SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Skelly 66]
NUNEATON BOROUGH – 2 [Ware 43, 84]
Our visit to Nuneaton earlier in the season had produced little for us. The local Firkin had closed permanently and after dominating the first 20 minutes, Dacky got himself sent off and we got beat.
So we hoped that our win at Forest Green on the Wednesday and Borough’s poor recent away form would bring us some reward. Fat chance!
No real surprises in the side except Sammy was back from his bout of flu. The visitors on the other hand changed pretty much every player advertised in the proggie. Very confusing.
The game starts with U’s, as per normal, not doing a great deal. Why does it always take us 20 minutes to get going? The visitors look a lot more lively than in the meeting at their place and put us under some early pressure. Gareth is forced into a couple of saves whilst our forwards and midfield toil to make any impression on the game. Boro cause little concern but they’re creating far more than we are!
A dull first half only comes to life when Mark Watson challenges the visiting No4 for the ball. Mr No4 goes down like he’s been shot and Watso cops a booking thanks to the manic flagging of another over eager linesman. Which is strange because Mark has made little or no contact with the 4. Soft twat. Much barracking from the crowd ensues (OK, I admit it, mainly from me!) and the game quietens down. The officials are again set on making the game as dull and annoying as possible. The ref in particular seems to take great offence at the slightest challenge on the oppo from a Sutton player, but lest some rather ‘robust’ tackling by the visitors go unpunished. Bob wonders out loud about when we’re going to get our quota of biased homer bastard refs. Not today methinks!
Then we’re visited by a now familair sight. You know!! The one where our back four goes into a coma in the final 5 minutes of the 1st half and concedes a simple goal. Nuneaton’s No5 (who by some accounts is lucky to be still on the park after 3 awful challenges after being booked for deliberate handball) delivers a wonderful cross onto the head of the completely unmarked Ware. His header natrually beats Howells desperate dive and leaves us 1-0 down with 2 minutes to the break. Our back 4 stands around bemused, like they’ve never conceded a goal before in their lives. Fucking hell lads, we’ve let in more goals before half time than I’ve had pints this season!! (OK, slight exaggeration there!!) In all competitive games this season we’ve conceded 11 goals between the 39 and 45 minute mark. Quite what the bloody hell our defenders are doing in this 6 minute period is beyond me.
Note to back four : WAKE UP YOU DOZY BASTARDS!!!
So, 1 down at the break. Sadly it seeems as if all the results are going our way. Which would be great if we were at least drawing! Mmmmm.
Second half and the lads look as if they’ve had another ‘talking to’ by the management (IE: A team talk containing more swear words than a Roy ‘Chubby’ Brown show….) as we come out and go at our visitors. Another thing that bugs the shit out of me, why do we ALWAYS play so crap in the first half at home?? Then come out at the start of the second half and tear into our opponents (normally having gone 1-0 down to a poxy 45th minute goal!) ??? Answers on a post card please….
Nuneaton seem quite happy to use their big lumps that pass for defenders to contain our forays foward and hit on the break. On the hour the so far ineffective Nko Ekoku is withdrawn for Sammy Winston. At last, a bit of real pace to worry this lot. Natrually it does’nt take long for the little man to start being a real pain in the arse. 2 surging runs and numerous lost causes chased seems to upset the vistiors defence. Sammy then produces another of those runs. He recieves the ball out on the right with his back to goal. He turns and knocks the ball past the powderpuff No4 and challenges him to a race for the byeline. Sammy’s strength wins out and he pulls the ball back to the far corner of the box where Richard Skelly slide rules a wonderful shot inside the far post. A wonderful sweeping move. Sammy is too busy to celebrate the goal, he’s telling Mr No4 what a total wanker he is after he’s had a kick at our diminutive striker well after the ball has gone. Matey looks well hard until 3 or 4 other U’s players arrive, upon which he soils his shorts and looks to the ref to rescue him.
The goal lifts the lads and we pile forwards looking to snatch a second. Newhouse has an opportunity when he charges in on the ‘keeper, who’s hesitated on a backpass. Aidans challenge see’s the ball loop goalwards, but just over the bar. Jimmy Dack charges from midfield soon after and his powerful drive aimed at the top corner is beaten away by the ‘keeper. Sammy also has a good chance soon after. He recieves a nice little ball through from midfield before turning and unleashing a shot at the near post. Again the ‘keeper is down well to palm away the shot.
Just when it seems like there’ll be only one winner, Borough’s first attack for ages sees a shot deflected across the face of goal by Riley. From the resulting corner, Ware is again left unmarked and his smart shot on the turn finds the far corner. ARSE! That’s us buggered.
The boys charge forwards to try and snatch a vital equaliser, Scott Forrester has the best chance when he’s played in by Newhouse, but the ‘keeper is down quickly to save his close range shot. Apart form that and a couple of late corners, can’t quite manage to force a result.
The travelling fans greet the final whistle with jubilation as it turns out later that they’re back on top of the Conference.
Back in the boozer, SKY reveals that Woking have won at Stevenage and Hayes have beaten Yeovil 4-2 at bloody Huish.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Sammy Winston. Gave us that little bit of bite when he came on.
ENTERTAINMENT : 6. Mainly for the 2nd Half!
TEAM : Howells, Laker, Skelly, Brooker, Riley, Harlow, Harford, Dack, Ekoku, Newhouse, Watson
SUBS : Hutchinson, Winston, Forrester, Rowlands, Sears