Cod Almighty | Match Report
by Tony Butcher
9 August 2023
Welcome to the sharp cutting edge of futureworld: it's what you always wanted, the contactless stadium. They don't want your cash, they just want you to flash. They are doing it to enhance your match-day experience, where you'll never queue. Oh look a queue.
The best laid plans of mice and men go awry when they meet a man without a smartphone. Beware the rise of AI, the masterbots will soon work out that the reason why things fail is people. And we, New Town, are all about The People.
Red Town lined up in a 4-4-1-1 formation as follows: Cartwright, Mullarkey, Rodgers, Waterfall, Glennon, Eisa, Green, Holohan, Vernam, Gnahoua and Rose. The substitutes were Eastwood, Efete, Amos, Bramwell, Hunt, Conteh, Khouri, Clifton and Pyke. Arthur was, it is believed, to be starting in the hole. Will he find his way out?
Right, we'll soon see the standard of our subs, the drones from sector 7. Strength in depth they say, just look at the size of our squad. Beautiful plumage.
It's a still night, but are you ready for the perfect storm ahead? We're dark horses, remember.
1st half – Vegetable men
The Yellowmen kicked off towards the Town five hundred with a kick and a boff as Oates let Rodgers kick his dingle-dangling feet, for his sneaky boots were made for wafting.
C'mon then Staggers, fill your boots, it's party time. The Town left an ocean of Red emptiness. Hey diddle-diddle, Glennon in the middle, Vernam may well be on the moon. Bowery blocked, Reed slashed, Ringo burned again. And again.
I've been looking all over the place for a place for you, but you ain't anywhere. Oh Slim Charles, our vegetable man, where are you? Oates walked around the mulberry bushes and released a slippery eel into the shallows. The goal agaped as Town fans gawped but Eisa marvellously threw himself across the lurking Quinn, so no-one in the home stands was gonna jump for joy.
Forward and then forwards, forward and then forwards again, Eisa is the geezer who loves to go bustling and he vibes up the place like no other Town man can. A surge from a break and Staggers split asunder as Red swarmed. Then he that is Eisa passed to Vernam. Oh well. Don't ask me what I think of him, I might not give the answer that you want me to.
Holy pants Batman! Town are holey and pants. Holes everywhere, Gav'n'Green panting as they chase frolicking Stags. Oates floats boats. I'll get me coat, so should he. Just to remind you this is a contactless stadium. No queues for your burger, just Staggermen queuing up to miss. Socks will block, corners will be flipped, cats will be flapped. Flint swingled a header wide. Or maybe high. Waterfall niddled a noddle off near the line. There's panic in the streets of Humberside.
Zipping, zapping and Keillor-Dunn tickled a tease down the very centre of the middle. Rampant Rhys ran off, straight down the middle towards the hopping and hoping Cart-Wright. Hello Mr Spoons! Porridge Oates carefully shingled a shank towards the toyshop. You should cut down on your pork life mate, get some exercise.
A tease, a tickle, Reds in a pickle and Akins spoondled into the nethersphere.
You keep playin' where you shouldn't be playin'. And you keep thinkin' that you'll never get burned. Total football, total stupidity. Launch it! Cart-Wright faffed about, Oates picked his pocket and plunged under a panicky swipe. Oh what a thing to have done, everything was yellow, the card, the happiness, a penalty. Akins calmly rolled left as Cart-Wright rolled right. It's true.
Got no time for explanations, got no time to lose, it's a Yellow river flowing towards the Red squares. Rolling roisterers and roving wreckers, Town in a tizz. Squinting, squirting, Townites squirming. Akins lowly passed, Cart-Wright plunged and parried.
Rose arose to thwinkle, but Pym twinkled his toes and spectacto-parried aside for a corner. Much mithering and muddling down distant yonderly and Eisa, or was it Green, flicked a fluckle through legs and the thing that many would call a ball shimmered wide of what many would call the Mansfield goal. Heh, those two are so alike I cannot tell which is which and who is who.
On and on, again and again, repeat, repeat, repeat. The Town left bereft, the Town right in a terrible plight. Swinging hips and Lewis licked lowly, Cart-Wright pushed aside. You can't always rely on the kindness of strangers.
As the curtain was being prepared there were moments in those far off lands, where some Red ants busied themselves moving the flotsam and jetson off the jungle floor from tree to tree. Waterfall headed a corner. Pym stopped plucking his banjo to swat this fly.
Two minutes were added. Town's wooden floor stripped bare again and lonesome Keillor-Dunn cleared at the far post, Oates sighed a flick past his nose as the Yellow river flowed.
Fill your glass high the time has come to eat a sausage roll.
You know, hats off to them, they've done well to keep the score down. Well done you in the field of men, a staggering achievement, defying the laws of physics. They should be six up.
You know, if Hurst turns base metal into gold and Town improve after the comfort break they'd only be inept. You can't expect to win a game of football playing three defenders and a set of tailor's dummies. The lack of strength in depth was palpable as alarms bells went off all over Europe's Food Town.
Yoikes, what a shower and it isn't even raining.
2nd half – Absolutely curtains
Mansfield replaced the flighty Quinn with the mighty Boateng at half time.
Ah yes, the half-time rocket, and I'm not talking salad. The Wolds Panther stalked the mean streets of Mansfield, leaping beautifully, balletically into the nearest hedge. It's nice to have a throw-in now and again. Join the dots. A throw-in schmooched into a corner which became a goal kick as a Green skimmer shimmered beyond the farthest post.
Them, doing their things. It's a walk in the park, and there's another miss in the dark. Wobbles out wide. Cart-Wright plucked a pickled pepper from Akins. Or Flint. Akins, Flint, oh I don't know. Flying feet, nodding heads. They are in like Flint.
As Clifton and Khouri waited for their close ups some Staggermen sauntered around recycling their rubbish. Oates packed his lunch and began walking to Memphis, widdling and waddling through the swaddling, prodding into the centre right with Cart-Wright unsighted and stationary.
No-one can save us, the damage is done. Town give shambles a bad name.
On that bombshell, off came the ghost and the malfunctioning machine. Err, which one? The fourth official held his head high. Come in Number 13 your time is up. Little Harry had a word. You, yes you Mr Vernam, sling yer 'ook. Oh yes, and Khouri replaced the man who wasn't there. Poor Arthur, no-one noticed him until he walked off.
It's just a question of how many more they won't score. Trips and slips and moments of should bes. Akins missed inside the six-yard box. Lashings of lashes that fizzled wide, and drizzled high. Flipping and flapping, snipping and slapping, Reds caught napping. More holey pants.
Green was booked and double Yellow subs. Facts, not fiction. Kilgour claimed defenestration and Town were cruelly denied the opportunity to dwindle closer to the edge of their penalty area.
I may as well eat my second sandwich now. Pyke replaced our second-hand Rose. Are all Danny Roses destined to end their careers in Grimsby, not with a bang but a whimper?
Crosses, blocks, misses. Misses, blocks, crosses. Toby in turmoil, Efete on for Ringo. Hail the last men standing, Waterfall and Rodgers, men with the right stuff surrounded by blancmange boys.
Eisa surged, Pyke passed the buck, Khouri fell over the ball. Khouri was cleaned out as he headed a Holohan coil beyond the far post. Holahan big drooped into the toilets. Anything Gav can't do Abu can't do either. Duck down there in row J, here comes the fudge. Harvey Rodgers you deserve so much more than this.
Five minutes were added.
And some lights went out in Mansfield's Away Stand, something's telling me I must go home.
Boy, have we got problems.