Sitting by the riverside

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

27 March 2022

Grimsby Town 2 Dagenham & Redbridge 1

A sunny afternoon in the Costa Del Meggies with many a local sailing their yacht in the beautifully sparkling unhealthy still waters beyond. When the weather is fine you know that it's time for messin' about near the Humber.

Welcome to the clash of nylons, the showdown for the most disappointing position in football. Yes, it's the big Bananarama battle for 8th. Who is going to prolong their agony longest?

Town lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation as follows: Crocombe, Cropper, Waterfall, Smith, Amos, Maguire-Drew, Holohan, Clifton, Scannell, McAtee and Taylor. The substitutes were Pearson, Sousa, Burgess, Abrahams and Dieseruvwe. With the occasionally effective Effete absented from the battle, we have a new knight to joust and jape with. Let's hope Cropper doesn't come a cropper on the battlefield. He's lean and keen and looks quite clean, if you know what I mean as I saw him standing there.

The Daggermen turned up in blue with a raft of the dafter old Town loanees, Brandon Comley and Kamakaze Robinson. Yes, the long-forgotten Grime Boy is back in Grimsby. He says he is a rapper and I do recall we did say something similar when he were a borrowed boy. So long ago, was it all a dream?

I don't know, the first hint of summer and people go crazy, wearing shorts in the Pontoon, crop tops to the shops and, oh look, there's Debbie wearing her banter jacket again. Sensible people with sensible hair wear sensible coats.

Let's float some boats.

First half: End of the pier show

The Daggers kicked off towards the Pontoon with quickyness and slippiness and then they fell over a bobble. And again. Great groundsmanship, for he be Town's 12th man.

Is magic in the air? Believe, yes believe. Crocombe flat punted down the left, McAtee chased and Clifton clop clipped a blue heel on its way towards the yacht club. A corner. Elevation! Err, perhaps a little less elevation, a little more traction, Jordan.

Weston way out west worrying the sheep with his dancing feet. You can't hear anyone shout as Morais fiddled about with McCallum in the middle. Fiddle, fiddle, fiddle, hey fiddle-diddle his slap went over the moon.

You better watch out there may be clogs about. We looked over our Jordans and have seen that things are not what they seem. Maguire-Drew's tubby tumbling stopped some grumbling and Cropper picked up the ball for a throw-in.

As he stood in the shadow of the Fan Zone, Waterfall and Smith took a boat trip to Spurn Point and Taylor stood on Bull Sand Fort. What's going on? Tell me what's going on. I'll tell you what's going on. Cropper has bazooka arms, he's a fast and furious flinger of zingers into the heart of the penalty area.

The Daggers were nonplussed by the sudden arrival of Big Bertha. What do you get from pretending the danger's not real? Panic in blue, confusion in stripes. He chucked and hurled again, causing minor peril with drooping droplets of fire but, much to the ire of locals, no homesters were near the bouncing balls of fury.

What are we watching? Just two team messin' about near a river in backwater places all hidden from view. Are we shipwrecked and comatose? No we're alive, alive-o. McAtee's long shot of sneaky nothingness nibbled Justham's toes, Maguire-Drew wobbled flesh and wibbled a trademark drifty-drooper flashing past the farthest post.

A pig, a poke, Holohan bustled through and poked over the advancing Justham. What do we see? We see the seething Dentists watch the ball rolling down towards the river.

Ooh hello, the Londoners are calling and I don't want to shout, but while we were talking, I saw them crossing out of play. Corners, schmorners, hibble bibble, harem scarem, all fall down.

On the half hour Bazooka Joe was at it again. Cropper chucked longly and the bouncing bomb bobbed out and was lobbed back. Manny man stood around, but Maguire-Drew was scrumping for apples, slapping against Justham's nose and walking in the rebound, then walking in sunshine and don't he feel good.

From the off, an up was undered and a spectacular central plunge bought a free kick for the price of tea and a slice. That's the difference between us and them. I mean, good manners don't cost nothing do they, eh? No, this is no bad dream. Wright was not bright and carefully carooned over the bar and far, far away.

Some say he never blinks, and that he roams around the woods at night foraging for wolves. All we know is he's called Big Scanz©. Some say it was a shot, Big Scanz© moved. There we are. Fact!

Mr Robinson lay down and the referee halted a Town attack. Get up and look around, all you'll see are unsympathetic eyes. Weston turned Cropper's socks inside out and Morais headed satisfyingly wide at the near post.

As the fourth official lurked with his board and many a Mariner set off for their half-time cheeseboard, Town swung south. As Taylor was about to shoot, the referee pulled play back for a striped free kick. Moany-moany-moanin' 'n' a-groanin' pop-pickers. Maguire-Drew clipped from the deep left, Waterfall wandered beyond the blue wall, stepped on it and Justham did the Charleston at the near post. Right between the thighs, let this be a lesson: don't self-nutmeg in Meggies.

Two minutes were added. More I cannot say? What more can I say? Dreaming is free.

Carry on dreaming.

Second half: End of the road show

In a constipated display of perspicacious polysyllabic peripatetics which heralded the appearance of a teeming torrent of tempting talent, the tannoy announced for our delight and delectation that the Daggermen made two changes at half time.

Comley and Weston were replaced by Balanta and Vilhete. Weren't they a music hall act, I'm sure I saw them on The Good Old Days. Ah, Vilhete, their own, their very own Sousa. They're one of those dog acts in the dog days of light entertainment; at the end of the road there is an end of the pier show.

Lively perkiness in blue. They almost crossed it once. Almost.

Anchors and tillers and rudders and cleets, full-backs that are sometimes referred to as... ah, Johnson messin' about near the water buckets. McAtee disposed of the dithering drip under the Police Box as in the D a bluesman removed Taylor's tablecloth, scattering the tea cups and cake forks all over the floor. Big John wiggled his waggle, walked around Justham and prodded goalwards. Wright retreated, leant to his left on the line and the ball bumbled off suspicious fleshage. The ref had time to see in broad daylight, but decided to simply stand and stare as we stood and glared.

Ballboys! Time wasting gentlemen, please. Morais was replaced. So what?

Dream, dream, dream, filling up an idle hour to fade away in moments of nearlyness. Treading on balls, heading on balls, Maguire-Drew delayed his dink and Holohan had drifted offside. Big Scanz© used his lack of pace to no effect. Shuffles and scuffles, big balls and little balls, long and short, up and down, who'll deny it's what the fighting's all about.

Rance's rancid slices thricely satisfied the customers as stripes smothered. Cropper cramped then uncramped. Burgess and Manny D replaced Maguire-Drew and Taylor, with Burgess remaining widely left.

What a lovely day. By Jove! What a lovely day for pouring a tray of ice-cubes down Paul Hudson's trousers and saying, "How's that for a cold front?"

Are Scunny relegated yet?

With five minutes left Abrahams replaced McAtee, permitting a promenade along the Pontoon, glad-handing the hoi-polloi and posing for a succession of selfies as behind him Vilhete sausaged like Sousa and Balanta wimpy wafted in to the waiting arms of Crocombe, which were waiting.

Don't procrastinate, do articulate, it's getting late. As the fourth official lurked with his board and many a Mariner set off for their tea-time smorgasbord, the Daggermen swung south. A corner swung in from their right, Reynolds stooped'n'flicked at the near post and in total silence four minutes were added.

Let's waste some time. Abrahams befuddled in midfield, Manny D bedraggled through a gaggle of geese as Town procrastinated sufficiently for us to articulate our sunny delight as the end was finally nigh.

Once Town accidentally scored the die was cast as the Daggermen were a very insipid version of Solihull. They can't afford a beanstalk, nor can they defend. Town were never more than ample and that was enough.

Things are never as bad as they seem, so dream, dream, dream, dream on.