RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
Att : 380
Hampton – 0
Sutton United – 3 [Laker 28], [M.Watson  
Sutton’s recent decent form continued on Saturday with another 3 points gained at the expense of a Beavers side struggling at the foot of the Ryman Premier. Again as with Slough last week, the U’s had to be patient before taking the lead and then overwhelming their opponents.
The cold forces us to take refuge in the local boozer a few yards from the ground where we’re re-introduced to an old friend in a pint of Badgers Tanglefoot whilst we pass the time watching a bit of the Wales – France eggchasing.
Naz’s recent pickup in form has earned him a starting spot, but Riley has failed to win back his place and Nko was still missing with a hamstring problem. Hampton’s home form is poor with only 3 wins so far this season at the Beveree, but they had managed to hold Aylesbury to a 0-0 a couple of weeks back. So we need to be careful.
As with the Dulwich game, Sutton played the ball about whilst our hosts relied on banging the ball forward for their nippy bloke up front to chase after. Few chances are created in the first 20 minutes or so and it’s a corner after 27 minutes that finally results in the breakthrough. Jimmy Dack’s flag kick is nodded out by a defender towards the edge of the box and Barry Laker of all people is there to meet the ball with a thumping drive into the far corner.
Hampton up their work rate but create little to trouble the U’s rearguard. No other real chances come our way either and the lads go in at the break 1 up. The second half is much like the first, except for the huge drop in temperature!! Again few clear cut chances are created, Hampton banging the ball as far forward as possible and Sutton trying to play the ball in behind them and get crosses in from the byline. Around the hour mark, Naz takes a touch in the box and lashes the ball on the volley towards the near top corner, but the ‘keeper pulls out an excellent stop to deny our little French magician.
No worry. Mark Watson doubles our advantage a few minutes later though. Taking a pass just inside the box, he turns inside one defender, beats a second and then with the ‘keeper wrong footed and going the wrong way he shoots inside the near post to make it 2-0.
Naz departs to make way for new signing Keith Rowlands, who shows a nice turn of pace. Watson then finishes the job with 5 minutes left. Steve Watson gets down the flank after some nice play and whips the ball in for Mark to power his header past the ‘keeper at the back post for 3-0. There’s still time for Rowlands to direct a header straight at the ‘keeper from another cracking Steve Watson cross.
We depart to the bar at the final whistle and sadly find Aylesbury have won 2-0 at Walton, although St Albans 4-3 defeat at Hendon drops them to 4th, effectively making it now a 2 horse race between our good selves and the Ducks of Bucks.
Meanwhile, the Scummers haven’t played but still slip to within a point of the drop zone and that little bit closer to 1st division oblivion, which is nice.
Man of the Match : Steve Watson. Tireless running and quality crosses.
Entertainment : 5. Not pretty to watch but 3 points.