The crumbs on the table

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

3 January 2021

It's us against the world and against the blue suede Us on another dreary Saturday afternoon as the black and white death stalks our land. But lo, here comes the plague doctor to cure our ills, or maybe to count the dead weights and dead beats before judgement day.

Meet the new boss same as the old, old, old, old, old boss. We've finally been liberated from the mould, but that's all. What next? And when?

Mmm, it's still the same players. Can the return of the Shortest One and his Deputy Doig turn base metal into purest gold?

1st half – Look, it’s the same players
Cambridge kicked off towards the Pontoon with a... oh Mr Bennett in the hole you take delight in vexing me. You have no compassion on my poor nerves. Elevation Mr Bennett, ELEVATION!

Two woefully underhit free kicks and off they wellied, chiselling down Town's left. A muffled cross, Hewitt shanked, May slapped, Waterfall sprawled and deflected left as Russell rolled right. A right old Mariners' mess; the rest is history.

It certainly is a most iniquitous affair.

Bennett over-elevated another free kick, Pollock passed out of play to impress those Premiershipers scouting for boys and Hewitt arrived late to greet a stray day-tripper. Pastel fingers were wagged.

Town huffed, they puffed out their cheeks and walloped down the flanks. The Blue Us - nothing complicated, nothing more than a fourth division cliché. Oh how we pine for mundanity. Oh the mundanity!

Morais tickling toes and Bennett finally elevated his horizontal corners. Pollock, the son of a father, surrounded and confounded as his shot was deflected. That's a statistical fact.

Here they go again. Mullin drifted and dinked from under the nose of the Short One. The ball sailed over the wailing ailing Waterfall, his Knibbs chested down and Russell spectacularly slapped aside.

The ebbs flowed, the flowing ebbed, as big boys brushed aside the feeble non-leaguers. The alchemists made notes as this experiment with deck-chairs failed: the need for lodestar loansters was ever clearer as half time got nearer.

Morais meandered and mashed longly straight down Mitov's mush, Bennett quick-stepped a slap widely as moments occurred between the big boy bashings.

So what happened now? Another suitcase in another hall, never fool yourself that dreams come true. Russell palmed a low cross outwardly, awkwardly after another infrequent weekend break from the boys in blue.

Town triangles in the treacle! Morais to Hendrie and… Green, dull Matt Green, on his way to the home for incurable ex-Town non-strikers, Cleethorpes Town.

Mariners meanderings in the molasses! Oh Darling please believe me, Green will never do you no harm. Bennett passed behind the sinking Green and Darling dumped longly down the unattended Town left. Mullin ran on, ran past Pollock and wellied to where Russell would have been had the reclining Russell not declined to dive.

For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbours.

Three minutes were added, merely allowing them time to not score again as Tilley and Preston did the floral dance and a blue-boy crossed over everything and everyone for no-one.

The lights went out, the clocks all stopped. The system's choked up, what can we do? We've moved on but we're standing still.

2nd half – It's still the same players
Gibson replaced the fluttering Tilleyfly at half time as the Short One had the sense and sensibility to move to a sensible 4-4-2 formation; Mr Bennett no longer the toad in the hole. Would you like an odd ode about our hole in the toad?

This is the tale of a sad lost soul, who hadn't a clue how to score a goal. Oh, you've heard that one before. We'll leave the story of Herbart Cramp who wanted to join a nudist camp for another day then.

Hewitt swept, Morais stepped inward and Hendrie drooped a loopy cross. Gibson jumped, Mitov slumped as the ball headed over and the linesman flagged for something or other. Hendrie surged, Morias jinked and winked and dinked to the centre where the remarkably unmarked Bennett glanced disconcertingly wide. What a waste, that could've been the catalyst that sparks a revolution.

And still Town prodded gently upon this big blue wall. A cross, a corner, a corner, a cross, a tumble and a grumble as Bennett sliced a shortly taken free kick wider than Hattie Jacques.

Mud can make you prisoner and the plains can bake you dry, snow can burn your eyes but only people make you cry: Hewitt shanked sloppily off his shins after much Town roaming in the gloaming.

Whither our wanderin' stars in reasonably priced cars? Rambling Rose was replaced by our little local energy source, Clifton.

Here we are shipwrecked and almost comatose, Town lapping gently on the shoreline, nibbling at the bluest of toes. Moogling and googling as corners were repelled, Green dinked from the left. Gibson freely arose beyond the farthest post and thunkled at Mitov, who parried aside with many monochromers awaiting unmarked on the six-yard line. A corner, a clearance, a corner, a clearance, a cross and we’re cross as Joe Loss and his Orchestra plays hits from the movies.

It's what passes for passing and movement down in the Fenlands. Hoppalong Hewitt ambled as Hannat sauntered and slapped high into the side-netting. Let us not be churlish and childish, it's what would pass for passing and movement in Grimsby these days too.

Give us a twirl, Mr Bennett. A twirl was whirled and a cross was curled from the indeterminate left. Hewitt flew through the air with the greatest of ease, glancing onwards, the ball skipping loopily over Mitov's flapping fingers and sailing gracefully into the top left corner. Oh my, it's another world out there beyond the embrace of the Pied Piper.

Listen lads, we can still do this!

Big blue balls and Pollock poked away practically if not poetically, more Lever than Handyside. Double subbing in stripes and Jackson was almost freed as passes were pinged and wings were winged. A Hendrie cross dipped and dived as the cool cats from Cambridge used up their fifth life. A corner flicked on, flicked on and flicked wide as corners piled on corners caused scruffles and scrambles and mild panic in Silicon Fen.

Once or twice, maybe thricely too, these big boys in blue broke the siege. Russell battered away as a U-boat sailed up the Humber unimpeded. There were moments of occasional irritation, for the ball flowed Pontoonwards.

Onwards, onwards, the game was most definitely afoot. Morais and Jackson jinked and hived waiting for Hendrie to arrive. A cross flew flatly and Hewitt glanced wide and high at the far post.

Six minutes were added.

C’mon lads, we really can still do this.

Is this it? Morais dinked into the heart of darkness as bodies and balls collided willy-nilly. Bodies fell freely, boots flailed and a big blue toe walloped from inside the six-yard box. Hit and hope for the best. The best we can get is a corner, a corner, and a corner again. Williams coiled to the near post, Gibson flicked and armchairs throughout the land were vacated. Alasly and sadly, I have to report to you that Mr Mitov spectacular parried aside and consequently there is no peace of mind in the gateway to a new Europe. Oh, what might have been but for Mitov.

Still, there's more. Corners and crosses, clearances and clattering. Another Williams corner was flicked on by Gibson at the near post and the ball missed every single human in Blundell Park as it wafted across the face of goal and past the far post. As the eighth minute approached there's another corner and another ball. Knocked in, knocked out, returned by Morais and Gibson sliced airily, spinning wide and high and the end was nigh.

Well, our prince has come back but there was no happy ending. Yet.

You know, it was possible during the second half to believe that even this set of Town players would score, and then score again. They kept plugging away and in the end their effort deserved more than a hearty pat on the back for pluckiness. We know what needs to happen, and so do the returning sensible brothers. Nothing more needs to be said.

Let's let them get to work on mission improbable.