Dinner for one

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

17 October 2021

Bromsgrove Sporting 0 Grimsby Town 5

OK, we're old, we're happy and we're full of hot chocolate. What shall we do? Let's go crazy Broadway style!

Bromsgrove, Bromsgrove, it's a helluva town. The Ear Wax Removal centre is up and Will's Wigs is down from where I've parked. We do want to spoil your party, just so you know, we'd love your disappointment to show.

Ah, a scintillating sizzling and shiny dog day afternoon in the home of apples and pears, have a Bananarama. Oi! Oh, no, that's cockernee-baiting banter isn't it, these be Brumsgrovers. Hello there dour, downbeat hang-dog Brummie-liters with your beach ball. You do realise that fans with beach balls better call Saul. It's the universal sign of a hammering to come, like a non-League Mexican Wave at a swimming gala. Just day trippers who'll be back in B&Q next week.

Stripped down, striped Town lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation as follows: Crocombe, Sears, Pearson, Longe-King, Revan, Sousa, Coke, Fox, Clifton, Bapaga and John-Lewis. The substitutes were McKeown, Efete, Towler, Hunt, Khouri, Wright and Essel. Is that a second string? We've more strings to a bow this year, so maybe it's a second chance to shine for the rag-tag and bobtails dislodged by incidents and accidents.

Ah, the pitch looks fine as the green, green grass of their home ground sure looks pretty from the Thomas Jones Stand. Surely. Just don't call them Surely, that's half an hour away. Surely we passed Shirley on the way and surely it is not unusual for such throwaway jokes.

Will the ski slope be the great leveller. Is that an oxymoron? Ah, yes, that reminds me - who is the half–witted, know-nothing "expert" on the BBC dead button coverage? You saw it didn't you, but did you see what he saw and I saw? It ain't no eyesore, at least they've given it a lick of paint and a Portaloo or two as rock'n'roll royalty came to their town.

Let a thousand flowers blossom.

First half – TV times

Town kneed off towards the murmuring mass of Midland mithering. Mmm, nice chips. Perfectly, properly fried, just like their full-backs. Sousa rousing, mmm-Bap bopping and hopping, Lennie hoping and groping, steering widely wide.

Dear old Lennie, lovable, huggable Lennie, our fulcrum, our pivot, our maestro of missing; it's what we've been missing these last two months. How do we expect to avoid promotion if we keep scoring goals?

Lennie's back and he's Lennier than ever.

Ooh hello. A red cross grazed a red head after triple barges as red charges and bodychecks were ignored by the charity worker in charge. Goodbye Bromsgrovers, see you in half an hour.

Ah, I love special fried rice with chips and a little bit of curry sauce. Mmmmm. No sultanas, no currants, just pure smooth and runny sauce. Can they save face with their full-backs outpaced? Where there's a Will there's a way through the red wall. Shoot lad, just have a dig.

Erico e-roaming, Fox trotting, Bapaga blamped at the Hungarian hair model. It's free and easy pickings with Town ticking over nicely. The spinning, grinning wing twins having a ball. Easy, peasy, nice and easy does it.
It's not a question of if but only of when. Let's get this showaddywaddy on the road. We are only three passes from a heavenly goal.

Hey Bromsgrove, watch out for them Town triangles. Don't go too near they make defenders disappear. If you don't see the angles you'll be struck dumb. Here we come. Coke tapped, Clifton spun-swept behind his right ear, Bapaga r-r-r-raced away and Revan took a touch and slamped high above the hairstyle. Sweet, sensational and all on national telly.

Ah, yes, they had a cunning plan. Drop kicks are worth three points in ruggerby so the late Bloomer launched Sousa towards the Malverns. Revan coiled deeply dippy, Longe-King, perhaps much further out than we thought, lounged and Onadi with his reverse wiggery flapped away from near the far post. The linesman waved, and Bromsgrove were drowning.

Tickling, teasing, here's Be-Bap-apaga with his flying feet. Revan revved up their right, fiddled and faddled in fluent footballese and curled lowly into the bottom left corner from the further right corner of their penalty area. You could see their beach ball deflating in real time.

Crocombe can't half wallop a fly kick, hacking straight uphill and straight out of play thricely. That'll do nicely on a wet windy day.

Lennie! Arising alone, alas, alack nodding off.

Striped and spinning wheels around and around, let's talk about their troubles. Wizzing, fizzing, wysiwygging. They just cannae hold us, they just cannae run quick enough. Bapaga wibbled, Onidi wobbled. Lennie set free, passing against Onidi, then tapping against Onidi for a double miss. Was it left foot, right foot? Is that a perfect hat-trick of misses in the first half?

Balls in the box, balls into gardens, balls into the car park, balls nestling in trees. We're talking balls.

Passing, movement, such panache, give it a lash! Little Harry! Let's blame it on the greenkeeper for skimping on pest pellets. Away, away into the ozone layer as a mole appeared and a divot diverted as the black sock was swiping.

Two minutes added. It's here and now, or possibly not, that Sears sauntered as Shorrock shuffled in from the wing and slapped from afar. Crocombe long-limbed aside. That, sirs, is what is known as a save.

And there we are. We may as well go home now, their party's over. We've burst their pretty balloons and taken the ball away.

Superior in every way, but not arrogant enough to assume victory through mere presence. Work hard, play hard, hard to beat. Right, I'm off for a half time treat.

Second half – Radio ga-ga

Is your muffin buttered? Would you like us to assign someone to butter your muffin?

Little Harry was replaced by Khouri. The raggedy Rouslers in red stuck with what they'd got and stuck it in the mixer. That be the concrete mixer next to our chaise-longue. All day long the ball arrived on our chaise-longue.

Lennie! Chasing keenly, bounding freely as Onodi wandered lonely as a cloud of doubt way out towards the trees. The Shop skipped and nipped and slipped a weedy nick vaguely goalwards. Two feather dusters swept away the fluff before the mayor arrived for tea.

Lennie! Against all odds and against the keeper's legs. We've shared the laughter and the pain and even shared the tears over all those years. Every move you make, every step you take we'll be willing you on. C'mon Lennie one more go, keep going lad, you can do it!

Woozy-boozy wiggling and wandering, Sousa slipped and tricked and slap shot into someone's back garden. Appropriately, our resident shop slap shot into Aldi's car park as the bar staff wheeled beer barrels in shopping trolleys past the lolling Townites.

Bromsgrove changed their tune, bringing on big beefy Brown. Chaise Longe-King was briefly bobulated as Brown shot straight at Crocombe, who flat-slapped a kick straight down the middle. Sliding and gliding Bapaga found a friendly foot to fall over. The ref's whistle approached his lips and no sound emerged. Hey, you know how to whistle don't you Scott? What a palaver, to have and not have advantage, as Lennie and Sousa blew their auditions.

On the hourish, time for a change, time for some Maximum Wright. Out came the cotton wool and off came Eric O.

Oh Lennie, wafting wide with a side swipe. Oh Lennie, Lennie, wherefor art thou Lennie? Coke cutely clipped, Lennie turned the pastry and shinned over and over and over and over. Shall we say it hit a bobble hat in beautiful downtown Bromsgrove?

Let us place on the record that the red-shirted shifters were still attempting to score. A corner, Pais and his sideburns glanced, the ball passing two strangers in the streets beyond the pines as they pined for something, anything to remember this fine day by, other than a larger bank balance.

And thus there is no more red shifting for reminiscing. They are no more, they have run out of puff.

Can we be bothered to score more? Of course we can, they are men on a mission, a five-year mission to get Lennie to score. Diagonal dinking, Khouri crossing, Wright volleying and a redman swiping away from near goal. Khouri mugging, triple stripes raiding, mmm-Bap blasted, Onodi parried and pawed as Wright's legs lurked.

With about a quarter of an hour left the vessel that is Essel replaced Fox. What about Richard Chalice from Crystal Palace? Isn't he on loan to Billericay Town?

Onodi, what are you doing sitting down? You should be vertical now. Drowsing Rouslers drowning in monochrome, Wright and Essel chasing in to the penalty area, tackling each other and Onodi. The ball buffled out, Essel fell over Hungarian hands on the outer limits of the white lines. Tears all around and Lennie stepped up to take the penalty to a chorus of well wishing. C'mon Lennie, you can do it or you may have to B&Q it next week. Onidi flew left, John-Lewis lifted straight down the middle, headed for the burbling bubble of love behind the goal and was engulfed in a huddle of happiness from the entire team.

Town ramped up to the Max, trick and treating, full-backs for the beating. Bapaga wiggled, waggled and wuggled, finally finding a flapping foot. Penalty. Revan wandered and wondered if he could take it, but Coke had words as Lennie picked up the pieces and tapped lowly down the centre. And the rest is history. Poor old Lennie. It's got to the stage of pity and patronising encouragement. Whatever he does, good, bad or indifferent we simply smile and laugh.

He keeps on keeping on no matter what condition his condition is in.

More and more and more of this and that. Maximumis Wrightius skipped and slid and danced and sung through three then four red necks, slapping high into the side nettage. Lennie got out some nutmeg, Mmm-Bap shook his maracas, and Shaun of the Pearson arose at a corner to glance slightly wide as three minutes were added.

Hurry up, there's someone here with a train to catch at six.

In the fifth of those three added minutes, after the late Bloomer had hurt his shoulder clearing the missed penalty, Bapaga shimmied and shook lowly across the keeper and into the far left corner.

It was easy. It was easy because our players made it easy, by not allowing themselves to be patsies in a party. Smart work from a smart team. There will be gulping across the land at seeing what our "reserves" can do.