RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
BILLERICAY TOWN – 0
SUTTON UNITED – 5 [Boothe 7. Thompson 17.51. Harlow 26. Bolt 86]
Yep, drugs. That’s got to be it! It’s the only reasonable explanation for the storming performance that brought about Billericay’s first home defeat of the season.
A performance so removed from the crap we witnessed at Bath last week that for the first half hour Bob and I were exchanging puzzled “Is this the same team??” type looks. In fact, I want ‘em all tested. Especially Harlow. He must have been on the verge of a bloody overdose. Well, there is one other explanation I suppose…
The missus was attending her second match of the season. The first? Littlehampton in the cup. Also a 5-0 win. A pattern?? Nah, just plain old coincidence I reckon…..Right, back to that drugs theory.
Sarah and I meet up with Bob in the Liverpool St Wetherspoons, containing a large group of scowling miserable Chelsea fans. It’s a laugh in the Premiership innit! We get on the train to Billericay. Actually the best of the trips we have to make into Essex. The reason?
Well there’s actually a town and this town is rather pleasing on the eye. Unlike the shithole industrial wastelands of Purfleet, Canvey and Grays and the separate solar system known as Heybridge. Sarah thinks it’s nice anyway. Bob and I remind her how lucky she is NOT to be going to the aforementioned places. She’s not used to this Non-League lark (no pun intended dear) so the 3 week hike from the station at Purfleet would undoubtedly scarred her for life….as well as causing her to dump me.
We locate the local Wetherspoons, so at least a decent pint is possible along with some decent grub. A couple of pints and munch later, it’s off to New Lodge to watch some footy. Grumbling on the way about getting a point if we’re lucky.
The side has been tweaked once more, with Bolt thankfully restored to the starting line up. Thompson also returns to the side and partners loan signing Rob Haworth up front. Hmmmm, we’ll see.
The game gets underway and we’re immediately on the attack. In fact, we attack more in the first 5 minutes here than we have in the previous couple of games! Our reward for this positive approach comes after just 7 minutes. We win a corner, which Bolt delivers to the near post. The ‘keeper calls for it, but misses completely, as it’s helped on at the near post by Harford and Chris Booth arches to head the ball under the bar and give us the lead. Bloody hell! Billericay reply immediately with some strong attacking of their own from their No7 and No11. Known to U’s fans as Joe Baker. This causes a couple of dangerous moments, but it’s not long before we’ve doubled the lead.
Bolt gets the ball out on the left and runs at the back-pedaling home defence, he cuts in and unleashes a fierce low drive from the edge of the box. The ‘keeper can only beat the shot out and Thompson manages to adjust his balance sufficiently to guide the ball past the prone ‘keeper and into the near corner of the net. There’s 17 minutes gone!! And we’re 2-0 up!! We start to formulate our drugs theory.
This stings the home side into more action and it takes an excellent stop from Howells to deny the No7. He also manages to put a shot into the side netting shortly after, having got free again. It’s not all one way and Nko has a blistering 25 yard strike fly inches wide of the post before we strike again.
Rob Haworth, who so far has been having a great game, holding the ball up well and displaying a great touch for such a big bloke, chases a defence splitting Harford pass. If he’d probably been a bit more match fit he’d probably have got to it first. But he does enough to force the ‘keeper to slice a hurried clearance 25 yards to Dave Harlow, just inside the Billericay half. SHOOOOOOT! we scream as the ‘keeper realises he could be in the shit here. He is. Harlow takes a touch and launches the ball goalwards. It sails over the deperate outstretched hand of the ‘keeper, under the bar and into the net. It’s a bloody screamer! 27 minutes gone and it’s 3-0. We further to firm up our drugs theory.
Billericay to their credit, keep plugging away and have a couple of crosses aimed at the back post cut out by thankfully alert U’s defenders.
So, half time. And we’re winning. 3-0. Bloody Hell.
The home side start the second half trying to get back into the match, but their hopes are killed off just 6 minutes after the restart. Another corner is swung in and again the Billericay ‘keeper calls for it. Again he gets nowhere near it and Thompson nips in behind him to head the ball down onto the goal-line and up into the roof of the net to make it 4-0. Now only a collapse of huge proportions could deny us the points.
Shit, did I really just say that?
Again the home side try to get some reward and with Joe Baker pulling the strings for them, they carve out at least 3 excellent chances. First a free header at the back post is planted the wrong side of the opposite upright with Howells stranded, then a simple tap in is dragged wide, Carsten Jancker-Euro2000 stylee when a goal seemed a certainty.
With the game safe, JR brings off our 2 goal man Thompson and the impressive Haworth for Panter and Forrester. Scottys first touch is a looping header from a corner that the ‘keeper manages to touch over the bar. Another corner is flicked on by the Billericay No8 and but for the intervention of another Billericay player on the near post would have registered a 5th Sutton goal.A similar scenario shortly after forces the ‘keeper to dramatically dive to punch a goal bound header clear.
The U’s are now cruising, but still always threatening to add to their lead. Another corner causes chaos in the Billericay box and despite what seems a 5 minute hacking match just 3 or 4 yards from the goal-line, the ball somehow stays out of the net.
A load of text messages are flying as the absent Chalmers updates us as to the progress of all our ‘second’ teams (or first in the case of the missus!) and one of these causes a very amusing moment. I get a message for Sarah saying ‘GTFC 1-0’, natrually she gets all excited as her beloved Mariners are at Blackburn. Before I can wipe that message, phone beeps again with the simple message ‘Down’. We find it amusing and the young lady is of course not a happy bunny. Chalmers strikes again!
The icing on the cake comes in the last couple of minutes. Danny Bolt, having waged a one man campaign to get his name of the scoresheet for most of the second half, finally achieves his aim. First he makes a run down the right, then cuts in across the face of the box before despatching a low curling shot from past the stranded ‘keeper from 18 yards. 5-0! Well bugger me!
We adjourn to the bar at the final whistle looking for final scores. Not a good day all round really as Oldham, Grimsby and West Ham have all lost. Oh well, we’ll have to make do with the 5-0 tonking then.
Right, back to the drugs thingy. We’re pretty certain that dodgy substances are involved and if we’re going to this inconsistent all season, then the bastards could at least show a bit of sympathy and offer some around…
MAN OF THE MATCH : Danny Bolt. Why has he been left out?? Created constant problems.
ENTERTAINMENT VALUE : 8. We played footy and we scored lots of goals. That’ll do……
TEAM : Howells, Boothe, Palmer, Hammonds, Brooker, Harlow, Harford, Ekoku, Bolt, Thompson, Haworth SUBS : Forrester, Panter