Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
15 September 2021
Grimsby Town 3 Wrexham 1
Woke up this morning feeling fine, there's something special on our minds for something is happening and it's changing everything. We do know why-yi-yi-yi-yi.
The rain started to stop and overhead the herring gulls hung motionless upon the air. Deep beneath the rolling waves of hope, Town fans strolled into the seething cauldron.
Town lined up in a shapeshifting 4-4-1-1 4-2-3-1 5-4-3-2-1 formation as follows: McKeown, Efete, Waterfall, Towler, Crookes, Sousa, Coke, Hunt, Clifton, McAtee and Taylor. The substitutes were Pearson, Revan, Fox, Wright and Bapaga. Why change?
Hollywood turned up in dark, dank sludge-green shirts, camouflaged in the dark night, hoping to gain an edge. Are they pumped up for the big game? If they can't get pumped playing against the Big Teams they never will. It's their cup final, after all.
Who can hack it on a wet Tuesday in Cleethorpes? It's the acid test for footballing success. Who will pass it? Will anyone pass?
First half – Holy communion
Town kicked off towards their five hundred. Down the alleys on high-horses they thundered into the Osmond. We've come to see them, of course, why else would we be here?
Clattering, shattering bing-bang-boing. Big balls, balled bigly. Dr Mullin and Mr Hyde chasing torpedoes for Tozer to toss. No, we have no towels. Yes we have Towler, Rowdy Towler marking the raw Hyde.
Tossers! Stealing yards at every throw-in.
Sousa felled afar on the right. Hunt crinkled, Waterfall ducked and glanced, the ball arced and drifted and air-kissed the far post with Lainton swimming artistically beneath.
Lainton fell over the ducking Taylor, coincidentally what the Wrexham fans were saying about the old Newport Lag. A stoppage for hurtiness.
Pace and space, Reckord roaming, Efete homing in on the pigeons. Greens falling, it's quite appalling, names a-calling.
Mullin's sneaky surprise snap dragon ballooned over the left angle of post and bar. Hyde and Mullin pullin' out wide leaving big holes for someone to run into. If only they had someone. They are a void behind their stars, a façade.
Titans will clash. Hayden dredged Taylor, Coke was swept aside by a street cleaner. The crowd agog, Town awaiting salvation. Young carried on, Young coiled, Hyde sneaked behind Waterfall and tickled beyond our flapping custardian.
Tick-tock, tick-tock, it's on Tik-Tok - go you Wrexhammers! Whoop, yeah, you da man! A moment of silence. Just a moment. Roaring, stripes soaring, the Pontoon pouring, Town will be scoring.
There's plenty of holes in their desert of a defence.
A-hem, clear your throats. Tozer cleared, Hyde helped on down their left, Mullin cut in and clipped straight at McKeown's nose.
Patiently tipping, patiently tapping, slippering and slithering. Efete surged and stopped, Hunt cutely clipped, McAtee dummied, Sousa shimmied and Taylor stretch-poked at the near post and in off the far post.
And the crowd went wild, went wild in the county.
McAtee on a mission, chasing down fly-kicks, sowing seeds of panic with irrepressible pressing. Triangles triangulated, Clifton lift-flicked, McAtee missed with his ice cream scoop. Do you want a flake with that?
Passing, movement, McAtee marauding. Hunt flat flung a right-sided corner, Waterfall arose majestically beyond the penalty spot to glance-steer into the top right corner. Fingers groped and grasped but failed to clasp.
Can you feel it? Can you feel it? Can you feel it? If you look around our whole world's coming together now.
Ah, Big Luke, now you're at the wheel tell me how, how does it feel?
Bazookas and bilge, Wrexham humping, lumping and dumping deeply. Go long, go west, they wallop so high, tell your Welsh friends goodbye to any thoughts of subtlety. Heave ho, here we go. Tossing by Tozer - terrible after shave, you know. Finally a half moment of almostness as Young big-dipped a stray clearance inches wide with McKeown shooing the little mouse away from the kitchen.
Chucking and ducking, diving and skiving. A green-eyed monster mocked the meat-headed ref with a desultory tumble in the weeds under the Police Box. As stripes slumbered a quick free kick was kicked quickly, Jones caressed, Hyde sneaked into the corridor of uncertainty and up went the flag as the ball hit the back of the net.
Tozer tossed. Who wants salad?
Four minutes were added, just enough time for Jones to slap and Jamie Mack to stumble sprawl low and left. And for some telepathic timewasting interaction between a ball boy and McKeown.
Second half – Goodness gracious me
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Pushing, pulling, shushing, whooshing this way and that. Get into 'em. Town got into 'em.
A flick, a trick, a shove and shake, Coke bedraggled through a thicket of green legs and a foot or so wide. A trick, a flick, a shovel and rake, Hunt headed for Hollywood with a waft from way out when all around lay friends not foes. He looked to his toes and sighed.
It's been a while since sumo wrestling was on TV. Big beasts collided, grunting, shunting, punting and don't put out the bunting. Fascinating, exhilarating, breathtaking but bereft of goalmouth activity. Thunder and lightning, the way they move isn't frightening, for both sides were knocking on wood.
Wrexham boxed in, contained, permitted to function on a basic level. Have they a plan B? Have they a plan A? What are they? Big-balling Micawberism, hoping something turns up.
How? Well they go boom boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom. Boody-boom boody-boom boody-boom-boom-boom.
How often does this happen? When did the trouble start? Just once, about half way through the half if you must know the answer to your questions. Lobbing and sobbing in the Osmond as Jamie Mack flapped at a Garryowen and Crookes double-smothered Hyde.
We've never yet been beaten or outfoxed; well goodness gracious me.
Gridiron gridlock. The Slant is the staple of the West Coast Offense, and it really is offensively miserable football that Parkinson is imposing as they go on the slippery slope to nowhere. At this rate they are simply spending a lot of money to find a new way of standing still.
Big balls ahoy! Mullin fell under a spell at the far post. Striped shoulders shrugged. Waterfall waterslid to drown a moment.
As time ticked by for the tacky Tik-Tokers they started to snark and nark. Oh what a larks at Blundell Park. A quick chuck, McAtee insta-lobbed and Little Harry was levered aside, but the fool with the foam saw foul deeds for them. Erico danced delightfully, Efete rolled his foot over an imaginary ball. Off went O'Sousa, for it's time for Maximum Wright; let's live life to the Max.
Oh Wrexies, poor Wrexies. All that way for some fish and chips. Crosses overhit, underhit, never hit right. They did not have the right stuff, but were about to be stuffed by Wright. Wiggling, waggling and a skimmering slap deflected low to Lainton's left after McAtee's tickle and tease.
Skittling escapades in the shadow of the Frozen Horsebeer Stand and Maximum Wright plunged to earth holding his face after being elbowed aside. No foul deeds espied by the peepster. But sir, how can 6,000 people be wrong?
Boom, boom, shake the gloom. A green corner dripped, a monochrome head clipped, a striped boot slapped high and far, straight down the middle into the centre circle. The lonely last and lost defender volleyed against the leaping Mighty Max. The ball ricobounded into the Wrexham half and, pursued by a bear with Blundell Park bouncing, Wright ran off with a spoon, swaying around the keeper and rolling into the empty net.
Please join us in communion. We are Town. They're all going home.
Five minutes were added as Town's double subbing happened so fast. Pearson replaced McAtee and we had the now standard Fox Hunt. Tally Ho! McAtee milked the moment, promenading along the Findus and Pontoon, garlands strewn in his path, picking up trinkets and scarves, acknowledging his adoring audience.
And Mullin slip-scooped nowhere. Sums 'em up neatly.
Utterly marvellous, mostly magnificent for the team, and town, are one. We are together in an electric dream start. Wrexham were repelled and contained. They were dealt with, proving that committed collective competence will overcome a collection of individuals.
On the pitch, off the pitch, it was pitch perfect. What a time to be alive.