RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
Att : 301
Hendon – 0
Sutton United – 3 [M.Watson 21], [Dack 26], Akrour 
The U’s made fine use of one of their games in hand over leaders Aylesbury with a good 3-0 win at Hendon, a side the Ducks had been apparently rather fortunate to beat just 1-0 themselves only 3 days before our visit.
Despite us being the ones on a charge, it was our hosts who made most of the early running. But despite their flurry of activity they were unable to create any real clear cut chances. Sutton finally started to make progress around 15 minutes in with some nice approach play, but like the home side were unable to fashion an real theat in front of goal, in fact the closest they came being a fumbled high ball by ex-keeper Gary McCann which sneaked just the wrong side of the upright.
Given this less than chance filled start, it was a little out of the blue when Sutton took the lead. Steve Watson takes a pass out wide and despite the close attentions of 2 Hendon defenders he shakes off 3 attempted tackles and delivers a corking ball to the near post, which is met with a flying header by Mark Watson. The ball zips past McCann and inside his upright for what is probably one of the best worked goals all season by the lads. Exciting stuff!
Hendon try to hit back but like most sides recently their tactics seem to consist of hammering the ball as far forward as possible for a nippy forward to chase after like some demented dog chasing a boomerang. Invariably by the time he’s arived at the hoofed ball’s point of impact it’s been unhelpfully lumped straight back in the opposite direction by a United defender. Sorry lads.
The boys extend their lead soon afterwards. A rather crude challenge on Naz brings a free-kick on the D of their 18 yard box. The wall lines up its customary 6 or 7 yards away and the ref fails to enforce the full 10 as per normal. It doesn’t matter as Dackys shot is low and hard and arrows into the far bottom corner. 2-0 up and we haven’t really broken sweat yet. Great stuff.
So with the performance not being our most glittering, the 2-0 half time lead is welcomed and it’s soon worked out that it now means our goal difference is level with Aylesbury’s, but our better goals for column now gives us another tiny edge. Sad eh?? Hey c’mon, we’re chasing a title here!
The second half sees the home side pushing forward again in search of some way back into the contest. But still they persist with the long range approach, but it lacks quality for their strikers to feed off and the majority is dealt with comfortably by our back four. We continue with a slightly purer approach, tending to play the ball around and only going for the big hoof when absolutely necessary.
Hendon cause one or two minor scares before their resistance is finally quelled with a bit of a comedy effort. Naz does a little bit of trickery on the edge of the box to make space and fires in a shot which McCann appears to have covered at his near post. Unfortunately, he doesn’t actually and the ball comes back off his chest, pings off the inside of the post and finishes up in the net inside the far post behind him. Silly goal, but Naz seems pleased with his efforts as he trots off to do his Ronaldo/Airplane celebration thing.
With the game won, both sides relax and only a few more chances of any note are created before the end. The best one being Steve Watsons cross-shot from a very tight angle that the keeper manages to hold.
So all in all a solid performance against a side I thought might just throw a spanner in the works for us as we try & chase down top spot. The good news is we’re now only 3 points behind the leaders and still with a game in hand and now a marginally better goal difference. Could we have actually timed it right this time? Only one way we’re gonna find out….
Man of the Match : Mark Watson. Lovely goal & ran his arse off all night
Entertainment Value : 8. Played some neat footy on a ropey looking surface.