ALTRINCHAM – 3 [Timmons 46, Ellison 49, Russell 83]
SUTTON UNITED – 0
Match Reporter: Chalmers
Unfortunately, due to the other half’s birthday, ‘Ol Taz was unable to attend Sutton’s umpteenth relegation six pointer of this campaign. So, for the first time since October, Match report duties fell to fellow drunkard, Mr Chalmers. Here is his story.
A depleted contingent of pissheads travelled up to ‘Manc’ with high hopes of following up such a good result last week. Hoping that we can try and start to pull ourselves out of the relegation quagmire at the foot of the Conference.
An early start was made as normal so we could get to a pub for opening time. Cathy drove this time, with only me & Bob for company. It seemed strange not being hunched up in the back of Col’s motor! Space, what bliss! As Cath had to do the driving, her involvement in a good drink up was a non-starter. But she’d thought of that already. The 2 four pint ‘carry out’ containers in the boot would be put to good use today!!
Rather than the normal Firkin crawl, we opted to visit some of the boozers listed in the Good Beer Guide. Plenty of scrunge!! First stop was a pub just off the M6, a complete nightmare to find, (Great fun was had negotiating Spaghetti Junction. As you can guess, I was navigating, so we went the wrong way!) but Cath found her favoured Mild there, which was nice! The pub was called the Villa Tavern. So natrually, it was packed with Brum City fans!! Then we headed to off to Alty to sample some of the areas public houses and hopefully find some decent beer.
1st stop, the Matt Shovel. A nice Samuel Smiths pub. You get the feeling it could be a good day when the first pub you try, you get a decent beer for £1.19!! The next pub was The Orange Tree, which produced a nice pint of Summer Lightning. We’re then completely spoilt in the Ye Olde Market Tavern which has 8 or 9 pumps on display. Only one is sampled as we decide to head back after the game, but after our performance we think better of it later.
We manage to miss the first 5 minutes of the game, again down to my navigational skills! Somehow we went in completely the wrong direction. On arrival, we’re reliably informed that Sammy had a good chance after a couple of minutes due to a fumble by the ‘keeper. Bob also notices the lack of green stuff around the ground as Alty’s home had changed a fair bit. Some seating by the main stand and a new terrace were on display. The game turned out to be fairly unlively, with no real atmosphere in the ground. We stuck with the 5-3-2 (Yawn. – Taz) formation. It may have worked against Dover, but that was a Trophy game and this is a league game, big difference. We’ve got to start attacking teams away from home. Playing Newhouse in an ineffectual role behind Watson and Winston means we’re never really in the game, but we’ve also got to start to defending.
Brodrick seems to fall over his laces to present a clear chance for Landon, but he shoots wide. A forage forward for us sees Sammy pulled up on a tight offside when clear. Watson is again ineffective, easily hassled and knocked off the ball when in possession. We did’nt seem to be pushing on to them at times and the Alty defence seemed quite happy to stroke the ball about at the back. The only other noticeable moment of the half is a dangerous Skelly free-kick, but no one is able to get on the end of it.
So, not a great first half, but at least we were’nt losing and we had’nt managed to concede our customary pre-half time goal like so many times this season.
What can I say about the start of the second half? We just did’nt seem to come out for the first 5 minutes. A corner comes in and our marking is as crap as ever. Free header from a big centre back, bang. 1-0. Surely it makes sense, you just can’t leave these big blokes unmarked. You’ve got to stay tight on ‘em! We hope the boys buck up and don’t collapse. Yeah, you guessed it! We collapse.
I missed the second goal as I was risking a Meat & Potato pie at the time. (Unlike you Chalmers!! – Taz) Apparently Ellison struck a left footed free-kick past a poor U’s wall. Apparently a sloppy one to concede. So, 2-0. We virtually gave up at this point. A lot of U’s fans felt the game died off after this. Watson is replaced on the hour by Forrester and Rowlands is introduced in place of Brooker. Probably to try and make some progress down the right, but to no avail. It’s all down to belief in my opinion, we can do it, we can beat these teams. We’ve done it before and just need to do it again. But will we manage it enough to keep us up?
Inside the last 10 minutes, Russell latches onto a through ball that splits the U’s defence and slots it under Howells unchallenged. Poor old Gareth. He never seems to have a bad game and has saved us so many times. We just need to stop conceding soft goals, we now have the second worst defensive record in the Conference behind Welling.
In the last minute, Timmons, scorer of the second goal earns himself a second yellow card. But it’s far too late to have any effect on the game. Bring on Rushden in the Trophy I suppose!
Afterwards, it seems every result has gone against us and we’re now 4 points adrift at the bottom. Ooo-Er!
Made our way to Hale on the way home for a beer in The Railway. A pint of Robinsons Best goes down well. Cath had done her homework well and snags 4 pints of Mild! Met some Alty fans who took the chance to rub in the poor result. So we head back south to Banbury for a few pints. I think we did a tour of every pub! Walked in, shite beer, walked out!
We finally found the Ye Olde Reindeer Inn where Old Hooky was on offer. We went looking for more but struggled. Even the local plod sent us to a crap pub! But again it’s a case of the Piss up being the highlight of the day out……
TEAM : Howells, Brooker, Skelly, Riley, Brodrick, Laker, Harlow, Dack, Newhouse, Winston, Watson SUBS : Berry, Forrester, Sears, Rowlands.