RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Bolt 33.78]
HAMPTON & RICHMOND BORO – 2 [Williams 42. Simpson 87]
Look, I don’t care what you say, they just are ok. Rodents with big squashed tails.
Well, another home game and 2 more points squandered by a U’s side that distinctly looks like it’s not going to get up to speed until at least Xmas, when the front runners will be an uncatchable 20 points or so ahead. Arse.
Hampton came to GGL in 17th with 4 points, none of which were earned away from their Beveree ground. Naturally JR’s boys charitably surrendered one.
Sears replaced Westcott in a 4-4-2 line up which was much the same as the one at Grays (apparently). Joe Nartey staring up front with Ekoku.
Sadly though, the policy of not actually signing people until AFTER the pre-season is seriously hampering us, as the side plainly still are’nt used to one another. This leads to many movements breaking down due to mis-communication or simple wasting of possesion. Hampton meanwhile have clearly come to have a bit of a go and if their forwards were’nt in the Basingstoke bracket (IE. Hitting everything but the goal) they would have had a couple of goals early on. Our first real opportunity comes when Nartey elects to cut inside the last defender instead of shooting and his chance evapourates. He tries to rescue the situation by squaring for Nko at the back post, but the big man decides to try and place his shot instead of thumping it and the ‘keeper beats it out. The first half is mainly boring though as both sides fail to take hold of proceedings. So boring in fact, our attention turns to the visitors kit. Nowt wrong with the shirts themselves, but the numbers are etched out in thin a black outline, making them utterly impossible to see from the terrace. Quite how the ref is managing is beyond me. Although it later proves, that he does’nt tend to see fuck all anyway.
One early event is the departure of a limping Danny Hodges. His replacement? Gwynne Berry. Fan-bloody-tastic…..
Most of the U’s early forays flounder on the Hampton offside trap whilst the ref is blowing up for every petty offence going. The visitors are making sure that Howells is the busier ‘keeper, but most of their efforts are straight at him. It takes Sutton about 30 minutes to break the deadlock and it’s Danny Bolt again who does the damage.
Running from midfield and with zero options in front of him. He unleashes a 30 yard screamer that the ‘keeper manages to just fingertip onto the angle of the bar and the post. Nartey is onto the reboubnd first and pulls the ball back to the edge of the box where Bolt completes his run by planting the ball low past the stranded ‘keeper into the far corner.
So what happens next? Er, well, a shite equaliser right on half time of course. What did you think I was going to say???
42 minutes gone and Williams skips past 3 or 4 U’s players (all failing to put even a derisory tackle in), nips into the box and slips the ball past Howells inside the far post. Normally I’d get pissed off at this point, but I can’t be arsed any more. But the amount of games where we concede a goal between the 39th and 45th minutes is a joke. This shit isn’t funny any more guys.
The second period is even more devoid of any really serious football, with both sides preferring a rather direct approach (s’pose it keeps the ball away from bloody Harlow) but with Hampton being rather more successful at it. Any time we do actually attempt to try and get the ball down and play, most of our players simply receive a pass and hoik it 35-40 yards. (Sample exchange : “Here ya go Paul, decent pass, keep it moving…..” “Bollocks to that Ryan….” WHACK!)
Again, Howells is the busier ‘keeper, but the shots are once more directed straight at him. Nartey is relpaced by Mahoney-Johnson, the number 9 jogging briskly off. So no re-occurrance of the injury then. With time running out, one of our hoofs forwards actually works. Harford pops the ball over the Hampton back four and Nko is away. He races after the ball with the No4 in hot pursuit. He’s clearly going to reach the ball before the ‘keeper and so Mr No4 crudely hauls Nko to the ground on the edge of the box. The Hampton players crowd the ref, pleading for clemency, which pisses me off a bit. The guy has quite clearly denied Nko a clear run at goal in a central position with only the ‘keeper to beat. I do believe that’s actually a red card lads. Fortunately the ref makes his one right decision of the night and produces what turns out to be the No4’s 2nd red card in consecutive games. He’s not French is he?
Justice is done moments later when our only truly effective outfield player, Danny Bolt, blasts the free kick low into the net.
As per normal when our opponents go down to 10 men, we set about giving them the ball at every opportunity, inviting them to pile forwards. A ploy to initiate counter attacks perhaps?? Nah, we’re just not very good. This fantastic approach works beautifully with a couple of minutes to play when we concede yet another needless corner when under absolutely no pressure. The defence have 3 opportunities to clear, don’t and the ball falls to Simpson at the back post and his powerful low drive sneaks in at the back post. Nice one lads.
More drama follows when Nko clatters into a Hampton defender on the edge of their box, injuring himself in the process. Despite the fact that he’d won the ball and was on the ground, hurt, the visitors ‘keeper charges out of his area to scream “You f***** c***” into Ekoku’s face. Strangely enough, the ref does sod all. I mean, if I clearly heard it on the bloody terrace almost 20 yards away, then surely Chief Fuckwit, the ref, would have got the general gist of it from a quarter of that distance! Nope. Not a sausage. Result? A drop ball on the halfway line. Twat.
Even stranger is his decision to blow up what appears to be a good 2 minutes early almost straight afterwards.
Twatty the ‘keeper than proceeds to show off his sign language skills to the Securicor terrace, prompting a steward to ask him (for the SECOND time that night as it turns out) to stop behaving like a wanker.
All in all, a very disappointing result. We showed again that we can’t defend slender leads, in fact defend full stop! and that we are seriously lacking some sort of spark. No offence to Hampton, but they’re expected to be in the bottom half again this season and to let sides like that come from behind TWICE at home isn’t acceptable.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Danny Bolt. 2 goals. Besides, no other bugger came close.
ENTERTAINMENT : 5. Uninspiring. Any chance of some more football this season???
TEAM : Howells, Palmer, Hodges, Walker, Gray, Harford, Harlow, Bolt, Sears, Ekoku, Nartey
SUBS : Berry, Mahoney-Johnson, Westcott