FA TROPHY SEMI-FINAL 2nd Leg
Kingstonian – 6 [Luckett 12, 40, Simba 51, 64, Wingfield 70, Pitcher 85]
Sutton United – 0
Fucking hell. Well, where do you start? The match report on K’s Web described this as “The most amazing 90 minutes” in their history.
In that case, last night was almost certainly one of the most miserably shameful night in Sutton’s own recent history. Think of the two Telford games this season. Now imagine them 50 times worse than they originally were. Got that? Well, you’ll still be a million miles away from the utter surrender at Kingsmeadow last night.
We met up for a few beers beforehand in the Wetherspoons before winding our way to K’s for the game via 3 other local hostelries. A miserable evening saw the rain steadily dribbling from the heavens onto the good U’s gathering behind the goal at the away end. JR had opted for the appallingly shit 5-3-2 formation that has failed us so often in the past this season. The back five consisted of Skelly, Riley, Laker, Brodrick and Rowlands. ROWLANDS?? Jesus…
For once, Dack’s rubbish performances had cost him his spot in the line up and Hutchinson slotted in to partner Harlow and Newhouse with Sammy Winston and Watson leading the line up front. Now, the start was encouraging enough! Both Winston and Watson got in behind the K’s back line only to go down in the area. Sammy’s was probably marginal, but I really thought that we had a definate shout for the challenge on Watson. Our first (and only!) chance of the evening though came from a Rowlands cross that Hutchinson did well to meet. But his header is directed narrowly wide.
It’s to prove the only threat that the U’s offer all night as our midfield is soon overrun with Harlow and Hutchinson chasing all over the shop trying in vain to close down. K’s make this count and with 12 minutes gone a cross from the right is helped on by a U’s defender to the left corner of the area where Luckett dispatches a crisp volley low inside Howells far post. Fuck. Not the start we really wanted was it? Rather than lift the team, the heads seem to drop and K’s begin to systematically dismantle Sutton.
Quite how the home side fail to add to their lead, only their forwards know. But it gets worse for us when Laker pulls up near half time (a bad hamstring pull I discover the following day). He’s helped off and for some odd reason, the U’s play out the last few minutes with 10 men. It proves costly. A left wing cross finds Luckett at the near post and his diving header crashes into the net past the exposed Howells. Fucking typical, ANOTHER goal right on half time. Why wasn’t a sub made?
The U’s trudge off at the whistle, already looking like a beaten side. The general consensus amongst the gang is that we’re pretty well fucked. We’ve not come back from 2 goals down at ANY time this season and we don’t look likely to tonoight anyway.
The apparently missing Ekoku appears in place of Laker in the second half as JR re-jigs the formation. But with Laker gone, Brodrick starts to look like the Ryman 1st Division player he is as Akamouha runs the big lump ragged. The tie is over just 6 minutes after the break. The U’s again fail to close down ANYTHING in a red and white shirt and after 2 or 3 crosses have zipped across our box, the ball is finally despatched by Simba. Unmarked, he simply nods past the stranded Howells.
This serves to kill off Sutton completely as the lads lose any kind of fight remaining whatsoever. The already shit marking and awful passing gets worse and K’s now attack at will, looking like scoring every time they attack. After 64 minutes, it’s 4-0. Another right wing cross finds the AGAIN UNMARKED Simba and he powers his header into the net. It’s quite clear the lads have packed up for the night and a large portion of the support takes a leaf out of the team’s book and quits, heading for the exit.
Can’t say I blame ‘em really.
“This is going to turn into a fucking rout” notes Jules. He’s not wrong. Several minutes later, it’s 5-0.
Wingfield swings a free kick into the box from the left touchline some 35-40 yards out. I doubt he meant it, but the ball nevertheless swings inside Gareths near post and his desperate attempt to keep the ball out only makes it look more comical. But, when it’s not going your way…
At this point, a few more damp souls trudge for the exit
Several twats in front of us sing, asking Gareth to “Give us a wave”. Fucking knobs. He’s conceded 5 goals for fucks sake. He’s hardly going to turn round and wave at you lot is he??? We shake our heads at this stupidity. The aforementioned group seemed more concerned with Chelsea’s European shambles than our own about 20 minutes ago anyway. Fucking woodworm.
With a few minutes left we start drifting towards the exit ourselves. Standing on the corner, several long standing U’s fans mutter their displeasure at the shit being dished out before us. Then another cross finds Geoff Pitcher, unmarked of course. He picks his spot and makes it six. The large group stood on the corner (including me) leave the ground and head for our transport home. There’s nothing more to see here other than utter misery.
Despite the result, the missus hassles me on the phone on the way home, leading to a rather terse conversation, which will know doubt rebound on me in the morning. I check Teletext on my return home (Having already discovered I’ve managed to lose my front door keys. Talk about a shitty night…..) and find myself surprised that we’d managed to last the final 5 minutes without conceding another goal.
I’m a little calmer now than I was last night. But I’m still really pissed off. The performance was frankly a fucking shambles. Why did JR employ an awful formation that has failed miserably for most of this season?? It just makes his descision to sit on a 1-0 lead at home in the 1st leg rather that take advantage of their weakened side look all the more stupid. Why use 3 midfielders against 4, including arguably the best central pairing in non-league football?? Our midfield is easily the worst in the league! And Rowlands as a full back?? Come on!
So, again the ‘mighty’ U’s take us into the excitement and expectation of an FA Trophy Semi-Final second leg……….and fucking fold.
After this, I can’t see the team recovering to grab the 5 wins we almost certainly need from our last 7 games to stay up. It’s not going to happen. We’re now into playing games on Tuesdays and Thursdays and with our pitiful squad, we’re frankly screwed.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Get out of it!
ENTERTAINMENT – 0. I think I’m going to be sick.
TEAM : Howells, Skelly, Riley, Laker, Brodrick, Rowlands, Harlow, Hutchinson, Newhouse, Watson, Winston SUBS : Ekoku, Dack, Forrester