RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
HAMPTON & RICHMOND BOROUGH – 2 [DeLuca 67.78]
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Timothy 68]
The U’s continuing association with mediocre football continued unchecked at Hampton’s Beveree ground on saturday with another very very toothless display.
Foolishly, despite the disgrace of a performance at Hendon last week, Bob & I opted to travel to Hampton, rather than stay in the warm, quaffing beer and watching the England-Sweden friendly.
Chalmers was more intelligent and couldn’t be arsed, deciding to get ratfaced in Sutton instead.
Bob, Jules and Myself assembled in the Kingston Wetherspoons and a pint later are on the bus to Hampton. First port of call? A pub of course!! The White Hart in the High Street providing an interesting selection of scrunge for us to drink. Beered up (you can’t watch Sutton sober nowadays) we head for the ground.
Here we discover to our total surprise that JR has realised that there actually isn’t any Ryman League regulation preventing teams with the word ‘Sutton’ in their name from playing a 4-4-2 formation! Christ! Not bad John. The previous system has only been failing miserably for the better part of two seasons. Fancied a change eh?
Upon hearing this wonderous news, I declare that this is a great chance for Gandermonium sponsored man, Jon Palmer to push up with the attack as a left midfielder. Just as Mr Palmer hobbles past. An ankle injury keeping him on the sidelines. Bugger.
The match starts boringly and gets steadily more tedious as the minutes tick away. Neither side can manage to string more than a couple of passes together. The only excitememtn in the opening stages is Paul Honey’s ridiculous Yellow card for what is the first serious tackle of the game. Mr Uselessblind twat, the ref then really upsets us by doing precisely sod all for the clattering challenge that takes Richard Taylor out of the game after around 20 minutes. Cheers mate. Gwynne Berry comes off the bench to replace him.
Soon after, the home side carve out what proves to be the only really threatening moment by either side in the first half. O’Connors strong run down the right ends with a fierce shot that Martini acrobatically tips onto the post. A Hampton forward heads the rebound goalwards and Chuck is dead releived to see the effort loop over him and hit the top of the bar.
Most Sutton efforts in the final 3rd are unimpressive. Anytime we actually manage to get the ball wide and attack, the crosses threaten the poor bastards behind the goal more than the Hampton ‘keeper. Several times Ryan Palmer and Dave Timothy have us scrambling for cover like Taliban troops hearing the roar of B-52 engines.
So, 45 minutes gone and the U’s have managed not one shot on goal. Nada, nowt, nothing, bugger all. Inspiring stuff lads. We depart to the ‘Beaver Bar’ *snigger!* (Yes it’s childish and juvenile, but hey who cares!) for some halftimes
The second half starts in similarly dull fashion, although we do finally manage an effort on target just on the hour mark. Haworth heading a Timothy cross straight at the ‘keeper. A little over 5 minutes later and just as we start to reckon a 0-0 is on the cards, we screw up and Hampton are in front.
A free kick from the left is fired in, Martini goes down to gather the ball, but fumbles and De Luca pounces to fire the loose ball home from a couple of yards out. Fuck me, how many mistakes can one bunch of players make before they start getting it right???
60 seconds later though and we’re level. Sort of.
Timothy has a run down the left, cuts into the box and hits a low shot goalwards. It takes a slight deflection and beats the ‘keeper. The ball rolls agonisingly close to the line but is hoofed away at the last possible moment by a defender. But with the U’s players appealing, the linesman flags and the ref awards a goal with most Sutton fans really not too sure if the ball had actually crossed the line.
A couple of minutes later and the home team are reduced to 10 men. Fouhade Belaid clattering into Dave Timothy to earn his second yellow. Uh oh. 10 men. We’re shit against 10 men! Then again, we’re shit against 11.
The U’s press for a winner, but have little success, with Haworth and the lightweight Fowler having little success up front. Only Akuamouah’s runs from deep even look like causing problems.
Then with just under 15 to play, the 10 men are back in front. A ball over a static Sutton defence plays in De Luca and with Martini coming off his line to close the angle, the Beavers striker clips the ball over him and into the far corner. We’ll get our coats.
The U’s press again and almost snatch a late equaliser when a pass finds Boothe 5 yards out at the back post, but his weakly hit shot is scrambled away by the ‘keeper.
And so another defeat in which we managed only a couple of serious efforts on goal. As the players trudge off, a band of our supporters turn on the ref. Give me a break. There’s no denying he was crap but, er correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t he send off one of theirs and award a very dubious goal for us?? It’s not his bloody fault if despite all that assistance we still can’t even scrape a point. Try asking questions about the disorganised, spiritless performances that seem to becoming the norm under Mr Rains’ tenure.
We amble out of the ground and hit the pub to catch the Ireland-Iran game. We abandon this shortly after their 2nd goal as the music starts to irritate us and before the local ‘dealer’ who’s been buzzing around the place for the last hour or so asks us if we’re ‘sorted’.
Back in Sutton, we join up with the rest of the gang and proscheed to get shlightly pished.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Eddie Akuamouah. Only bloke in a Sutton shirt who looked remotely dangerous.
ENTERTAINMENT – 4. They just seem to get worse!!!
TEAM – Martini, Taylor, R Palmer, Brooker, Mison, Honey, Timothy, Boothe, Akuamouah, Fowler, Haworth SUBS – Arkwright, Berry, Corbett