RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SLOUGH TOWN – 4 [Marshall 21.37. Cross 22. Hall 85]
SUTTON UNITED– 4 [Ekoku 12. Bolt p54. Whitmarsh 58.83]
After returning to our less than impressive form on Tuesday and giving Enfield a bloody 3 goal start, we headed to Slough looking to try and lift ourselves again and setup a decent run in for the remainder of the season.
Well, we’d like to have done, but without a defence of any description this is proving a little more difficult than initially expected.
Bob & I meet up at Paddington. No Chalmers today, he’s opted for the ‘falling down drunk at the Racing’ option again and has buggered off to Cheltenham. Sadly for him, the Festival itself was cancelled with all this foot & mouth stuff and his week away has now been reduced to simply ‘falling down drunk’. Fair play! As for Bob, well there’d be none of that sort of stuff today having had a tooth yanked out of his head on thursday, he’s on the antibiotics. Poor sod. This means he’ll be watching Sutton stone cold sober. NOT a good thing with the way we’ve played recently!
We hop on the train and 20 odd minutes later we’re deposited in the fine town of Slough. Living near Croydon, I can appreciate crap 60’s & 70’s architecture! We wander into the high street looking for the first recomended pub. Realising we’re at the wrong end of the High Street, we amble along to see if the old Firkin is still about. It’s not. Seemingly long since converted into a Purple poncehole called ‘The Assembly’. Probably named after the fact that it’s full of 14 year olds.
Finally we locate our boozer and we….er I mean I get the beer in. OJ and lemonade for Bob. We sit & watch the last 10 minutes or so of Hereford – Burton’s trophy clash. Bloody hell, SKY’ll televise any old game these days! Can’t have people actually going to the games eh? Thats so 90’s.
We amble into Wexham Park and hit the burger bar. I’m after one of those bastard big burgers I had last time. Bob would have had one, but due to his recent oral surgery, he declines. Too late! Muggins here buys 2 anyway. So poor ol’ Bob has to struggle through it, nibbling a bit at a time whilst I scoff mine in about 5 seconds. Yum!
The only real change to our line up is the return of Palmer to the defence.
The opening exchanges are fairly evenly matched, but ex-U Junior Haynes wastes a glorious chance after several minutes when Marshall plays the ball accross the box after a good run. With the goal at his mercy, Haynes blazes yards over. The U’s hit back with some decent football around the home penalty area. After persisting with one attack, Whitmarsh sweeps the ball into the box and an unmarked Ekoku at the back post, controls with his thigh and slips the ball into the far corner. Woo Hoo! Well, at least we scored first!
Slough hit back with Marshall & Haynes pace causing our ever-so-dodgy rearguard problems. But then again, every one seems to cause us problems at the mo! Dunn makes a good save, blocking a Marshall effort at the foot of the post before Slough equalise after 21 minutes. Our defence backs off as Haynes runs towards the box, his low shot across goal is only parried by Dunn and Marshall pops up at the back post to thump the loose ball into the roof of the net. Oh arse.
This is the cue for our back four to completely disintegrate. Another chance, exactly like the first, occurs just moments later, but this time Dunn & the defence manage to scramble it away for a corner. It doesn’t matter as a minute later, Slough have the lead.
Another low Haynes shot is again parried by Dunn. The ball is then played back to the edge of the box from where Cross shoots. It’s a bit of a bobbler and heading straight at Palmer with his back to goal. He swings to hoof it clear, misses and slices the ball past the stranded Dunn off the inside of his foot. Nackers, that’s torn it.
The U’s reply, with Whitmarsh sending a powerful curling drive fizzing just over the bar. This hits a supporters brolly, bending the shaft! Unfortunately, with the defence having a complete Weston (explanation later!) Slough look like scoring every time they get around our box. Marshall blows an excellent chance to put the home side 3-1 up. He makes up for this miss a short while later when Horner & Ekoku watch him nip between them, latch onto a through ball and fire low into the far corner. Yet more piss poor defending methinks.
So, half time and 3-1 down. I comment to Bob that if we play like we did in the 2nd half on Tuesday we’ll get a point!
Walking round to get a cuppa, we stop outside the building housing the changing rooms. A window is open. There’s a lot of swearing coming from inside and the phrase ‘mickey mouse defending’ is heard. That’ll be our dressing room then! I do hope that no Disney employees were around. If any of them heard the name of their companies loveable cartoon mouse being used in conjunction with that fucking shambles, we’d be in serious trouble. But then again, can cartoon mice sue for defamation of character?? Beats me.
In the tea queue, we have a short conversation with the current Dulwich management team and ex-U’s Les Cleevely and Gwynne Berry. Naturally, the number 7 comes up frequently as we exchange banter.
Les enquires where the side of last week has got to. Dunno mad-keeper-bloke. Let us know if ya find ‘em eh?
The second half starts slowly for the U’s. Creating little, we’re struggling to make a dent in Slough’s lead. Then, a gift. A low cross in the box is rather needlessly handled by Townley and the ref points to the spot. Thank christ.
Ex-Slough man, Danny Bolt steps up and thumps the ball to Mautone’s left. 3-2 and we’re suddenly back in the game. This boosts our lads and the loss of Slough’s influential Wilkinson to injury helps matters. Inside a minute, we’re level. Or so we think. Nko, who’s now getting more & more space down the flank, shrugs off a challenge skips into the box and slips the ball accross the 6 yard box where Rob Haworth slides in to bundle the ball over the line. Our celebrations are cut short when we realise the linesman has his flag up. Handball he says. Wankeyedfuckpig! Neither Rob or us can believe it. Both the forwards arms were behind him and the ball CLEARLY hit him in the chest. Yet another clueless official getting an important decision hopelessly wrong. It makes you sick.
Thankfully, this just fires the boys up and we DO equalise a couple of minutes later. Marshall loses possession and for once, we break quickly. Harlow finds Bolt out wide and he sweeps a glorious ball into Whitmarsh in the centre. The striker runs in on goal and draws Mautone before shooting. The Aussie ‘keeper manages to block the initial effort, but the ball rolls kindly for Whits and he slams in the rebound. 3-3.
The lads tails are up and we’re now on top. This does’nt stop the home side creating chances though. Dunn tips over a long range effort and it seems every tackle in the box is bringing penalty appeals from the home fans.
Then with 7 minutes to go, the U’s edge ahead for the second time. Ekoku again storms down the flank and crosses to the far post. The ball evades everyone but Whitmarsh who controls and cracks his shot into the net. YEESSSSSS! Surely that’s it!
Oh, hang on, we’re shite at the back aren’t we? Bugger.
And so it comes to pass. Having had the lead for just 2 minutes, we allow substitute Hall acres of space and he shoots into the bottom far corner from the edge of the box. Le sigh.
Both sides continue to look for a winner (although, we SHOULD be winning if it wasn’t for that poxy linesman). Whitmarsh spins and hooks a shot accross goal, just wide of the far post and Ekoku some how heads over from about 3 yards following a corner. Slough have a final chance well saved by Dunn. The young keeper diving to his left to touch away Daly’s thumping header.
And so, despite scoring 4 away from home, we get a point. Just about sums us up really!
We adjourn to the bar and see that Wycombe have grabbed a last minute winner at Leicester. But the Scum have won at home to Basingstoke. We’re cheered up slightly by the sight of K’s 6-1 caning at home by Morecambe. Hoopy tossers.
Bob and I amble back to Paddington where I enjoy a nice pint of some organic beer. Bob is unfortunately again stuck with the OJ and definitely doesn’t eye my pint with envious eyes. Then it’s back to the Sutton Firkin for a night of top rock covers by the Dirty Dogs.
Oh, before I forget. The Weston thing above. Very simple really. If someone is having a bad time, they are deemed to be having a ‘mare’. If you’re having a ‘Weston’, you’re having a ‘Super Mare’!! Geddit??
Oh never mind….
MAN OF THE MATCH : Paul Whitmarsh. 2 excellent strikes. Nice to see him finding his form.
ENTERTAINMENT : 7. Neither side can defend to save their lives, but you can’t knock 8 goals!
TEAM : Dunn, Howard, Horner, Baker, Palmer, Harlow, Bolt, Boothe, Whitmarsh, Haworth, Ekoku. SUBS : Gray, McCormack, Honey