FA TROPHY 5th ROUND
Sutton United – 2 [Winston 13, Newhouse 86]
Dover Athletic – 1 [Le Bihan 40]
This is getting a little out of hand. Whilst we languish at the bottom of the Conference, barely able to muster a goal let alone beat another bloody side, the FA Trophy appears to be a completely different proposition. Open, entertaining games with goals! (Ok, Canvey excepted).
Our victims in this 5th round tie were high flying Dover. A side who since our 1-1 draw there in August have climbed as high as 2nd in the table and currently occupy a comfy spot in the top 5. Not only this but the Dover side contains no fewer than 3 ex-U’s. Recent strike pair Joff Vansittart and Mark Hynes and defender James Virgo. Oh goody!! And as if this was’nt enough, Joff has 15 goals to his name this season. Bollocks. If only we had someone like that to score fucking goals for us eh?
The first surprise of the day is the descision to play 3 strikers. Sammy and Watson lead the line with Newhouse just behind ‘em. Bloody hell, we are getting adventurous! Any chance of such a daring formation being fielded in a poxy league game? Second surprise?Gwynne has been benched in favour of the returning Riley. Oooh, could be interesting!
The KO is delayed 10 minutes to allow the hoardes of peeps queueing at the GGL turnstile to get in, (Imagine our surprise when the attendance is announced as 1200!) so we’ll be missing final score again in the pub.
When we do start, the U’s actually look quite useful. Some half decent play and passes are actually finding their intended targets more than usual. A mistake by a Dover defender lets Watson in, but he natrually falls over the ball. Then after 13 minutes, we actually take the lead. A minor melee in the visitors box results in the centre back moving to hoof the ball into orbit. Sadly for him he makes only a slight contact. The ball drops to Sammy and he pokes the ball past the exposed Hyde. Wahey!
Soon after and the diminutive forward tangles with the fat gobby moron that is Paul Hyde. Yep, the twat that got Nko booked for sod all at their place. (Check the league report for more info) Sammy chases a long ball into the box. Hyde collects the ball and Sam knocks into him. The podgy custodian then proceeds to do his nut. Even after taking his kick, he pursues Sammy some 30 yards hurling abuse and pointing his finger. Sam responds with a couple of fingers of his own.
Mr Hyde, you were a complete wanker before and I have no reason to change my opinion.
Dover fight back following our goal and start to look more threatening. Gareth has to be on his toes a couple of times to avert an equaliser. We keep pushing up, but our midfield is again failing and the visitors appear to have control. A familiar sight this season. Other familiar sights this season are conceding goals right on half time and not being able to mark people properly. I think you know whats coming next…..
40 minutes played and a move down our left flank produces a cross to the heart of the box where not one, but 2 Dover players are completely unmarked. Neil Le Bihan beats old boy Joff to the free gift and heads into the far corner. Even from our position on the shoebox at the other end of the ground we can make out the customary pissed off look on Howells face. Quite how our ‘keeper restrains himself from beating the shit out of his back four in the dressing room for the desperate lack of cover they provide. All I can say is, he must be one forgiving bloke.
We manage to hold on til the break without gifting our guests the lead. The news from elsewhere is fairly bad for us. Welling lead at Kiddie and FGR are drawing 0-0. Ooh bugger. Even worse, Oldham are 3-0 down at home to Bristol. All the goals coming in the first 11 minutes. Oooh double bugger!
The start of the second half sees Dover attack from the whistle. We mumble about it being nice while it lasted etc etc etc and it only looks a matter of time until the visitors break down our dogged resistance or our shit defending presents them with another gift wrapped opportunity. Unexpectedly, neither occurs! The Dover storm pretty much blows itself out and we ease back into the game more and more. The substitution of Watson leaves us with a more balanced 4-4-2 and this does the trick. Two corners are fumbled by Hyde and scrambled off the line by desperate Dover defending and we actually start to believe we can win the game.
Nko’s introduction is the final peice of the jigsaw. His strength and pace unsettled Dover at the Crabble back in August and it proves so again. First he bursts from midfield, beats one man, then a second before delivering a fine cross. Unfortunately it evades our approaching forwards. It’s the same move that produces the winner just 4 minutes from time.
A swift exchange of passes accross the midfield finds Nko in full stride on the flank. He takes the ball literally to the bye line and fires in another laser guided ball. This time Newhouse has timed his run and jump to perfection. He leaps above his marker and plants his header firmly into the bottom far corner of the net. Much happy and delirious jumping up and down ensues on the shoebox and the rest of the ground. Woo Hoo!! About bloody time WE snatched a late winner this season!
Wow! Well, an entertaining game of footy and a late winner for the U’s. Can’t complain eh? We saunter off happy campers and decide to avail ourselves of some of JD Wetherspoons finest guest ale before nipping back to the Firkin to rock out with the Dogs. Oh happy days!
But, I just KNOW we’ll get Bishop Auckland in the next round.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Barry Laker. Class again.
ENTERTAINMENT : 8. Good old fashioned Trophy entertainment.
TEAM : Howells, Riley, Brooker, Laker, Skelly, Brodrick, Harlow, Dack, Newhouse, Winston, Watson SUBS : Ekoku, Forrester, Hutchinson, Berry