Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
3 April 2022
Chesterfield 1 Grimsby Town 4
We love this town! No, that doesn't ring true, the traffic is stuck on the ring road and not moving anywhere, but it's a beautiful day. Ah yes, here we are again in Chesterfield, one of the four princes of BT Sport sitting stately on the floor. There are police vans out on the side roads, cheery stewards at the door, and 1,718 Townites simply wanting more in our never-ending tour of small-town England.
Town lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation as follows: Crocombe, Cropper, Waterfall, Smith, Amos, Maguire-Drew, Holohan, Jones, Clifton, McAtee and Taylor. The substitutes were Pearson, Fox, Scannell, Abrahams and Dieseruvwe.
Red Town perkily pranced around on the crumbling ground in front of black and white bounciness. Watch out Bananarama, when we bounce we mean business. And in the distance blue hats on a blue day did blue things in a blue way with a couple of our forgotten failures simply ignored by the bouncers.
Here we go, hold your breath, let's see if something blows.
First half: Get up and go
The Crumblers kicked off towards the Town fans as the police and the teenagers had a rolling maul with the Haxey Hoodie.
Balls boom and cheeks be a-blowin' as roses bloom in the avenues and alleyways beyond. Cropper dredged Miller and throws befouled. They're rolling it in.
Hustle and bustle, we're watching Derbyshire desperados rustling restless cattle. Holohan hit the dirt by the dug outs and Waterfall nodded the freely kicked boomer down into an absence of blue. Taylor turned on half a sixpence and bedraggled widely when bizarrely alone. Poor old Ryan, freaked out by space, man.
Bang, just one touch and alarm bells rang. Cropper crunched Miller and the cutely curated corner zingled beyond the far post where Whelan awaited. He waited, we watched as the red wall closed around him, Jones sweeping in from the South to block out the sun.
As Townites assembled awaiting a dink, the sneaky Spireites took it short and curly around the befuddled McAtee. Whelan tippled back to Mandeville, who coiled to the far post where Maguire arose alone to noddle into the emptiest of nettage.
Off the bluemen ran to the tiny gaggle of home fans right by the grumbling Grimsby end and King was booked for ostentatious baiting. Well, yes, technically you are right we are not singing at the moment. There's a time to plant, a time to reap, a time to laugh and a time to weep. Do carry on counting your chickens.
What more blueness is there? Asante twirls and occasional curls of Big Luke's lips as Chesterfielders pounced on communication breakdowns on the Town right. The Red Wall is solid in repelling blue.
Jones swept and Holahan crept and blues blocked the rapier wit and repartee. Town's command of the game is uncanny. Maguire-Drew tinkled through tackles, winkled through ankles and Taylor's diving header ended up in the Costa Coffee car park. Nicks were knocked, McAtee clocked Maguire-Drew alone and carefully passed through the static caravans. We looked over to Jordan, but all was not as it seemed. A yard out with no humans near, Maguire-Drew tried a Burnettian sexy little flick and made the impossible possible, shinkling over the bar to the amusement of the locals. Oh was it all a dream?
Well sunshine, don't go jumping the gun, you're laughing this time but there's plenty of time left for you to be the victims in the story of the blues.
Fine dining in Derbyshire, with tickles and a lack of tackles from the boys in blue. Cropper hurled and Loach the louse picked up the pieces. More twists, more turns, more grass burns for Cookie's monsters of rocky defending. A whip, a clip, red stretching, blue wretching. We pass, they move out of the way.
Humdrumming back-passing and buck-passing as blues were teased. Crocombe sloppily slapped down the centre and the ball skipped past chests and thighs to Little Harry. He knows, you know, he knows that if in doubt pass to Big John. Is he going to have a crack? He is, you know. In the middle of the middle of nowhere McAtee turned this way and that, pulled out his driver and deliberately, carefully sliced off the tee around the dog leg and straight into the hole. Whoa, a smackerooner swinging lowly across Loach and into the bottom left corner. That is Schoolboys' Own stuff, is there anything left from this man to surprise us?
I can hear the ghost of Roly floating down through the clouds, ah those memories come rushing up to meet me now: "You won't see a better goal on any pitch in the world by any other player."
The referee then apologised for booking the man of the moment.
More redness, more embarrassment for the Blues, for that is the story of these blues; the continuing story of the bungling in the hills of Derbyland. He can shoot a partridge with a single cartridge, for anything Big John can do O'Groves do can do better...
Just inside the Chesterfield half Jones the Sweep collected up some fluff and Maguire-Drew passed the parcel to O'Grovesie near the centre circle. Can you feel it? Can you feel the presence of the force? Something delicious and wicked this way will come. Holohan, with a foot like a traction engine, big dipped from full 30 yards up and over Loach and into the top right corner. With the undertakers stand in jiggling uproar Big Gav set off towards his new admirers, passing an all-singing, all-dancing Hurst on his way, posing for selfies with orphans, healing the sick as he made his way among us, then walking upon the River Rother and parting the Chesterfield Canal.
You have to say that's magnificent.
Ah Roly, we did see a better goal on this pitch in this world by another player.
The Spireites, spirits broken, look like they'd just heard that Leggy Mountbatten had taken up a teaching job in Australia. Shocked and stunned. Shocked. And stunned.
Chesterfield's midfield, a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas as Jones the Sweep commanded the known world. They shall not pass, they did not pass. Town passed. Oh that is nice for them. An attack. Asante headed over.
Jinking, jiving, dinking and diving at crosses. Ooh Taylor near, but not far away. A cross dripped and Clifton chased, Clifton cut in and his clobber was blockaded by blue socks. O'Groves advanced and fired up the boiler, but these homesters were finally wise to the danger posed by the power of a steam engine.
As the clock tocked on with Town clicking and ticking over nicely, Maguire-Drew's free kick droopily teased to the farthest post. Waterfall and Loach collided and various desperate desperados claimed blue murder. Mr Squelch ain't no fool.
Three minutes were added and ended as Waterfall headed over from one of Bazooka Joe's specials.
How was that for you? Mmm, thought so, me too. Delightful, delicious, de-lovely. Can't last. Can it?
Second half: It's looking good
Neither team made any changes at half-time.
Oh, yeah, here we go, some direct action. Biff-bang, up and under, clang-clag-clang went the trolley. Zipping and zapping but no home clapping. Infiltrations and excitations but King overhit a fizzling cross. Smith scraped, Jones soared, Waterfall kept his head and Miller cut in and clapped straight at and to Mr Orange.
Mmm, I’m picking up good vibrations as Maguire-Drew was tickled pink to be freed by Big John McT. Little Harry lurked beyond the far post and the ball duly lobbed itself west. Arms were clasped, air was gasped and Clifton carefully steered a loopy header over Loach back into the left side of the net. Ahoy, ahoy, land, sea and sky, the boy, the man disappeared into the crowd, into the happy valley of travelling delight. Yes kids, Chesterfield are truly on the skids.
Let us bring joy to this unhappy land with our songs of joy. Come see our newborn kings with their finest gifts for us. Please do join in with the little drummer boy: pa-rum pum pum pum, pa-rum pum pum pum, pa-rum pum pum pum.
Sniggling and wiggling McAtee waltzed down the centre and tickled to Taylor. Loach finally touched the ball as it skimped off hanging flesh, bumbled across the face of goal and King swept away from the approaching Maguire-Drew. The corner caused confusion on the A61, Loach dropped the ball under challenges from his own defenders and Taylor slapped straight in. Alas the goal was disallowed out of sympathy for the feebleness of these devils.
What's puzzling us is the nature of their game. They are hopeless. Ah dear old Spireites, you're losin' all your highs and you're now low, ain't it funny how the feeling goes away.
Up, under, up, under, under and up, McAtee ran away from the alleged home defence and Loach scooped the deflection, almost earning his wages.
As the hour approached Chesterfield double subbed, to the boo-ness of the boys in the crowd, taking off their best player, Khan, and bringing on some extra beef.
Route one gave way to route zero. Wrestling and pestling with the Quigley bulldozer. Amos chested away from the line after an Asante aerial assault. A header here, a block there, and Scannell replaced Maguire-Drew. Say what you like about Big Scanz©, he knows where to stand and certainly stands there.
Jones. Jonesie. High in the air between here and there, somewhere, anywhere, he's always there, right here, right now. Wow. Holohan picked a pocket or two, releasing McAtee who delicately, spectacularly chipped Loach. Keep your hat on, the linesman was not asleep, a flag arose to end his pose with his people.
Boom ball on a zoom call, these blue boys keep swinging. A shortened corner was reverse swept to the lurking Oyeleke who carefully caressed against the nearest post. Four to draw? Jones blocked, Amos chested some looseness after higgly-piggly annoyingness from Quigley. Crocombe plucked a far-post Grimes noodle.
With 10 or so minutes left Holohan nudged Oyeleke aside and lobbed into the void that was the deep right. McAtee sauntered, jiggled, juggled and passed into the flightpath of a red shirt espied in the corner of his eye, a dozen yards out at the near post. Taylor opened up his body and carefully steered through vague blueness and under the pickled and poached Loach.
We're bouncing, they're flouncing, for in the home stands they weren't looking for anything more than a way home.
McAtee was immediately replaced by Fox.
Yeah, yeah, home this, home that, a save or two, a cross or three and Crocombe smartly parry-punched the marauding Miller's coil. Yeah, yeah, so what, these ducks have been plucked, marinated and fried. There's only one thing left: it's time for Manny D and his magic knees, saving Taylor's old joints five minutes of wear and tear.
Four minutes were added with as many holes in the blue defence as in the blue stands. Foxy Fox furtled forward, but the best-laid plan was defeated by the badly-laid pitch. Townites sought out the very best corners in which to sunbathe and Manny D's rock and roll music was thwarted by the eyebrows of Grimes.
A peep, peep, peep, another peep, and that's it.
Something is stirring, for this didn't feel like a fluke, a one-off freak show. Apart from the first few minutes, Town were utterly, totally in control, the score line flattering the humiliated homesters. It was wonderful to be here, certainly a thrill.
Chesterfield put all their eggs in one basket and now they are a basket case. With Holohan and Jones, Town suddenly look like a complete, functioning, formidable team. Suddenly we see this is what we want to be.