The Traffic Bollard

RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION

Att: 494



SUTTON UNITED – 4  [Arkwright 42. Boothe p55. OG 79. Murray 89]

HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS – 1  [Parker 49]

Oh yes, Colin Wall. What a player. What a muppet…

Come on, are Sutton fans the only supporters in the Ryman to have spotted Mr Wall’s ‘talent’?? If you have, you’ll know where I’m coming from on this one! The man is quite simply an abortion of a player. In my 15 years of following the U’s I have never come across such an untalented donkey as this bloke. Every challenge he makes is a foul. When he appeared for Heybridge at their place last season, he must have committed about 100 fouls before finally being booked. I commented then that I’d seen more intelligent traffic bollards.

Come to think of it, I’ve seen some traffic bollards with better footballing ability as well.

As you can probably guess, the Swifts aren’t exactly our favourite Ryman Premier Division outfit. We’ve never really liked ‘em since we first met about 4 years ago at the lovely Scraley Road when we lost our cool (as well as a few limbs) and a 3-1 lead to draw 3-3. They kicked seven shades of shit out of us that day and have continued to do so pretty much ever since. To say this lot have a somewhat physical approach to the game of football is like saying that Man Utd are a tadge sucessful.

The U’s line up without Sam Keevill, but Matt Fowler returns from injury replacing Eddie Akuamouah who drops into midfield. The rest of the line up is pretty unchanged with Corbett and Timothy still missing.

Things get underway and we’re soon introduced to the familiar Swifts pattern of play. A revolutionary system devised from the old “Kick n Rush” style. Except they’ve just dropped the ‘Rush’ bit and concentrated on the ‘Kick’ element. It’s quite a simple approach, which just involves booting the shite out of anything that moves. The ball, opposition players, ballboys, small mammals…..you get the picture. A string of late challenges gain the U’s plenty of free-kicks but absolutely fuck all in the way of punishment by the ref. As per-sodding-usual.

Sutton start slowly and the visitors have an early spell where they exert some pressure on the U’s back line and cause both Boothe and Berry to make a couple of bad errors. Thankfully, Chuck is alert and deals with most things chucked his way. The U’s first chance falls to Boothe 8 yards out after some good attacking play down the right. But the pass is slightly behind him and a defender gets in to block the shot. Soon after, a low drive by Paul Honey zips the wrong side of the post. Inbetween, Chris Boothe is clattered twice well after the ball has gone. The first earning their No2 a yellow card, the second yet again, going completely unpunished.

Heybridge respond with our mate Wall directing a header wide from a free-kick shortly after. Fowler is then put through, with just the ‘keeper to beat, but blocks the effort eith his legs. Not long after, a cross by Ryan Palmer from the right finds it’s way across the box to the unmarked Jon Palmer, but again the ‘keeper stands up well and beats out the shot. Then approaching half time, just as we’re beginning to wonder if all the possession will be for nothing, the U’s finally make the breakthrough.

Matt Fowler chases a ball, going away from goal when that man, Colin Wall just bundles into the back off him. Completely unecessary as the young U’s striker was going absolutely nowhere! This pointless foul earns our mate some abuse from us and several blokes stood in front of us who have quickly picked up on his severe lack of ability and are joining in with the fun.

Ryan Palmer swings the free-kick in from the right, deep into the visitors box. The ‘keeper comes for the ball but his attempt at punching clear fails and the ball drops onto the head of Danny Arkwright and he steers it into the net. Thank christ for that!

A quick visit to the bar for some half-times and we’re back out for the second half. It seems our guests have had a bit of a rollocking at the break as they pile forwards looking for an equaliser. Simon Parker having a curling 25 yard free-kick well saved by Martini and then a couple of minutes later, some classic non-commital U’s defending sees the same man put the visitors on level terms. A poor goal kick by Martini falls to Parker 40 yards out and he sets off towards goal. With no Sutton player making a challenge, he skips past them into the box and plants a shot beyond Martini into the bottom far corner.

The U’s hit back quickly and around 5 minutes or so later, Mison picks up the ball in midfield and runs at the Swifts defence. Like our own good selves, no one makes a challenge and he bursts into the area. Banks rushes off his line to meet him. The big man pushes the ball past his outstretched hand and is felled. Penalty. Banks isn’t happy and leaps to his feet pointing a finger into Mison’s face, clearly accusing him of diving. Eh? Looked a dead cert peno to us mate! The ref once again bottles out and offers only a Yellow card, when to be honest, he should have walked. Boothe places the ball and powers his shot high to Banks right. 2-1.

The ref briefly loses control and there’s a rash of yellow cards. Naturally one is earned by good ol’ Colin Wall and of course it’s completely pointless. He and Haworth tussle for the ball by the touchline it goes out of play and Wall seems to take a swing at the U’s striker. Rob ain’t happy and only the prescense of a couple of team mates prevents him from getting stuck into his assailant.

The penalty seems to knock the stuffing out of Heybridge and the U’s push forwards looking for another goal. Several chances go begging. A corner drops to Akuamouah in the box and he swivels, sending a curling effort just inches wide of the far post. Matt Fowler is put clean through with just Banks to beat, but seems to loose his footing as he shoots and the ‘keeper saves with his legs. Then Haworth hustles a defender off the ball 25 yards out and goes for goal, but with a completely unmarked Fowler in the area screaming for the ball, he elects to shoot and puts his effort into the side netting.

As we start to feel a third goal won’t come, it does. And it’s that man again!

Another free-kick out wide awarded for yet another foul is swung in by Ryan Palmer. It evades everyone in a U’s shirt but just 3 yards out in front of goal, it thumps a completely shocked Colin Wall in the chest and rolls just beyond the desperate grasp of Banks on the line. A cracking own goal and perfectly in character for Mr Wall. The look of total surprise on his face is priceless and has me pissing myself laughing. I’m all heart me, that’s my trouble.

Jay Murray replaces the ineffective Fowler with around 5 minutes to play. He gets one opportunity soon after, going for goal from the left but Banks beats out his fierce effort and the rebound evades Akuamouah. With time running out, he does get on the scoresheet. A ball in from the right flies across goal and Haworth manages to get in at the far post and nod it back across goal. Murray nips in and nods it over the line, getting a boot in the face from, you guessed it, Colin Wall! Admittedly, this time it was an accident and he does apologise to the young striker. It almost makes you feel sorry for him. Like I said, ALMOST!

We nip to the Robin Hood for a couple afterwards and watch the FA Cup draw. Then a few more bevvies and a mean game of pissed up Jenga in the Hogshead. Lovely!

One final point. I realise that some of my comments may cause some pain or distress. And I whole heartedly apologise to all Traffic bollards for comparing them to Heybridge defender, Colin Wall. Sorry!

MAN OF THE MATCH – Eddie Akuamoah. Ran his tits off again.

ENTERTAINMENT – 5. Not exactly a classic to be honest.

TEAM – Martini, Berry, Arkwright, Mison, R Palmer, J Palmer, Akuamouah, Boothe, Honey, Haworth, Fowler  SUBS – Murray, Taylor, Williams

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