Tales of the expected

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

27 October 2021

Wealdstone 1 Grimsby Town 0

Mmm, so tell us Wealdstone, how did it feel to be without a home?

Here we are again in That London, this time trying to roll away the Stones on the slopey pitch hiding behind the rusty containers in a field, lost in suburbia. Back to the simple life, back to nature.

OK Mr Meteorologist, tell me, why does it always rain on Tuesday night?

Red Town lined up in a 4-4-2 formation as follows: McKeown, Sears, Waterfall, Towler, Crookes, Sousa, Fox, Coke, Bapaga, McAtee and John-Lewis. The substitutes were Pearson, Revan, Hunt, Khouri and Wright. Ouch, no Harry, so who'll make 'em hurry? Ah, two wingers winging, will we be singing?

When will we wake from the dream?

First half – The Ruislip Lido Shuffle

Wealdstone kicked off with a hoof towards the 794 Townites, wrapped around the scaffolding and corrugation, mumbling in irritation as Jackson seared Sears and, relax, there's a flag waving for a far off offside. Noises off.

Sexy Sousa cut in and weebled to Wickens, then swashbuckled waywardly into the avenues and alleyways of Ruislip, where the strong and the quick survive.

Look around the jungle, see the rough and tumble, listen to a squealer cry. A blue free kick and dunking Cook headed widely, highly and highly widely.

Winging, fizzing, hustling and hassling – bluesmen stomping all over Town. Wealdstone attacking exactly as they were practicing before the game. Who lives in a house like this? The clues were there.

Toss it in the can! Long chucks ahoy!

Flicking, licking, sticking it in the mixer. A nibble nowhere, Waterfall stretched and poked away as Buse attempted a triple Salkow. The referee looked, slowly put his lips together and just stared into space, picture our hands in our faces. I guess that's why we'll give him abuse. Umerah placed the ball down, looked up, looked left, replaced the ball, stuttered then spluttered as Jamie Mack swooped low and left to smother.

Shimmy-shammy Sousa slalomed, McAtee tip-toed through some tulips and Slim Wickens bumble-stopped with his mighty chest.

And in the 23rd minute a roar rolled around the corrugation as Town were awarded their first free kick.

Has the storm blown over? Only on the pitch, here comes the rain again, falling on our heads like a Bromley memory. The blue wave becalmed, the evening settling down to silence, just like we like it. A blue chip, Crookes stretched his toes and the ball skimpered out past Towler. McAtee spotted McAvoy sneaking alone and moved away from the "D" as the corner was clipped to the near post. Buse stood still and wellied straight into the bottom left corner through a thicket of disappointed legs.

What next? A mis-hit cross onto the roof of the net, some long throws, some tumbles, some fumbles and barely a rumble from the unroused travelling Townites.

Ah, life! A tickle, a tease and McAtee spun over a blue boot on the edge of the Wealdstone area. What do we get? Nothing but a limp. Ah yes, word of the day: limp.

Two minutes were added. Bapagapen couldn't quite fall over the keeper. There you are.

Flaccid Town were being given a going over.

Second half – Lost in suburbia

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Some vim, some verve, a cross, a blue slide at the near post. McAtee clipped the corner lowly, Waterfall's swipe was wiped away like some spilled ketchup at the local Wimpy.

Uh-oh, McAtee hobbled off, Maximum Wright gambolled on. At this Bapagapen sauntered into McAtee's old role: the fey playmaker who sighs at Lennie.

Uh-oh, Umerah! A rocking roll and McKeown gathered the deflating deflection as blue toes lurked.

Shall we count? 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10. Wickens dropped his kick.

Wealdstone sat back and watched the geese fly by. Bapagapen finally found a leg to fall over, Fox freed the kick and Waterfall glanced. Wickens was stunned as the ball hit his nose and squirtled across the face of goal. What about the orange? Sitting on the dock in the bay. Towler awaited and wafted, a blue short shuttled and shut that door Everard.

Tip, tap, tap, tip and a wayward whistle. Sears to Towler, to Crookes to Coke, to Fox, to Coke, to Fox, to Coke, to the left, to the right, up and over and out. And out, in, and in and again. And again and again. And eventually out.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15. Wickens flopped his flick.

And again and again. And eventually out. Again.

Bapagapen found another foolish foot, Fox chipped just over the lurking Waterfall, just over the loitering Towler and just over the bar.

Sears to Towler, to Crookes, to Coke, to Fox, to Coke, to Fox, to Coke, to the left, to the right, up and over and out. And out, in, and in and again. And again and again. And eventually out. And again and again. And eventually out.

Occasional home viewing, huge blue hurls with Jackson lurking beyond the blue horizon, but smothered twicely, nicely. Bye-Bye Ira.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20. Wickens hopped his sticks.

Town triangulation, Wright chipped, Sousa missed the ball. Won't we roll away the Stones? Sing - we still got a chance. A red corner, Lennie's shirt, aided by many blue hands, tried to escape from his body, and Lennie tumbled under double jeopardy. A penalty? On any other day with any other whistler. We've got no chance with this ref, even if we created a chance.

A mysterious traffic cone appeared on the pitch. However could that have got there? Coke was finger wagged for de-bunking the myth of Metroland and pointing out this was a man-made phenomenum. And that everyone had just seen Slim Wickens move it on to the pitch.

1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-12-13-14-15-16-17-18-19-20-21-22-23-24. Wickens really took…his time.

Time, ticking away. Mere moments that made up this dull game.

With five minutes left Hunt replaced Coke, and Waterfall wandered upfront for some subtle hoofing. Town hoofed subtly. Flicks and feints and frowns as time wound down and the crowd was wound up by the keeper's time keeping.

Two blue subs broke, Jay Bird crossed, Fasanmade dived his header over McKeown and over the bar. Is it over yet?

No, there must be at least six hours of added time.

Four minutes were added. Four, FOUR! Hoiking, hoofing, hoping, the dismal dreariness ending with McKeown leaning on a local lamp post in their corner and their keeper being booked for time wasting immediately before the final, final whistle finally peeped.

It could have been worse, it could have been better. Wealdstone's pesky kids put Town on the skids. They gave Town a right seeing to for half an hour, exposing every weakness however carefully hidden. Then they sat back and watched some imploding powder-puffery, aided by official buffoonery.

To lose once with a non-performance like this may be regarded as a misfortune, to do so twice would start to look like carelessness. We don't expect perfection, but we do expect that this Town don't repeat mistakes. That's not the new Town way, is it.