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Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

30 January 2022

Grimsby Town 2 Wealdstone 1

Long ago and far away we met among the shipping containers. In between what might have been and what has come to pass? Just slowly passing cargo ships on a Saturday afternoon.

Ah Wealdstone and Town, two discrete histories and expectations despite our present proximity to each other. On the one side fuchsia-lined lanes on the other sheets of newspapers drifting in the street winds. Welcome to the Tropic of Cleethorpes.

A blustering blue day of gusts and gales with 166 Headstones bopping in the covered corner. They're bigger than Bromley in oh so many ways. We do appreciate you being 'round though we do expect that you'll help us get our feet back on the ground.

Town lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation as follows: Crocombe, Efete, Waterfall, Pearson, Amos, Sousa, Raikhy, Coke, Clifton, McAtee and Taylor. The substitutes were Smith, Burgess, Fox, Wright and Abrahams.
Okay, so will Raikhy heal us?

Blue stones with new Stones and Ira Jackson back on the bench, but have they got a friend in James-Taylor?
Hold on to your hat-stands and batten down the tomato frames. Here it comes.

First half: Can it all be so simple?

Town kicked off towards the Osmond with a quack and a waddle and a Stoner went down in a flurry of eiderdown as Raikhy raked his auric field. We all know refereeing is a pseudoscience - out came a gentle finger wag.

Blues blown backward, blues blown away, between you and me I can honestly say things can only get better.

Just stare into space, picture their hands on their face as McAtee bamboozled a bluesmen with a sexy saxophone solo in the shadows of the Frozen Horsebeer Stand. Sousa swayed away, Taylor flicked at the near post and Wickens paw-clawed aside for a corner. Raikhy dripped and drooped from the left and Big George parry-punched from under the crossbar. Raikhy rambled to the right, coiled the corner for deep dodgems. Waterfall hooked a biff into ground and Wickens spectacularly shovelled over from under the bar.

Windy woes and woeful wiffs. Overhit, underhit, Efete's throws went in and out and in and out and in and out. McAtee scampered once, twice and thricely, finally rolling wide when always officially offside. Flags be a fluttering and balls in the guttering.

Stones static and forming a circle, they canna get past the halfway line. Salsa on toast! Sousa cut through the tumbleweed and scruffled straight to Wickens when many waited beyond. Tips and taps and almost a clap as Clifton clipped and Efete fell over own feet as he chuntered through a gaping gap and into the penalty area.

Okay, shall we have a rest? Don't get excited, we're coming up short.

Ooh, hang on, what are they doing here? Some hither and thithering, Crocombe punched and punched again to pass to McAtee who fell into a foul fug after blue blocking. That was the entirety of them, they are a keeper and ten traffic cones.

In a provincial ground they're jogging around as, in between the grumbles, Town had a rumble. A cross, a deflooption and Clifton shinned over after blue panic in the streets of Humberside. Well, many round here do wish to hang their DJs.

A full court press and heading by Stones. A corner, a corner, my kingdom for a corner. Exit third corner stage left. Cod and your arms be praised, victorious friends. The day is ours! Raikhy dripped a leftist corner, many arose. Pearson arise! Betwixt Efete and Waterfall he who is Shaun sprung highest and flicked straight down the middle from the middle. All together now: one, two, three, four can we have a little more? We don't want the same old story again, all these tears of joy shed in vain where nothing's learned and nothing gained.

Fumbling, bumbling and Grimble-grumbling at wayward noodlings going nowhere, slowly. Look at the sky, look at the river, isn't it good? Pearson over-biked wayly as balls dropped. Amidst the grass, fresh air at last, but McAtee's slipshod slap-shot slithered over the nearest of posts.

One minute was added just for the heck of it.

Between the things that happened much more didn't. A curiously tepid Town were hamstrung by gustiness and rustiness on the right. Wealdstone? We counted them all out and counted them back. They were here, we could see them.

So how are we going to avoid happiness this week?

Second half: A better tomorrow

No changes were made by either team at half-time.

Ooh that's nice, the wind is fading, balls aren't blowing backwards. Let's sit back and watch the Weald go round and round. We'd really love to watch them rollover.

Town asking questions, Blues lost in confusion. McAtee skipped away beneath the Police Box, shuffled and scuttled to the bye-line. He looked up and saw things you people would not believe – Town players in the box. Joltin' John rolled the ball across the penalty spot to the advancing Amos whose shot was kicked away by the keeper and Clifton's follow-up was scraped off the line by a wall of blueness.

Thrusting in the gusting. Oi Slim Wickens, where's your traffic cone?

A clip and trip in the shadows of the Police Box amd out came a yellow card. The Punjabi Pirlo coiled into the centre of the centre, Efete arose alone, steering sweetly, lowly and across the keeper, then disappearing into the teenage wastelands at the foot of the Pontoon. Yes, the happy ones are near.

Ole, ole, ole, ole, swash those buckles and shine your shoes, meet the gang 'cos the boys are here, the boys to entertain you, raising the rafters with a-hey, hey, hey. We won't be feeling blue with hats on the side of our heads.

A blue chip into the corner of emptiness under the scoreboard. Crocombe ambled and tapped up the line to Amos. Oh Danny Boy, the steam flows hot and quickly. With Crocombe stranded in the corner Amos passed to the man who isn't Pearson. Mascoll gleefully, gratefully accepted the gift of laughter, turning and chipping into the emptiest of nets from 30 yards out. The man who is Pearson expressed his feelings, which matched the feelings of the majority of Mariners.

Wibble, wobble, Town discombobbled.

Wealdstone threw on a small quick man. Wealdstone threw on a big slow man. Luckily they didn’t have a long throw. A big drip dropped over the white cliffs of Dover with Crocombe back-puddling. Buse ducked and grazed a free kick inchlets past the left post. Relax, flags are a-fluttering.

Moments. Runs and crumbs as blues blocked stripes. Just crosses, passes, just moments of almostness. They're trying, they are very trying. Are they tiring. McAvoy had a tantrum when tricked by a Townite in burger-bar corner. Raikhy curled, the ball riffled along the roof of the net. What a waste, what a waste, but I don't mind if Town win.

With quarter of an hour left Abrahams replaced Taylor for some Lennie-liteness. He moved, he fell over, he won free kicks. He had his uses. Pressure, passing the time, passing the time, everything fine and Old Coke's clapperboard was snapped shut by a blue duvet. Corners, crosses, corners again. McAtee lurked and lamped, the unsighted Wickens kicked the ball back against Pearson and the ball bafoobled back over the bar before you could say "antidisestablishmentarianism."

"Antidistibilitsmin... anti-misty-linstimbl... anti-stids"

Two minutes later… "anti-distinctly-minty-monetarism..."

Ladies and gentleman of the jury, Mr Fox replaced rickety-rackety Raikhy. Shaky Stevens in a tizzy as stripes pressed. Mr Grimsdale! Shinning and shanking, and a chip into the twilight zone. Wickens waddled, Fox trotted, a defender strained his teabag. Fox felled and Fox fouled as they all sneezed and all fell down. What do you want to make those eyes at me for? The referee's solution to this conundrum was to point south.

Stones be seeking the treasure. Holes, space, moments. A blue shot careered off striped stomachs, Crocombe swept up the drubbler as it sighed away way wide. Sousa swayed, Wickens' fantastic fingers flicked away from the near post. A corner. Yes, it must have been.

Four minutes were added. Town chipped and occasionally chased. McAtee sneakily harassed a day tripper down by the Police Box, charging down the clearance and heading for the bye line. Blues flocked, McAtee passed and Abrahams Lennied over.

All hands on deck! Bluesmen, strumming and humming the same old song, joined on stage by their little drummer boy. Wickens, roaming in the gloaming, caused minor merriment with his forays forward. Balls in the box, balls out of the box. How long is four minutes? It’s a long as a piece of string.

Can we string this out any longer? No sir, we can boogie now.

Well that was harder than it needed to be. What more needs to be said about a training game? Town are stuck in a limboland of not quiteness and today, Matthew, Town didn't quite manage to avoid victory. Fine margins indeed.