RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 4 [McCormack 25. Palmer 50. Baker 55. Boothe 77]
ST ALBANS CITY – 2 [Andrews 30. Pratt 66]
Bloody hell. Not only does this win at home gives us two consecutive victories for the first time in donkeys, it gives us our second ‘double’ of the season. I think I need a lie down…
After the convincing win at Chesham on Saturday, this latest performance means the following question really needs to be asked. What the fuck were we doing between the end of January until mid Apri? The mind boggles.
Still, a wins a win. Besides, if K’s lose tonight at home to Dover. They’re fucked. Which is nice.
After bumping into Bob in Maccy D’s (where I consume a burger that proceeds to make me as sick as a dog in the early hours of Wednesday) we head to GGL. Chalmers shows his face to help swell another piss poor crowd, but this is only to show off his new set of wheels. A 1.8 Escort. Now officially making him a boy racer.
The first half is an evenly fought contest. Both sides making inroads, but not creating any particularly clear chances. Haworth and Whitmarsh battle away as normal up front and McCormack continues to impress down the left with some good touches. St Albans themselves are a neat, tidy, but not outstanding outfit. But at leats they try to play footy as it should be played. The only real event from a U’s point of view is the rather early departure of Rob Haworth through injury. He’s replaced by Matty Gray (Spons…..nah I’ll leave it).
After about 25 minutes of not a great deal occurring, the U’s take the lead as some good pressure down the right pays off, drawing the attention of the visitors defence that way. Whitmarsh recieves the ball 30 yards out, almost on the touchline. He looks up and drills a crossfield ball to the utterly unmarked McCormack stood on the far corner of the 18 yard box. He controls well and thumps a shot into the far corner with the ‘keeper only helping it on it’s way. Why has he spent so long on the bloody bench? I’d have buggered off long before now personally.
Naturally though, as our form so far this season dictates, we concede a really poor equaliser a short time after.
St Albans mount a spell of pressure, during which a corner is won on the far side. The ball is delivered to just beyond the near post and Andrews rises to thump home a completely unchallenged header. Not a defender in sight. Ah! Now THAT’S the Sutton we’ve been watching this season!
Both sides mount further attacks, but nothing of any real consequence. And so we trot to the bar at half time to get out of the unseasonally chilly breeze level at 1-1.
We’ve barely settled into our spot on the Collingwood Rec terrace for the second half when the U’s regain the lead. Ryan Palmer, who to be honest we’re none too pleased to see at bloody right wing-back, has a barrelling run down the flank. He cuts inside the defender and unleashes not the most powerful shot you’ve ever seen. Now we’re not sure if it got a slight deflection or their ‘keeper just misjudged it badly, but we don’t care!! The ball bobbles past the full stretch dive of Hurst and into the far corner. Woo Hoo! St Albans hit back immediately with a dangerous looking attack that is broken down on the edge of the box.
The U’s extend their lead shortly afterwards. Another attack down the right wins a corner and McCormack whips it in. Everyone misses it except for Whitmarsh at the back post, who heads it back across the face of goal. A defender stops Matt Gray from nodding in, but his header is promptly nodded back across goal again by Dave Harlow and Neil Baker nips in to force the ball home from no more that 5 or 6 inches out. A true classic!
The visitors don’t give up and regroup, launching a set of threatening attacks. Including a couple of dangerous balls across the face of goal and forcing 2 good stops from Dunn. They do pull one back with almost 20 minutes to play with an outrageous looping 25 yard effort. Pratt collects the ball and from almost in line with the middle of the goal lamps in this high ball. It looks to us like Dunn will either catch or tip over, but we obviously can’t tell how quick it’s travelling. The flight of the ball swings viciously to the left and Dunn’s full stretch attempt to keep it out is in vain and he can only help push it into the corner. Arse.
St Albans continue to press, but the U’s restore the 2 goal advantage with about 15 minutes to play when Chris Boothe goes on a barrelling run right down the middle of midfield. He exchanges a little 1-2 with McCormack on the edge of the box and lifts the ball over the advancing ‘keeper as he arrives to close down the angle. 4-2! Bloody hell. A game where we have’nt gone in front and collapsed miserably at the slightest sign of pressure! I can’t get used to this…
Again the visitors come back at us and it takes two great saves by Dunn to stop them adding to their tally. First a cracking low drive from the edge of the box (free-kick? Can’t remember!) is matched by an equally good one handed save. Then right near the end he dives in to block an acrobatic point blank effort. These along with 3 or 4 other good stops preserve the 3 points for Sutton. I s’pose if anything’s come out of the last few weeks, it’s that we’ve got a bloody decent replacement for Howells between the sticks!
Meanwhile the U’s have a couple of decent chances to add to their tally. First Whitmarsh finds himself in acres of space some 10 yards out, but takes too long and the shot is blocked, then Gray despite being on his arse on the ground still manages to play a good ball into the path of Aligheri. With a defender in close attendance he pulls his shot just a touch too high and wide.
Chalmers runs us down to the Robin Hood afterwards in his new motor where we get the telly on ASAP to see if K’s have managed to get themselves relegated. Nope. A 0-0 draw. Arse. S’pose we’ll have to wait until Thursday now.
PS. We’re out of 13th!!!!! At bloody last!
MAN OF THE MATCH : Tommy Dunn. Faultless. Another good display from our No2.
ENTERTAINMENT : 7. Definately a half watchable game of footy! Whats going on??
TEAM : Dunn, Palmer, Baker, Horner, Aligheri, McCormack, Harlow, Honey, Boothe, Whitmarsh, Haworth SUBS : Gray, Brooker, Howard