RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
Att : 924
Sutton United – 2 [Brooker 53], [Riley p65]
St Albans City – 3 [Gentle 24], [Clark p44], [Haworth 82]
Sutton’s title challenge took another dent with their second home defeat against fellow challengers this season
Again as with previous displays against Carshalton and Weymouth, passion was the deciding factor, with our opponents simply wanting the 3 points far more than Sutton and making sure that they got them with hard graft on a soft pitch.
Both sides started slowly, but the visitors soon started to get a grip on proceedings with Howells forced into early action. Just as Sutton appeared to be getting into their stride, St Albans grabbed the goal they’d been threatening. The visiting winger wrong foots Barry Laker and sends in a cross that Gwynne Berry should cut out, but Berry slips and Gentle nods the ball into the net with Howells wrong footed. The U’s show more interest but are unable to break through the vistiors backline with any real purpose. A strange penchance for trying to walk the ball into the opponents net rather than bang one from around the edge of the box hinders our cause.
Sutton toil on with little impact and St Albans continue to dictate proceedings, when a quick break and cross from Ekoku sees Lomas flapping at his near post. The ball drifts over his head and unbelieveably pings back off of the base of his far post and straight into his arms. Typical. Just when we need that little bit of luck to give us a kick up the arse…..
This proves to be our only moment of the first period and it looks as if the visitors will go in 1-0 up at the break. Not so. Not with our rearguard! Gentle chases a ball into the corner to be greeted by Berry. They tussle for the ball and the little winger comes out on top, he bursts into the box and Berry chops him down from behind. Penalty. Gwynne’s challenge was bad enough but he has the cheek to get up and remonstrate with the ref over the foul!! This fires up the suits in the stand who from their lofty position (or maybe bad eyesight) seem to agree with our aged centre back. Idiots. Blatant bloody penalty and they’re screaming!! Leagues top scorer Steve Clark steps up and bangs away his little present for his 20th of the season. 2-0 . Boy are we in trouble now!
U’s start the second half with a bit more purpose (Obviously triggered by a massive bollocking from the Rains Bros) and we don’t have to wait too long for the response. Another powder puff exchange of passes on the edge of the Saints box is partially cleared, “Somebody Bang it!” we scream. Danny Brooker obliges with a low shot that hits the base of the post, rebounds off the head of Lomas & in. 2-1 & back in the game, Sutton start to show a bit of the fight that’s been missing recently. Mr Lomas in the St Albans goal must have trod in something getting on the coach that morning as another glaring howler goes unpunished. Dacky bangs in a free-kick from all of 40 yards with the ‘keeper nowhere. He waves it on it’s way and is relieved to see it crash back off his crossbar. Jammy Bastard. A corner a few minutes later produces some confusion as the ball is whipped in, the rather whistle happy Mr Vosper blows up AGAIN and waves his arm widly. Hang on, he’s only given us a bloody penalty!!!
Riley steps up and hammers his customary rocket straight down the middle. Lomas gets a touch, but he has no chance of stopping it. Suddenly we’re back all square at 2-2 and with the visitors looking a little shaky, it seems that the U’s could actually go on to win it. Silly us. As with many times in the past, our boys seem to think the job is done and switch off completely, thus allowing the opposition to drag themselves back into the contest. We of course pay the price when with 8 minutes to play, Laker dives in 35 yards out and misses the man completely. The man in question then proceeds to steam unchallenged into the box and thump the ball low into the far corner to restore the visitors lead. 3-2.
With no way back from this late blow, the last few minutes are played out almost in resignation at the result.
So, Sutton under-perform at home against another title chasing side. A lack of drive in the 1st half, some crap defending and an aversion to actually trying a shot rather than attempt to waltz past defenders and walk it into the net.
Title contenders?? Maybe in the eyes of the bookies, but not mine.
Man of the Match : Gareth Howells – Made several good stops.
Entertainment Value : 5 – Rubbish. Severe lack of desire.