Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
25 May 2022
Notts County 1 Grimsby Town 2 (After Extra Time)
I've been havin' a sweet dream, I been dreamin' since I woke up today. Mmm, pizza!
Blue Town lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation as follows: Crocombe, Cropper, Smith, Waterfall, Amos, Sousa, Holohan, Fox, Clifton, McAtee and Taylor. The substitutes were Pearson, Coke, Maguire-Drew, Abrahams and Dieseruvwe.
Well, my friends, the time has come to raise the roof and have some fun.
Lights! Cameras! Action!
First half: Summer in the city
Town kicked off away from the corner of Nottingham that is forever Grimsby. Yeah, once they get started you can't sit down. Come join our party, see how we play!
Step in, step out, step on it, Sousa twisting melon boots. Ooh, ahh, Amos corners dipping right, dripping left. Little Harry hurried, McAtee curried favours and Sousa swayed wayyyyy over. It's over and Town carried on walking by. Snapping, crackling, Holohan popping over.
Roberts down, Roberts up, the home crowd hushed and shushed. Amos coiled, Sousa dunked, oooh ah, just a little bit wide. Sousa, noosaah, noooh, nodding back to a donkey for a fleeting moment of Notts neverness. Sloppy Slocombe slapping into the blue. Pressure, pressure, ticking, tocking, horns are locking.
Roberts down and finally out. On came Big Sam to softly slam straight into the arms of Big Max. Things are big, is Cameron wearing a wig?
Has Harry lost it? Nah, of course not, he's one of our own. Cropper diagonally dripped over McAtee's shoulder and the sculptured beard sweep-volley-chipped just short of Mower World.
Notts in knots, squeezed, teased and eased into cul-de-sacs. Long, long, long balls of dire. Amos missed, Smith didn't. Amos in a tangle and Rodrigues dangled a wangle over the angle. That's them done.
Forays and flourishes foundering on Waterblocking. There's a Fox in our box. Look, over there, there's a Fox in their box. It's box-to-box Fox as he locks up the middle. Argy-bargy rock'n'rolling as Sneaky Jim O'Brien dredged Sousa and Little Harry felled a flying Magpie with a withering look.
Mariner moments. A nick, a knock and Taylor swept against striped legs at the near post.
Three minutes were added. Fancy flicks and dandy tricks and Cropper double-dummy-crossed near Little Harry. Oh well.
If only we could shoot.
Second half: Do you believe in magic?
Neither team made any changes at half time.
Beware County lines, especially on their left. Sousa slept then swept Mr Chicken from his feet. Marvellousness and marvellosity from swivel-hipped Big John, sweeping across the savannah. Little Harry shook, rattled and rolled infield, bedraggling a wiffle that may have been a piffle to Mrs Slocombe.
Oh here we go, suckers gonna be punched. Mr Chicken crossed and Wootton arose alone at the farthest post, noodling a nurdle back across the face of goal. Calm down dear, Smith and Waterfall eased Big Sam into his armchair with a cup of tea and a biscuit.
All Town are we? We certainly are. Over, under, sideways, Town! Little Harry turned the handle and swizzed a fizzer flashing past the left post past groping fingers. McAtee chased a big boomball into the corner and Van Bastened for a throw-in.
Smith rolled out the duvet to divert home attention as Town indulged in cross-field traffic. Holohan! Oh well. McAtee swingled, Sousa swangled and Little Harry lurked beyond the penalty spot and a local sock deflected our glory. A corner drooped and dropped and Holohan scruffled through a privet hedge, mere inchlets wide of the left post.
Us, us, all us. It's all about us. McAtee dinked and Sousa neared, a deflection, a corner, and Fox strangled local cats to chip farly. Waterfall sneaked beyond and headed back into the throng. Taylor turned and Taylor scored. But didn't. Out there in the cold distance a wild cat did growl at the sight of the linesman's flag flagging, the Town fans sagging.
What do we take away from the next breakaway? McAtee nicked, Clifton ran and McAtee checked inside to slap at Slocombe. Big John stayed down and County played on with Town discombulated and unmolested Wootton misheaded backwards and upwards. What a load of cramp.
Do you remember Big Sam? He looks pretty tall but maybe it's just that his heels are high. Oh Sam, after an hour in your company you're not so awesome after all.
A Town break broken by a sudden whistle, with Taylor booked for a hidden tussle. Off they walloped, long and high down their right. Smith and Sam shoved ha'pennies and the Tigerboy plunged to earth. Sam roller-balled and Rodrigues strolled and swept goalwards. Cropper flew with arms akimbo. Rodrigues stuttered and rolled the penalty left as Crocombe swung right.
Oh right, now we can hear you. It's nice to know you're here.
Town banging their heads against a flimsy wall. Holohan straggled wide with Slocombe peeling potatoes in his static caravan. What's that you say, Adam? Smith stopped a goal-bound shot with his arm? I see no ships.
With 10 minutes left Taylor and McAtee were replaced by Abrahams and Maguire-Drew.
I hear chickens being counted, me ducks.
One last throw of the dice. Heads or tails? Manny D came on and Cropper, the hand of cod, departed. Okay, what formation is that? Is there a formation?
Little Harry's fall failed to persuade the referee that anything untoward occurred this side of the Trent. Things, balls, nearness.
Six minutes were added.
Wheels fall off barrows you know. This is the end, there is no more, ticking away, ticking away, 20 seconds left and Clifton felt the hand of history on his shoulder. Or Richardson's, one or the other. Down he tumbled. A free kick on the right edge of the penalty area, directly beneath the imploring massed Mariners as Crocombe lumbered into view. Maguire-Drew chipped, Waterfall hubbled, the ball bubbled, Big Max swung his pants, and Holohan befundled through sad striped legs with the last kick of the game.
Wait, there's more.
There's another footballing dimension, beyond that which is known to Aaron McLean. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of Burchnall's fears and the summit of his knowledge. We are now entering the twilight zone where Town shape shifted from 3-5-2 to 4-4-2 then 4 by 2 by 2 by 2. Yeah we can do that. Listen lads, we can still do this.
Extra time: First half
Bish-bash-bosh. Holohan dissolved, Waterfall blocked the rampaging Sam, Manny tripped over his own feet. Legs moved, sometimes. Mr Chicken crossed streams and reversed his popularity, straight into the Trent. County were keeping things loose and Town were keeping things tight with Sousa a supernatural delight dancing in the moonlight. A swish, a sway, a flay and Mrs Slocombe patted some cakes.
Oh calamity. Long ball nutterings from Notts. Smith nodded, Sam prodded, Crocombe swiped away and what are we left with? Fox outfoxing the simple Piemen, leaving them sieving water.
Extra time: Second half
Sousa niggled, Fox wriggled, Maguire-Drew turned and squiggled against monochrome.
They did something early, possibly. Oh who cares. What about us?
Holohan cramped, but who shall replace Gav the Guv? Coke it is. Sousa wiggled and waggled just over the bar.
Are County still here? A punt and shunt as Wooton shruggled Waterfall aside but Smith smothered.
You can't keep a good man out of it. He never set foot on the pitch but he still contributed to road safety. Pearson was booked for observing matters from afar in a dayglow bib.
Pumping and dumping, Manny flicked on. Abrahams muscled and muffled lowly, Slocombe sighed rightly to push away the daisies. A corner, or was it a throw-in. A throw-in, or was it a corner? Was it both, was it neither.
How long left? A minute or so. Amos fell in the badlands, always between here and there inside the County half. Maguire-Drew raised an arm, Waterfall lurked farly and headed down across the face of goal. Two bodies tumbled and Manny D's magic knees moved his magic chest, the ball trundling past the desperate despairing gloves of Mrs Slocombe.
And now we're lost in a daydream, dreamin' 'bout this bundle of joy.
Three minutes were added. One final sqawk from the dead parrot with an up'n'under and Sam turned to bash beautifully into Hooters' car park.
And that was that.
The agony, the ecstasy. What a delicious denouement.