The charge of the lightweight brigade

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

4 November 2018

Leaf peeping's a thing now?

All the leaves are browning and the sky is surprisingly clear as six hundred Townites had a little Cambridgeshire dreaming on a winter's day.

Edgy eggs and queuing cumbers, rudely wakened from their slumber. Why's their mascot at the bus stop?

Town lined up in red in a 4-4-1-1 formation as follows McKeown, Hall-Johnson, Whitmore, Collins, Hendrie, Hooper, Mitch Rose, Clifton, Pringle, Embleton and Thomas. The substitutes were Russell, Famewo, Woolford, Hessenthaler, A Rose, Cook and Vernam. Embleton was in the Kingsley Black Hole with Pringle the deb invited to play on the left in this garden party. Town looked very small.

Cambridge. A bunch of Big Blokes down the middle. What more is there to say?

The time has come again for slaughter on the lawn by the still Cam waters.

First half: Float on

Town kicked off away from the light-coated brigade of hardy travellers with a roll back to McKeown and a wallop. A tall Amberman arose above Thomas the Tank Engine, and Town's triple bluff failed. Again. Punting by the Cam is not Jolley fun.

Early afternoon Cambridge, a motionless wind blows on the land. Biffing, barging, bundling and rumbling through Town's right. Redmen kept respectful distances from their hosts. Brown crossed and Lambe, unmarked eight yards out at the near post, beautifully shinned a spooning looper which crawled over the angle of post and bar. Reggie Lambe's shot flies out to Coldham's Brook.

Up in the air, down on the ground, Townite mood on the roof. Amberites felled by invisible wasps and free kicks on tap. Chipping, slipping, clipping and these darling buds be flipping useless.

Town with training-ground twirls and curls, Tobleroning when instant whips would be far tastier. Crosses tossed and sighed vaguely somewhere, once or twice. Pringle shingled but no toes tingled. Hall-Johnson slyly swerved a swinging fling to the near post. Embleton swiped, but an adult Amberman had already cleaned away the toys from the floor.

A link and dink, Hooper collided with Forde, and the keeper required a spray tan to keep young and beautiful. Remember: when you're seen anywhere with your hat off, have a permanent wave in your hair.

A welly from a wally way over. Well, that's nice. Messing about by the water and Brown jinked and jived across the face of the Town area, coiling around dead bodies for McKeown to soar and swat. The spaces between the gaps in your knowledge? Town in peril from the peeping fool. They fall, they get a free kick. They maul, Town get to feel sick at the injustice of life on the road to nowhere.

You know, I was feeling OK this morning.

People running round and round, bringing one another down. Here we go round in circles to nowhere. Embleton swinging and dodging, a shot! And on target too. Embleton swinging and dodging, another shot! Off target too-da-loo. Well, it's getting chilly around the ankles.

More Cam punting, more holes in Town's desert. Big men Bigging. A cross fleabagged away by Hendrie, Brown ran and ran and ran as Town's red seas parted, McKeown's view obscured by clouds. The Jivemaster side-footed from the centre of the D, safely inchlets over the angle of right post and bar.

Moments of Mariner movement, fragments of football. Here's a flash, here's a pan. Embleton crossed from the right, Thomas spectacularly hooked over the bar

Moments of Mariner movement, fragments of football. Here's a flash, here's a pan. Embleton crossed from the right, Thomas spectacularly hooked over the bar. Hurt by a mid-air collision, Thomas hobbled off, then hobbled back on.

Aimless lumping, Amber frumping. Taylor or Taft, I forget which of these dead presidents stooped for a stupid corner for Town. And ain't that much ado about nothing these days. In, out, in, out and Forde punched pathetically but luckily skew-wiffing sideways in the direction of Hooper.

And there any sentence should end.

Ladies and gentlemen, please be upstanding and raise your glasses to toast a world first: in the 41st minute a free kick was awarded to Grimsby Town. Is it too late to be included in this year's Guinness Book of World Records? Just think how excited little children will be to read that on Christmas Day in the morning. It's the exception that simply proves a rule.

An Amber collapse, another free kick, dinked in to the heart of darkness. O'Neil grazed on from half a dozen yards. Jamie Mack awaited on his line and superbly jazz-handed up, up and away for an irrelevant, uninteresting, corner.

I cannot lie, two minutes were added.

Two irrelevant, uninteresting teams, I cannot lie.

Second half: The invisible touch

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Pardon? What?

Yes, we're waiting for something to happen too.

A little light mugging and off we go. Embleton scampered and scuttled, shuffled and scuffled straight at Forde at the foot of his right post. Well, when your only choice is a pass to Hooper, what else would you do?

In all this excitement I forgot to eat my sandwich.

Boom-boom, shake the room, Ibhere collided with Whitmore, who stayed face down in the dirt. After some sponging magic, he arose, then walked off a couple of minutes later, replaced by Famewo.

Boom-boom, shake the room – that was Basil Brush, wasn't it?

Some jiggling and wiggling and amber turf eating. A free kick flung and hung, some scrimbles, some scrumbles and a red sock kicked away from near the line. Brown jinked and jived and walloped over as McKeown's finger tips retreated.

Tiresome toshery, flipperty-flopperty. Are you yawnsome tonight?

Just past the hour Hessenthaler replaced the rarely seen Pringle, with Hooper moving to the left. Moving. You know sometimes words have two meanings, or no meaning at all.

Oh Hooper, take your time, don't hurry. A weak shot, a terrible pass, a nonentity of nothingness, leaving it all 'til somebody else lends him a hand.

Hall-Johnson surged and splurged into the penalty area, falling over an impending touch, scraping the ball back and having another go with another fall. Neither fishing nor fouling, life, like the ball, just rolled on.

And on and on.

Hall-Johnson surged and splurged into the penalty area, falling over an imperceptible touch. Out came the yellow card.

We may as well have gone home there and then. Town don't do goals

Thomas in a cul-de-sac and Town ticked on. Hendrie swept, Hall-Johnson crept, Embleton rolled around his markers and coiled cleverly around some static caravans. Alas, dear reader, Mistress Forde was alert. If it wasn't for one trifling right hand, Town's fans would come alive.

Them. Brown. Shot. Wide. Wide and high. Balls pumped in, water pumped out of the engine room. Jolley’s jelly had set firm, was it a rabbit? Cambridge nagging and sagging, ebbing not flowing. Town breaking them down and breaking away. Embleton the pied piper picked a particular pocket, setting sail in his sieve with amberites attracted to his charms. With Hessenthaler screaming in splendid isolation, Embleton slapped straight at Forde.

And in the lazy water meadow Hooper lay down.

Noodling and nurdling on their right, Amoo flew threw the spaces in the crowded penalty area. Hooper stuttered and stumbled as Amoo ambled by to flash a cross across the face of goal. Lewis, the other substitute, stooped to steer a header in from a yard or two. Weak reffing or weakness by Hooper?

In all the grumbling, no-one noticed that Cook replaced Clifton.

We may as well have gone home there and then. Town don't do goals. If you really want to know, Embleton dunked Dunk for a booking and Rose wallied over sometime before, during but not after the four minutes that were added.

What another waste of time as Town managed to find another way of avoiding avoiding defeat to equally dreary foes. Cambridge were pretty dire, but Town are a punctured tyre these days. We're slowly deflating again.