Half a sixpence

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

13 December 2020

Grimsby Town 1 Mansfield Town 1

Uh-oh, Chongo. Another soggy grey day where Town are about to be pursued by a group of bumbling, but heavily armed, modern-day pirates led by a mumbling man of the past.

Just our luck, the wi-fi works.

First half – A proper gentleman

The frivolous field mice of Field Mill kicked off towards the Pontoon. That be a fact.

Here be another one. Their big bad and bald centre-back is Waterfall without wings.

Ooh, saucy! Shimmying and shammying Windsor slalomed down the right and shot in the dark. Oh, what larks. Let's carry on camping in their half.

British bulldogs in the playground. 'Ere, stop messing about.

Preston pressings and an abstract Mariner swished vaguely at a deeply dipped cross. Was it Rose? Was it Taylor? Who knows, who cares, who's on first, who's next? Great album.

From greatness to grating. A Bennett corner shortened back and Williams mis-swiped to the side.

Yellow lorries slow, nowhere to go. Corner-based minor merriment in Mansfield died like a louse in a Russian's beard as Russell plucked and chucked. Bennett runaround, now. A slick quick nick and Williams was alone on the strand. Georgie Porgie made a pudding of this pie, for he missed his swirls and we all cried as yellow legs appeared.

Follow that camel! Pollock cart-horsed around and in a spin, as a cheeky little field mouse ran down a hole. A cross of staggering confusion and nothing but big Benning boomers. Town, bored into making their own interceptions of their own misplaced passes as Danny Rose was caught on the nose. Sometimes that's just the way it goes.

Hours drifted by, just like our passes and their crosses. Waterfall caressed, Bennett was embarrassed by Williams disappearing down a rabbit hole. Williams. Oh dear, what a shame, never mind. Some football teams do 'ave 'em. He put his rainbow laces through a free kick and the ball gently wibbled and wobbled like a beach ball floating in a most p-p-peculiar way. Holloway's summer star signings look very different today.

As we sweep towards coffee and cake there's merely a surfeit of free kickery and cornery as the merry men from Mansfield hung around on street corners scaring Daily Mail readers with their sneers and snarls.

Hang on, who is sneering and snarling in that sentence? Sentence? Don't mention that to our fridge magnate's new friend in town. That's all been spent. There's nothing to see there, please don't look behind the Findus curtain.

One minute was added. A Town corner puffed in, fluffed out, dropped and flopped with flailing boots all ending with Taylor drubbling feebly into the tea leaves.

Has powder ever been so puffed?

Second half – All in the cause of the economy

Neither team made any changes at half time.

The daytrippers boomed their balls slightly more bigly. Big Bowery rumbled against Little Harry our emergency right-back. Nothing really happened, it was just different men running after different boys in a different place. Same old balls though.

Bennett idiot legged-up a passing yellow sock in the shadow of the Frozen Horse Beer Stand. The free kick dribbled into the near post, Reid spun and buffled against Pollock's man-boy chest. A corner. Something interesting may have happened. Not there, in Grimsby, but somewhere in England at that exact moment.

What's that, John? There's a mystery shopper in the stands? Stick to the estate agent gags or they'll be nasty to you again.

Another loose leg-up and panic droppings around the back of our houses. Just moments when something could have but didn't happen.

You know, too many free kicks, my dear Mozart. But not too many broken hearts. They are rubbish. Well Dusty, what's another word for rubbish? Trash, what rhymes with trash? Yes, Bowery dashed and Lapslie slashed into the side netting via monochrome fingers or striped toes. The corner? It is the intersection of two straight lines, or the location or area especially regarded as secluded or remote. And then the wind blows.

Bennett off, Edwards on and Gordon's a scythe. Our dashing blade was felled within seconds with some ox-based furrowing. More window dressing of yellow pressing. Russell buffed back a Bale-ish free kick and the follow up too.

Stop, that's enough. A mass Mariners' substitution is like a Moonie wedding. Williams, Windsor and Taylor were replaced by Gibson, Morais and Jackson jnr.

Morais? Like a latter-day Andy Monkhouse. He's an old man who knows when to foul. And how to coil a lovely cross. Something almost happened at the near post. Almost.

Something's happening here, what it is is very clear. Football!

Preston caressed a coil deeply into the burger bar corner. Three Townites lurked as the ball bounced. Hewitt roamed and rolled around the field mice, curling lowly. Stech stretched and parried out, straight to Ira Jackson Jnr, who swept in to the right corner from near enough to be called a goal scrounger. Lovely for the lad.

Clough had had enough of this nonentity nonsense and, at a free kick near the dugouts, double subbed his non-strikers. On bounded Andy Pandy Cook and little Nicky Maynard. No-one spoke and no-one smiled, there were too many spaces in the Town line as Charsley charged down the middle like a social media leper. Russell raced out and flipped Chucky Charsley's chunky ankles. Yellow card and it's not hard to work out what happened next. Maynard swept right as Russell rolled left.

This and that and Tilley replaced Mattie the stilted camel. Hewitt retreated to centre-back and Town finally had two full-backs in defence, a right-back at left-back and a reserve right-back at centre-back, of course. It's enough to confuse a stupid person.

Ah, sumptuous sumptuosity! Flicking for flick sake. Russell to Clifton to Morais and Tilley tickled his toes at the near post. And Waterfall headed the corner firmly down for Stretch Stech to flex his muscles and bustle aside.

And the Staggermen looked haggard as they humped and dumped with decreasing vision and precision. They like a free kick. We liked their free kicks. They even hit the side netting with one of them. Even.

Six minutes were added.

Edwards slippery trickery wifting and wafting through the feather dusters and curling wide. Action from Jackson, Edwards spinning around and around and coiling around the same far post.

Let's end with a double dose of homespun Hewittery in front of Russell. A big Staggerdump was allowed to bounce and a sexy little Burnettian back flick across the face of the far post, then a volley inchlets past the nearest post from a little yellow cross.

And finally we can switch that off.

Well, what can you say about that? The worse team drew.