SCARBOROUGH – 3 [Tate 10,90 McNiven 42]
SUTTON UNITED – 0
The longest trip available to us in the Conference and we just had this feeling that like many others, it would produce sod all reward for our presently Ryman bound heroes.
We passed the time on the way up to Hull (our first stop) with predictions of the days result. Chalmers and I agreed on 3-0, whilst Bob and Col seemed more confident that we would score, but ultimately go down 3 or 4 -1.
Shame, should have had a fiver on it.
A couple of pints at the Firkin in Hull followed by sustenance in the shape of some tasty sausage & chips and we’re off to Beverly in search of another public house from our favourite chain. Sadly the Beverly pub has been turned into a bit of a ponce hole called the ‘The Cornerhouse’. Lots of shite pastel colours and fizzy lagers. But they do a decent pint of Bombadier, so we ignore the decor and sup away. The old Firkin doormat is all that remains of the pub we expected but we reckon it’s enough to claim it as ‘done’. Then off to Scarborough to witness another dismal defeat.
The McCain stadium has changed somewhat in the 12 years or so since Col visited. A nice new seated stand at one end is our home for the game. Rainsy has gone for the customary dull and unadventurous 5-3-2 formation, with McCormack and the other wide bloke noticeable only by their absence. Typical, we’ve probably sent them back to their respective clubs because they did’nt make enough of an impact. Which is bloody hard to do with roughly 90 minutes footy in a whole month available to you. The formation is of some worry to me, why do we play such negative crap away from home? What’s the point in scrapping for a point away, when our home form is so shit?? Strange if you ask me.
The five defenders we field prove to have little effect as after just 10 minutes a cross to the back post finds Scarborough’s No9 utterly unmarked to nod home. For fucks sake lads, it’s SO simple. You pick a man and stick with him!! No wonder we’re bottom when we defend like little leaguers.
We toil on, with Dack, Harlow and Harford in midfield again struggling to stamp any kind of authority on the game, terrible passing and simple loss of possession. Another reason why so many sides just snuff us out. No Midfield. Sammy is running his arse off again, whilst Mark Watson is ambling around as per normal. Quite why our dynamic forward was selected is another puzzle. I know Newhouse hasn’t exactly been setting the world alight, but at least he can hold the ball up and give our sluggish midfield time to catch up.
Our efforts produce little to trouble the home defence, whilst the ‘Seadogs’ pacy frontline of Tate and the on-loan McNiven are causing a few unsettling moments four our creaking rearguard and Howells has to make a couple of smart stops to prevent the home side extending their lead. He can do nothing though to prevent the now customary pre half-time goal. McNiven, on loan from Oldham no less, races onto a through ball leaving Berry for dead. His low angled shot is powerfully struck past Howells and inside the far post. 2-0 and we all know we’re done for.
Half time and a cup of tea to warm the bones. Good news in the shape of Oldham being 1 up at Wrexham. I almost wish I was there.
The second half sees a bit of a pick up in our efforts, but we reckon it’s more to do with the home side relaxing rather than our footballing ability. Col gets bored and goes all ‘SKY Digital’ on us. He decides to watch the rest of the match from the ‘Harford Cam’ viewpoint, meaning he’ll only really follow the actions of our slow, portly midfielder. This he finds thoroughly amusing, personally I’d rather watch paint dry in slow motion.
The introduction of Ekoku gives us our normal brief injection of any kind of excitement. His pace and direct style unsettling the home side a little. It’s an Ekoku cross that produces our best chance. A neat exchange of passes between Skelly and the big winger sends him clear to deliver one of the left footed crosses that were so familiar last season. Harford arrives to connect, but guides his header a foot over the crossbar. Soon after and we actually have the ball in the net!! A rare corner finds the head of Harford and it loops over the ‘keeper and under the bar into the goal with Sammy in close attendance. Sadly Sammy’s attentions are too close for the Ref’s liking and he disallows the effort. Quite what for, I don’t know, as Sam actually never made contact with the ‘keeper. So yet another shit decision goes against us.
Then just as we seem to have escaped with a 2-0 defeat, we leave Tate unmarked at the back post again. This time from a last minute corner. He chests the ball down, not a U’s player in sight and hammers the ball past Howells off the underside of the bar.
So another utterly toothless display condemns us to a second week at the bottom and playing like this it’s a position we’re not looking likely to give up. We hear FGR have won again, but Welling have drawn 0-0 and Woking have lost 1-0 at home to Alty. Hmm, not quite down yet, but the only thing looking to keep us up is sides around us being worse than we are.
And there ain’t many of those. Certainly not enough to make a difference.
Although there is one bright spot to the day. On our customary Firkin crawl afterwards, we encounter the Freestyle and Firkin in Bradford. A pub we never knew exsisted. Yet again, the piss up rescues a crap day.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Uhhhhh…
ENTERTAINMENT : 5. Crap. Piss up rescues it again.
TEAM : Howells, Broderick, Berry, Laker, Skelly, Brooker, Harford, Harlow, Dack, Winston, Watson SUBS : Ekoku, Newhouse, Hutchinson, Riley