SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Akuamouah]
HAYES – 2 [Couple of blokes]
Played @ Merland Rise, Banstead
Sutton rounded off their pre-season program with a disappointing defeat against Conference side Hayes in the unfamiliar surroundings of Banstead’s Merland Rise ground today.
The U’s side was again what we pretty much expect to see against Braintree next week and a good performance would undoubtedly have boosted morale (ours if not the players!) but having held the Missioners for over an hour and then taken the lead, a shitty last 10 minutes gifted 2 goals and the game to the ‘visitors’.
Assembling in the Sutton Wetherspoons, Chalmers then transported us up the A217 in his Ford Escort to Merland Rise, the U’s temporary home for the day. We’re not 100% sure why, but it’s got to have summat to do with the fact that our PA still doesn’t work and there seems a million & 1 ickle bits that need attending to at GGL. Whatever.
On entering the ground, we’re greeted with the news that Matt Fowler has signed a 2 year deal the night before. How do we know this is true?? Well, asking the Chairman of your club is always a good place to start!!! Sadly, Matty is absent today as he’s at his sisters wedding. Christ, it never ceases to amaze me. All these people that get married either during or on the eve of a new season.
Bloody silly if you ask me.
Never mind, Matty is replaced by ex-scummer/K’s man, Eddie Akamouah. Michael Mison is also selected and starts in the centre of defence. Dave Timothy starts in place of Brooker at right back.
The match begins and within 10 minutes, we’re in the swing of things. Jules taking an instant dislike to the Hayes ‘keepers socks, which are pulled up over his knees. Obviously a case of watching too much ‘Football Italia’ on a sunday afternoon. Mr ‘Keeper responds to some basic grade D ribbing with the comment “You’re a wanker mate”. We chuckle to ourselves. We can’t wait to hear what he’ll have to say once the topic switches from his socks to that of his mum/missus being ‘shite’ when we ‘had’ her.
Our early impressions are that if this is Hayes final 11 for their opening day Conference match, they’re in for a long season. Their forwards are crap. Martini has to make 2 routine stops before the Hayes no 10 screws the ball a good couple of feet wide from 10 yards with the goal at his mercy.
The U’s play a steadier game, opting to build from the back. Timothy and Ryan Palmer combine well on the right and Corbett plays 2 or 3 delightful balls through the Hayes back 4. One of which gives Akamouah a great chance to put us in front, but he elects to take an extra touch rather than shoot first time and the chance is blocked.
Apart from this our only other chance is from a stinging Jon Palmer shot just wide of the far upright. The rest of the half is mainly rather dull.
Half time in the bar reveals no decent beer (no surprise) and Oldham leading at Wrexham (shocking!). Apparently, R&D are also winning on their league debut. Which is nice.
The second half is much the same as the first, with little of any consequence happening. Although, the U’s look the most likely to score as the Hayes forwards are finding it hard to keep the ball in Surrey, let alone Merland Rise.
In fact the early highlight of the half is when a gust of wind catches hold of Jules jacket and blows it over the perimeter fence into a field behind us. We laugh ourselves silly as Jules stomps off muttering obcenities to recover his coat. You had to be there really.
The U’s finally break the boredom with about 25 minutes to go. A defensive slip lets in Akamouah and he makes no mistake from 8 yards, shooting low across the ‘keeper and inside the far post.
A few changes are made by the Sutton management late on and whilst these are still finding their feet, a moment of piss poor defending allows the ‘visitors’ to draw level.
Posession is lost in midfield and the ball played behind the Sutton backline. Exposed, Martini races off his line to try and clear, but only succeeds in crashing into a Hayes player. The ball runs loose to another lurking Missioner and he strokes the ball into the far corner of the unguarded net. Oooops.
Then with almost the last act of the match, some more atrocious defending conceeds a corner. This picks out a Hayes player in acres of space and he hooks the ball past Chuck to snatch a somewhat undeserved win.
We hit a pub in Kingswood afterwards and then back to Sutton. Where just moments into my pint, the missus calls. She’s locked out. Apparently the Chubb lock wotsit has been, well, er……locked I guess! And she has no key for it. Jules is the lucky recipient of my beer as I leg it to catch a bus home and rescue my damsel in distress.
Oh well, back to the rollercoaster world of the Ryman Premier next week. Can’t wait.
TEAM : Martini, Timothy, Taylor, Mison, Arkwright, R Palmer, J Palmer, Corbett, Drewett(?), Haworth, Akamouah. SUBS : Brooker, McCormack, errr someone else.