RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Ekoku 10]
GRAVESEND & NORTHFLEET – 4 [Stadhart 6.p20.73. Barnett 83]
If you’ve read Bob’s fine report form our Tuesday night tanking at Canvey, you’ll notice he brought up the subject of ‘deja Vu’. You know, that foreign word for “seen this crap before somewhere”? Got it? Well, if you’d seen this nonsense today, you’d know exactly what he meant.
I have to admit to being mildly apprehensive about this one. Our record against sides above us this season has been, well, shit. Apart from one slightly fortunate victory over Farnboro, we’ve failed miserably to collect 3 points from any of the sides placed above us in the league. Cynical? Moi? Did you see us at Hampton?? And Uxbridge.
The only change from the Tuesday tonking was Danny Bolt returning to the bench in place of Matt Gray. The only change to the visitors line up?? The letter ‘A’. As we’d spelt one of their bloke’s name wrong. Something we’d pay dearly for later.
We’ve hardly got to our places at the Collingwood end of the ground before the visitors are in front. A quick attack, our dodgy back four is all at sea and matey wotsisface chips the Kent side in front after just 6 minutes. Marvellous. Just what you want to raise the spirits eh? Worse is to come when the defence once more goes into an opposition-attacking-induced coma and despite 3 CLEAR opportunities to clear the ball, the ball rebounds to a Gravesend player who sees his 20 yard effort thump back off the base of the post. About 5 minutes later and after a bit of hard work, we’re somehow actually level. Nko chases down a long diagonal ball forwards. Putting the No2 under pressure, he manages to get a toe on the ball. Lady luck smiles on him as the ball rebounds off the ‘keeper, who then collides with the aforementioned No2 and Nko tucks the ball into the empty net. Woo Hoo! A gift that we’d accepted for once! Makes a change. Normally us pissheads are scrambling to catch that sort of chance as it bounces on the terrace behind the goal.
Never fear though. The self destruct button is soon engaged once more and as the rest of the defence has a kip, Ryan Palmer is once more called upon to make a goal-saving challenge. Unfortunately for him, the ref adjudges (from 20 yards away) that it’s a foul, a penalty, and being the last man as the rest of his colleagues could’nt be arsed to do fuck all about it, a red card. Great. Our best defender left exposed once more and we’ve now lost him for 2 games. Nice one lads.Very team spirited of you. Jimmy Jackson steps up and strokes the penalty home. 2-1. *sigh*
Soon after another near miss and Alan Taylor races to the touchline and screams at our midfield to ‘switch on’. Switch on??? You’re having a laugh mate! ‘Switch on’ is what you do in the first FIVE minutes. Not after TWENTY five. By then, what you should be screaming is “Get your f&£$%^ arses in gear you useless c*%^ or I’ll kill the lot of ya…..” (Or something).
Down to 10 men we work hard to reduce these numbers even further. The Gravesend No11 gives Nko a good elbow in the mush and not wishing to be impolite, Nko lamps him back. Quite how both only recieve yellow cards is beyond me. Any decent ref would have sent both off. Joe Ross would have dismissed anything in a 20 mile radius.
We huff and puff away as the visitors understandably seem content to hit us on the break. And that’s how it stays until the break. We wander into the bar and find K’s are 2-0 down at home to Stevenage. Good. Someone who’s home form is almost as crap as our own.
The second half see’s the U’s put in a lot of hard work, but essentially create nothing. The ref proves he’s a useless arse by not noticing one single offside flag from a linesman until someone in the crowd points it out.
Rob Haworth and Paul Whitmarsh battle away gamely up front, but despite Harlow’s admittedly hard work, his distribution is once again poor. Once again, the midfield is our sticking point. No fight and no distribution. Haworth chases every lost cause going, trying to inspire some fight, but it’s no good.
With around 15 to play, the game is out of reach. A long ball forwards picks out a Gravesend striker and despite our defence screaming ‘offside’ very loudly, matey rounds Howells and squeezes the ball home. That’s us knackered then. More dull footy ensues before the piss poor official intervenes and makes us look even worse. A Gravesend attack is cleared, but comes straight back to an attacker in a clear offside position. In shock at no flag he then makes a pass to a colleague who is twice as offside as he is. Mr Miles-offside sticks the ball away and looks up to see the linesman with his flag up. We breathe a sigh of relief as the ref seems to agree and signals free-kick. Then moments later, changes his mind and signals a goal. What a tosser. We’ve had some complete morons as ref’s over the last few years, but none quite as clueless as this dickhead.
4-1 down against a side who’ve looked decidedly average. Sum’s us up really. Oh and the goalscorer? That bloke who’s name we spelt wrong. Oh arse.
So, we’re playing twice as bad as last season & we’re on a BIG slump in form. Get ready for bottom half obscurity folks.
That and another fucking good kicking at Whyteleafe on Tuesday. Which, if we lose, signals the end of our season.
The only good news is the Scum lost 1-0 at Dulwich. At least that’s 2 relegation spots pretty much already spoken for…
MAN OF THE MATCH : Rob Haworth. Worked his arse off again.
ENTERTAINMENT : 2. Craaaaaaaaap! Someone wake me up when we learn to play football…….
TEAM : Howells, Palmer, Brooker, Horner, Boothe, Harlow, Williams, Baker, Whitmarsh, Haworth Ekoku SUBS : Bolt, Smith, McCormack