RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 2 Bolt (17) Salako (78)
BASINGSTOKE TOWN – 0
I’m back!! Yep ol’ Taz has resumed match reporting duties having missed the Mighty U’s 1-1 opening day draw at Aldershot whilst shopping with the missus in Grimsby. How can you tell?? Well, the fucking report is here isn’t it!! (Chalmers!).
Better babble on about some crap then. With Nartey injured and Newhouse released and taking a year out of footy (probably to lose that stone he’s put on in the summer), we were left a tadge light up front. So the goal-getting duties were bestowed upon Jamie Pace and Andy Salako. Hmmm, this could be interesting.
The side is the same as Saturday, with the only change being the unavailable Harlow replaced by Westcott. This I’m happy with as it means we have 2 proper wingers on the pitch, thus getting lots of lovely crosses into the box. Well, that’s my hope anyways! On another good note, it looks like Sham 69 have finally displaced that rubbish‘United we stand’ song. Hopefully someone’s burned it.
The lads started a little slowly and for the first 10 minutes we seemed a little rusty still, with passes going astray. But then again, at least we were trying. After this little spell, the U’s settled down and the football started to flow. Thankfully it seems as if the influence of our new assistant manager is starting to show through as we’re playing less aimless route one bollocks and keeping the ball on the deck. Which is handy when you’ve got 2 lads like Westcott and Bolt on your flanks! Most of our early attacks come from Bolt’s side, but Westcott gets more into the game and is soon delivering decent supply himself. But despite putting the visitors under some pressure, their two big centre backs are holding firm and their ‘keeper is dealing with most things thrown his way. Meanwhile, their own forays forwards are’nt causing a great deal of concern to Howells and despite a couple of efforts straight at him, he has little to do.
The U’s take the lead after around 20-25 minutes through Danny Bolt. Our new star signing lines up a free-kick on the edge of the area, but not quite in line with the penalty spot. He and Sears discuss where to put it. “Just twat it” is the general concensus amongst the alcohol lovers behind the goal. Mr Bolt must have hearing as good as his left foot, ‘cos he does exactly that and powers the ball low past the wall and under the ‘keepers outstretched left hand. Bloody hell! A goal direct from a set piece!! Have’nt seen one of those for a while!!
This really gets the lads going and we’re unlucky not to add to our tally soon after. A corner from the left causes havoc in the box and Salako reacts first. Unfortunately his snap shot pings back off the base of the post and is cleared. Arse. Not long after this, Paul Harford collects the ball out on the left, 25 yards out. He heads straight for the box and with the visitors rearguard backing off, he shoots. His curling shot from 15 yards out has the ‘keeper stranded, but only shaves the face of the post. After these near-things, we experience our normal 10 minute spell of jittery defending but the Basingstoke forwards either shoot/head straight at Howells or the balls forward for them are overhit or overrun.
So, 1-0 up at half time and talk turns to Mr Chalmers ‘Industrial Accident’. You know, the one that prevented him from writing up the Aldershot report!! Apparently he walked up some stairs on a site and twatted his head on a scaffold pole fixed across a doorway. Natrually, he gets tons of sympathy from the rest of the gang!! Still, it got him out of a days work!
The second half starts with our guests looking a tadge more lively and Howells has to be alert early on. Despite this, Ryan Palmer and Andy Walker are showing off a nice line in well timed intercepting tackles. One of Palmers is particularly impressive as I spot his run and watch as he closes his man down and executes a superbly well timed block before recovering the ball and spraying it forwards. Godammit we could have done with them last season!!
Pace and Salako had been quiet for most of the game, just working hard without too much success. Pace shows that he does have some nice touches with a back heel to set Bolt free down the flank and a nice turn having flicked the ball over the defenders head. If he gets going, he could be a good acquisition.
After about 70 minutes our patient passing approach pays off. We win our umpteenth corner and Bolt then plays this short to Walker about 20 yards out by the corner of the box. He drives in a cross to the near post where Salako meets it with a firm downward header and the ball nestles into the net to make it 2-0. Yours truly starts to feel a tadge more confident about the 3 points all of a sudden.
This prompts Basingstoke into action and they bring on their top striking pair of Newbery and Mings. Quite what the hell they were doing on the bench is beyond me, as they give the visitors far more bite up front almost immediately. Newbery is clearly carrying over his form that helped save the Scummers worthless hides last season and he blows 2 good opportunities in the last 15 minutes. First he picks up the ball on the corner of the box and rides the challenge of Berry. The tackle is solid, but the ball squeezes through and the big striker is 1 on 1 with Gareth with Palmer desperately racing to intercept. Before he can get there, Newbery shoots low past Howells only to see his shot thump back off the upright. His second miss comes right at the death.
Put through again, Howells races off his line to close the angle. Again he shoots past our trusty stopper, but this time the strike is inches wide of the near post. Phew. If the geezer had put his shooting boots on.
Thankfully the lads hang on to take the 3 points and we shufty up the table a bit more.
All in all, a good nights entertainment. Some good football from both sides and a Sutton win. Can’t last surely!!!!
MAN OF THE MATCH : Danny Bolt. Looks like an excellent signing.
ENTERTAINMENT : 8. Good footy and a win for the U’s. Lovely!
TEAM : Howells, Palmer, Walker, Berry, Gray, Westcott, Bolt, Harford, Sears, Pace, Salako. SUBS : Ekoku, Riley, Hammonds