An Education

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

8 September 2019

Grimsby Town 0 Crewe Alexandra 0

Last week Walsall, today the world! Yes there's a bright golden haze on the Fitties as 150 Crewites did sit hiding in plain view in the covered corner. Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, we've got a wonderful feeling, everything's going our way.

Town lined up in the grinding 4-3-3 formation as follows McKeown, Hewitt, Öhman, Waterfall, Hendrie, Whitehouse, Hessenthaler, Cook, Green, Hanson, Ogbu. The substitutes were Russell, Pollock, Gibson, Robson, Vernam, Wright and Cardwell.

Town as tuppence, changing yet changeless as canal-water, if it ain't fixed, don't break it. It's same again Saturday.

Crewe turned up in pleasantly plain red shirts with Lancashire and Nolan, an old loanee and the echo of an old Bunnyman, in the centre of defence. The rest, typically Creweish: perky young lads tippy-tapping around like puppies. Hey, it's Crewe, Superb New Town will just crush them under the wheels of our industry, obviously.

It is time for a party, syncopation for the nation now.

First half – Bring on the dancing horses

Crewe kicked off towards the Pontoon. Crewe passed the ball to Crewe. To me, to you, to Crewe to Crewe. Crewe, Crewe, Barney McGrew, I'd like an ice cream in a tub.

Wahey. Town have it, by jove they have it. Boo, Town welly it back for Crewe to shoo our sheep.

Crewe, Crewe, Crewe, Crewe. Crewe.

Kirk drifted across Hewitt and the Festival of The Sky had a surprise guest attraction.

Red possession, it's an obsession. Tipping, tapping, Town caught napping - Hendrie spun into a candyfloss confection, and Powell only stopped by exceptional Öhmanship.

Ogbu dribbling and wibbling, twicely losing possession outside the Town penalty area. Words spoken. Ogbu wibbling and dribbling, weaving through the weft on the left. Moments. Almost.

Ogbu oomph, a Hendrie cross deeply, Hanson cushioned with his forehead, Green's shot blocked. A corner. Nothing.

Town's left decomposing, Hendrie and Whitehouse sat in the woodshed waiting for their tea to brew. Ng swingled lowly through and across the face of goal... The ball drimbled nicely to nowhere with nobody home.

Tapping, tipping, Town caught slipping. Little Lowery dribbled and Wintle walloped within the margin of error of the crossbar. It was nearer than we think, but farther away than they hoped.

Red roaming, red crossing, Kirk heading.

This unasked-for jollity in the middle of an English afternoon left St Michael shivering with a red passion, his face a crumpled tissue on which a lobster might well have wiped its nose, if it had one.

Whitehouse tripped and tipped a quick free kick. Moses parted the red sea, but a plague of locusts descended. Hendrie bustled into the penalty area and was engulfed by a red wave. Red sighs on the right, Hanson's delight. Big Jim picked up the ball, plopped it down and perfectly placed it for Richards to push away to his right. Dead simps, dead obvious.

Was this a miss we'd rue, what would Crewe do? They flew north by north east for a feast of fun in the sun. Town's left was bereft, Powell caressed, their Green arose and flicked a flicker across the face of goal. Town crimbling and crumbling, red corners mumbling and McKeown sailed the seven seas as the ball missed everyone and everything and rolled out for a goal kick.

One minute was added. And there we have it. Or, rather, there we didn't have it.

Crewe were like Crewe but with muscles. They knew what they were doing and did it. Town went through the motions of Big Balling, expecting Crewe to wilt tilting at windmills. It was Town that were stuck in the silt calling for the coastguard.

The best team was drawing, and so were we.

Second half – Waiting for an alibi

Neither team made any changes at half time.

Town diddled and dawdled as Green won and lost the ball on the left. Triangulated and tickled, Hendrie floundering, Lowery lullabied onwards and slamped high as McKeown slumped low and 4,000 shoulders in Grimsby, Lincolnshire shrugged.

A minute gone, the game gone?

Hey, this is Superb New Town, when the going gets tough the tough get going and they'll be roused from the golden slumbers.

Them themming, Town lemmings, bring back Eddie Hemmings. Balls in, balls out, hibble-bibbles and little nibbles, Jamie Mack slapped away from nearby.

A punt, a shunt, Ogbu chested and Cook bounded down the right, crossing tantalisingly though the corridor of uncertainty. Green slid, the ball rolled on and on and on and out of bounds.

Crewe cutting, Pontoon tutting, dentists muttering, butterflies fluttering by. Bye-bye.

Moments, now and again. Town momentarily had the ball but had no momentum. Hello, what's going off here then? Big Jim jemmying the locks on the left, winging and wifting a cross deeply. Richards flapped, Green stood and pondered at the far post, Ogbu slapped into red shins. A corner. You may as well watch the fauna, flora and fungi at the far post.

Dead in the water, dead in the ditch, dead at sea, deadheaded daisies plucked at will.

Crewe prodded Town's left remorselessly. Their Green tickled inside Hendrie, Powell promenaded beyond and Jamie Mack narrowed his wangle with a dangle dash-slap. In and out and in and out, left and right, right and left; reds recycling in perpetual motion, ticking and tocking. Town simply shocking. A corner cleared and Lowery winkled through the watercress. Along came McKeown's duvet.

And repeat inaction. We must lament the state of the left, providing no resistance to the remorseless advance of the Crewe right. Just stand and fight your ground! Powell stumble-rumbled through nothing, Jamie Mack half stopped the shot and Waterfall marvellously swing-slid-scooped off the line.

With 20 minutes left Wright replaced Whitehouse, then Robson replaced the invisible Cook. Robson, neat footballer, has an eye for a cute pass. We'll have none of that nonsense down here, laddie. Just get into them and get some in.

A hurl and curl, a scramble and Green poked over. Big balls, big red blocks, Hanson over-flopped. Big men, small outcomes. Moses dribbled out of play on the bye-line, Moses dribbled out of play on the touchline, Moses dribbled up to the railway line. Moses dribbled and drabbled a scrabbler through Green's legs. Richards yawned upon this rolling thunderball.

Town punting, Reds hunting in packs. A wallyificent clump down the middle. McKeown tippy-toed out and faintly flicked a leg. The ball rolled on, the net a-gaping. Anene slip-shod goalwards and Hewitt magnificently slid to slide away.

Monochrome massiveballing. Up, up and away with the fairies. With two minutes left the Wolds Panther replaced het up Hendrie.

Four minutes were added.

Everybody up, nobody back. Head tennis with foot faults and hapless hoiks cleared as a Townite crumbled in the D. Six redsters ran away with the spoon and Kirk walked around McKeown to loft over and round two sliding doors.

3,000 pairs of feet simultaneously stomped away from Blundell Park. There is no more of this nothingness.

Crewe were extremely clever. They had watched videos of Town this season. How exceptionally cunning, how modern. Crewe targeted the left side, they surrounded Hanson, they overloaded against the full-backs. Town were a deflating balloon even before kick-off. Listless, limited and leaden, haplessly one dimensional, dreadfully dreary. This was something straight out of last season.

They were just better everywhere in every way. It would be lovely if we ended up being like this Crewe.