under the skirting board.
And the tide began to recede. Trippers paddled. Small boys buried their sisters in the sand, and a donkey wandered by forlornly. DJ replaced Hooper.
Clarke imploded with a Cruyffian turn into blue. The ball rebounded off one of the blue-footed boobies and Dennis was bounding free. Oh look, a big red flag. You can still swim, but you should only go in the water if you're strong swimmer.
Cardwell replaced Vernon. Dembele fell over a hump back whale and on came McSheffrey.
Time ticking, ticking away, and these were the moments that made up a dull game. Town used to fritter away chances in an off-hand way. Chances? What is this word?
Ah-ha, Cardwell blocked a chip and lumbered after the ball, fumbling, stumbling, tumbling and grumbling about not getting a penalty for falling over his own toe nails.
Time, ticking. Ticking time. Five minutes left, three minutes left, two minutes left.
Time. Time… it's time
Under the bored walkers in the Frozen Beer Stand Rose chuckled longly deep, deep into the Chesterfield penalty area. Men arose and missed the ball. It bounded on, bouncing up and Nelson chested the ball aside, thumpling away downfield.
Handball we cried from the rear, and the front rank died laughing. Yeah, well, when you're desperate you'll claim anything. 1-2-3 wahey! The raspberry fool was pointing spotsward.
Hang on, who's going to take it?
When you find yourself in times of trouble Mitch Rose will come to thee. Rose stepped forward and staunchly side-footed into the bottom left corner as Ramsdale souffléd right. And the town came alive, humans falling over themselves and the fences to hug-a-hero, the man they never doubted. Ever. Honest. Someone took the mute button away and back came the noise. C'mon feel that noise, we're all crazy now.
Six minutes were added.
Yes six. Calm down, dear. The bluemen visibly collapsed, they just looked sorry for themselves. Sure, sure, Dennis swankled straight at Jamie Mack and Kellett scrimpled into the side netting. These are simply historical events of no importance. The die had been cast as these dreary Derbyites died inside as Town came alive. Look Igor, it's alive!
Well, there it was and it was what it was. We're happy, hope you're happy too at Booby Madley's gift of life. The patient was dying and needed resuscitation, now we'll see if it can breathe unaided.
At least we're still alive. That's the only thing that matters at the moment. We can plan our rehabilitation over the summer if there are no further complications.
Remember to send a thank you note to Dr Madley.