RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
Sutton United – 4 [OG 14], [M.Watson  , [Rowlands 80]
Billericay Town – 1 [Portway 28]
Sutton United regained the top spot in the Ryman Premier Division, that they’d last held just before Christmas, on Tuesday night with a convincing if not entirely comfortable win over Billericay.
Aylesbury’s 2-1 defeat at home to Enfield moved the U’s top on goal difference, hopefully they will still be there come May 1st!
The lads started strongly against our visitors, who had conceded 4 on their last visit in the League Cup a couple of months ago. Mark Watson in particular looking a damn sight livelier than he did against Purfleet on Saturday, although it was Naz who was presented with the first opening of the evening. A long ball over the top of the visitors defence saw Naz race clear into the box only to be denied by a last ditch challenge just as he was about to shoot. The ball over the top caused Billericay a few prolems early on with Naz’s running and Watsons pace giving them plenty to think about. But the visitors survived this early pressure and started to settle ino the game when they went behind after 14 minutes.
Richard Skelly makes a decent break down the flank and he fires in a low ball from the corner of the 18 yard box. It does’nt look the most threatening of balls, but a defender sticks out a boot and steers the ball inside Dave Roots near post. Skelly rather sheepishly accepts the congrats of his team mates and we have the lead. This setback does’nt seem to affect our guests too much as the pairing of Adekola and Portway, which looked dangerous on paper, looked pretty OK from where I was standing, causing our recently tightwad defence problems. Their equaliser is a little messy, but well finished. An attack breaks down on the edge of our box and a coupleof attempted clearances are blocked, the ball rolls to Mr Portway who takes a touch and fires the ball into the far corner.
This then in tun seems to give our own heroes a kick up the arse. We push downfield from the kick off and are immediately pressurising the Billericay defence. Within 2 minutes of losing our advantage, we’re back in front. Danny Brookers high ball finds Mark Watson between the 2 centre backs. His chest down is great, his second touch is’nt so but the ball sits up nicely and he half volleys in off the post past Root.
Half time and we hear the Ducks from Bucks are being held to a 1-1 stalemate on their pond by our great friends, Enfield. Unfortunately, I time my move from the bar back into the ground for the second half badly by about 30 seconds. Heading up the tunnel, I hear the crowd roar (Well, as much as a 300-odd crowd can roar.), as the pitch heaves into view I see Mark Watson being congratulated by the rest of the team. Phew!! 3-1. I get a description of the goal from a very reliable source (Ta Clive!) Apparently a pass back to a Billericay full back bobbles over his boot and the prowling Watson nips in and thumps the ball past the ‘keeper with the outside of his foot.
Alledgedly a ‘Cracking Goal’. Bollocks! The boys from Essex up the ante a little and try hard to get back into the contest, but they seem to run out of steam in the last 20 minutes and this is confirmed with the substitution of the pacy Adekola. The final nail in the coffin comes courtesy of new boy Rowlands, on in place of Mark Watson. Naz does’nt quite connect with a header at the front post and Rowlands flies at the ball to send a bullet header into the net from around 6 yards.
Naz, who’s not had the best of nights, has a chance to really polish ‘em off, but he shoots straight at Root when clean through. The three points are what’s important, and boy are they! Waiting for my big red taxi to take me home, the mobile rings. Aylesbury – 1 Enfield – 2. WOOO HOOOOO!!!!!!! The Ducks defeat means we go top on goal difference still with a game in hand.
The next 2 Saturdays see us at the hot and cold Gravesend and the underachieving Dagenham. Hopefully another 6 points will see us nice & clear for the visit of those, THOSE bastards.
Man of The Match : Mark Watson. Another 2 goals. If he showed this much bang EVERY week he’d have 50 by May.
Entertainent Value : 7. Not fantastically pretty, but who cares? We’re top!!