Ryman Return Ever Closer

NATIONWIDE CONFERENCE

Att: 659



SUTTON UNITED – 0

MORCAMBE – 1  [Norman 66]

Story of our season really. A poor, narrow defeat in a game where we could easily have taken something and all our relegation rivals winning.

We’re really knackered now. 5 games left and we really need 5 wins. Fat chance!

We’d got a right royal tonking at Morcambe a couple of months back. After going 2-0 down, we pulled level at 2-2 after the break, blew a sitter to go in front before our creaking defence caved and we lost 6-2. One of our main tormentors that day was one Justin Jackson. Just for us, he’d nosed in front of Carl Alford at the head of the top scorers list. Brilliant, I’ll get my coat…..

I’d avoided Thursdays 2-1 defeat to Scarborough like the plague. If they thought I was gonna just turn up and accept Tuesdays surrender, then they were bloody wrong! Sadly, my young lady Sarah, ‘persuaded’ me that I’d feel much happier at GGL watching the U’s lose again rather than doing anything else. HA! Let’s just say that 90 minutes of low grade Conference footy later, she wished we’d gone shopping instead!

The U’s line up is a bit experimental. (Nice one JR, just as we’re completely fucked, start taking risks! Bloody typical….) Sears and Hutchinson start in midfield and Scotty Forrester replaces the recently woeful Newhouse. With no Laker for the rest of the season, the dobbinesque Brodrick keeps his spot.

Our ‘pacy’ back four is exposed very early on. Jackson goes through 1 on 1 with Howells no less than 3 times in the opening 10 minutes. Firstly Gareth saves with his legs, second time the striker slips the ball under the exposed ‘keeper, only for Skelly to appear out of nowhere and hack the ball off the line and finally, a combination of Howells and Riley avert another certain goal. It looks like another saturday we’ll be lucky to get Nil…..

The bright points are the enthusiasm and youth of Hutchinson and Forrester. Hutchinson just about prevents our awful midfield from being utterly overrun and shows the more ‘experienced’ Harlow how to actually pass the bloody ball. Forrester meanwhile is combining well with Winston to try and carve out an opening. Sadly, despite the 2 youngsters endeavours, most of the U’s attacking moves falter in or around the visitors box with a poor final ball or a Sutton player stumbling/not taking a good first touch responsible for our failure, yet again, to register a shot on target.

So, in we go at HT level at 0-0. The fact that this is due to Morcambe’s inablity to actually score against our back four, does’nt make us any happier. Our mood darkens when we hear Woking and FGR are both winning. The latter are 1-0 up at K’s. Typical. I bet that fat git Chapple has put out the under 12s or something just to fuck us up. Not that we need any help in that department.

The second half is as dull as the first. The U’s huff and puff, whilst our passing finds everything in a red shirt and the visitors go and miss a couple of sitters. One free header is somehow directed wide. The ref has now predictably taken sides and has come down on the side of our visitors as per normal. This is displayed by the utterly blatant penalty we’re denied for a foul on Winston. He darts into the box, toes the ball past a defender and is clearly chopped down. Despite the protests, the ref waves play on. Obviously Sammy’s blatant dive whilst trying to win a spot kick in the first half did’nt do his case any good. Around an hour in and we’re momentarily in shock, as a free kick from the left finds the head of Hutchinson. His diving effort is guided into the net at the near post but any joy is short lived as the Lino has his flag up. Ho Hum.

Soon after, Morcambe predictably take the lead. A cross from the left, finds the completely unmarked Norman to head over the stranded Howells. It’s bloody annoying. Shit marking like this has cost us all season and it’s STILL happening! We don’t expect Franco Baresi like perfection at the back, but some adherance to schoolboy basics would be nice.

More huffing and puffing follows from Sutton. Nko, who’s had a good second half, is withdrawn for Barclay much to the disapproval of the sparse home support. The sub produces little or no real spark in his short stint. Watson replaces Brodrick and Rowlands comes on for Forrester. None of these causes and real change in tempo. Any time we get the ball wide and look to cross it, the delivery is poor and the ball is hacked away every time.

Hutchinson almost draws us level when he chases down a huge Howells punt. But despite his shot from a very tight angle beating the ‘keeper, the ball cannons back off the outside of the post.

Our final chance comes in the dying seconds of the match. Andy Riley lumps the ball high into the box. Both Barclay and Watson challenge the ‘keeper and the ball loops towards goal only to be hammered off the line by a covering defender.

We adjourn to the bar for the day’s results to find that FGR and Woking have held on for wins. Arse. That’s us pretty much down then.

Where’s that Network Card renewal form?

MAN OF THE MATCH : Ed Hutchinson. If we can hang onto him, he’ll be a bonus next season.

ENTERTAINMENT : 5. Not a good game. We’re crap and they really could’nt be bothered.

TEAM : Howells, Brodrick, Skelly, Brooker, Riley, Sears, Ekoku, Harlow, Hutchinson, Forrester, Winston SUBS : Watson, Rowlands, Barclay

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