Sutton United – 1 [Watson 20]
Doncaster Rovers – 0
After the mildy pleasing denial of 3 points to the annoyingly smug K’s on tuesday, we awaited the invasion of Ex-League club Doncaster, the club with by far the biggest support in the Conference.
The Fielder is full of broad Yorkshire accents when I arrive at 2.15. The Donny boys have been on the piss all day (good effort!) and have visited some 21 boozers! Although they admit to not having had a bev in all of ‘em as some were described as “Fookin’ shite” (That’ll be the Isobar and All Bar One then?)
Mackie’s knee is still dodgy, so he’s replaced by Riley and with Dacky banned, Sears comes in his position. We also discover we’ve made a new signing!! Joe Baker released by Leyton Orient is sitting on the bench. It’s also confirmed that Mr Clive Walker most probably won’t be joining us due to us not being able to meet his personal terms. Now there’s a shocker! Sadly there’s no sign of Mike Newell or recently signed Peter Beardsley for the visitors. U’s start brightly and it’s also soon apparent that our visitors really are rather poor. They’re alledgedly missing a few players, but that’s really not an excuse for a side of full time professionals. We have a couple of half chances whilst Donny toil away, vainly trying to get organised. Then after 20 minutes, the best move of the match gives us the lead. A barrelling Sammy Winston run, sees him pull the ball back to Mark Watson some 6-7 yards out. Thankfully his shovel connects with the cows arse, he picks his spot and finishes.
Watson is having a decent all round game. His touch, for once, is not that of a rapist and he’s actually holding the ball up well and bringing other people into the game. He’s also managing to run with the ball without falling over like a newborn deer after a few yards. The back four is coping admirably with the few attacks the visitors can muster with Riley and Laker standing out in particular.
A few more nervy moments but, the visitors hold on until the break and go in just the 1 behind.
News reaches me that Oldham are winning at Chesterfield. Bloody hell, has christmas come early??
The second half see’s Donny come out with a bit more purpose, whilst we go in search of a (hopefully!) killer second goal.
The visitors threaten our goal a lot more in the second period. The closest they come to a goal is a Barry Laker hook off the line and a last ditch challenge by Berry allows Howells to gather after a good run by the impressive No.3. In time, Watson and Winston are replaced by Forrester and Ekoku. This gives us a little more pace if not a steadier frontline! One break sees Forrester take up a good position only for the pass to be delayed and the youngster flagged offside. Nko’s powerful running is causing concern and only a last ditch challenge prevents a strike on goal in the box. The visitors bring on Ian Snodin, brother of manager Glyn, who immediately gets himself booked for a clumsy lunge on Nko.
As a spectacle the game dies a death, not that it was much of one to start with! And despite a nervy last 10 minutes where Doncasters professional fitness levels start to tell, U’s hang on for a vital and well deserved win.
Not a classic, but a good team performance with only Sears and Harlow really disappointing. Still, 3 points is 3 points and as it turns out it gets us back out of the bottom 3. Whoopee!
MAN OF THE MATCH : Errrr, oh go on then. Mark Watson. For the goal!
ENTERTAINMENT : 6. By no means a classic, but we did enough for the 3 points.
TEAM : Howells, Brooker, Riley, Laker, Berry, Skelly, Sears, Harlow, Harford, Winston, Watson
SUBS : Rowlands, Baker, Little, Ekoku, Forrester