Fried chickens in a basket case

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

24 January 2021

It's now or never, tomorrow will be too late, this season can't wait. Saturday afternoon's alright for a relegation fight so let's get a little action in for once. The tide is high but we're just about holding on. C'mon the tide must turn some time, mustn't it?

1st Half - Gutless fish in a barrel
The Bunnymen kicked off towards where we weren't and straight out of play. Who's been eating the last finger of fudge in the Quality Street tin? That'd be Onariase, the laddie with the mystic smile.

A home corner after the ball went out of play - off striped shoes. How? I really don't care and neither should you. There's bumbling, stumbling and stomachs a-rumbling all along the dock tower.

There's too much confusion, Town can't get no relief. Two riders were approaching and Hurst began to howl. Cross from their right, missing Menayese and Hendrie caught the ball between his legs, stuck it up his jumper and ran off with the oompah-oompah band.

Haben sie gehort das Deutsche Band? Mit a bang, mit a boom, mit a bing-bang bing-bang boom. One has to make one's own entertainment these dark Town days. This dream of adequacy is driving me insane.

In the corner of a Scunny field stripers slept on our right. Taps and tumbles and Mr Teasy-Weasy Eisa, solid, bold and with an easy action, plunged theatrically on the edgiest edge of the Town penalty area. A free kick and we're all on edge as Eisa slapped over the wall, over McKeown's flying fingers and into the toppest of the top left corner. Game over. It's over, it's over, it's over. We don't score goals.

What's done is done.

Preston? We used to play them you know. We used to be contenders. And now Preston is merely a loaned lad who's too slow at throw-ins.

A Green pass and Hanson almost through, sort of. If it wasn't for his inability to run fast, he'd have run fast past someone who runs faster. Oh, and the pass not going to straight to a marooner, not a Mariner. If all those things had been different things wouldn't have been the same old same old. Slow old blokes is our way forward. What can you do if your legs don't move? Chasing rainbows.

Preston coiled longly down the left, Green trekked beyond and... and… and Onariase stretched to block what we shall call, for the sake of the argument, a shot.

And what did you do in the bore? Hanson won every header but Green lost every flick. Maximum Wright was booked for a cheeky tap on Beestin, their floating butterfly.

McKeown punted, Hewitt passed, and Hanson's cross was cut out at the near post for a corner and we're back to McKeown.

And that is absolutely that as far as Town's attack is concerned. Yes, we are concerned. Yes, we have no hope but that the Bananarama is cancelled. We hope there's no Bananarama after today.

Matete. We've have the fulcrum but where's the swing? Poor lad, he's wasted as the rest of Town were being self-basted.

They have a Green, you know, he read a book once I am sure. He bustled, Hendrie hassled, and down went hair boy way, way out on the touchline. Gilliead coiled the free kick and Pollock arose above Loft to half clear. A bundle, a rumble and prostrate Loft spun and scraped inside the six-yard box. The ball rolled gently into the net as Menayese sighed nearby and a million, billion armchair Mariners sighed in their sofas.

That's not the kind of loft conversion they like down North Sea Lane.

And the rest of the half? Nothing. Nope, nothing in real time, just a duff bonus track of an unfinished out-take of a demo as two minutes were added. Hewitt piffled, and in two passes their Green was gliding through unmolested. Jamie Mack spread his wings and caught the fly in his beak.

They barely had to try. I wish more of our lot would.

2nd half – Cause and effect
Ding-ding-ding. All change! Bye-bye Preston, Wright and Hewitt. Hello Rose, Williams and Spokes.

From the off there was movement on the screen, screaming in our soul, and possibly thunder in our heart. Beestin speculatively wallied into Tesco's car park and basic dithering allowed their Green to hubbub and rhubarb.

La-dee-da, la-dee-da. You know we could walk to the curb from here.

Either we were abducted by aliens or nothing happened. You, the audience, can choose the likeliest reason for the missing ten minutes of our lives.

A Town free kick. The result? Green, dull Matt Green. There is nothing more to say.

And in the fifty-sixth minute of this ferociousless farrago of floppity-flops Grimsby Town, officially a Football League club, employing footballers full time, had a shot, and that shot was on target. Bring out the Ferrero Rocher!

Williams rolled and Spokes passed to Howard. No spanners in their wheels from slow coach Spokes today.

Wow, and another shot! You spoil us. Rambling Rose sprayed from left to right, Williams tickled on, Hendrie crossed and Hanson, on the penalty spot, mis-swiped bouncily into the midriff of Howard. Wasn't that one of The Canterbury Tales?

Are we alive, or is this merely the last gasp of air escaping the bloated body before the funeral?

Oh no, the dodo is dead. Long live the dodo!

Easy Eisa tumbled and Loft lofted his header loftily. Onaraise headed onto the roof of the net from yet another dumb free kick gifted to the Bunnymen. McKeown walloped the goal-kick upfield and Loft amble-turned on the half way line to carefully lilt behind hapless Habergham. The obviously offside Eisa ran on gaily and lifted over Jamie Mack.

All men make mistakes, but only wise men learn from their mistakes. We're a pretty dumb team. Free kick, Loft header over; free kick, Eisa scrimpled over after melonfarming Menayese; free kick, free kick, free kick, free kick, yabba-dabba-doo-doo.

When this season is dead and the inquest opened, you will find free kicks written on this squad's heart.

Fleeting moments of possibility when Town crept towards cohesion. You know some stripers could hack it in the old Conference. Some. Scannell? Apparently he was on the pitch now. How could we tell? Because Matt Green wasn't forlornly chasing rabbits. Town are always defined by an absence of someone or something.

Wifty Williams waffled through the baffles, Jackson turned and the slap was blocked. Yes, we have a throw-in! Jackson wall-flowered in sub-Reesian flickers and Williams, oh Williams, why-oh-why-oh-why? Stop dribbling like a puppy, just shoot.

Oh yeah, I forgot, Jackson came on for Hanson at the same time as the apparition appeared.

Town corner, Howard simply plucked. Yes, we were, weren't we.

Habergham needs to be sent back to The Repair Shop. He looks like a broken family heirloom in need of a completely new mechanism and a touch of paint. He's not what he was, he is what he is now.

Is there any point in this?

Let's get this over with. Howard fumbled a Williams sneaky snaker to no-one, for there is no-one and there is nothing. Eisa handballed around Hendrie, McKeown puddled lowly, Matete swept, the rest of us wept. Jackson doing things, Spokes muttered a deflected shot.

A corner, a short corner and then what? Seven minutes were added. And then what? More alien abductions on the edge of town. Thirty seconds from the end Habergham, oh, I dunno, Haberghamed. Their Green ran off and McKeown smothered.

Town were flattered by the score-line and Scunny will be flattered into deception about their performance. This was all about how insipid the non-challenge presented by an Aunt Sally in stripes.

This team, this squad, is dead. As we sit here on this day, at this hour, the situation is hopeless. We are doomed. The renovation started too late, the new project manager can't save this old wreck, but he may be able to build a shiny new city on the hill so we can have morning again in Grimsby, someday.