DONCASTER ROVERS – 1 [Kirkwood 23]
SUTTON UNITED – 0
Sutton’s miserable recent form contiuned on Saturday with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Doncaster’s Belle Vue ground.
This away game was a tadge different for your correspondent as I had’nt had to endure the normal early start & marathon journey up with the beerhounds. This was due to visiting my friend Sarah in Grimsby just down the road. (Cleethorpes on a friday night = ARSE!!) The friend in question attended the game with me rather than take her normal place at Blundell Park to watch her beloved ‘Mariners’ take on Bolton in the FA Cup. So, after seriously questioning her sanity and promising her a hot chocolate at half time, I agreed.
JR had finally spotted the fact that Watsons recent form had been shite and actually started with the long awaited Newhouse-Winston partnership. Matt Lee had another start at Right back and Gwynne returned after his ankle injury. So a fairly strong line up then. Maybe we could be in with a shout!
We start and straight away, the lads get at our hosts. Sammy has a burst at the home defence but is halted on the edge of the box. Then a couple of minutes later Sam leaves his marker for dead and charges into the box. The defender promptly pulls our little terrier down and the ref points to the spot. Penaty!! Bloody hell! I feel confident about this one, Mark Watson isn’t on the pitch to take it!! Aidan Newhouse places the ball on the spot and strikes the kick to the ‘keepers left. Sadly it’s a poor kick. Just the right position and height for the ‘keeper to block. A defender hacks away the danger as the home crowd roars it’s delight. Bollocks. Quite why Sam was’nt allowed to take it, I don’t know. Still, we’ve missed another vital chance and we all know it’s gonna cost us.
The miss lifts Donny and they start to become more dangerous coming forwards. One thing that is apparent though, is that their side are the biggest bunch of fucking powder puff footballers I’ve ever seen in my life. Every challenge by a Sutton player ends up with the opposition man lying in a heap like he’s been violently assaulted. The worst culprit is the Ex-Everton forward, Mike Newell. First he goes down like a sack of spuds after a simple challenge by Matt Lee and then gets Nko booked near half-time after a similar challenge. An experienced ex-pro he may be, but he just makes himself look an absolute tosser by behaving like this.
The home sides surging attacks look to be just lacking that final edge, when they strike. Cheating bastard Newell knocks on a pass to Kirkwood behind him. Howells moves across in anticipation of a shot but the Doncaster forward seems to mis-cue his shot and it comes off the outside of his boot leaving Gareth flat footed as it loops over him and into the net. Oh dear.
The rest of the half is played out in similar fashion, with the U’s struggling to get a solid foothold in the game and Doncaster’s fast incisive attacks putting the back four under heavy pressure. Our only other dangerous moment is again down to Sammy Winston. He once more eludes his marker, gets to the byeline and pulls the ball back across the six yard box. Not for the 1st time this season, there’s absolutely no bugger there to finish it off.
So half time and I buy Sarah the hot chocolate I’d promised. Her comments about the U’s less than impressive performance are cut short as a bloke behind us in the queue for refreshments reveals that her own team are 1-0 down in their game. I try my best to look sad for her.
The U’s start the second half with a bit of fire, but ultimately lack the final pass or movement to carve out the vital goal. The home side do spend a lot of the second period in their own half, but they create the more chances. Laker has to hack an effort off the line and Howells palms a fierce drive over the bar at full stretch. Our best opportunity again comes from Winston. He gets in front of a defender at a corner and sends his header just wide of the far post. A couple of half chances are there for the taking as Winston and sub Watsons running at the back four produces shooting opportunities. Sadly the lads prefer to try and beat the defenders rather than have a dig. The only long range efforts come from Harlow, Harford and Newhouse. All of which are well off target
A flurry of late corners give us some hope, but come to nothing. And so another narrow defeat away from home befalls our heroes.
We saunter away from Belle Vue and the crew shoot off home via Nottingham, Derby and Leicester. I walk Sarah to the station. Fortunately, Grimsby have lost 2-0. Which means I escape the young lady’s dissection of the U’s performance. Then it’s back to Kings Cross for me and an early night for a change on a Saturday.
Sadly it’s an inability to take opportunities that are gifted to us that is hampering us. That and the lack of good incisive passer in midfield that is! Our meeting with Ryman side Canvey Island in the trophy next week does’nt look promising. Ho hum.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Sammy Winston. He created all our chances to be honest.
ENTERTAINMENT : 6. Not bad, but we still need something……..
TEAM : Howells, Laker, Berry, Skelly, Lee, Harford, Harlow, Ekoku, Rowlands, Winston, Newhouse SUBS : Watson, Sears, Forrester, Hutchinson, Dack