Seven & A Half Bags Of Sand

FA CUP 2nd QUALIFYING ROUND

Att: 402



SUTTON UNITED – 5 [Akuamouah 17.28.61 Keevill 35 Haworth 90]

EASTLEIGH – 1 [Puckett 51]



Match Reporter: Bob

Bob’s responsible for this one as muggins here had to attend a family wedding. Ho hum.

A quote from Tuesday night as I was nominated/told I was on Match report duty for this one… “Well there is normally a few goals when you do the report!”

It was just over a year ago when I picked up my editor’s pen to do a match report for the first time. I remember the day well, Sutton were shit (losing to Dulwich away), the weather was shit (pissed down with rain), and England were shit (losing at home to Germany). Well, a year later and not a lot has changed really apart from England getting sweet revenge in Germany. Well-done lads.

The day started with our now religious pre-match pint in the Robin Hood and a chat on how our various teams would fare this weekend. With a pint sunk, we make the short trip to GGL and on entry to the ground we are greeted with the first major shock of the day… Roses tea bar is open again! After a quick nose around inside we try a cup of Roses tea and it’s good to see that her brew is up to its usual high standard.

We take up our position on the Shoebox to discover the team changes for today. Jon Palmer makes a return to the team as left wingback with Ryan Palmer pushed out to right wingback. Chris Boothe drops back into defencewith Michael Mison and Danny Arkwright as his fellow centre-backs. Scott Corbett and Dave Timothy both back from injury, join Sam Keevill in midfield with Rob Haworth and Eddie Akuamoah upfront. Chuck Martini remains in goal.

As the game starts you can tell that Eastleigh are up for the game as it takes us five minutes to get the ball off them and get out of our own half. The first 15 minutes are fairly even with both teams just testing each other out. The action livens up though in the 17th minute as after a Jon Palmer corner is punched clear by the Eastleigh keeper, Ryan Palmer sends Jon Palmer down the left and his cross is met by the head of Akuamoah who gives the keeper no chance. In the 20th minute there was a slight scare in the Sutton defence as an Eastleigh forward runs on to a long ball and with the defence delaying a tackle and with Martini coming off his line a goal looked ominous but the forward delayed his shot and Martini dived at his feet smothering the chance but getting a slight knock in the process.

With Sutton taking up the initiative and looking for more goals, in the 26th minute Chris Boothe had a fine header saved by the keeper following a right wing corner. Two minutes later though it was 2-0.

Following an Eastleigh corner, Danny Arkwright clears the danger to Scott Corbett who after running a few yards with the ball sends Eddie Akuamoah clear from the halfway line and with the keeper advancing off his line Eddie sells him a dummy and coolly finishes into the empty net. With Sutton now full of confidence, Dave Timothy, who looks in fine form after his injury, is causing a lot of problems along the right-hand side. It was from one of his moves in the 35th minute that found Sam Keevill unmarked on the corner of the box and in one fine turning movement scores the best goal of the game with a curling left-foot shot into the far top corner of the net.

With the rain now starting to fall heavily the remainder off the first half is fairly uneventful.After we reach the tunnel for the half-time scores in the bar Rob Haworth has the last chance of the half with a shot from a Timothy Cross that is well saved by the keeper. On entering the bar, we are greeted with shock of the day No. 2 as Tottenham are leading Man Utd 3-0! Most people are actually quite happy that United are losing but a certain someone is extremely happy that Tottenham are winning. With West Ham 1-0 down at Everton I am slightly disappointed but there is still the second half to go!!!

We return outside for the second half to find that the rain has stopped and the sun is out and that you can now see bugger all from the Collingwood Road end without the aid of your hand covering the sun from your eyes. The second half starts as slowly as the first but with Sutton forcing a corner in the 51st minute there was hope of an addition to the score sheet. To our horror though it was the other side of the score sheet as with the U’s pushing up looking for the 4th, Mison’s header is hoofed Clear to Craig McAllister and his run up field sends David Puckett clear with only chuck Martini to beat. With the playing surface having a lot of surface water on it, Martini seems to slip as he is trying to close the angle giving Puckett the time to pick his spot and find the target with an easy finish.

Any hopes of an Eastleigh comeback were dashed 10 minutes later when a Jon Palmer cross is met by Akuamoah who complete his hat-trick with a glancing header that gives the keeper no chance. Four minutes later Jay Murray replaces the hat-trick hero and with Eastleigh now beaten it seems a case of how many Sutton will score. With 15 minutes remaining, Paul Honey replaces Scott Corbett and the chances for Sutton are now coming thick and fast. On 78 minutes Murray himself slides in for the ball only to see it hit the bar and a couple of minutes later Honey has a shot from the edge of the box that is well saved.

With five minutes to go, shock of the day No. 3 arrives as Miss Tottenham fan gets a phone-call telling her that Manchester United are now leading 4-3. I find this very amusing until she tells me that West Ham are losing 5-0 at Everton and as you can imagine this quite rapidly wiped the smile off my face. Oh bugger! As we enter injury time, we start to stroll round to the bar to get the full-time scores and a comment is made that Rob Haworth, who had just skidded across the pitch and just missed a goal for the umpteenth time, had worked his socks off and deserved a goal. Quite right I reply and within a minute he had the said goal as Sam Keevill works well down the left and with a good centre, giving Haworth the easiest of tap-ins to complete the scoring and a well-deserved victory.

On entering the bar,we discover that Manchester United have added a 5th goal to their tally and that West Ham have indeed conceded five at Everton. After a couple of post match drinks in the Hood we retire for the night still undecided if and how we are going to get to Gravesend on Tuesday. So from a personal point of view its been a bit of a mixed weekend on the football front but thanks to the new financial rewards in the FA cup this season the U’s have a nice £7,500 in the bank and are now looking forward to the draw on Monday (Newport IOW away please) and more financial pay outs.

To sum up though, a very professional performance from Sutton with Timothy, Haworth, Akuamoah and Keevill having excellent games.

MAN OF THE MATCH : Dave Timothy. Excellent 1st performance back from injury.

Entertainment : 8.

Team:  Martini, R. Palmer, J. Palmer, Mison, Arkwright, Corbett, Timothy, Boothe, Haworth, Keevill, Akuamoah. Subs: Alighieri, Dunn, Honey, Murray, Taylor

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