SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Forrester 78]
WOKING – 1 [Steele 85]
Blah blah blah relegation 6 pointer blah blah blah must win blah blah blah didn’t. Well you know the story by now. As the title says, we congregated at GGL for yet another game we had to win to keep alive our chances of actually retaining our Conference status next season. If it wasn’t for the likes of Sheffield Wednesday, Watford etc we’d have a good chance of getting in the Guinness Book of Records under “Greatest Number of Relegation 6 pointers played in a single season”
Right, back to the game. Sorry.
Given our form, the desire to rock up right on kick off is quite strong. But the only thing keeping me from carrying out this course of action is that would involve watching this mob sober, which is just really not advisable. So having made sure I’m in the pub in time for a couple before kick off, I then take the wander down to GGL with a belly full of mild beery sedative. That should soften the blow a touch.
Our line-up is much changed from Saturday as Brooker is injured and both Laker and Skelly are ‘unavailable’, which probably means they’ve used up their time off from work due to the postponement of this fixture from Tuesday. Sears replaces Brooker, Berry comes in instead of Laker and Nko switches to Left back, with Mark Watson given a start in a strange No3 shirt. Oooh bugger, this could be dodgy.
Fortunately for us, Woking’s play was as erratic as the meeting a week ago, with Naz natrually being their outstanding forward. If he’d put away any of the 3 sitters presented to him during the game, the Cards would have had this match wrapped up by early in the second half, but as it was it took a late equaliser to salvage them a point when it seemed we’d just about done just about enough to snatch 3 ultra crucial points.
The game started slowly with both sides looking edgy, not wishing to give anything away, but it was the visitors creating more of the attacking footy as the U’s struggled to adjust to their unfamiliar line up. Fortunately most of the visitors forays forward fell foul of the linesman’s flag and I don’t really remember Gareth having a great deal to do except the normal stuff from corners etc. This might be incorrect as my brain really seems to have failed to register what was really a pretty dull first half!
One U’s corner produces a good opportunity, but lacks the finish. A flick on finds Nko unmarked, 8 yards out at the back post. He controls the ball well enough, but rushes the shot and skews the ball well wide when he should of at least hit the target. Sums the season up really!
Another chance arrives right before half-time. A Newhouse through ball finds Sammy in a good position slightly wide of the box and he heads for goal. Rather than shoot, he squares the ball on the edge of the box, intended for the arriving Watson. But the forward finds his path blocked on the 18 yard line and the danger is cleared.
The second half sees Sutton lift their game a bit more and start to give the visitors something to think about. But this is only after Naz blows an absolute gift of a chance for Woking. I’m not sure quite how he got there (I was walking round at the opposite end of the ground) but he found himself 1 on 1 with Howells. My brain says ‘Goal’ as Naz dummies our ‘keeper and looks like he’s going to round him and roll the ball into the empty net, but he appears to stumble slightly and Gareth doesn’t need asking twice and gobbles up the loose ball.
Our one time crowd favourite continues to be the cause most of our discomfort. After some smart play around our box he’s in again soon after and with time on his hands to steady himself and shoot, but out of nowhere Andy Riley arrives and makes a desperate last ditch tackle. Soon after, much like the away game, the Frenchman turns some 25 yards out and lets fly. This time Gareth is equal to it and palms it over at full stretch.
Up ’til now, we’ve not played too badly, but created very little. Our best opportunity sees Sammy get in behind the Woking defence, but Watson goes to the back post rather than darting middle or near, making it impossible for Sam’s low cross to find him.
The ineffectual Watson is then replaced with Scott Forrester with 20 minutes to play and the young sub makes his mark soon after. Sammy finds Nko out on the left flank and the big man manages to beat his marker and deliver a low cross. Scotty dives in at the near post an prods the ball under Batty to the delight of everyone in Amber ‘n’ Choc. He seems rather pleased as well, as his celebration takes in a tour of most of the GGL end of the ground!
This spurs Woking into a double substitution and it soon starts paying dividends. The addition of fresh legs against our makeshift line up assists the visitors in bombarding our area. One 2 minute spell of constant crosses into the box finally brings them some reward when Steele arrives at the back post to finally force home the equaliser. Arse.
This lifts Woking more and they go in search of the winner, whilst we choose this moment to take on our familiar “Can’t pass wind, let alone a football” pose. Dack and Harlow start spraying balls to anyone NOT in a yellow shirt and getting caught in possession far too frequently. Scotty Forrester almost makes a real hero of himself near the end, when with his marker in close attention, he takes the ball neatly on his chest, arcs his back and turns on goal. The shot has Batty in the Woking goal scrambling as it zips just past the far post.
So another 2 points gone. Sadly 1 point from a side in only a little bit less shit than us really isn’t enough at this stage of the season and we’re now looking at having to get the maximum 6 points from the games against Telford and FGR. Ok, so it ain’t impossible as neither of those are great shakes themselves, FGR being shite in particular, but I fear if we come away from the Bucks Head with nothing, it’ll probably all be over.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Andy Riley. Another stormer from the old geezer.
ENTERTAINMENT : 5. A game between 2 rather poor sides at the wrong end of the table.
TEAM : Howells, Berry, Riley, Sears, Harford, Ekoku, Watson, Harlow, Dack, Newhouse, Winston
SUBS : Iga, Hutchinson, Forrester, Rowlands.