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Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

28 March 2021

Grimsby Town 1 Walsall 1

So, when we all get back together will the all new singing and dancing Fan Zone be called The Last Chance Saloon?

It's sunny, not sunny; not windy, then windy as a blustery-flustery breeze blew into the Osmond. Things can only get better: an Easter pitch of reviving green here and there. There be less bobbles in the bubble but we're still in trouble.

Who are these lemons from Walsall and what do they have up their sleeve? Norman and Bates, just normal guys but when two personalities share the same bench there is always conflict.

Is this a final straw I see before me? Come let me clutch thee.

Right, get out your mats and pray to the west.

First half – Sax and violins

Town kicked off towards the Pontoon and straight into the toilets. Is it a metaphor?

An up and under and a Payneful collision for Clarke. Four minutes later Lazarus arose.

Watch out, they dive at dawn. Falling, falling they're gonna drop like a stone. While we're searching for diamonds, they're grabbin' at straws. A-tumbling, stumbling Midland mice and, ouch, a custard tart's free kick so clever it was stupid. I've seen a needle wink its eye and I've seen an elephant fly.

How did we open them up? It was jiggery-Spokery, trickery, jokery as Lennie ducked under Little Harry's cross. It was hardly robbery, muggery, Grimsby skull-duggery as Payne happily headed Hendrie's hanging cross softly back across the sleeper-keeper. Roberts ached low to flip into the flightpath of Hanson, who shinned handsomely into the vacant nettery.

We have joy, we have fun, I think I'll eat my bun. Well, this is a season out of time.

Let's be warming to striped swarming, Matete goes better with Coke. Payne saw yellow for some light yellow dredging, but no worms were found in his bucket, dear Lisa, dear Lisa.

Ooh, hello, the day trippers have got their buckets out. Beach volleyball in the Town penalty area ended with a bicycle trip along the prom-prom-prom. We were singing a few of our favourite songs as the wheels went around.

And the wheels fell off.

Matete mauling, Matete falling, Matete hobbling off as Town played on with 10 men. A Saddlers' surge, Clifton blocked Sinclair and panic in the disco as a corner plopped. Menayese leant into the ball with invisible arms, Osadebe slapped from afar and Jamie Mack tipped over. A sneak to Leak at the near post and the returned Matete swept off the line at the far post. It ain't over yet, they're playing the 12-inch remix! A dangerous dink and good old Lennie Macca'd Lavery at the far post, ducking to defend without tackling, and the ball rolled out.

Matete down again and now out. And so are we. On scuttled the Rose water carrier. Oh poor old Danny boy, the human Scuttlebug, fetching, carrying, but to where, for what purpose: to whom shall he pass the buck?

Falling, falling, I'm losing track of time. Where are we now? Who are they? What's going on out there? Yellow plunging, striped gunging. They can't see the woods for the trees.

If I stare long enough I can actually see my escallonia's growing. And my finger nails.

A lob, a bob from Big Jim, a roll to Payne and Roberts battered away this fishing expedition. Spokes battled and bustled, Lennnie slipped. It really isn't the weather for a Jacuzzi party. Have the next door neighbours no sense of style or decorum?

Never has scrubbing the moss off the patio been so alluring. If a fourth division footballer falls in the woods does anyone notice? This ref would.

Is it half time already? Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so.

Five minutes were added.

A semi-demi-quaver of a Town attack floundered as Big Jim stood on a primrose. Up wallying by Roberts, Gordon gingerly gyrating, spinning yarns to Hendrie and flat-clipping a cross into the very centre of everything. Menayese and Clifton stood and watched as leaning Lavery arose alone to graze a glance across Jamie Mac into the left corner.

What is there left to do but sigh?

Dribbling, drubbling, flubbling nonsense. Even this ref refused to have a sip of Gordon's sin. What a rubbish dive, you'll never get a swimming badge that way, laddie.

Town v Walsall: The aimless and the shameless.

Second Half – Let it rot

Walsall replaced Melbourne with Cockerill-Mollett at half-time.

Skittling and whittling and a throw-in to Town not given, Coke boiling. A foul throw by Clifton not given, Coke toiling to mop up the slop.

A throw-in, a fall, a throw-in, a throw-in, a goal kick, a goal kick, a drop kick, a goal kick, a throw-in, a fall, a fall, a throw-in. I must have died and gone to heaven.

A corner to Town! No the party's over, we're so tired.

A fall, a fall, a ball, the ball, what ball, we're small, they're tall, better call Saul; they have the gall to call this football? Is that all there is? Is there more than this? You know there's nothing.

Sadler the Saddler sat on a deck chair lunching with Big Jim as all Town's rockets failed on the launch pad. Another piña colada? No thanks, I'm not into yoghurt.

Let us believe in magic, for believing is seeing a period of Town pressure and, strictly in the context of this sludgy Brownian motion, passing. Lennie sub-Reesed a failed flick, Spokes chipped and Hanson tumbled underneath the arches. Sweeping and weeping as Hendrie hugga-chuggered, Spokes flashed a fizzer above the flying Hanson at the far post. A quick chuck and Rose lobbed from the left, Big Jim softly noodled and a yellow leg smeared away from beyond and behind Mr Roberts, inside the six-yard box. Payne? An air of indifference and diffidence pervades this non-space invader.

It was fun for a while There was no way of knowing this was just a dream on our night. Do you think there's an opening for a professional spoon spinner on the cabaret scene. I'll whistle if that helps, which is the opposite of the ref.

The Shop and Jiggery Spokery were replaced by Jackson Jnr and Williams, and Town are assumed to have moved to 4-4-2.

Too many free kicks spoil the broth. Come off it, Mr Purple. Every nudge leads to a grudge against this power that shouldn't be. Not every Rose has a thorn.

And in those brief, fleeting moments between the stewards retrieving the ball from beneath fading plastic Clifton crossed and Payne grazed softly and widely from the exact spot that leaning Lavery punctured our balloon.

Oh, here they are again, with their contagious inner ear problems, their irritating imbalances. In the larger greenside bunker beneath the Frozen Horsebeer Stand, Osadebe cheeked a free kick onto the roof of the net as everyone awaited an up and under. I may have chosen to gloss over some tossing and turning that led to a hill of beans. You have to have some mystery in your life: who was the tosser, who was the turner? You, the jury, decide.

Mere moments of isolated connection mean nothing, were nothing, for this and there is nothing.

With a couple of minute left Williams wibbled a free kick into the wall then triple-dribbled through their dreams and Town won a corner. When elevation was required for elation we had near post nibbling. That lack of elevation was the height of our sophistication as the fat lady of relegation began to warble loudly in the kitchen.

Two minutes were added. Two minutes passed, none of the players did.

Now the party's over, I'm so tired. I wonder, should I get up and fix myself a drink?

Walsall are rotten. Town rotting. Both teams have a basic level of negative competence and nothing else. With monochrome spectacles on it was another two points tossed away against stablemates in mediocrity and mundanity. With rose-tinted specs on Town are doomed without Matete.

Have we done our time in the kitchen at parties?