RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Haworth 63. Bolt 87]
MAIDENHEAD UNITED – 0
Sutton made it 3 wins on the trot yesterday with a 2-0 win over struggling Maidenhead. Yes, you read that right. Three wins. In a row.
Who’d have thought it a couple of months back eh?? Certainly not this match reporter that’s for certain. Upon leaving home, it’s a lovely sunny day. So ol’ Taz decides his footy shirt and jacket will keep him suitably warm enough. Ooops!
By the end of the 20 minute bus ride into Sutton. It’s pissing with rain and freezing cold. Oh arse. I hope Bob’s got his brolly with him today. The Maidenhead fans have decided to make a party of their last away match and have turned up in fancy dress. This includes one Mr Blobby and one Donald Duck amongst others.
Thankfully, the rain stops before the game starts. A quick sausage roll from Roses tea hut and I’m all set for another 90 minutes of thrills, chills, spills and god only knows what else this lot will decide to dish up. The U’s again stick with the line up that has proved so successful these last couple of weeks. Ekoku is back from suspension and gets a spot on the bench. Sutton start well and from the off are looking to extend their recent good form. The visitors meanwhile look half decent, moving the ball about well. After a quiet opening 10 minutes the U’s look to apply the pressure on the Magpies. Despite most of the play being around the visitors 18 yard box, the U’s create few real chances. Most of our stuff comes down the right flank, but is let down by the final ball into the box. Countless crosses lack penetration and are just headed away by the first defender.
It’s not until a good 30 minutes in when a Chris Boothe snap shot from the corner of the box pings back off the near post. Rob Haworth pounces, but he’s unable to direct his diving header past the ‘keeper. This ups the tempo a little and the U’s start to threaten more. Boothe then has a great run through the centre of midfield just before half time and finds himself in the box with just the ‘keeper to beat. But Barnard is down smartly and blocks the effort. The highlight of the first half isn’t on the pitch though, it’s when we’re told the reaction from our playing staff in the bar after training on Thursday night to K’s ‘sad’ demise. Lets just say it was less than sympathetic!
So half time and it’s off to the bar for some results. Good news is K’s are losing again. Awwwww. Shame they’re down innit. And at this rate, they’ll finish with a record worse than ours was last season. That takes some doing!
When we re-emerge for the second half, it’s pissing with rain again. Fortunately for Blobby and Donald (and probably the deposits on those outfits!) they’ve got the Securicor terrace to keep them dry. We’ve got the ‘Bone’ terrace. In other words, the Collingwood Rec end and Bob’s big brolly!! The away fans have also unfurled a bloody great black and white banner at the far end. It’s so big, it takes up most of the Securicor! Still, it looks really impressive. The U’s have subbed Aligheri for Ekoku, probably to try & give us a bit more penetration down the left. Maidenhead start the half in a more purposeful mood and Dunn is called into action after just a few minutes. His acrobatic catch preventing Channell from heading the Magpies into the lead.
The U’s are soon applying the pressure again though, with most of the attacking coming down the right flank. After a slow start in his new position, Ryan Palmer is now flying down the line like a man possessed! But again, our main problem appears to be delivering that final ball into the box.
Nko has a good chance after about 10 minutes of the half. A good strong run from deep and the visitors defence parts in front of him. He unleashes a 25 yarder that the ‘keeper can only parry. Haworth and Palmer both go for the rebound, with the defender putting his effort into the side netting. Having Haworth stood right in his way probably didn’t help his aim!
Sutton eventually take the lead just after the hour. A Frank McCormack corner is half cleared and
Haworth loops a header over Barnard from around 8-10 yards. At bloody last! Soon after, with the rain getting heavier, we decide to abandon our spot on the Collingwood terrace and head for the much drier covering on the Rec side. Bob’s umbrella is good, but not that good.
McCormack is soon replaced by Bolt and our top scorer is soon trying to add to his tally. Within minutes of his arrival, he strikes a 35 yard free-kick with frightening venom and Barnard is probably a little relieved to see it flash past his right hand post at about the speed of sound! 10 minutes later and another free-kick is won. This time it’s a little closer, more Boltys rage! Again another thundering left footer flies goalwards. The ‘keeper gets down to the low skidding ball well and gathers it at the second attempt with Whitmarsh lurking. We then get an amusing moment when Ekoku has to hobble off for a knock to his ankle. He takes the opportunity to change his moulded boots to studs. Chris Boothe then proceeds to barrack him loudly for taking too long. Mainly as he’s covering the big man’s spot!
Maidenhead threaten and Dunn has to be smartly off his line twice to thwart dangerous Magpies attacks.
With around 10 minutes to go, we have a wobbly few moments. A Maidenhead attack down our right produces a ball into the box, which we fail to clear adequately. There follows a 20-30 second spell, where we just simply can’t get rid of the bloody thing, but eventually it’s blooted to safety.
Then with only a couple of minutes left on the clock, Bolty finishes ‘em off. An attack by the visitors breaks down just inside the U’s half, a quick pass by Boothe and the ball is swung out to the left side for Danny Bolt. The ginger one speeds into the box and despite Whitmarsh screaming for the ball at the back post, he belts a shot across Barnard and into the far corner. It’s his 20th of the season and like many of those 20, it’s a cracker.
This deflates the visitors and with time running out, another quick breakaway is launched with a ball over the top for Whitmarsh to chase onto. He heads for goal and Bolt arrives in support. As they reach the edge of the box Whits slips the ball to Bolt, who gets it caught between his feet slightly but still gets a shot off. Barnard gets down low to make the save, but the ball loops goalwards, dropping just over the bar.
So another win. I can’t get used to this!
We hit the bar for results and discover that that big club up the road (No, not Carshalton) have got done again. Almost enough to bring a tear to your eye. Like I said. Almost. Set of cunts.
Then it’s off to the Robin Hood for a post match pint. Here we’re accosted by a very very pissed Chelsea fan who wants to know why we support Sutton.
Bloody hell, here we go again…
MAN OF THE MATCH : Danny Brooker. Finally looks like he’s getting back to his best.
ENTERTAINMENT : 7. Both sides tried to play. And we’re looking quite good actually!
TEAM : Dunn, Palmer, Brooker, Horner, Aligheri, Baker, Boothe, Harlow, McCormack, Whitmarsh, Haworth SUBS : Gray, Ekoku, Bolt