RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
BASINGSTOKE TOWN – 3 [Davis 8. Sills 32. Gorman p90]
SUTTON UNITED – 0
So where do we go now? Ten games, or a quarter of the season played and we’re still awaiting a win.
To make matters even worse, this latest pile of cack means we’re now bottom. And Croydon didn’t even play!! Yeah, you heard me, we got overtaken by a team that doesn’t even play their game until 24 hours later. That to me just completely sums us up.
The most frustrating thing about tonight was yet again, the manner in which we got turned over. After conceding an early goal, heads went down and we just laid down and died. I’m sorry, but having taken the time and effort to battle over to a place like Basingstoke after a days work, the least I’d expect from my team is a bit of fucking pride.
Having spent the best part of 2 hours getting to Basingstoke by train, I finally roll into the pub next to the station at 10 past 7. Having exchanged unpleasantries with Chalmers and Bob regarding my late arrival, I’m informed it’s a 7.45 KO. Plenty of time for a pint then!
10 minutes later and beer downed, we skedaddle (now when was the last time you heard that word eh??) to the taxi rank and jump in a cab to the ground. Upon arrival, burgers are bought and munched and we shelter from the drizzly rain listening to the Basingstoke tannoy bloke mis-pronounce all but 2 of our players names.
The U’s side is depressingly familiar. Danny Arkwright is back in defence (oh goody…..) and Chuck is yet again selected in goal. This does absolutely nothing to lift our already cynical mood.
Thankfully we get to watch the first half from the covered end of the ground so at least we don’t get soaked to the skin by that crappy drizzly rain. Basingstoke start brightly, knocking the ball around at pace and driving forwards. Our hopeless rearguard manages to hold out for all of 8 minutes before the home side slice through and take the lead. A criss cross of quick passes around the edge of the area eventually produces a gap and a Basingstoke player nips in. He runs onto a pass and lashes the ball from the corner of the box past the transfixed Martini and in via the inside of the far post.
Heads start to be shaken, hands are put to foreheads and curses muttered amongst the travelling U’s support. We all know full well that it’s going to take a big change in attitude or a huge slice of luck to get us back into this game. As it turns out, we get neither.
Within the space of 10 minutes, first Jay Murray and then Akumouah break free into the penalty area, only for their final touch to let them down and allow the ‘keeper to save at their feet. Other opportunities are few and far between for the U’s as the home side continue to press.
Martini makes 2 good stops to his left, turning away one looping shot and then getting down well to parry a low drive from 25 yards. Then we get hit again and it’s game set & match. Once more, Basingstoke’s simple quick movement of the ball proves too much for us and a delicate ball is played in behind our defence. The striker races Martini for the ball and wins comfortably, lifting it over his head and into the unguarded net from the edge of the box. Anyone got a number of a local Taxi firm?? There’s a train home in about 15 minutes.
By now we’ve already worked out that another goal by the home side would send us bottom by the virtue we’ve scored one less goal than Croydon. Then any lingering hopes that we might just even manage to put up some form of competition out on the field disappear when Jay Murray latches onto a through ball, skips past the ‘keeper and with a defender on his shoulder scuffs his shot horribly wide of the gaping empty net. It’s bad. Horribly bad.
It’s not long before the black defeatist humour is flowing thick and fast. Martini makes a loud shout of “Keeper!” to claim an over hit thorugh ball. “Really?….” I exclaim. “….Have you got any identification??”
We reach half time somehow managing to hold onto our ‘nil’ scoreline and the lads trudge off. Something tells me that despite what JR has got to say/shout/bellow/scream at the break isn’t going to make the slightest bit of sodding difference.
Thankfully, the drizzly pissy rain has stopped, so we’re spared a soaking. Sadly the same can’t be said about the football. Basingstoke frankly cruise the second 45 minutes in neutral. In fact we do so little to worry their ‘keeper, a small boy is despatched to behind the goal with a long stick to prod him with every so often to make sure he hasn’t nodded off or more likely, died of abject boredom. (Oh all right, I made the last bit up. You try and find summat interesting to say about three quarters of an hour of total bollocks).
The ref, upset at so far escaping the compulsory slagging for being completely crap, decides to do something about it. Naturally, it’s at our expense. The wanker.
Twice inside 5 minutes he totally ignores BLATANT handball offences by Basingstoke defenders inside the 18 yard box. Both occurring in plain sight no more than 5 yards away. Is this A: Bad luck or B: Just another case of a 4th rate, clueless, incompetent dickhead losing his bottle when it really matters? (Here’s a clue. It’s B)
Matt Fowler appears for the last 20 minutes or so and lasts all of 5 minutes. But not before he’s also missed an open goal. A rare ball in from one of the flanks finds Haworth challenging the ‘keeper, the goalie punches weakly clear and the ball drops to Folwer 25 yards out with no-one but a flattened ‘keeper and Rob Haworth between him and the goal. With not a defender in sight, he hoiks the ball several feet clear of the crossbar. Shite.
A couple of minutes later, he latches onto a ball down the right. With plenty of time to deliver a cross towards the waiting Haworth, he decides to play silly buggers and cut back to take on a recovering defender. Bad move. His eventual ball into the box is straight to the ‘keeper. “What the fuck was that?” rightly demands Chris Boothe from 20 yards away. “Fuck off” replies Mr Fowler, sinking to the turf clutching his ankle. Nice team spirit lads. We’re impressed. Fowler hobbles off and Aligheri replaces him. Thanks for coming Matt!
Our second best chance of the half follows soon after from a corner (Don’t look surprised. Law of averages dictates we were bound to get at least one). It falls to Rob Haworth 6 yards out. He gets up well to outjump the defender, but his header flashes just wide of the far upright.
One comical moment comes from a corner. As the huddle of U’s players approaches the edge of the 18 yard box, a voice is clearly heard to say “So what do we do now?”.
What? Are you kidding me????? Jesus christ Rains, what exactly do you clowns DO in training??
Then with 85 minutes on the clock, we finally manage to force a save out of the Basingstoke ‘keeper. Ryan Palmer’s 25 yard effort easily held. This draws a sarcastic cheer and some clapping from the travelling support. If the players were wondering what we thought, that should have been sufficient to answer all their questions.
The last couple of painful minutes tick by with a bored Basingstoke team deciding to attack a little bit more. There follows some incredibly poor defending of the desperate, last ditch variety. Then with seconds to go, a cross into the box hits a Sutton defender in the upper body area drawing a ‘handball’ shout.
Yes of course the stupid twat gives it! After blatantly ignoring our appeals earlier in the half, he delivers a not very subtle ‘fuck you’ by spending several seconds pondering his descision and then raising his arm slowly to point dramatically at the spot. Matey steps up and of course sends Martini the wrong way. 3-0. The final whistle follows not too long after.
Fellow sufferer Gareth is kind enough to take pity on us and offer a lift back to the station. We make it just in time for the quarter to 10 train, only to end up on the platform and find it’s actually 18 minutes late. Marvellous, you can always rely on SWT to top off a perfectly crap evening.
Well all I can say is our patience at Gandermonium is now exhausted. With a quarter of the season now played and still no win, the members of the board really do seriously need to sit down, get their heads together and take some bloody action. Otherwise, the few supporters we do actually still have will fuck off elsewhere or stay indoors rather than watch a piss poor team, assembled by a manager who is still in a job after 10 games with no wins.
Hardly inspires confidence does it?
MAN OF THE MATCH : Do me a favour!
ENTERTAINMENT : 1. Class1, Grade A garbage.
TEAM : Martini, Arkwright, R Palmer, Mison, Honey, Panter, J Palmer, Boothe, Akumouah, Haworth, Murray SUBS : Fowler, Taylor, Aligheri