The end of the affair

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

23 December 2020

Grimsby Town 1 Bradford City 2

It's beginning to look a lot like the nightmare before Christmas. Soon the bells will start, but who will they be tolling for down here in the cesspit of soccerballling?

Ey up like, tha' knows, are we playing a village team from Cork? It's a family affair for them cocky Bantams in defence of their realm with O'Donnell, O'Connell, O'Connell and their cousin Dawson turning up in their wellies and leaning on their pitchforks.

I suppose we should just get on with the show, there's nothing else to do.

First half – The show must go on

The grey ghosts of Bradford kicked off towards the Pontoon. They got a corner. No-one was spooked by men in white sheets flapping.

Wiggles and waggles and juggling jinks, Hendrie soft wafted to the long forgotten borrowed boy in Bradford's goal.

Your father drains another beer, he's one of the few that cares as Morais crossed nicely to a man that wasn't there. The corner flickered and Spokes sliced over the angle of post and bar.

Who is asking questions, pleading answers from the nameless faceless watchers? Gibson stooped and flicked a Bennett corner highly, widely, sadly, madly, deeply. Please release me, let me go.

How about a kiss from Cousin-Dawson? Unfortunately not, he's mostly spotless, clean and neat.

Some action from Jackson as a cross sizzled through the absence of stripes. Expressive and profoundly melancholic on the wing, Morais marauded, but Gibson turned into a fur ball. Filipe's fado was far too complicated for local taste.

A nothingness in nowheresville, a clipperty-clop over the top, and Preston's last wish for Christmas was that the ball would roll out of play by the Police Box. Clarke pestered Preston, a little dink and Novak, back to goal, suddenly but slowly, performed a Livvo-like bicycle kick, looping, hooping off they went whooping as it sailed into the top right corner.

One attack, one goal. One vision.

Hendrie lurched like a lemming in search of a cliff. No penalty. Preston something or other, nowhere in particular, and Hendrie... oh the humanity, the futility of a Town attack. Some stagger, some fall, several slender stripes were banging their heads against a grey wall.

And at the beginning of the end of the beginning of the last minute O'Donnell picked up the ball and simply welly-passed to the unmolested Clarke, stood by the dug outs. A tip, a tap and Sutton’s sumptuous lob sailed over McKeown, marooned in the middle of neither here, nor there.

Two shots, two goals. McKeown hapless, helpless, but not hopeless.

One minute was added. That's just a fact.

Two fantastic goals separated the neat from the chaff. You have to laugh. What else is left?

Second half – Goodbye blue sky thinking

I looked to the sky where an elephant's eye was looking at me from a bubblegum tree. When in a hole what do you do? Green and Edwards replaced Gibson and Jackson at half time. There's definitely a hole in our shoe.

Hurrying, scurrying, Bennett dinked beyond the far post, Edwards steer-volleyed back and Little Harry Clifton slipped a snick through O'Donnell. When you are in the gutter you look up and see only stars. Here we come.

A Bennett free kick drizzled, Waterfall headed and well, well, well, well… well? Nope, can't remember a thing.

Bradford sat back and stood in front of our pac-men. Huffles, puffles, snuffling for truffles with wild bores. Most of the right people, not necessarily with the right orders.

Ah, the O'Connell twins, with their chunky sweaters and easy charm, just good 'ol boys never meaning no harm, straightnin' Edwards's curves, and flattenin' the hills of Green and, well, who?

Bantams clucking, Clarke slapping at Jamie Mack after some sly slipping behind the imploding Preston. A hopeful hoik and Clarke alone, Hendrie saved the day with a saving tackle and Pritchard smackled safely wide.
Bennett crossfield pass, a Morais jink and cross blocked for a corner. Waterfall headed over.

We haven't spoken about Spokes lately. We should. Good lad, tried hard forever, got stuck in. A twiddle and widdle way over. A scrape to Morais and Hendrie slipped over his own determination. Oh, Spokes is the bloke again, scrubbing to Morais and Tilley piffled an appalling prod widey wide. Oh yes, Tilley had arrived long ago, though no-one had noticed.

A surfeit of lamping never did anyone no good. A surfeit of subbing and rubbing of eyes as Town became a natiform mess. Who's where? Where's who? Who do you think you are kidding, Mr Hollow One? The slain Spokes stayed on as marauding Morais was hauled off. It doesn't matter who came on or walked off, it was chaos and confusion, the tactics of a teenage armchair Honved fan playing FIFA on that computer game these young people play these days.

They broke, they crossed off Clifton's buttocks and Jamie Mack swooped to maintain a dignity in defeat. Town didn't break, they're just broken.

Four minutes were added. And? Wake up Green! Wake up, it's going to be a beautiful morning. Tomorrow is another day. And it's over, it's over, it's over, it's over.

Hey Bradford, look at the two of us wearing hair-shirts, chasing papers, getting nowhere. You've fallen further, we're falling farther. Anything further father? Bradford had two strikers who might score, Town have forwards who hope to have a shot one day.

Town weren't very good, but nowhere near as bad as they were. So there's that.

And what are we left with when we wake up? Philip Day calling a press conference outside the Four Seasons Guest House as our toy town Trump burns down the house.

Here's your ticket, pack your bags, time for jumpin' overboard.