Tuesday, 8 December 2020

Don't Lick The Ball

Wow, I really can't believe that it's been over nine months since I've had to put the twentieth twenty-first century equivalent of pen to paper and write a little missive on the adventures of the Gandermonium Firm and a lil' known team from the depths of what is now called 'Elite Football'. Whatever that means, Surrey Elite League or something probably.

Sunday, 6 December 2020

Been Gone Too Long

"Football without Fans is nothing". We've all heard it, read it and probably even said it at some point. Certainly in relation to the modern era of the game over the last few years as it's often (over?) used to try and illustrate that the sport would be really quite dull, if not a little pointless without us obsessed weirdos in attendance, shouting at a large area of grass containing 22 blokes running about after a bag of wind. And to be honest, the powers that be have largely yawned, gone "Yeah yeah lads, whatever" at this and just got on with counting the pound notes. Mainly as they basically knew we could never really prove it. But then came Covidbollocks. And only being able to watch games solely on TV\laptops etc as the players shouts echo around almost ghostly, empty stadiums finally produced if not 100% definitive proof that football is indeed nothing without its fans, it at least showed that it is at best really really shit.

Sunday, 1 November 2020

Norman Milne - Cult Hero

News that Sutton’s latest fixture at Wrexham has been postponed due to Coronavirus issues at the Welsh club is yet another sad reminder of the effect COVID-19 is having. Football may be considered trivial in comparison to lives being lost but for those passionate about the game, being denied our regular fix of seeing our team is a tough cross to bear.

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

We'll Meet Again...

Well, that didn't quite go as planned. This was meant to be one last bit of filler to effectively sign us off for what's looking more & more like a complete bust of a season, for us fans at least, after the National League decided they were going to start the season anyway and went cap in hand to the government for a hand out to pay for it all. But even then, the mob in blazers up in Brum had other ideas and put the kybosh on what we had planned as well. 

Monday, 14 September 2020

180 Days Later

Hello? Hello, is there anybody out there? Can anyone hear us? Is this thing even on? Ah screw it, like anyone reads this old pony anyway.

Yes, hello dear reader. Long time no see\read\whatever! How's tricks? Welcome back to your favourite bang average non-league bit of the internet! It has now almost been exactly six months since Covid-19 poked it's virusy oar in and royally fucked the puppy. Ending all life as we knew it and a fair bit else into the bargain as well. No going in to work, no football, no pubs. No going anywhere in fact. Just not doing anything at all. Only what seemed like one endless string of fucking Zoom calls with Joe Wicks punctuated with watching pretty much the entire contents of Netflix and just staring blankly out the window as the world metaphorically stopped turning. 

Saturday, 22 August 2020

Hearty in Hartlepool

One of the great things about football away trips is that they take you to places you'd probably otherwise never visit. Often you discover that a distant town you'd idly dismissed as dull/grim/rougher than Mitcham is actually rather interesting, sometimes even welcoming. They do say that travel broadens the mind. One northern town I unexpectedly warmed to was Hartlepool.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Roving Around Wrexham

Wrexham has always seemed a bit of an anomaly. The town is indisputably Welsh but is geographically much closer to the great English conurbations of Merseyside and Manchester than it is to Wales's big population centres of Cardiff, Swansea and (if you must) Newport. If this has given Wrexhamites something of an identity problem, those who follow the football club have forged it into a fierce rivalry with Chester, less than twenty miles away but, crucially, just across the border in England.

Sunday, 7 June 2020

2019/20 Season Review - Part 3

So, in PART 1 we had an OK start, followed by a slow dive into the bottom four, followed in PART 2 by a pre-Christmas surge in results largely setting us on the way to safety. So, how will the season pan out in this, our final instalment of the 2019/2020 season? Uh, rather strangely and not quite how any of us would have imagined as it turns out.....

Monday, 1 June 2020

2019/20 Season Review - Part 2

So, with the U's not so much flying as falling at the end of Part 1, we find ourselves in the bottom four coming into another busy period of the season. So, as we kick off Part Two of our season review, the big questions remain. Can we turn it around? Can we really get any worse? What the hell are we doing with our lives? Yeah, like we're gonna tell you the answers here. You don't get off that easily chum! There'll be no spoilers from us, where's the fun in that eh?

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Canal Knowledge

As the National League season is now at an official end it’s now a question of wait and see as to when the U’s will take the field again. It’s still not clear how promotion and relegation issues will pan out but it’s not something that will unduly concern Sutton fans. Matt Gray had done a stellar job guiding the lads into a comfortable mid table position where only a supreme optimist could see us threaten the play off positions or a supreme pessimist could see us plunge into a relegation spot.

2019/20 Season Review - Part 1

Now, I think it's fair to say that we've been doing this Sutton United thing for a good while now. In fact, it's been more than 35 years in my own case and yes, I am well aware I should probably grow up and get a life, thanks. But in that time, we've seen a few things. Many highs, a fair few lows, great victories, some crushing defeats and been to a fair few places we'd really rather forget for various reasons. However, despite all this, we're not sure we've ever come across or experienced a season quite as odd as 2019/2020 was. 

Anyhow, we should probably start at the beginning. So, are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin....at the beginning. Like I said I would....

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Hankering for Halifax

What's the best away trip in the National League? We each have our favourites, chosen through personal criteria. For me, some interesting local history, a ground within easy reach of the railway station and (most importantly) a good choice of real ale pubs are the key factors. The three 'Ha's (Hartlepool, Harrogate and Halifax) are all high on my list. Of those, Halifax might just have shouldered its way into pole position.  What follows may help to explain why.

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Sixty in Stockport

There are good and bad times to reach a 'significant' birthday. Those of my schoolmates whose birthdays fall in balmy April, for example, will have been ‘celebrating’ their 60ths in a virus-induced lockdown. And, for once this year, I'm really quite glad that mine falls in bleak mid-January, as I was able to mark the start of my seventh decade by, you know, going outside, to places.

Thursday, 2 April 2020

New Forest Yeti

Everyone loves a good old cup run.  It gets the blood pumping and when it involves trips to football grounds you wouldn’t normally get to or think of visiting it can also broaden your horizons as well. And as my horizons are currently my front room and my back yard, here's my post-season take on some FA Vase exploits from this season that sparked off some of the kind of old school hi jinks at the lower rungs of the senior game that are light years away from the greed-fuelled, phoney VAR controversy of the Premier League. You're welcome.

Monday, 30 March 2020

Italia '79 - Sutton United & the Anglo-Italian Cup (Pt 2)

Welcome back. So, after all the thespianism to get you in the mood, the second instalment of my musings from way back when actually concentrates on the journey and the match itself that decided the Anglo-Italian Cup final in 1979. And if you’re still awake at the end of this one, have a gold star and consider that’s another couple of hours few minutes of Coronavirus isolation you have got through. The difference in boredom thresholds will be minimal.

Sunday, 29 March 2020

Two for the Price of One

These certainly are surreal times we are living in. A fortnight or so ago the Gandermonium faithful were trooping down to GGL for their staple diet of National League football. To be fair the professional programme had already been cancelled and the fixture with Hartlepool was being widely touted as being potentially the last game in London for some time. Fast forward a couple of weeks and that prediction has proved true.

Sunday, 22 March 2020

Italia '79 - Sutton United & the Anglo-Italian Cup (Pt 1)

For many years now, we've had to put up with regularly having the tales of our silly adventures 'Top Trumped' by some of the older heads amongst the U's support with the refrain "Yeah, but it wasn't Italy for the Anglo-Italian Cup was it?". The bastards. Naturally, since we started doing this tosh again, we've been trying almost as long to get them to put some of this down in writing. That way, if nothing else, we can get some hits off these lurid tales. Finally, thanks to Covid-19, it's happened.

So without further ado, we'll hand you over to your guide on this little journey. One Mr F. Frake Esq.....

Sunday, 15 March 2020

The Last Game in London

There’s an old Chinese proverb that says “may you live in interesting times”.  Well, that all depends on how you define interesting doesn’t it? And if you find an endless carnival of death, crisis and chaos a turn-on then you must be having the absolute time of your fucking life right now. If, like me, you prefer a bit of peace and quiet, a nice cup of splosh, a custard slice and some old black and white episodes of On The Buses on the box then you have pretty much had a gutful of “interesting” as it goes.

Sunday, 8 March 2020

Flowery Twats

We live in strange and troubled times ladies and gentlemen. Our nation's leaders are a set of bumbling fuckwits & liars, the country is being battered by a succession of increasingly oddly monikered storms, Dukey has abandoned his mission to save the planet and has instead taken to educating our youth, that Coronavirus bollocks is going to kill us all to death, fucking Love Island is STILL on the telly and, worst of all, we've not got anyone available for the Halifax away blog. What we need is a hero. A white knight on his firey steed, fresh from the fight to race to our rescue. Or at least to fuck off up to Yorkshire and do a blog for us if nowt else.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Coronation Virus

With the usual reprobates that frequent this blog to detail their adventures watching the mighty Sutton stuck back in that leafy hamlet known as the PROWS, I have offered to guest for the midweek trip to what the TV reports suggest is the only part of the Calder Valley not under water, i.e. The Shay, home of FC Halifax Town.

Sunday, 1 March 2020

An Interrupting Phone Call

Finally, our second win of 2020 has arrived. And what better place to have it but at Hayes Lane, home of Cray Wanderers Bromley. And if you thought that recently was a so so run of form for us, then you only have to look over to these Kent boys to find some real bad form as Bromley were currently on one solitary point gained over the last seven matches. Form worse than Chorley, fact.

Sunday, 23 February 2020

Welcome Back Desmond

Ok, it's been a while since we've seen a Desmond round these parts. Think it was back in mid-August when we welcomed one of those Northern teams who showed us how to exactly take a set-piece not once but twice in a row as we shipped in two simple goals to the powerhouses that are Chorley. Of course it was expected as Chorley were to rise up and up through the table. Or not.

Friday, 14 February 2020

Beddington Corner FC

I’m a sucker for old football clubs and grounds that are no longer with us and after the stunning response to the pieces I wrote up on Banstead Mental Hospital FC and the long-lost Mitcham Stadium it became clear that many others are as well and I had been casting around for another contender.

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Livin' Devil-may-care

Ok, Let's face it shall we. Barring the thumping we gave woeful Woking on New Years Day, January was a pretty big come down for the Sutton Boys. Four games without scoring a goal, getting really embarrassed by Leatherhead in the Surrey Senior Cup and Eastmond getting his marching orders against Chesterfield for failing to connect a punch. So the question is, would February go the same way?

Wednesday, 29 January 2020

Come On Eileen

Aah, The Head. When I first started following Sutton, Leatherhead were real rivals in the old Rothmans Isthmian League and in that golden era for their football club without a shadow of a doubt one of the top non–league sides in the land, when there were certainly plenty of contenders kicking about. Of course, Sutton were no mugs in those days either with Ted Powell and Larry Pritchard running the show on and off the pitch and it is a measure of the attacking talent in the squad that we were able to release Chris Kelly, the putative Leatherhead Lip, and pack him off down the A24 where he would later assume national celebrity status.

Sunday, 26 January 2020

Goldilocks & the Three Knobs

Greetings all, and before I begin with the Solihull blog – let us take a reflection back to what has gone on.  So last weekend, we had the weekend away in Manchester for Stockport away and the road trip for Magnum, Ossie, Nat and I – thank you all for a good weekend.  Popworld is such a fun place to go.

Monday, 20 January 2020

Public Liability Premiums

It's been a funny couple of weeks. Having finally emerged blinking into the light from the National League's somewhat taxing Christmas Fixtures schedule, which is a bit like Non-League's answer to the Royal Rumble where the games come at you like artics at a fox that's strayed into the middle lane of the M25, we found we have a shitload more points than we had going in and something called 'a week off'. Buggered if we know what one of those is, anyone?

Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Tales from the Sunday Leagues

Well this is odd. After 7 years of Gandermonium 2.0 and our tired old cobblers being regurgitated endlessly for you, our adoring masses, we actually had someone from outside our shadowy and drunken cabal approach and ask if they could do a piece for us. Well, we're all for putting our feet up and letting someone else take responsibility for stuff, so we of course said yes. And here it is. Fulham & Sutton fan, John Clarke's vaguely SUFC flavoured recollections of his Sunday League days. Enjoy!

Sunday, 5 January 2020

He Swings, He Misses

Ok, so it was a Bridge Too Far in the end. Everyone knew that it was going to happen to us at some point. But when you're up against a team that had only sacked their manager during the week, down in the relegation zone and were on the reverse of a 4-0 bumming by us at home back when that was more of a rarity, you know that we're the type of team to help them out. So shall we continue with another Longest Day adventure? I hope you're sitting comfortably...

Thursday, 2 January 2020

The Joy of Six

So that's it. The end of 2019. A year that, in what was an otherwise pretty decent decade for Sutton United, turned up late to the party and proceeded to mostly just bum everyone out with its seemingly endless supply of shit, grinding football. Still, the lads at least did what they could to try & mitigate that somewhat over the last couple of weeks, so yeah. Happy New Year and all that.