The impossible dream

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

25 April 2021

Oldham Athletic 1 Grimsby Town 2

Oh, I just don't know where to begin, an accidental win may happen.

It's now or never, tomorrow will be too late. If we gotta make a fool of somebody it may as well be Oldham. It has to be Oldham, it has to be you. We'll even be glad just to be sad about thinking of trips to you next year.

Ah, Oldham, with Bilbo Baggins and Freddie Garrity on their bench, not a cloud in the sky nor a care in the world as the tolling of the iron bell calls us faithful old Townites to our knees.

Smooth, clean and very, very green - how do they expect to play fourth division football on a pitch like that?

First half – Holding on

Hang on, where's Big Jim? Why is dull Matt Green panting on?

Town, being habitual criminals, kicked off towards where Oldham's fans weren't in the usual casual manner.

Whizzery-fizzery, twizzles and fizzles, Adams was tickled to the bye-line and Waterfall stretched a poke at the near post straight to Jamie Mack. Slippery dippery blueness, back to front and side to side. Whelan whacked and the custardian patter-caked as fast as he can. Do they have a plan? They surely do.

Tip-tap, hurry and scurry, pass and move and into the groove. Maybe Adams will get tired of dancing through Town all by himself. Coke legged up a Latic and yellow flashed. A quick trick free kick and a foxy forward jumped over a hazy dogged defender.

Coming and going in a heated rush, drifting free like two lost leaves, long-limbed languid Latic lads with an easy touch sauntered up their left, or possibly right. Jamie Mack scooped up the poopy ploppy nodding.

Town: disorganised and discombobulated by bluesmen bobbing and constant crossing. It would be nice to have a little walk through their black forest gateaux.

Hewitt surged and Spokes was legged up near the "D". Please move along, there's nothing to see here. The keeper caught the corner that flowed from the free kick that was flipped against the wall. See, I told you, I told you to move along. You really should take Jim Bowen's advice.

Those swinging bluesbreakers were crawling up a hill. Clarke surge through Khouri and crossed against the post from the bye-line. Flag up, goal kick, as you were. Please move along, there's nothing to see here.

Matete mugged as he chugged on the half way line with lithe Latics on their left swinging and swaying in a crocodile walk through the striped masses. McAleny bunny-hopped through some molehills and curled delightfully into Nando's car park, far, far away. Scrimbles and scrambles and McAleny almosted almostly, but mostly didn't as a free kick dropped between various stools and nefarious fools. Cool!

Town tip-toed towards the east, well, it's the least they could do. Green knocked back and Matete spun on the fringes of the centre circle. A blue swarm and McAlmont pickled a pocket, caressing into the void. McAleny  scampered onwards, awaited McKeown's arrival and calmly passed around and under custard fingers into the bottom left corner.

We're sat watching a flat pancake without any syrup, a mid-week training game, it's attack v defence. Oh whimpering in wimples. Is this how it ends?

Go, on give it a go! Go Lennie go! Elbow-rooming his way around the floor, you can see him but is he gonna score?. A free kick dumped hopefully highly, scrambling Lennieness, Menayese mis-kicked and Walker walked forward to pluck.

The aristocrats toyed with the artisans, passing out from a goal kick and hemmed into the corner by the hoi-polloi. A roll up their right and Khouri pressed Clarke like a flower. Green whipped the ball off blue toes, swayed infield, curled lowly, slowly and the ball bounced and skipped up across the folding deckchair into the bottom left corner.

Quirks and quarks may break his bones but goals will never hurt him.

From the off, ooh, Lennie, a shot! It is the intention that is important, not the outcome. If he means well, all's well that ends well, for no legacy is so rich as honesty.

One minute was added and a blue corner went nowhere. Thank you for your consideration.

From lowest place when virtuous things proceed, the place is dignified by the doer's deed.

Second half – Hold your head high

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Oi, that isn't 10 yards! Even their wall had to walk three paces forward to the aerosol line. A quick free kick, Green rolled and a corner to Town, highly cleared. Little Harry came steaming in, oh Little Harry came steaming in. Bundling, rumbling and dippy volleying, Walker flew high to finger flip over.

Here we go, here we go, here we go-o, we're going to a go-go. A-one more time, yeah. Harry mugged 'em, Green crossed 'em and Lennie handled without care beyond the far post. Ah, the chance gone-gone, gone, wo-oh-oh-oh gone.

Ah, something beautiful's dying. Waterfall passed directly to a lurking blue, who scuttled his own butts. We've got that losing feeling.

Matete muttered up the right with a sample of soft shoe shuffles. Clifton crossed and Lennie leant back to lamp widely high from the penalty spot.

They're ebbing, we're flowing.

I'm telling you now and I'm telling you right away - in a triple subbing on came Hair, Square and Bubi as Curly Keith lost patience with his chess pieces. Hang on, who's that? His name is Freddie Garrity. I must be dreaming.

Mmm, we may need to turn off their charm pretty quick. Chief Hairboy Barnes immediately twizzled through Coke and Menayese, crossed lowly, flatly, fizzily, and Clifton scrambled a slide at the far post from in front of Adams and the open goal. The corner shortened and Hairboy swiped across and dissected many leaping frogs. A corner again, flashed lowly to the near post, flicking forelocks and flying past custard fingers and across the face of goal for a throw-in. They're at leisure causing other people's pressure. And finally, a final corner drooped farly and the ball plopped off a blue shoulder and climbed over the crossbar.

Ooh hang on. OK, stay frosty. A long ball too long and Jamie Mack swept as Big Luke slept.

Woah, we're passing the football now? Big balls are so last week. Sweeping and creeping up the right, Lennie turned in the middle of the middle and split the atom. Spokes bounded on beyond the Da-Daist trio of blue backsmen and passed past the wallowing Walker and watched the ball roll inchlets past the farthest post.

The referee spoke with Coke after Spokes was choked, a final warning for a surfeit of backchattery. The bloke they call Spokes croaked the free kick wayly over.

Green shrugged centrally, Oldham swung right through their latest changeling Fage who took an age to swing his pants. Menayese stretched out on his chaise-longue to ooze and ease into the trees.

McAleny twisted and blistered as Town listed, slippering a slap into side nettage. Hewitt surged and passed to blue. When there's something weird and it don't look good, what's Menayese gonna do? Leg up Hairboy, of course. A booking for a hooking.

Well done Khouri. What a smashing block of cheese. No hair boy shall pass.

Little Harry… Little Harry… Little Harry… he's going, going, going still and still going now as you read this in the year 4545, where you ain't gonna need your teeth, won't need your eyes if the dirty dozen have anything to do with football. Clifton collected up the trash on the edge of the Town penalty area and darted forward. And kept on and on and on, da-da-da. A rolling stone gathering no moss, flying through the tumbleweeds, and on and on swaying past the last man and into the penalty area. And the greatest goal ever scored ever anywhere, ever, wasn't scored because a blue meanie was steadfast and true, and flew to their emotional rescue.

Inspired. Inspirational.

McKeown rolled rather than big boomed and Town triangulated in their nether regions. Hewitt passed up to a lurking stripe on the half way. Matete swivel-spun, surged up to the edge of the penalty area, swayed past a pony tail and slapped into the top right corner.

Sumptuous. Spectacular. Sensational.

From the off Fage dribbled and Jamie Mack kicked away this wicked infiltration for a chuck-in that was chucked long and grazed out for a corner that was brazened away by blackened stripes. Haven't we just reached the Parlsow Point? Land ahoy!

Latics sweeping and seeping down the flanks. Get out the tin hats and tin tacks, barricade the road, hide under the table, raise the flood barrier, raise the Titanic, raise the issue in Parliament, the impossible is not yet impossible.

A clash of Titans near the half way line. The ball spun into no man's land and a bluesman fleetingly on the cusp of leaping free. Khouri and Menayese stretched and down tumbled the Latic over the small wing-back. The referee wandered around, looked over to his linesman and pursued Menayese. Out came a yellow card, then a red card as Rollin rocked around in a rage.

No, don't listen to Lionel Botch, talk to the man in the tracksuit! Seething, John, we're seething and what do we see? A thing of great beauty, for the referee consulted the third umpire and Rollin remained, with Khouri booked instead.

Well, it may well be our day after all.

Shall we celebrate with a little trip to see their keeper? A magnificent Harrytackle sent Matete away for a  moment of minor jeopardy as Walker kicked away from his near post.

Blues bashing against a brick wall, blocks and crosses, crosses and blocks. All hands on deck, all hands on deck! A leftist sneak and chip, McAleny alone afar, and his header riffled along the side netting off the shins of Menayese with McKeown motionless.

Four minutes were added and half way through, as the egg boiled and the crow flies, Green was replaced by action Jackson.

One last heave. A goal-bound slapshot was headed away by Menayese, but a bluesman crumbled dead centre, as the clock ticked beyond the end. A free kick, 20 or so yards out, deadly central. Wattles were daubed and a little local lad kindly curled three inches over, and it was indeed all over now for these babies in blue.

Too late the heroes?

Young, old, borrowed and those that have been abused - they're all giving their all and we can't expect any more. If we go at least we go with some dignity now. They, we, can hold our head high.