RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Mison 22]
HARROW BOROUGH – 1 [Hurlock p29]
The U’s painful start to the season continued at GGL last night, with Harrow being the latest side to take at least a point from Sutton by employing the cunning tactic of just simply turning up. Those devious bastards. The only answer we can think of it it’s some form of conspiracy as pretty much everybody we’ve played in the last couple of seasons has done it to us.
The oppo turning up. Christ how do you combat that?? It’s so simple it’s bordering on genius! Oh how I wish we’d thought of it first.
As you may have guessed, hopes of a first win weren’t high. Being unable to manage one in the previous 5 games does that to you. Harrow, having led a Bobbinsesque ‘escape relegation as late as physically possible’ existence for the last couple of seasons , was probably the best opportunity so far of collecting that first win. We’ll, you’d think so anyway.
JR kept faith with the majority of the line up that lost 4-3 at Hendon on Saturday minus Corbett and Timothy who picked up knocks. Brooker drops into the defence.
Early signs that we’re in for a good game of football are not good. The match is played at a frantic pace, but neither side really looks much cop with more passes going to opposition players than team mates. The U’s have slightly the better of things, making a bit of progress down the right flank, with the 2 crosses in particular picking out Jon Palmer. The first one he fails to call for and Rob Haworth also jumps for it resulting in a weak effort dropping to the ‘keeper and the second he’s always stretching for. His effort finishes up clearing the securicor terrace.
Harrow mount attacks but none of them really bother Martini with anything other than simple catches and collecting overhit through balls.
With the poor quality of the game, its something of a surprise when Sutton edge in front after around 20-odd minutes. Matt Fowler is upended 15 yards out from the area on the stand side. The free-kick is drifted into the near post and Mison outjumps the Harrow ‘keeper and nods home from 3-4 yards out.
There follows about 5 further minutes of Sutton pressure before our usually suicidal defence goes and does it again. A Harrow attack finds their nippy left midfielder in the box. The pass is well hit and he looks like he’s going to struggle to keep it in play let alone produce a cross. This doesn’t deter a Sutton defender from lunging in like a twat and conceding a perfectly pointless penalty.
Matey sends Martini the wrong way and the scores are level. Great, that’s inspiring lads. The fact that our visitors haven’t had a shot on goal up to this point irritates the hell out of me and a number of other U’s fans as well.
Having gifted the equaliser, Sutton enter the other very familiar phase of their ‘game’ which we fans call ‘whatthefuckistheroundwhitething’ where the players behave as if the ball is an atomic bomb that will go off if held by anyone wearing an Amber and Chocolate quartered shirt for more than a couple of seconds. Quite how a now clearly fired up Harrow side fail to go ahead is beyond me.
Martini having had fuck all to do for a good 20-odd minutes is now busier than a Channel tunnel security guard as shot after shot rain down on his goal. 3 times he’s forced to show his rather good shot stopping ability, beating out vicious strikes from the edge of his penalty box. His ‘defence’ is making his life a tadge harder by playing silly buggers with the ball around their own area, thus gifting Harrow chances a plenty. Don’t worry Chuck, we’ve kept the number of Howell’s therapist. He’ll sort you out.
We amble round to the bar, hoping to catch a bit of the England-Albania U21’s match on the telly at half time. On our way round, Sutton succeed in pissing away 2 great chances. First Matt Fowler is played in only to shoot against the legs of the ‘keeper. The ball rebounds out towards the edge of the box where Akuamoah, with the goal at his mercy, fires in a low shot that is blocked on the line. A minute later, Brooker delivers a wicked ball to the near post which Fowler somehow fails to get the slightest touch on. Then, right on half time, Fowler latches onto a through ball out wide only to be flagged offside. Sadly, the linesman is as normal, useless. Fowler has come from at least a yard behind the defender in front of him and with no other U’s player on the line, we can’t see how the knob with the flag came to this decision. Fowler fails to see the flag raised, turns and lashes a 25 yard half volley which beats a slightly worried ‘keeper and thumps back off the base of the far post. Good job it did as if it had hit the back of the net, Mr Knobhead the linesman was going to get a bloody good slap as he came off for the break.
Wandering into the bar, the night gets worse. Instead of the aforementioned U21 international, the Telly is showing ‘Changing Rooms’. What the hell is the world coming to?? This is a footy club for christ’s sake! At bloody half time, if there’s any footy on the box, we wanna watch it!! It helps steel us for the 45 minutes of crap that usually follows. Despite some pissing about with the remote controls, the bar staff are unable to raise the digital channel showing the game and we stomp back outside in a huff muttering to ourselves.
The second half is a bit more open than the first, but is really rather dull as both sides continue to be confused by exactly what colours they’re wearing. We could’ve filmed this for a kids coaching video and used it under the ‘Don’t pass like this as all your friends will laugh at you’ section.
Both ‘keepers are kept fairly busy, with Martini making two very good stops in particular. The U’s come close a couple of times but fail to hit the mark. Ryan Palmer swings a cross in from the right and it swings goalwards, catching the Harrow ‘keeper off his line. He frantically back pedals and is relieved to see the ball just clear his crossbar. A Jon Palmer cross picks out Chris Boothe at the far post not long afterwards, but with the ‘keeper and a defender in close attendance, he’s unable to direct his header other than towards us on the terrace.
Matt Fowler is gifted a great opportuinty late on when put through on goal by a Paul Honey pass, but again, he finds the ‘keeper barring his path and shoots against his legs. Then with time running out, the U’s almost gift Harrow the win.
Michael Mison, under no pressure whatsoever, decides to play a totally pointless crossfield ball meant for Ryan Palmer. What Mr Mison has failed to spot is the Harrow no10 stood in miles of open field between him and his intended target. There is also 30 yards of empty space between him and Martini’s goal. We’re buggered.
The only way this guy is going to miss is A: He dies of shock at such a fantastic gift or B: He’s crap and misses it. Sadly A fails to materialise as he sets off at top speed towards goal. Palmer and Mison both set off in pursuit but it’s obvious to us (and probably Chuck as well!) that it’s all down to our Morrocan stopper. Chuck forces the striker slightly wide and then scenario B surfaces as he spoons his shot high and wide of the near post. Cheers mate!
As per normal, no subs are introduced by our good selves and the game peters out into a draw.
Chalmers and myself pop into the bar where we find the U21 game has finally been located on the telly. With England 3-0 up, we find our enthusiasm lacking and head off home. 10 minutes later Bob texts me from the pub he’s occupying on his hols to inform me England won 5-0. Arse.
NOTE : When we say we want 3 points lads, we mean from ONE game. Not spread out over several fucking weeks. Got that? Nope, thought not……
MAN OF THE MATCH : Yawwwwwn………
ENTERTAINMENT : 5.
TEAM : Martini, Arkwright, R Palmer, Mison, Brooker, Boothe, Honey, J Palmer, Haworth, Fowler, Akumoah SUBS : Taylor, Drewett, Panter