RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Akuamouah 1. Palmer 47. Haworth 49]
BRAINTREE TOWN – 1 [Simpson 88]
After our less than impressive opeing day display at Braintree’s place, we were eager for our lads to restore a bit of pride by giving ‘em a fucking good hiding. “Nah, no chance” we said.
It appeared to be all wishful thinking with the Essex boys sitting 3rd in the table.
But bugger me if that’s not what our lot went and did! Turning in by a mile our best performance of the season and not only that, but playing well into the bargain! The passing was crisp and incisive, we attacked as a unit and the defence didn’t seriously screw up at all!!
All we want to know is, why the sodding hell hadn’t we managed to play like this before???
After the usual pint to help soften the blow of the expected numbing rubbish, it’s off to the Theatre of Zzzzz. Upon arrival, we note a couple of changes. The rumoured move of Chris Boothe to Aylesbury appears to be true as he’s nowhere to be seen with Honey & Corbett in the centre of midfield and Mison donning the captains armband. Timothy goes to right back and will wonders never fucking cease, Ryan Palmer at CENTRE BACK!! Bloody hell, the position he is actually meant to play in? Surely not!
We only have to wait 40 seconds or so to se if the new system will work as a neat bit of play down the right catches the ‘Iron’ defence all asleep. Timothy plays it inside and Honey knocks it into the box. Jon Palmer arrives and with a lovely first time touch, lays the ball off to Eddie Akuamouah to lash the ball past the stranded ‘keeper and into the net! 1-0 with just a minute gone. Christ that pint I’ve just finished must’ve been a cracker!!
The early goal does the trick and the lads pour forwards. The passing is, for once, pretty much spot on. Players are moving well and there’s no stupid shouting & arguing when someone misdirects a pass or makes a mistake. We just get our heads down and try to get it back. Matt Gray shows one snap of brilliance cutting in from the right, mesmerising the defender with his fancy footwork he nutmegs him on the edge of the box leaving him flat on his arse and fires in a wicked shot that the ‘keeper does well to push round the post.
Braintree struggle to get into the game as the U’s midfield doesn’t exactly dominate, but is certainly far more effective than it has been in ages with Honey and Corbett battling away like madmen and feeding the tricky Timothy and Gray down the right. Timothy’s direct running results in a crude challenge by the visitors No7 which amazingly goes unpunished. What makes it further annoying is the same guy ploughing into Honey just a few minutes later. The lucky sod. 9 out of 10 Ryman refs would normally have produced yellows for both. A few U’s fans call for his dismissal, but we know better. We are, after all, shite against 10 men! During a lull, I’m asked who I prefer out of Chelsea and Tottenham in an attempt to settle an argument about who will win their Worthless cup match. “Bollocks” I reply diplomatically “I rate the Taliban higher…”
Braintree finally get going about 20 minutes in and one corner causes the U’s defence a bit fo concern. Played to the near post, it’s flicked on and somehow from less than 5 yards out, a white shirt nods it against the bar. Ryan Palmer hammering it to safety. The U’s don’t manage to create any seriously clear cut openings for the rest of the half, but the approach play is for once a joy to watch and on several occasions we have shots charged down by determined defending or hit just off target. The Braintree ‘keeper certainly being kept the busier. The best opportunity for the visitors comes with Timothy losing position out on the touchline. 2 passes and a sweeping bit of play later the ball zips low into the box with Dunn exposed. Thankfully the attentions of Palmer forces the Braintree striker to hit the chance first time and it flies wide of the far post.
So 1-0 up at the break and some very promising stuff. Now the question is can we produce another 45 minutes like it and finish this lot off?
The answer is yes. We start the second period like we did the first. On the attack. Corbett charges out of midfield and his pass to Akuamouah ends up producing a corner. Eddie whips it in to the near post but the ‘keeper is there to fist it away. But only as far as Gonsalves on the edge of the box and as the ‘keeper is recovering his position, the young full back lays the ball into the path of Ryan Palmer who powers a half volley from outside the box and into the net with the ‘keeper once more only able to stand and watch. But before we’ve had time to catch our breath and the visitors to muster a response, Sutton effectively tie up the points barely 2 minutes later with the best goal of the day.
A brilliant, sweeping move involving Corbett, Honey, Timothy and Gray cuts the visitors to pieces and Haworth gets onto the final pass to sweep the ball into the far corner to make it 3-0. Sweet nelly furtado! What the hell is going on out there?? Can someone give the FA’s drug testing unit a call, we seem to have a large scale abuse of illegal substances here…
The third goal sparks the best period for the visitors, but they don’t manage to create much apart from a few corners that the defence for once deal with ably. They do manage to hit our woodwork again though around the hour mark. A corner is cleared and as Honey races away from his own area with the ball, he’s rather clumisly bunded over. Sadly the ref fails to agree and as our lot stand and wait for the whistle, a Braintree midfielder whips a curling effort goalwards from easily 30 yards. With Dunn scrambling, the ball pings back off the far post and out to safety.
Sutton continue to torment the ‘Iron’ defence and the No7 again pops up to clatter Timothy when the ball is long gone. Sadly if the ref had at least cautioned him for either of the earlier offences, he’d now be heading for the changing rooms to turn on the water heater for afterwards.
Gray is replaced in a straight swop by new man, Brown who goes on to produce a useful display in the last few minutes, causing the visitors a few problems down the right. Jon Palmer is then replaced by Matt Folwer who does his usual of struggling to stay on his feet. He also goes down for the most appalling attempt to win a penalty I’ve seen in ages! Clean through, the moment the defnder breathes on him he crashes to the ground. Er, yes Matt, very impressive. A 2.7 I think…
Not long after we think it’s 4-0 when Braintree fail to clear another corner properly and the ball falls to Paul Honey 35 yards out on the right. It drops to him and first time he cracks it straight back at goal. The ‘keeper is a little slow in getting down and the ball hits the inside of the far post and in. Sadly this belting effort is ruled out by the linesman as Folwer has wandered into an offside position. Arse.
Mr Fowlers earlier impression of Greg Louganis does little to aid his case when the U’s should have a stonewall penalty a near the end. He chases a through ball into the box and is simply bulldozed off the ball by a defender who has to double back to retrieve the ball! Again the ref waves play on.
Then with 2 minutes remaining, the visitors get on the scoresheet. A cross from the left finds Simpson at the back post and despite the attentions of sub Berry, Tommy Dunn can only help his looping header into the net.
But its far too little far too late for the ‘Iron’ and shortly after the ref sends us back to the boozer with a 3-1 win.
And do you know what? For the first time in absolutely frigging ages, ol’ Taz leaves a Sutton game entertained and happy that he’s seen a decent game for once. In fact, this is the first match report I’ve enjoyed writing since god knows when.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Dave Timothy. Brilliant. Ran round like a loon all day.
ENTERTAINMENT : 9. Marvellous! Can we have a few more of these please lads?
TEAM : Dunn, R Palmer, Mison, Timothy, Gonsalves, Corbett, Honey, Gray, J Palmer, Akuamouah, Haworth SUBS : Fowler, Berry, Brown