On a clear day you can see Spurn Point

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

9 February 2013

Grimsby Town 1 Telford United 0

This is no time for horsing about. This season is serious.

A bright day with sky and clouds with about 40 Telfordians hunched and bunched across the Osmond whistling happy tunes. Will we tire of the equine/venture-capital-owned multinational-tax-avoiding-conglomerate stand comedy nexus? Hey, this is capitalism, the buck stops with the little people; remember polo ponies don't grow on trees for plutocrats and poshos. Topcon John ain't no polo-playing plutocrat: he's a man who draws lines in the sand!

Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Hatton, Miller, Pearson, Thomas, Luton's Marcus Marshall, Disley, Niven, Colbeck, Brodie, Cook. The substitutes were Wood, Thanoj, Southwell, Hannah and John-Lewis. Ah, look at the depth of that bench. Many felt deeply about that. We're deeply dippy about the bench they chose.

Devitt devotees were disappointed, as were the three remaining #Eldingfact fans, now that the journeyman's journeyman has gone on a permanent fishing holiday in Oirland. Oh look, the Tommies from Telford are in regal purple - there's posh. Some of them do look rather big.

First half: The way we were
Telford kicked off towards the Pontoon. Brodie had a tremendously committed three seconds.

There was a corner of some sort, then another. Brodie swung his pants and was pants. Town had another corner and another and nothing happened. Nothing happened. Nothing happened. Town players moving legs and arms in the appearance of activity and nothing happened

Leave Joe Colbeck out of your smarmy sarcasm - he's acemer today. Great cross, no-one home, they're all round the corner playing with their talking Action Man (with real hair).

Telford were pressing and passing, Town were failing. Telford almost had a shot. Telford almost had a cross. Telford did have a shot. And no-one remembers your name, you ain't gonna shoot to fame with shots like that.

Reid. A big man bigly bigging around. Miller disconcerted, but McKeown only disturbed by a passing qualm about his choice of DVD for the evening. Who knew he was a big Barbara Streisand fan? Sorry, my ears need a bit of unblocking: he was a bit unhappy with his soup starter. Lentil.

Well, you can't argue with the results. Andy Murray has done so much better after he switched to Lentil.

Telford had a shot. Jones, their midfield modfather, swayed and sprayed a dripping cropper safely onto the roof of the net . His chums kept dripping free kicks droopily onto the roof of the Pontoon, which was nice. McKeown was so bored he pretended to make a save; some bloke poked at the near post and Jamie Mack sighed right and pushed away. It wasn't going in, you know. Sometimes you can remember the song, not the singer.

Reid, the mobile brickwork, bumped and barged and collapsed at the mere mention of Fred Dibnah's flat cap. Free kicks were falling out like endless rain into a paper cup. Nothing's gonna change our world if they keep wiffling and waffling. Wonderfully woeful.

Someone invite Reid to the Carrington steam rally next summer. He'd love it. There's even horse-powered Edwardian threshing machines. If only the Findus Standers would open their minds. When the doors of perception are cleansed, man will see things as they truly are. When the doors of digestion are cleansed it's another matter entirely.

Ah, Town, at last. Down the left, Marshall meandering, Thomas tickling and the Cookie Monster marauding, wiggling and wriggling, flibbering against the keeper's thigh, Disley wallooning the rebound goalwards. A purple sock diverted attention. Ooh, we're awake then? Hatton swingled forward and swung a bedevilled biffer which Young excellently parried away from the foot of the left post. Niven nibbled but no fish took the hook. There were moments when nearlyness hinted at turning to almostness. Colbeck crossed, then Marshall crossed to the near post as Cook and Brodie trundled afar. Marshall swivvered infield and poked at the keeper's face.

All moments that cover up the crime.

Brodie - what a pathetic dive. You can't cover up that crime

And on 42 of your English minutes Brodie did something. Drifting right, he fended off a feeble Weeble, glided into the penalty area and curled across the face of goal. Possibly near and near enough, for the Horsemeaters oohed. There was nothing more. We'd sat through the occasional moment in a sea of sorrowful slop. The purple people-eaters were a smothering duvet of dullness, and Town were content to have a little lie-in, dreaming of electric sheep.

Really shoddy stuff. Wakey, wakey.

Second half: What's up, doc?
Neither team made any changes at half time.

Woah, say can you see by tea-time's early light. We can see the rockets exploding from here. Fizz, bang, pashooooo, splut! Marshall frizzled the full back, Cook arose and thwonked thwackingly goalward. Young arched and fingertipped over. A corner, cleared, they broke, they broke down, Colbeck robbed and roamed, a perfect caress sweeping over and through the remnants of the purple rearguard down the Town right. Brodie bore down upon a shrinking violet, who shrivelled before the brawny basher. On Brodie loped as the crowd rose up. Young came out, went back, came out again and stood still as Brodie toe-poked inside the left post and leapt upon the crawling Mighty Mariner, riding on the back of the popular foam-filled funster.

Telford. Long shots and free kicks. If they get close I'll tell you. Well done Mr Niven, always keep a dustpan and brush in your duffel bag.

Town more like Town: there was passing, there was even movement with co-ordinated choreography above jogging pace. A corner jinked and jostled beyond the far post. Brodie balletically bustled and bee-bumbled a stinger back into the madding crowd. Nut rocker! Off one purple head to another, via a purple heart and into the keeper's arms.

Pressure hosing down the old stable yard. Oh look, you missed a bit, just there. In, out, shaken, not stirred about. Do you expect me to talk? No, we expect you to fly, Mr Pearson. A ricochet, a ricochet, a ricochet, a ricochet. In the jungle the mighty jungle, the lion sleeps tonight. Pearson chested up and bicycled down the keeper's throat. Young immediately threw out to a chap near the dugouts who, distracted by a passing paper bag, allowed Hatton to nick in and knock a sexy sub-Beckhamesque boat floater over the retreating belisha beacon and three yards wide of the far post. Not quite Eagle from the halfway line.

Enough of this chugging. Brodie was replaced by John-Lewis. Let's be charitable about LJL: perhaps he's tax deductable. He did, once, control the ball for 1.435 seconds. Sources close to the government claim that he also passed the ball to a team-mate. Mother, should I trust the government?

Ha-ha, here it was, LJL moment of maximum momentum. Somewhere among some routine tip-tap, LJL linked in with his business partners. Eventually Colbeck swung a big dripper into the centre of the penalty area. Cook shuffled and shook his head, nodding carefully and accurately into the shimmering netting. The linesman nodded his flag accurately and carefully. Offside, comfort postponed.

They were still having long shots. They were still having free kicks. They were still pathetic free kicks. Marvellous. There's 20 minutes of our lives which shall not appear in anyone's memoirs. Ooh look, a big ship.

With about ten minutes left Marshall was taken off and Hannah finally trotted on. The dreaded 4-3-3? For about three seconds, as Colbeck ambled to the left with LJL a menacing presence on the dinner table. Somehow shopboy managed to contribute less to the gaiety of the nation when moved to the right wing. He isn't inspiring us to write a modern Ode to Joy in his honour.

Cook and Hannah, back together, and back to a partnership that works. Within a minute Cook flicked, Hannah lobbed, and Cook flashed and slashed wildly wide. Thomas wellied clear down the left, Hannah chased and induced some egg laying in the visiting poultry population. The chicken clucked as Hannah plucked and twanged his ukulele. Oh well, we can't have everything; the lob lobbed gently wide, well wide. Well, well, said the rocking chair.

I promised you a rose garden. No, I promised I'd tell you if the Tellers did anything. By jove chaps, they almost did. Town retreated and watched, allowing the Wrekin wreckers to fiddle about. Purple substitute Henry was a little pest on their right. Head tennis plopping plopped gently to McKeown as the six-yard box filled with Telford testosterone and Town timidity. Henry swiped straight at McKeown. Trainer swerved wide from 25 yards as Pearson leant on a garden shed and bobbling occurred. It was all rather unnecessarily fraught and frantic, with alarming antics; this was no classic written in the attic.

And in the umptieth minute of added time a Tellerman fell, plunging under the sheer weight of fresh air. The referee walked ten whole yards, pushing the wall back and back, rearranging their hair as he went. A purple man waited, the whole of the goalmouth filled with bodies, McKeown unsighted. Smith lazily leant back and lofted towards Louth. Magnificently maddening for the travellers, fantastically refreshing for the laid-back locals.

Town really do struggle with puddings.