Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
13 September 2015
Grimsby Town 4 Artless Aldershot 1
An indian summer's day in the capital of caterwauling, with a coachload of army dreamers assembled in the sunshine, topping up their tans by sitting in the English rain. The traditional grand dwindling continued with another couple of hundred dropping out after term started. Slackers!
Town lined up in a 4-4-2 as follows: McKeown, East, Pearson, Nsiala, Robertson, Arnold, Robinson, Disley, Monkhouse, Amond and Bogle. The substitutes were Tait, Clay, Venney, Pittman and Mackreth. Oh Matty Robinson, look around you, all you see are unsympathetic eyes. Just keep strolling around the ground until you feel at home.
The huge Hampshire humpers turned up in electric blue, with Hatton and Brodie together in electric dreams. We only knew them for a while, but they never made us smile. Hey, they've got an Omar too, it's catching. Note: that's catching, not flapping, Jamie Mack, oh so pretty in pink. Well, we do live in the place where nothing is ever put straight.
Right, that's the end of the joke, let's end the choke and get revving up the league. A bell is tolling and the traffic is waiting outside.
First half: Heads and art
Town kicked off towards the Pontoon and confused the Shottermen by not immediately heading towards the toilets. Aldershot like to keep it above the waist. No blue humour please. We can laugh at them later, not with them now.
Bogle bundled and Oliver, their huge dead tree stump, collided with the ball. A corner, a corner, and a fillet of fandom getting hoarse. The blue bores barged and bundled, bullied and bashed; the ball a stranger to their toes, their eyes forever gazing towards the clouds. Perhaps they dream of international travel one day. And microwave ovens.
The southern scufflers speculatively dripped an unremarkable long dipper into the vast emptiness of their soul behind the goal. McKeown edged beyond his far post to flip-flop-flap a risible dirigible onto Robertson's thighs. Forget about them for half an hour. They kicked Townites and the ball in equal measure. Here's another clue for you all: the walrus was Richard Brodie.
Omar. Omar, Omar. Omar, Omar. Omar Beckles chased Omar. Omar, Omar. Omar, Omar. Omar Bogle. Can you ever have too many Omars? Bogle chased and laced himself around the dead tree stump to scrape into the side net. Town's bus driver don't know much about geography, but Town do know much about trigonometry and Danny East knows what a slide-rule pass is for. I do know what a wonderful goal it would have been if Nathan Arnold hadn't lamblasted waywardly into the darkest corners of Peru. Tempting tic-tac-toe triangles of tremendousness from left to right, through the thick and thin, ended with the demon barber alone with his crimping shears, without something special for the weekend.
Over-intricate passing and non-shooting from Monkhouse and Bogle, Robinson and Arnold dribbled weak nothings. Amond chased a lost cause under the Police Box. Possession and pressure from right to left, Robinson dinked Robertson and Bogle carefully steered wide. La ta ta ta ta ta ta (history). Hmm-mm-mm (biology).
La ta ta ta ta (history). Like clockwork, Town conceded the same goal again. The Walrus cried near the dug-outs and the referee took pity. The free kick was punted long and high towards Oliver's head. The dead tree stump thumped and the unmarked Walker steered back across McKeown into the bottom left corner. It's a goal, Charlie Walker, it's a goal.
Triangles and whiffling wangles, harems and scarems, this way and that 'ems, isn't it the most. All we are saying is score us a goal. The ball rolled back to Arnold, eight yards out. The keeper looking for his contact lenses, the goal agape and Arnold mis-wobbled wide. At that, off their keeper hobbled, having groined his strains fly-kicking under the Bogle/Amond convergence. On came a bulky lad.
East surged and swerved, Boglewalling on the edge of the penalty area and scoop-crossing. The ball hung and dipped and Thomas the Tank-keeper flapped away from underneath the crossbar. To no-one.
As if by accident an incident occurred. Robertson misremembered he's a womble and Walker waltzed to whiffle wimpily at the Flamingo Kid. That was them again. If you'd like to step this way, sir.
In added time Arnold elevated a corner and several monochromers arose to thump generally goalwards. The ball hit a bulge of blue near the line, scriffled about in head tennis and Disley's chesty steer-volley was blocked by Thomas. Oh so what, it was offside, where's me washboard it's half time already. Boooo! Something booo.
Aldershot. They can head the ball, they can't pass the ball. I could talk all night about Town's mind going sleepwalking after the statutory concession, for they just lumped high above Amond to Oliver, which was barmy.
Go and have a cup of tea while I'm putting the world to rights.
Second half: Swept away
Neither team made any changes at half time.
The Shottermen didn't confuse themselves by not immediately heading towards the toilets. Three seconds: straight into the Lower Frozen Horsemeat Stand. A masterclass in mundanity from the mediocre.
Town, Town, Town! Well, after a couple of minutes of gentle prodding and polite probing. East surged and swerved, crinkling a clever flat pass behind Amond. The impish Irishman first-time flipped the ball over the giant deadwood and volleyed spectacularly towards the top right corner. Thomas the Tank-keeper went off the rails to sail and parry with equal spectacularness and spectacularosity.
Town's cracker had awoken.
Corners elevated, decelerated and penetrated amid hugs and shrugs, falling and bawling for penalties, scrambles, brambles and Robinson's shambling shot. Repeat, repeat and repeat again. Amond snuck around the back and carefully noodled a header into the six-yard box. Bogle nodded, the referee bothered us with a pernickety peep for some deeply unseen mutual shirt stroking.
Arnold simmered and shimmered a dipper and Oliver ducked like a donkey to head just over his own bar. Arnold shimmered and simmered a whipper through the six-yard box. The blue wall was crumbling.
More multiple moreness and corners. Arnold elevated from the left and beyond the far post. Bodies mingled together and Toto tumbled near the comedy walrus. The referee pointed spotward and Brodie indulged in his usual am-dram teenage tantrums, sinking to the floor, looking to the skies, jumping up and throwing himself on the ground. Omar waited. Thomas the Tank-keeper fell left as the ball rolled to his right. Bogle carefully stroked the ball into the exact spot his last penalty went.
The Shotters had a corner. Their pantomime dame peeled and wheeled and bealed as he poke-volleyed way wide at the near post. The Pontoon expressed its gratitude for his continuing contribution to our entertainment and enjoyment of life. The troubadour of tosh is the gift that keeps on giving.
Look, this is all about us, let's ignore that attention-seeking footballing fool, the lunatic on our grass.
Arnold shivered a cross. Monkfish glancy-glooped a header which was safely plucked from its pleasing, teasing parabola. The dam has broken, the Shots are shot and have thunder in their ears. We're back, back, back and we're just waiting for the train.
Man, you should have seen them kicking Omar Bogle's toe
Oh, yes, their sub is old Sam Hatton, hip-hip-hip-hooray. Their sub is bald Sam Hatton and he's coming out to play. The European Space Agency has concluded its analysis and confirmed that he did touch the ball. Who else would hurl and curl their set pieces, less of which later.
Passing and movement on the left in the return of Buckleyball triangles of hope. A delightful, de-lovely dink and Robertson tussled with a tumbling dice. The dice rolled perfectly for Town and Amond sweetly, cleanly, subtly and cleverly swept lowly through Omar II's legs into the bottom right corner.
Ah, so simple, so sweet, so, so easy; this street has become to prom-prom-promenade along. Bring on the brass band. East swerved and surged to crank a cross highly and longly while Monkish carefully nodded for a bit of slap and tickle. Robinson was flummoxed and flannelled, and Town kept the motor ticking on the left. Omar spun the deadwood and, man, you should have seen them kicking Omar Bogle's toe. Our Bogle was clenched by an indiscreet lanky and limp limb.
Bogle waited. Bogle carefully stroked the ball into the exact spot his two previous Town penalties went. Thomas the Tank-keeper fell right and diverted the trundle. Only the fish fryer in McDonalds had any doubt where the ball was going. Oh, no, wait… they knew too. They thought I'd asked for asparagus with fries. No wonder they were confused.
Next? Just a couple of free kicks to them. Floppy, ploppy and nowhere. Ironically, that's also their midfield.
Town dinks and sways, surges and splurges with trickery and dickery. Pearson be-donked an Arnold elevation down through the boondocks and straight into the keeper's bosom. Sir and madam, 'twas firm but not fruity enough. A punt, a Bogle flick and Amond spun-volleyed from outside the area. Thomas pushed up his arms and spectacularly pushed the ball up over the bar.
Pressure, passing, and Baron Andreaus Munchhausen back-heeled delicately and deliberately into the path of the Boglemeister. Defenders' bodies twistin' and turnin' in a thousand ways, their eyes all rollin' round and round into a distant gaze. Omar shot off Omar's head, and into the roof of the net past the aerobics instructor. The Bogle-Beckles combination gave us some pure gold. And you thought that was a way of extracting hydrogen from bales of hay. It's alchemy not chemistry.
Ah, look at that crowd. Purely content.
Oh my, my, there's more as Town swept on and swept up the dust. Intricate directions and infinite deflections as Bogle stumbled and bumbled free near the penalty spot. Thomas clamped and Arnold swept in the rebound after a bit of jiggery-pokery.
A bunch of ch-ch-changes: Clay, Tait and Pittman came on at various times for Robinson, Arnold and Amond. These details are irrelevant, 'twas simply a changing of the guard for the tourists.
Robertson sashayed forward and wibbled a wobbler which shivered past the bottom left post from afar. And there were four minutes added. We'll just pass over the weird Pearson/McKeown passing across an open goal: let's put it down to Brodie baiting, a basic human right which the European Court has finally issued a judgment upon. It's now illegal not to bait Brodie, who spent the post-whistle moments ranting at the referee, before being escorted off by stewards.
It really shouldn't have been so difficult to win so easily. Aldershot were nothing but a basic concrete wall with very shallow foundations. They didn't even put much barbed wire on top of that wall. They were easily undermined and walked around, like a rubbish Maginot line. Town should have won by more, it's just a fact.
Town are managing to under-score and over-concede, but it isn't boring any more.