For doom, the Pell trolls

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

14 March 2021

Grimsby Town 0 Colchester United 0

We may be heading for Woking, but we'll still stand tall as we head for the final countdown for Fenty's Follies.

It's tea-time, so someone turn the lights up. The night is dark, it just brings sorrow, let it wait. Ah, that's better, I can see the breeze billowing from behind the Pontoon as the salad days go a-tickling by.

Colchester: pale of kit, stale and big with that nit Pell aboard their sinking gravy train. What a lot of double-barrelling. Is that why we're bottom, we have a squad of single surnames?

How's he going to cope without a full complement of full-backs? How else but with Little Harry polyfilling in for Habergham Sam and the Rabbit (starring Bruce Boxleitner and Kate Jackson Jnr).

I'll tell you summat for nowt: the black and white night is not right if Town aren't bright and try to sit tight when we are all a long way from home. Just have a go or else we'll be gone.

First half – Hush

Town kicked off towards the Pontoon with the wicked westerly wind and rain in their faces. Whoooosh, swooooosh, gusting, blustering, blowing backwards and blowing hard. Nouble nobbled Little Harry but happily snacked with a chip too far for the galloping gourmets.

Ah, proof he hasn't been practicing his hoofs while being bench pressed. Jamie Mack's boots were made for sporking his dumplings as he dumped his dinks into the tarpaulined terrain beyond the fabled white line over which no man has any control of his destiny. Or feet.

Feet? Yards? Hours? Days? Just what are the SI units of measurement for fourth division footballers? Feet again and yards away. Lennie lobbed, Filipe flipped and fizzled out in the face of pace, then Morais approached the bar and we had a slice of lemon with our Coke.

Ah, the dangerous hours and days when you can't see wrong from right decisions here, there and everywhere. Momentarily dangerous moments of almostness nearly happened in and around about somewhere or other. A chuck and chip after Morais marauded, Hanson crossed and Morais, well, he was trying. Fancy a French fancy? Ooo-la-la, Lamy on the left and Little Harry's cross, cross, cross. Can you remember dancing with stilettoes in the snow? Sean Scannell is a real person, isn't he? Or is he the millennial Glen Downey?

Blooming big booming boomers boomeranged back and forth for goal kicks and free kicks and who gets a kick out of disdain for Colcestrians haranguing the ref for the slightest fumble, tumble and mumble? Walloping whacks and striping hacks and finally a corner to Colchester. Big heads and big boots, it's Saturday Night at the Grimsby Pandemonium. Bring on the Tiller Girls. Oh, we sold him last month didn't we. In-out and outwardly in, the ball dropped, Pell slapped and Jamie Mack's shins snapped shut. There's no but, just a full stop from the restored occasional shot-stopper.

Ah, the wind.

In the shadow of the Police Box, Matete nicked away from the stooping Pell and lunged as Clampin slid. Rocking, rolling and much moaning from the stale pale riders as only a yellow emerged from a deep purple pocket.

Ah, the wind and the rain.

At last a lumpy Lennie lay-off arrived at monochrome boots. Alas Hanson slished slappily wayly high, way-way wide. Zoot alors! Lamy trick-flicked over head and shoulders, after Coke's velociraptor volley-ception and oh Little Harry, I don't know why – but, there it is. Slapsticking with Mr Grimsdale with his clown boots on.

Ah, there is nothing from them but hoofs and hopelessness, a right shower in the showers. When will they flower? Town slow-flowed with Matete mauling, Coke calling, Hendrie'n'Hanson hauling and dear, dear Lennie scrawling down his social media feed in search of solace in his solitude. Licked behind the last defender, the non-essential retained striker scraped the surface of a seam of iron pyrites, rolling rubbishly across the face of goal. Keep going Lennie, there's more gold down there!

Two minutes were added.

Nudging, noodling and an airy-fairy hoik beyond the stalemen into the nether regions on their left. Eastman sliced vertically, Hanson rolled in the deep and cross-shot from the bye-line. Little George flipped up at the near post and here it is, the moment when our world will turn from monochrome to colour. A yard out, with the coastal path clear of dogs and quad bikers, our leading man had his moment. Out came the harmonica and... not now Lennie. Roll credits. The Shopping Trolley made the impossible possible, volleying against the bar and far, far away from merely a yard out with nobody near his ears. If one day his shot reaches the distant waters then he'll know we've sent our love to Lennie.

This shop is most definitely shut during lockdown. Will it ever open again, for not many will be clamouring for its wares with this stock in trade.

Another half of mundane adequacy with nothing to show for it but our lucky Lennie charm blowing in the wind.

Second half – Sometimes I feel like screaming

No changes were made by either team at half time, but the gods were no longer angry, and the wind died a slow death.

And there is nothing.

Moments here and there as trippers traipsed through the now static caravans. Menayese let the ball go, let them go, and let the good times roll for men in grey as he dribbled into them. And nothing happened.

With no one clamping down on clampin', Colchester had minor merriment after Matete's missed pass in midfield. And? Indeed. There's nothing to see here, please move along. Let's not linger longer on loose talk. Two soles torn apart with bitter age: Lamy laid out after some body talk on the Town left.

Morais and Hendrie were pickled by a cabbage as Cowan-Hall skipped away. His pull back was laid back, and Pell leant back to coil satisfyingly over the angle of left post and bar.

Woah, they're starting to believe in magic.

Espying sleeping stripes, Brown wiggled and jiggled at a throw-in, pulled back for Pell and McKeown spectacularly parried the slap-shot aside. Corners, corners, and corners again, back and in, round and about. Little Harry scriffled away from the far post, Harriott coiled lowly through the hedgerows and was a begonia border away from the bottom right corner for a corner; again and again, short and long, scrimbling, scrambling half blocked and finally the drain cleaner cut through the fatburger.

Town: can't play with the wind, can't play without the wind.

Now, what tales can one tell about Harry Pell? Well, he fell with a yell, but the ref wasn't under his spell. Can we say the bell did knell for the death of his depth-charging as he plunged over Hewitt's invisible leg? No penalty, no charge, not even a booking, just a weary look and wave away.

Let's not dwell on Harry Pell for after this he went into his shell. Jeez honey, that sure is swell.

Big Jim! Speculative bobbling. I know what you're thinking: whatever happened to dear old Lennie? Replaced by Payne. There are no more heroes anymore, just passing ships and shops, one day the music will stop.

Ah people who think they can do it alone, staying in their safety zone. Hashing, dashing, shanking and shinning but somehow always clearing out the deckchairs. We're hanging on to our ego, just about.

Nouble unbobbled and chipping, Cowan-Hall fishing, Hendrie blocking by socking it to them baby. Isn't it time we brought on Morgul the Friendly Drelb? Lamy off/Adams on. That's a fact.

There is no us, just them, in a never-ending Escher etching of chips and chases into channels ending when a munchy-wunchy long chuck was put on toast for Pell, who swayed widely. OK, I admit it, I fibbed when I promised you no longer had to have the smell of Pell in your nostrils.

With ten minutes left Morais was replaced by Jackson. Ira had rhythm today, wriggling and writhing around tapping toes, grasping foes, winning free kicks and corners. Adams: it's time to come together, it's up to you. Elevation! We didn't have a good time as Adams failed to lift the ball and lift our spirits.

Who knew Ira had a long chuck? We do now. That's nice, but just flim-flam filling time if no-one had the nous to hang around the back post for the inevitable graze on to no-one.

Three minutes were added, as Pell was finally booked for unpending jinking Jacko and Adams continued to de-escalate the drama with dreadful flatbreading.

And there we are, another opportunity knocked on the head. Town were fine for 45 minutes and passive after half time, just like last time, and the time before that and 100 times before. Oh the irony in the absence of negativity in the changes.

What did we expect from the return of the hero? He's a man who won't be rushed and is all about the long-term. He'd make a good pension advisor. We know how slow his cooking is. He won't change his methods, he won't take the dinner out of the oven until it is ready, so we may have to miss the last bus.

We're searching for the good times, but we'll just have to wait and see even though time is not on our side.