Sound and Vision

Cod Almighty | Match Report

by Tony Butcher

23 January 2022

Grimsby Town 1 Bromley 2

Revenge is a dish best served cold. We'd better get it out of the freezer then or it won't defrost in time for tea.

Close your eyes, count 'til 10 and see the sunrise rise on a still, chill Made-Up Nonsense Day in this crumbling land. We're here for the beer and the cheers, but we fear there's jeers a-coming down the tracks.

Pah, Great Grimsby Day: meaningless words, yellowed by time, faded photos only exposing our pain!

Town lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation as follows: Crocombe, Smith, Waterfall, Pearson, Amos, Fox, Coke, Maguire-Drew, McAtee, Abrahams and Taylor. The substitutes were Clifton, Sousa, Burgess, Wright, and John-Lewis. After putting our new Chaise-Longue in the pawn shop we're left without any defenders in reserve. But rest easy for Loveable Lennie is back on the bench to see his sequel gambolling up the left wing. The non-scoring future and the past, together in the present. The future failure is always now.

Ah Bromley with rows of houses that are all the same and no one seems to care.

Here come Andy Woodman's Ant Hill Mob, rolling down Hooky Street in the Bullet-Proof Bomb. They've got some half-priced cracked ice, and miles and miles of carpet tiles, TVs, deep freeze and David Bowie LPs. There's Ring-a-Ding, Danny, Rug Bug Benny, Mac, Kirby, Willy and there's a mush called Bush.

Ah, the visiting vagabonds Big Bromley are in blue, blue electric blue, nothing more to do, nothing more to say, let's sit right down and wait for the gift of some true Grimsby Grit.

Here we go, hold your breath to see if something blows.

First half: Day in, day out

Town kicked off towards the Pontoon away from the 78 (SEVENTY EIGHT) Bromleyites in the covered corner. Are they a serious club or just a hang out for Yo-Yos?

Aye, 'tis true that the Blues were in a temporary stew. Abrahams flew and Coke's slap skewed off a blue back and skittled past the right post as Cousins bored left. Phew, what a scorcher.

Taylor tickled, Taylor teased, Taylor tumbled and McAtee mumbled. The free kick sailed into the smattering of free kiddery behind the goal. He may have muttered under his breath but nothing is revealed. Scrimbling and bimbling, stripes a-snapping. Coke poked and McAtee's slash slipped off blue shorts and skittered away for a corner. Maguire-Drew dripped, Taylor snipped and there's a blockage on the line. Ricochets and rebounds, all falling for the bluesmen. You lucky people.

Taylor plunged in the shadow of the 78. Maguire-Drew chipped to the lonely Waterfall afar and the ball bounced through and between humans, across the post and into the spaces between friends. If only a man could be in two places at one time, alas we watched the ball simply fly away.

Bluesmen chugging, chuntering, ducking and diving. They chip, they chase, they seek it here, they seek it there, their moans are loud, but never squared up with reality. A moment of movement and Alexander skated across the face of the Town penalty area, theatrically falling and bawling his eyes out. Well his slide was so good and his bones are so fair, the way he flipped his hip made the peepster weak. He fell for the fall and a rickety wall was placed twixt ball and our keeper so tall. Bush and Sowumni conferred, with the latter lazily lamping into trellis rather than the terrace. Niiice.

Big balls and long chucks, horrible hucksters hurling, free-kicks a-curling and Mad Max chested a one-two with Pearson. The Kiwi keeper klaxon muted as Crocombe's long levers were back of a length plucking Bromley eyebrows.

Halfway through the half arise for Amos, our hairy Cornflake Boy. Rumbling down their right, passing across the edge of their penalty area for Taylor to Charleston a sexy flick onwards. Maguire-Drew, awaiting patiently beyond, swept low and true into the bottom left corner as Cousins sat down in exasperation and admiration.

We've bought a one-way ticket, yeah a one-way ticket to the blues. Coke intercepted and launched a counter-attack and was viciously sliced with attention elsewhere. Maguire-Drew cut in and his slap-shot swithered off stray socks as yet another ricochet and rebound fell kindly for the comfort of strangers.

Amongst the calmness was alarmness. Abrahams messed up then muscled Alexander aside as the little tramp scampered towards the bye-line. Cue Pearson the theatre critic having a go for some rank amateur dramatics.

Long, long shotting, long-long throwing, barging, charging, Crocombe catching and clasping, juggling balls and spinning plates. Momentum slowly swung as the Brigands of Bromley adjusted their pants and their plans to focus on the stripes' weaker spots. We're ebbing, they are flowing.

Under the Police Box, Lazarus Alexander squealed under a Fox trot, arising miraculously as the yellow card was fluttered. Dinked dunkily, half headed away and straight to Coke, facing the Pontoon. He dithered, was smothered by a blue duvet and a blue toe poked into the path of Alexander, who turned and tapped. Oh how we shared his joy as the entire Bromley team ran as one straight to the front of the Pontoon.

They saw weakness and they saw the light on our right, turning up the thermostat and choking Coke, haring and scaring with movement and passing. Well, chasing on to flicks into the corners. That's passing, isn't it? Or is it simply passing the time. Frolicking Forster forced a corner, flicked away from bulging heads but only for another huge hurl from the Bushwhacker. For once Crocombe couldn't clutch, the ball bounded on and on and a bluester slapped widely. Who? C'est Cheek. All that pressure got him down, his head was spinning around.

Is it time for tea and a slice? No sir, there's more. Pearson retrieved an overhit corner and Maguire-Drew could have danced all day and danced all night, spinning around thricely between legs and around shaking hips along the right bye-line and cheekily flipping against the outside of the near post.

Three minutes were added. Can we end this now before anyone gets upset?

Behold blue slickness and striped slackness. Off they skipped down the Town right, combobs were dissed. Alexander cut in a crackled, and Crocombe's long-long limbs stretched to save doubly.

Crikey, it should have been better, it could have been worse. Isn't that the club motto?

Second half: Up the hill backwards

Clifton replaced Maguire-Drew at half time as Town morphed into an unfluid 4-3-3 formation with McAtee way out wide, lost in La Mancha.

There are plenty of rabbits down the hole. Blueness, blandness, blankness. It's all going off way down, way on down by the covered corner. Whitely wobbled, Crocombe settled down at his nearest post. A bluesmen slipped at just the right moment of almostness. Shall we throw in Pearson's ankles for good measure? Don't mention throw-ins, it’ll only encourage them.

Forster fell before Smith even arrived, with the referee wafting yellow for a free kick that is simply lost in the mists of time. A tick and tock and a blue sock swishing. Whatever you are wishing for all we can say is: not now Arthurs. He walloped well over.

Ah yes, we have the medium mo as the game flowed North. Fox on the run through some begonias crossing lowly from the left, the ball clattering off Cousins onto Taylor's knee and straight back into his happy hands.

Pressure, passing, movement, whacking: Ladies and Gentlemen, Mr Shaun Pearson.

Alabi came on. It's probably best just to ignore him, it only encourages anti-social behaviour. Think of him as the footballing equivalent of a teenager swigging cider in the park and flicking 'V's at his old school teacher cycling by on the other side of the pond. It isn't as though anyone really remembers him anyway.

One way traffic on a one way street, Town toes hoping for a chance to meet the ball. Oh c'mon McAtee make those sweet-talkin' boots swing. Amos intercepted and za-zoomed straightly. Abrahams lurked unmarked to his left, but Amos clattered a shot agin blueness for an unelevated corner, therefore a wasted corner. Abrahams sulked and muffed his moment as the ball bounced and he pounced and bounced the ball through to the green goblin.

More, more, more of this but less of that. McAtee dreamed of greatness when a pass would suffice, mis-skittering a wibbler wide. McAtee swayed and dinked beautifully into a vacancy. In and out again, Little Harry hooked and Cousins plucked and pawed. The ball squirtled into a void but Abrahams was watching TV. Town pouring forward but floundering upon blue rocks and socks. McAtee's double-triple step-over tribute to Pouton ended in the accidental arms of Cousins. Oh what a lucky man you are. How many corners do we have to turn onto blue heads?

What you win on the roundabouts you lose on the swings. We need a sausage on a drone to navigate the mudflats. Heeeeeere's Sousa, replacing the drab Ab.

In and out, there is always a doubt just who's pulling the strings, especially on the wings. Humdrum competitive Kabaddi and a corner as a reward, curled by Coulson, clipping Clifton's fringe at the near post and flying into the far corner. They forgot to run to the Pontoon and share their joy with us. Perhaps they are tired.

Wright replaced Fox. That's what happened. And then five minutes later four minutes were added. Bromleyites sat down, fainted, strolled off, strolled back on, made a slow substitution and generally irked as they wasted time the ref didn't add. And then it then ended as Wright's cross was deflected for a corner that becomes a tantalising moment of iff-ness. He denied us one last chance to not score, the rascal.

And when the wind and whistle blew the whole of Bromley stood in front of the Frozen Horsebeer Stand gurning, grinning and waving. Needless needling from charmless chancers.

There we are: another three points gifted to merely competent opponents through a combination of misfortune and slackness.

Town looked like 11 characters in such of an author, light of weight and light in numbers. "Manicomio!" "Incommensurabile!" shouted the audience, in reaction to the illogical regression of this season, this match.

Stripping away their appalling attitude, the simple fact is that Bromley are big, Bromley are effective, Bromley are currently stronger than Town. Strength is the key: in depth, in physique and mentally.

Well, thems the breaks and they got 'em today as every deflection rebound and ricochet favoured the mobsters. That's the reality of this episode in the Blunder Years. But we don't want realism, we want magic in these dark, drifting days of ennui.