RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION | Att : 833
Sutton United – 1 [Winston 39] Gravesend & Northfleet – 1 [Powell 85]
Two things you don’t generally get in April. Firstly, the mighty U’s sitting top of the league table and secondly that it shouldn’t be this fucking COLD! Seriously, the world’s gone mad. Rain we expect at this time of year. Sub-Arctic temperatures and wind? Less so. Amazingly, despite the weather, 800 odd other people have chosen to freeze their arses off as well as me, which is nice. GGL’s a big place, it would feel a bit lonely with just me in it!
Anyway, enough of the meteorological matters, back to the ‘top of the table’ stuff. So, here we are. 6 games left to play, 4 points ahead after Saturday’s tonking of Aylesbury at their gaff and about to use up the recently much touted ‘Game in Hand’. Win this and we’re seven clear with 15 left to play for. Big moment! Our visitors have already tried put a bloody great dent in our title hopes a couple of weeks ago with a 2-1 win down at their place, so with revenge in mind and that nice fat 7 point lead to take into the last 5 games the reward for a win, the boys aim to claim their prize.
U’s instantly take the game to our guests, looking for an early breakthrough. But try as we might, we can’t put the finishing touch to some good moves. Naz is unfortunately the main culprit, missing two good chances. The worst a shot from 8 yards, which he somehow guided the wrong side of the post after a cracking run by our new attacking hero, Sammy Winston. Winston himself had a couple of chances as well, with the portly Kent ‘keeper being on hand to deny him on both occasions. Just when it seems as though there’s to be no reward for our efforts, the goal we so desperately want arrives.
Just before the break, Steve Watson plays the ball through the ‘Fleet’ defence, who all stop and appeal loudly for offside against Winston. The linesman’s flag stays firmly by his side however and Sammy happily canters through to slot the ball into the corner of the net from about 12 yards. About bloody time! More Sutton pressure fails to produce anything else before the break though & we nip into the bar to warm up convinced that a second goal is definitely needed. Isn’t it always?
Unfortunately, our second half performance leaves a lot to be desired compared to the first. Gravesend step up a gear and we deal with it in a less than admirable fashion. We panic. Big Style. Our passing becomes more & more erratic and the midfield which had dominated so much in the first 45 minutes goes missing completely, which only serves to give the visitors even more of a hold on the game. Despite this, Naz misses 2 half chances that would no doubt settle us down and Dave Harlow’s curling free kick is clawed out from under the bar by the ‘keeper to keep the lead to just the one.
Then with only 5 minutes to play, the moment we’ve been dreading finally happens. A free kick is given away about 25 yards out and as our entire defence fannies about, it’s taken quickly and the Gravesend forward nips into the box to slide the ball past the stranded Howells. Bollocks. Bollocksbollocksbollocks.
The U’s restart and throw the kitchen sink at it for the last few minutes, but ultimately fail to rescue the 2 points they’d just been mugged of and in the end we have to settle for just the single point. Ok, so it’s not a win, but 5 ahead with 5 to play. It could be worse!
I still say 7 would have been nicer though.
Man of The Match : Sammy Winston
Entertainment Value : 7. Good first half. Shame about the second.