The End

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

28 April 2021

Exeter City 3 Grimsby Town 2

Seven o'clock, T.V. hour, don't get caught in a sudden shower on this still, overcast evening by the Exe. Place: St James Park; the scene set so dark, it's the end of the word as we know it.

Feeling pretty psyched.

First half – Clutching at flaws

Blue Town kicked off towards the absent homesters. Thrust and parry, cash and carry, where's Harry?

Ah, there he is, strolling down Stella Street.

Bluesmen breaking, Spokes almosted almostly to Matete but alas, dear reader, Williams, their sprite on the right, darted back to deliver them from the evil of desperate men in desperate times.

Coke, marvellously magnificent in snuffling out truffles. And Grecian gallops.

Hewitt hurled hugely into the furnace, Coke bumpshot sniffily straight to Mr Pink, playing the world's smallest violin. Do you think he tips?

Triangular possession-ball and incessant infiltrations on Town's right as Williams waltzed through the tulips. Seymour swiped against Waterfall's thighs, McKeown flicked a header over the bar, Willmott wellied well over angle of post and bar after their wizard of the wing wandered gaily across the pitch.

Criss-cross this, criss-cross that. It ain't a shame that Grecians jumped and missed the bus, but I think all right thinking people can agree Fruits of the Forest Green are the eco-spawn of the devil.

Williams this way, Williams that way, Williams any which way but for once not a loose pass. A twist, a turn, bridges being burned as Waterfall finished fabulously. Yep, our Baltic centre-back, Lukas Waterfallog, never fails to finish at the near post.

Is this finally the end?

No! It's fight not flight from our fine fellows. Coke and Matete, golden retrievers, hunted down their prey. Spokes flipped, Khouri clipped and Lennie's diving header was pushed away from the bottom of the left post by Mr Pink.

The red swarm tamed. It's a lull, it's not dull, it's a full court press. Little Harry Clifton hustled, harried and leapt over some dodgy parallel parking by Page. A thoughtful tooth was sucked and a fickle finger pointed towards the penalty spot. Big Dave Rock, you beauty! John-Lewis rolled right, the pink plunger rolled left, how deft of Lennie.

Homesters harrumphing and galumphing and from the off Hewitt hoiked a big boom back. Green bounded free, free, free beyond the tree, beyond the sea. Redemption? He's free but nothing is that simple. The pink plunger finally earned his corn, parrying the pokey-prod aside.

A minute was added. What more can I say, it just was, that's all.

We can still do this you know.

Second half – April is the cruellest month

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Oi, take it again. And we're off. Heads clash, drop ball, Spokes slapshot down Mr Pink's nostrils.

Town loose, there's sauce for their goose. Infiltrations, a cross, a run and corner. McKeown pushed away, Matete swayed away. Pressure, bearing down on Town. In, out, in, out, shaken all about. Hewitt slipped, Williams' cross flicked off a red head and on to Menayese for not handball. Who's that knocking on our door, who's that ringing our bell? Do us a favour and don't let Williams in. Well done Matete.

Momentary moments of Marinerdom. Hewitt hurled, Waterfall flicked on across the face of goal and away off red thighs. The corner was shuffled to Matete, who swished and swayed and crinkled lowly through a selection of local cheeses. Wahay! It's wonderful, it's woeful, it's Mr Pink's pathetic plunging, diving underneath the ball to set Humber hearts a fluttering.

What's that Sooty? Scunny are getting thumped at Newport? It's on, it's definitely on!

Atangana was replaced immediately. A deep red cross skittled twixt nowhere and never.

And in the middle of the middle of nowhere a ball bounced and who could possibly believe that this was the moment that our soufflé of hope would collapse. Matete leapt, Collins ducked. Foot hit head and out came a red card.

Ah, half an hour left. We'll keep holding on, keep it tight.

At this Exeter made a triple substitution throwing on all their strikers. They need a win, we need a win, they have nothing more to lose. Attack, attack, attack, attack, attack.

A dribbly-wibbly cross was head-flicked across the face of goal. And the ball bounced on into the streets of San Francisco.

Twenty minutes left.

Habergham Sam replaced Green and promptly missed a tackle. On the reds drove, wave upon wave as they waved promotion goodbye. A cross cleared at the near post, the far post, half way between the posts, half way to paradise. Offside! Handball! Stop the world I want to get off. Welcome to Sludgepool.

It's defence against attack. Waves and waves and waves and waves and Town drowning. Mayday, mayday, send up a flare, where's the lifeboat?

Waterfall failed to convert a chance at the near post, clearing clearly and concisely. Hurrah! Sweeney walloped from way out and the ball swingled and dingled and grazed the roof of net. Hurrah, hurrah for Dixie.

Khouri kaleidoscoped up the wing and was clattered by an old man. Waterfall noodled back across the face of goal, but aaaah... Dr Snuggles is a friend of the animal world.

Ten minutes.

Here they come, here it is. No! A rat crept through the vegetation. A cross flicked by a ducking head at the near post, Jamie Macc stuck out a hand, the ball ricobounded off Menayese and drivelled away for a corner.

Nine minutes.

Hooped high and farly, headed back and flicked by Fisher's fringe, flipped over by custard. Yes, we can still do this!

Eight minutes.

A corner again hooped high, McKeown stepped towards the throng as the ball hung. Hartridge stepped across the custardian and both plunged to earth. Fisher arose and this is the end of our elaborate plans.

Like a wake of vultures hovering over the dying wildebeest they swarmed. With but two minutes left in the Football League a cross swung from their right. Bowman alone arose between Hewitt and Waterfall to anglepoise a header into the top left corner.

He who was living is now dead.

Six minutes were added. Jackson replaced Waterfall and immediately won a corner. Jamie Macc ran upfield and blocked Hewitt's header. Time ticking down, down, down. A last chance in the last minute. Jamie Macc raced up for a free kick and Habergham hung it high and straight to the keeper.

I see crowds of people walking round in a ring.

This really is the end. No safety, no surprise, the end.

So we're back where we belong thanks to the tinpot Toytown Trump and his music man. This game, this team have nothing to do with those twin architects of this annus horribilis.

You may think of those two imposters as a horribilis annus, I couldn't possibly comment.