So good to be back home again

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

29 August 2021

Grimsby Town 1 Weymouth 0

It's been a long, a long time coming, but we knew a-change was gonna come. Oh, yes it has.

We're back, back, back and everything is the same, but everything is different. We're a culture club now, no longer a church of the poison mind. Breathe, just breathe in that transparent air and don't be afraid to care about the Grand Old Pantomime Dame of football.

Behold the new world order: happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that we possess. Lemonade stands everywhere, crackerjack bands fill the air. And here we are, happily landing in a real ale bar. New food, new mood, no time to brood on the past; that's another country, we did things differently then. Now is the hour, this is the time and we're having the time of our lives.

Town lined up in a freewheelin' 4-4-1-1 formation as follows: McKeown, Efete, Pearson, Longe-King, Crookes, Fox, Hunt, Clifton, McAtee, Sousa, Taylor. The substitutes were Waterfall, Revan, Wright, John-Lewis and Bapaga. Argh, no calmer Giles, and we know Town go better with Coke. The alarming plague of non-League hair has hit Town, with Eric O’Sousa and the Foxxy Laddie sporting buns and beards. And be very clear about this: there is only one F in Efete. Fun with buns and puns, it's why you're here.

Weymouth duly arrived on time with a full squad of footballers in matching kit. We salute your organisation and time keeping. That's all we require from you, please don't spoil our party, and wash your hands on the way out.

Ah, the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd. And so to the noxious needling of the knee. When you point a finger at the moon to indicate the moon, instead of looking at the moon, the stupid ones look at your finger.

It's a long walk to freedom. Step one, you find a new signing to love.

First half – Let a thousand flowers bloom

Town attacked the Osmond to the accompaniment of 76 trombones from the terracotta army, way, way away from the party in the Park, mere funerary art forms guarding the afterlife of poor Akheeeeeem Rose's career.

Huffle, shuffle and the occasional scuffle, Plums plunging at the merest wisp of wind. Staccato soccering around static caravans, this is not why we want to be beside the seaside. Efete rumbled into the void with hints at triangulation. If you can't make your mind up we'll never get started. Perhaps there was a cross, perhaps there was a corner. Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps. A visiting corner was cleared as tryin' Ryan Taylor fell to be fouled.

La-di-dah, what a lovely day. Warm air, warm feelings, the warm smell of gourmet sausages rising up through the air.

Some bishing, some boshing and Little Harry tumbled in their 'D'. McAtee-tee-tee pushed a pineapple and shook the tree with a fancy dan free kick routine that rolled routinely to roly poly Fitzsimmons, the keeper with shrunk-wrapped shorts. You could see the VPL from the Pontoon. Shocking, positively shocking.

A ruffle-truffle game of push-me, pull-me. A two-headed treat for all the family. Bring the kids, an' granny an' granddad! First show startin' in two minutes! Well, here's a thing: if there were no angels would there be no sin? Yeah, makes you think doesn't it.

Now and again there are moments. Time can't erase the memory of magic moments, they'll come again.

There are players I'll remember all my life though, after the Broadley game, it's clear that some have changed. Like their hair, some have gone and some remain. Isn't it lovely to have Pearson back home where he belongs.

McAtee the pivot between the divots, plotted a route through the plum trees. A corner: short, back and to the side with McAtee peeling away to swipe. Fitzsimmons slapped and tickled, Pearson tickled and slapped, and many eggs were scrambled, but Weymouth weren't toast.

Everybody's laughing, everybody's happy, here comes Longe-King to swoop and scoop as Rose roamed.

Businessmen, they drink my wine, but I dig two ploughmen slip-sliding on the turf. Little Harry, late to the party, was booked for dredging Shields. Shall we talk about Taylor? Ooh, lets not, then others would know the truth. We don't want them to handle the truth, he might get injured.

Moments, again and now. Tip-tap and McAtee slapped widely high at the near post. Taps and hats were tipped as Taylor attacked the near post. A work in progress slowly progressing.

Something's stirring. It may be the soup at the new food bar.

McAtee-tee-tee, to the left, to the right, jumped up and down and tickled to Eric. O’Sousa waltzed away on the left, waited for the keeper to sigh, then calmly passed against the fluorescent flinger. Five thousand sighs were recorded on a seismometer in Skegness, measuring 4.1 on the Modified Mercalli Intensity scale - often felt, but only causes minor damage to a player's ego.

What have we got? Jinks and jives and the occasional purple dive. McAtee, in the mood for dancing, getting up and letting his body sway. And swinging, in no particular order, over, wide, lowly and slowly. Fox flapping high, Taylor softly heading to Fitzsimmons as Town's saucepan occasionally bubbled and boiled.

Weymouth. Yes, Weymouth, I shall mention them, for there is now a reason. A big loopy, scoopy coil from afar brushed against passing gulls and drooped between Longe-King and Efete at the far post. The unremarkably unmarked Goodship lollipopped highly from about six yards. It was a sweet trip to the candy shop.

One minute was added. Time for tea.

Weymouth had worked hard, kept thems shape and hoped for something to turn up. It hadn't. Town were practicing their dance moves on the floor of Gullies, hoping to twinkle in someone's eye. They hadn't yet, but there were a couple of shy smiles hinting at the possibility of a new romantic age.

Second half – The moon's a balloon

The man whose name is a shop replaced Taylor at half time. Ah Lennie, a lone monk walking through our world with a leaky umbrella.

Fizzing, whizzing, wheezing and pleasing from the off. A stripe felled on the left by the bye-line. Hunt coiled lowly into the nether regions, Fitzsimmons flap-picked against retreating plum bodies, the ball slapping a stray hand and bouncing into the path of The Shook Up Shopping Trolley four yards out dead centre.

Lennell John-Lewis, a prostrate keeper and an open goal. Nothing can go wrong now.

You have to be there to miss them and, gawd bless 'im, Lennie is always there to miss 'em. He's the man who makes the impossible miss mainstream and mundane and it's why we love him. His leg flapped, the ball bimbled and bumbled back across the face of goal and wide and wider still. A crowd of people stood and stared. They'd seen his face before.

Now, who's hot, who's not? Mo' movement, mo' moments, Lennie wiggled and Lennie's shot was kicked away. Oohs were ahhed, but no-one now, in the cold aftermath of a summer's day, can remember why. Why? W.H.Y. WHY? It's enough to blow your mind out in a car.

Poor Rose sat down with one of them hip injuries and off he limped to a muted chorus of disapproval from the dunderheaders among us. Rose was harmless, for us and now for them.

And suddenly they were less harmless. They really haven't understood their role in life, have they. This isn't why we are here at all. Much flapping in the distance as dinks were dunked, headers were headed and McKeown awkwardly claw-punched a cross away. Corners, crosses, and Efete marvellously blocked twicely as eyebrows were raised to alert Level Four.

With 20 minutes left the tiggerish, tigerish Hunt was replaced by Max Wright and Town moved to a 4-3-3 formation. Ah, Town's midfield is Fox Hunting no more. Well it has been illegal for 20 years.

Boom-boom, Maximum Wright's shaking the room. Zipping, zapping and yapping at ankles, Weymouth discombobulated by some zinging winging. Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent!

Having been some days in preparation a splendid time is guaranteed for all. A cheeky chip, Wright's hip, Lennie's flip, the ball rolled into the hole and ten sommersets he'll undertake on solid ground. McAtee bounded down the centre, calmly passing low and left around the keeper's fingertips, whilst cart-wheeling and back-flipping along the front of the Pontoon.

After all, Messrs. D and H. assured the public their production will be second to none.

Max ranging down the right, Lennie exchanging glances. What were the chances? Occasional moments of almostness, no actual, factual shots of any substance. Think of it is as impressionist painting not a portrait.

They made changes, but nothing changed. A big plum boot walloped the ball onto the roof of the Frozen Horsebeer Stand. Shall we put a blue plaque on it?

Four minutes were added just as a marooner plunged near a Mariner, 20 yards out, and Waterfall (og) replaced Sousa to take a stand, hand in hand with the other bleeding hearts and artists in the wall. Aye-aye-aye-aye-aye, Mussa helped us through the day by creaking the free kick against the wall, followed by some Brian Rix farcing as Dorset Divers lost their trousers and lost their minds seeking striped legs to fall over.

And Town ran down time as Maximum Wright ran into the corners.

Well, here we are again. Home, home again, we like to be here when we can. New Town are far from where we want to be, but also far from where we were in the Great Unpleasantness under the rotten, rotting ancient regime. It wasn't sumptuous by any stretch of deluded imaginations, but it was perfectly adequate against bog standard Bananarama boys.

Town did enough and showed enough to give hope for a better future, sometime, just not yet. Today was about connection, for the club, the players and the fans. At least they didn't fluff the audition.

Basic stuff performed, imperfections observed. We're watching a work in progress.