Laughing all the way to the cleaners

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

28 February 2021

Harrogate Town 1 Grimsby Town 0

It's been a long cold lonely winter and it seems like years since we were last here in the beautifully sparkling spa waters of Harrogate, Yorkshire.

Oh dear what can we do? They're still in yellow and black and Town are in blue again. I said what can we do? Where are the red kites beyond the leylandii?

Why are they watering the pitch if they fear our long-ball lumping? Is he pushing the barriers, planting the seeds? I spy some double-thinking double-crossing double-dealing here in Weaver's mind games.

And for those who like to call their pots tin, the game was delayed as the referee ran off to get some gaffer tape to fix the nets.  Looks like the pitch will take spin from the off. Can Town hold out until it swings under the lights? They do have lights, don't they?

Let's put some soul power into the karmic wheel of fortune.

First half – Route 101

The Lemonheads kicked off towards the tea rooms and wealth spas with an irony even Alanis Morrisette would blanche at. Boom, boom, shake the room, all around there's blue gloom and doom in the sunshine. No red kites today, just red flags fluttering.

The fire and cracks of sulphurous roaring the most-mighty Harrogate steam to besiege us, and yea, our dreaded defensive trident did shake as mortars lobbed and heads bobbed under a barrage and big-balling boomery.

Up and down, up and down, up-up-up. Eastwood panic punching, a shot scuffled wide after double-double toiling trouble at a deeply-punted free kick.

So, Simon, it was you who put the pah in chutzpah. I think we already knew who put the klutz in the defence of our realm. Long balls and long throws? Their balls are bigger, their hurls are hurlyer. Anything we can't do they can do much better.

Hubbling, bubbling, Eastwood squirted and squished a long low lollipop. Hurling long and slow, short and quick, and a cross, Town panic. It isn't so hard for them to get through blue. Martin swiped, Eastwood battered aside. Oh look, a bus.

Beachball football and Town were a beached whale; bereft, bloated, dying slowly as locals walked their dogs and walked on by. Hopefully they don't see our tears and just let us grieve in private.

The bus carried on into town and the Lemonheads carried on buttering and battering Town. The corner hit a Luke but back they surged. In and out and in and out, they played it all right, blues squeezed in the box and a yellow volley was spectacularly slapped aside by Eastwood. And he did grasp the glancing header from the corner after that shot after the crossing after the hurling after 15 minutes of lameness from Town.

And after that Matete was booked for tapping some passing dancing ankles.

Life in the slow lane with slow Coke, overwhelmed as his wellies stuck in the bog. Well, no-one ever said he was ruthless or that he was cruel.

Oh dear, Town keep playin' where they shouldn't be playin' and keep thinkin' that they'll never get burnt. Menayese dunkin' donuts, Hendrie with his little stick of Bradford Rock and a cross from the right. Sacre blue! Eau de toilette! Grasping gropery by Eastwood and the ball kissed off the bar and little yellow men swarmed around.

Does anyone know the way, did we only just hear someone say "We just haven't got a clue what to do"?

And out of the low winter sun doodlebuggery rained down upon the innocents. Luke, with your big balding bonce, you are our only hope of heading off disaster. At least his armour is too strong for blasters.

Town attacking? After 27 minutes Matete swayed and surged and his pass was intercepted 30 yards out. Town: attacking?

Have you got it yet? It's all about attacking Town with the rope-a-dope tactics. Town's wagons circled from the start, the defence simply a last ditch, an emergency moat around the crumbling castle. One day this rain's going to end.

Eastwood drop-kicked, the ball bounced, a Yorkie bar crumbled and Payne shared some airspace with their keeper outside the penalty area. Air traffic control were relaxed, it was merely a technical near-miss. It looked close on radar, but those watching in immerse-vision could tell they were a thousand feet apart.

Who put the lime in the coconut? Ain't there nothing we can take to relieve this bellyache of a no-show?

Town really should carry a towel wherever they go. Hurling and curling, the gegenpress strangling the supine non-stripes. Rapier wits with rapier thrusts, waltzing in yellow to the bye-line. Half-blocked, half cut-out, half-cut Town, and Menayese swiped out of Eastwood's crawling grasp as the ball rolled across the face of the gigantic open goal.

How about Coke? For people on the go need to know that Coke handled the situation, literally. The Kettle didn't boil over as Harrogate politely enquired about a penalty for a micro-second. Menayese muffled and Jones hurled long and flat for more Eastwood flappy panicky drops and flops.

And for some light relief: a Town cross. Oh well, another bus went into town.

Finally, one more question. Who threw the overalls in Mrs Murphy's chowder.?

El Miz disrobed a dawdler, ploughed through the turnips and tapped leftly to the unmarked Payne, who side-footed at Belshaw's awaiting hands. 

Four minutes were added for all the delays you don't need to know about, just time for another helping of scrambled eggs where Town should have been toast.

It was fraught, frantic, frenzied football by effervescent Lemonheads against a bunch of rotting lemons. It should have been four, it was a zero sum half game of chance inside the Town penalty area.

What a palaver of our own supine making.

Second half – One good turn

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Long this, long that, it's going to be a long, long half waiting for the soufflé to collapse. There's another bus and another Hall clearance. Do Payne and Hanson actually move or is it an optical illusion? Big Jim turns like Livvo. Now.

Payne and Hanson ran one way, the ball headed the other. A stray corner dropped by Eastwood. Labouring, lumbering, mirroring the Hollow One's drift, it's all so long, long, long, long, long, long. I won't linger long on this ping-pong.

Right-o lads, sock it to me.

A Town break, a Town corner, and the ball was back with Eastwood to fly hack into the pudding. Hang on was that another bus I spy a–going by?

What is this I see on the screen? Can we trust what we see? Is it the real thing? For people on the go what you want is Coke control. And in the ice cold sunshine there's a Hewitt hanging basket, a Hanson header plopping softly through bodywork and past Payne's static thighs. Belshaw flopped onto the trundler on the line.

Half way through the half, triple changes were made by the spa town battlers and Town sneaked on the Shopping Trolley for the painful Payne.

Dozy dozing in defence, another runner on their right. A chip and chase and Hendrie hauled a yellow man into the mud but good old Trev was blinded by the light. He went down but Power never got tired.

Matete in the middle, in a muddle, messin' where he shouldn't have been messin'.

A yellow throw taken shortly, taken quickly and Fallowfield caressed unmolested by Hendrie. Beck snuck across the timid trident and glanced into the sunlit uplands glinting off the corrugated iron and into the farthest corner.

And at this point Hale and Pace decided it may be a good idea to have an attack. Pollock and Matete were rubbed off, Morais and Adams galloped on in their galoshes and the silent screen froze for a minute...

... and Harrogate had a goal kick.

How does your imagination fill those missing Mariners moments? I like to think another bus went by.

A yellow dink to nobody, nowhere. Hewitt dithered, Eastwood dathered, and a big yellow toe poked over. Sloppiness, sloppiness, the greatest gift that Town possess.

Hendrie roamed and passed to John-Lewis, awaiting on the penalty spot. A swishy-swipe deflected to Morais whose volley deflected over and out for a corner. Big heads missed the swinger, Hendrie chuntered back into the area, lapped on and the bubbles dissipated like cheap champagne.

Four minutes were added, full of feigned fouls and fey falls. And in the lastest of the last moments of this dreg Hewitt swung his pants deeply. The ball floated on high o'er vales and hills, falling to Adams, the lonely wanderer on the left. Is this the moment when our world turns? Alas all at once I saw a crowd of golden defenders fluttering and dancing in the breeze. The ball hit a black bottom and scuffed straight in the arms of the plunging Belshaw.

And there we have it. Time for the news in your neck of the woods.

Positives? I think I've trained the local squirrel to not eat the birds' fat balls through the use of bells and sticks. Perhaps Hurst should adopt that at Cheapside.

Let's make the best of the situation before we finally go insane. Town were hopeless, but that doesn't mean the situation is. Yet. They won't get anywhere in seeking positive outcomes from being negative.