Well, We’re Still In It!

SURREY SENIOR CUP 1st ROUND

Att: 206



SUTTON UNITED – 1  [Whitmarsh 14]

DULWICH HAMLET – 0

Any port in a storm eh? Well, after what seemed like months without a game, the U’s returned to action at home to Dulwich in the first round of the Surrey Cup.

A match that was really just a case of actually getting to see a game rather than the quality. Yeah right.

Dulwich visit, still rooted to the bottom of the Ryman Premier with a grand total of 9 points. From 21 games. Oh dear. But, never mind, ever the charitable bunch that we are exactly one third of that total came from us. A win that still stands as Hamlet’s only success in the league this season. With our own form around crimbo being less than impressive, I doubted a classic was on the cards. Well, I hate to say ‘I told you so…..’

A little bit of interest was generated by the fact well known non-league celebrity/loon Les Cleevley is now Dulwich manager and Gywnne Berry is playing at the back. Another recent addition of theirs is young Scott Forrester also formerly of this parish.

The Sutton side contains the usual faces. With only Hammonds missing from the back four, replaced by Boothe. Sears comes into a right sided midfield spot and Harlow still occupies his central midfield berth and the Captains armband. But lets not get started on that eh? Bolty is out on the left and Nko partners new man Whitmarsh in attack. Strange that. I thought we’d have gone for Thompson. Ho hum.

Off we go with Sutton trying to play footy on a surface that is cutting up very easily. The flanks are especially soft, but hey, there’s grass on it for a change! Some decent passing emerges, with the final ball of one 8 or 9 pass move just eluding Whitmarsh on the edge of the box.

It’s after a relatively quiet (and dull!) 14 minutes that we take the lead. A good ball through the Dulwich back four by Bolt is chased down by Ekoku. He’s unable to do much with it as the ball spins off the wet turf, but stretching, he gets a toe to it to try and poke it past the advancing Cleevely. Les gets a touch and blocks the ball. Then the two collide in a big ol’ heap. With the ball loose, the grounded Nko tries to hook it goalwards. But again Les gets a slight touch to deflect it away from goal. The ball trundles towards the penalty spot before Whitmarsh arrives and boots the ball into the unguarded net. Yippee! A goal!

The goal livens up our guests and they have a couple of dangerous attacks themselves. But despite some decent approach play, they lack bite in front of goal and the ball is nicked away by U’s defenders as the visiting strikers hesitate. After this, the half is a bit dull. Apart from a Danny Bolt header deflected into the arms of Cleevely and Nko having the ball in the net but being ruled offside after the lino raises his flag just as the big man swings his boot to score! When the ball is PLAYED you fucking muppet! Bloody Surrey FA officials. Not a lot else happens and we take the time to try and decide who pissed them selves the most upon hearing about the ‘cruel’ late equaliser K’s suffered in the FA Cup on saturday.

So 1-0 at the break and we head for the bar just to warm up!

The second half starts brightly, with Sutton carving through the visitors defence several times, but with adecent final ball sadly lacking, the build up comes to little.

Dulwich again have a couple of opportunities, the best being a player racing past Palmer and hesitating on his shot with only Howells to beat. This allows Ryan to get back and make a last ditch tackle that forces the striker wide and allows Howells to beat away his angled strike.

Cleevely is tested a few more times at the other end. Mostly by long range efforts. The best of which comes after another barreling run by Palmer. But his strike lacks the pace to beat old Les. The half livens up a touch when handbags are produced after Boothe seems to catch a grounded Cleevely during a goalmouth scramble. Whilst seeming to check if he’s ok, Les’ rather unstable side rears it’s head and he roughly shoves Boothe away. Cue a bit of a scuffle which dies away quickly.

The only other incident of any note comes about 10 minutes from the end. Nko & the Dulwich no7 spit their respective dummies and get into a bit of argy bargy. After consulting the lino, the Ref hands the no7 his second yellow and thus his marching orders, with Nko collecting a Yellow. All a bit silly really!

And thats about it folks. For some reason, JR decides not to try and liven up proceedings by introducing any substitutes whatsoever. So no change there then.

Still, this resounding (ahem!) victory gives us a second round tie away to Whyteleafe. With the big ‘bonus’ of possibly meeting the famous and mighty and really really good (in thier own imaginations) Kingstonian in the Quarters!!! Wow, I bet both their fans can’t wait!

We nip off to the Robin Hood for a pint where we discover via the ‘wonder’ that is Sky TV that the Scum have got done 1-0 at home to Slough in a big relegation 6 pointer. Needless to say, it raises a chuckle.

MAN OF THE MATCH : ZZZZzzzzz……eh? Whassat? Oh, sorry, nodded off there for a sec.

ENTERTAINMENT : 4. Pretty dull. But it was footy. Us addicts are happy now!

TEAM : Howells, Boothe, Palmer, Brooker, Horner, Sears, Harlow, Harford, Bolt, Ekoku, Whitmarsh  SUBS: Gray, McCormack, Thompson

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