RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
Aylesbury United – 1 [Rutherford 59]
Sutton United – 4 [Akrour 11, 76, 84. OG 25]
See that? Yes that bright shining light. There, just on the horizon. What is it?? Oh wait, it’s the sun reflecting of the championship shield, that’s what it is!! Sweet. Didn’t know Ryman did silver polish.
Yes, it’s true. The U’s are now within touching distance of the aforementioned piece of silverware after a fantastic drubbing of their closest rivals for the title up in Buckinghamshire. The Ducks were well and truly roasted by a devastating display from the boys and this despite us playing for over an hour with 10 men with Paul Harford ridiculously sent off by the tremendously inept Mr Vosper. But more of this later…
Our need of a few beers to settle our nerves in town before kick off almost backfires on us and we only arrive at the ground with minutes to spare. There’s a great turnout from South West London too, with the away terrace nice and full. The rest of the ground is pretty stacked as well to be fair. The lads elect to shoot at the far end the first half, so we have to strain a little to see whats going on due to the somewhat shallow nature of our end. Sutton are in no mood to mess about & tear into our hosts from the whistle and the terrier like Sammy Winston combined with the guile & skill of Naz is soon casuing the poor Ducks back four no end of trouble. Winston’s pace & direct running in particular is scaring the living daylights out of ‘em, chasing onto anything & everything. Our first chance arrives after just 5 minutes, Winston races down the flank and delivers a lovely low ball into the box, but a defender just gets there ahead of Naz and hammers it clear. The Same formula works much better after 11 minutes though.
Again, Winston’s pace takes him clear out wide. This time, he cuts inside and heads for the box. With the Aylesbury defence trailing badly, he draws the ‘keeper and rolls the ball square to Akrour, who gleefully accepts the gift and tucks the ball into the empty net. We all squint & strain to see what’s happening from the far end and then go beserk as we see the net ripple and Naz wheel away in delight, arms outstretched.
Sutton’s dominance continues as Winston holds off his man and turns inside the box and sees his shot fly past the ‘keeper, but hit the outside of the near post. Moments later, he’s at it again, this time his shot zipping narrowly wide. We’re slaughtering ‘em! The pressure counts further in the 25th minute when we win a corner. The flag kick is spectacularly headed into the top corner by a hapless Aylesbury defender under pressure from Naz. Cue more apeshit type celebrations at the other end. I and my fellow beerhounds can’t believe it!! 2-0 up already and if this carries on, there may be a rout on the cards….
U’s continue to push as Aylesbury finally come out of their shell and start to mount a bit of meaningful pressure in response. But just as the game begins to turn into the much anticipated feast we expected, some dickhead dressed all in black seems to decide that the home side need a little leg up. 35 minutes gone, Paul Harford & Aylesbury forward Rutherford both go in for a 50-50 ball a little over enthusiastically. Harford comes out on top, winning the ball, but Rutherford with is crap peroxide hairdo, squeals like he’s been shot in the face and rolls around theatrically. Mr Vosper’s chance to ruin the contest has arrived it seems.
He calls over Harford and we expect an undeserved yellow card. Our big midfielder probably does as well. Nope, the moron masquerading as the ref produces a red and we understandably go into full on ‘Abuse the clueless twat’ mode. Many promises of retribution against the witless prat reverberate around the away terrace. If his stupidity costs us victory….
A lynching? Certainly! Where do I sign up???
Rutherford doesn’t get off scott free for his part in the proceedings either. His theatrics making sure he’s loudly booed and abused every time he touches the ball. The dismissal obviously fires up the Ducks who see a possible way back into the contest and the previously silent majority in the crowd, no doubt thinking the same thing. The home side now throw everything forward in an attempt to get something back before the break. But despite a couple of minor scares, the U’s withstand the onslaught and Howells goal remains intact & unbreached at the half time whistle.
The second half starts much as the first ends, with the home side redoubling their efforts to get themselves back into the game. This leads to a hairy 15 minute spell, during which that blonde twat, Rutherford, pulls a vital goal back for the hosts. Gwynne & a forward chase down a loose ball. The oppo blatantly plays the man rather than the ball, sending Gwynne sprawling to the turf. Vosper, true to form, ignores this blatant foul-play. Meanwhile Rutherford picks up the once again loose onion and fires an angled shot past Howells into the bag. He then proceed to run around celebrating like a twat, manfully goading the U’s support from all of 60 yards away whilst he’s at it. We happily respond with a varied range of hand signals and our full Anglo-Saxon vocabulary.
Strangely, Mr Incompetent deems this incitement not worth a card. What a shocker!
Now back in the game, Aylesbury then proceed to throw everything but the kitchen sink at us in the next 15 minutes in a desperate search for an equaliser. But, the lads dig in, stick to their task and grind it out. Our worries that losing Harford may blunt our attacking ambitions prove unfounded as with them pushing up so much, we begin to come back into proceedings more and win our first corner of the half with about 25 minutes remaining.
Skelly’s kick reaches Riley at the back post and his firm header is heading for the top corner until an Aylesbury defender pops up and desperately nods it from under the crossbar, but the ball works its way back out wide and Steve Watson whips it back into the danger area. Naz reacts quickest and connects with a header from all of about 2 yards, which unbelievably, the ‘keeper somehow manages to keep out with a cracking reaction save.
But this renews the confidence amongst the U’s and then the Ducks suffer another blow, losing key defender Cliff Hercules with a cut head, which seems to unsettle their back line a touch. Our attacks become more & more frequent again as Naz & Winston once again find the time & space to torment their opponents. The contest is ended shortly after.
Sammy gets loose again, runs at the defence but at the crucial moment loses control and it seems the chance is gone. But our little French wizard pops up from nowhere, collects the loose ball and sends a delightful chip over the stranded ‘keeper and into the far corner. Again the away end erupts into complete delirium.
But it’s not over yet, oh no!
Aylesbury again desperately go on the offensive, throwing everyone up to try & find another goal to help their fast sinking cause, but many of the frantic attacks flounder and the U’s breakouts are becoming ever more threatening. With a few home fans already accepting defeat and starting to head for the exits, Naz sensationally completes his hat-trick. A pass to the edge of the box from Steve Watson is received by our European mate. He brilliantly turns his marker, leaving him for dead, tees up the ball and lashes it past the desperate dive of the ‘keeper, making the net billow emphatically. Now we REALLY go mental!
Naz races to the perimeter wall to be engulfed by a wave of Amber and Chocolate shirts, containing people who are frankly losing their minds.
The trickle of green & white heading for the exits immediately becomes a torrent and the home end empties out very quickly. Sent on their way with cheery choruses of “We can see you sneaking out” and “You’re going to Canvey, you’re going to Canvey, we’re not!”. The last few minutes are played out in comfort and the final whistle is greeted with more madness at our end and the fans acclaim the players like the conquering heroes they are. They then take the almighty piss at the result by breaking into an impromptu ‘Duck walk’, last seen performed by the hosts during an FA Cup run a couple of years back. Cue some naughty hand signals from the only remaining home fans in the ground, their noisy ‘Chicken Run’ band to our right. We of course point, laugh and wave back.
Breathless, we stumble back into town where yet more hilarity ensues back at the boozer as one of the drinking club receives a phone call on his mobile from his brother, who’s been at QPR v West Brom today. He informs us that a certain Mr Bob Dowie (recently ex-Aylesbury manager!) was clearly seen to be punching the air in delight and shouting “YES!!!” when he saw both the halftime and full time scores from the home of the suppliers of his most recent P45 pop up on ‘Final Score’.
Obviously not a bloke who bears grudges is our Mr Dowie.
Enjoy Canvey next season Pond Birdies.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Tie! Naz & Sammy Winston. Both brilliant.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE : 10. To win here 4-1 and with only 10 men for nearly an hour is something else.