RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
HARROW BOROUGH – 1 [Valenti 11]
SUTTON UNITED – 6 [Akuamouah 9.50.80. Haworth p46. Wingfield 53. Brown 76]
Ahhh, at last. Some bloody football.
After the once again almost footy-less Xmas period it was nice to get back into the swing of things with some hardcore Ryman action.
And what better way to ease yourself into a new year and work off all that beer, mine pies & turkey than a trip to the side 6 points adrift at the bottom of the table? Easy peasy, just turn up, give ‘em a roasting and back to the pub with 3 points.
Except normally where we’re concerned, it’s a case of turn up, play really badly, concede a shitty goal and get a point if we’re lucky. But no. Not this time! Yes, amazingly, for once the U’s visited lowly opposition and turned in a professional performance to steamroller through the 90 minutes and score lots of goals. (If you feel faint at this point, take a break and put your feet up for a few minutes before resuming).
With the recent cold snap, there was some doubt that our trip to Harrow would go ahead. Thankfully though, it warmed up a bit and the match was declared on. Oh how we rejoiced.
A 12 meet at Baker St was arranged. Bob & I gambled on Micheal Fish’s mob actually being right for once and went for it. Chalmers on the other hand decided not to trust the people at the Meterological office and presumed a postponement was on the cards. In other words he wussed out & stayed in bed.
In the boozer, a bloke quizzes me about the U’s away shirt I’m wearing. Now when people ask this question, one of two things happens. It either has a life altering affect, or they laugh.
As it turns out he’s a K’s sympathiser.
So he laughs.
Bloody part-time Hoopy tosser. If I’d known then what I knew at half 5, I’d have walked off with the smuggest of grins.
Another quick pint at Marylebone and it’s off to sunny Northolt Park.
Once at the ground a quick look at the proggie reveals another ominous omen. In 12 attempts this season, Harrow have yet to win at home. Our cynical little minds spring into action. Please don’t let it be us ok???
To our relief, the 2 week layoff hasn’t affected the boys too badly and they start brightly. Sportingly, we let Harrow have a sniff of goal early on, the pull down the shutters and proceed to rip into them. Only nine minutes have elapsed when a delightful through ball from Corbett carves open the Harrow defence and Akuamouah nips in to slot past the ‘keeper. But, just to stop us getting too excited, the U’s naturally go and gift a poxy equaliser shortly after.
11 minutes gone and Mison makes a clumsy challenge on the edge of the box. And while we’re fannying about organising a wall, Valenti gets bored and curls the free-kick into the far corner. That’ll be a goal then? Mison’s protests all the way back to the centre circle then earn him a yellow card.
The U’s though are soon back on the offensive and a comedy of errors in the Boro defence almost gifts Eddie a swift reply. Sadly his shot is wide of the mark. There follows a good 20 minute spell where Sutton are camped out on the edge of the Harrow area with the home side only able to briefly relieve the pressure by hacking the ball as far forwards as possible. Sadly for them, within moments it’s coming straight back at them. Their beleagured defence soon reveal that they’re quite possibly a bunch of tossers when Mison challenges the ‘keeper from a corner. Both players are watching the ball and a collision occurs. Their 4 and 6 then procede to stand over the dazed Mison, hurling abuse. Deciding this is a little unfair, us lot behind the goal decide to even things up and return fire. The two morons in question soon beat a hasty retreat under the hail of obcenities aimed their way. Almost straight after, Mr 6 goes in the book for a crap ‘revenge’ challenge on Mison. Thus proving his tosser credentials.
His partner in crime Mr 4 is soon in trouble as well. Crudely clattering into the back of Akuamouah and fouling him with a kick/push combination. Eddie shoots him a look and the moment he turns away, is punched in the back of the head. Happily this is in plain sight of both the linesman and the ref and the brainless fuckwit is soon on his way back to the changing rooms.
Question is, can we continue our 1 game winning streak against teams wth 10 men?
The U’s keep attacking, but only 2 excellent saves by the Harrow ‘keeper keep the scores level. First a wicked curling free-kick from Wingfield is kept out at full stretch and then a Matt Gray cross picks out Scott Corbett whose header from inside the 6 yard box is beaten away. The only thing preventing more chances being created is the piss poor weak officiating as the ref allows numerous niggly, nasty fouls to go completely unpunished.
So, ominously, we go in 1-1 at the break.
Any fears of letting Boro back into proceedings are banished within 60 seconds of the restart. Akuamouah goes on a jinking, mazy run into the box. The only thing one of the 3 defenders chasing him can do is chop him down. Penalty thank you very much.
Rob Haworth steps up and buries the spot kick and from here on in, it really is one way traffic.
4 minutes later the lead is extended to 3-1 as Eddie goes on another run wide on the right. He cuts in, dragging the defender with him before firing beyond the ‘keeper and into the far corner. Attacking completely at will, it’s now becoming a case of how many the U’s will rack up.
Matt Gray is coming more & more into the game and 3 minutes after Eddie’s run, he goes on a carbon copy dash, cutting into the box only to be halted as he’s about to shoot by a dreadful knee high challenge. Unbelieveably, the ref waves play on. Thankfully the ball runs loose to Phil Wingfield in acres of space 18 yards out on the left. The ex-K’s man takes a touch before despatching a wonderful curling, dipping shot over the head of the ‘keeper and into the top far corner for his first goal in a U’s shirt.
Celebrations are curtailed when the boys realise that Matt Gray is still down after his attempted decapitation moments earlier. Thankfully he recovers.
Changes are made and Matt Fowler replaces Haworth, and Craig Brown is given a run out. The little midfielder carries on where he left off with that impressive 10 minutes against Braintree with another livewire display. He gets his reward with 14 minutes left producing a fantastic goal. Collecting the ball on the right hand corner of the area he beats 2 defenders, before ‘juggling’ the ball keepie uppy style past a third and finishing almost arrogantly with a flicked shot past the ‘keeper.
Matt Fowler has a couple of opportunities to finish the job off, noteably a 1 on 1 with the ‘keeper which he hits against his legs, when he could have gone round him. Matt Gray is showboating like buggery and has 2 efforts zip just wide of the far post.
But, it’s down to Eddie Akuamouah to round things off with 10 minutes to play. Fowler gets free down the left and whips the ball in to the far post where the unmarked Eddie powers in a free header to complete his hat-trick.
With all 3 subs on, the U’s finally take their foot off the gas and Harrow finally manage to force a save out of Dunn. A good mazy run from Valenti bringing an instinctive save from the young Sutton ‘keeper.
So, the 10 man hoodoo is finally laid to rest with a comprehensive 6-1 win. Sadly for Harrow, time looks to be up. They’re easily the worst side we’ve seen this season and with no wins now from 13 home games, you have to say they’re definitely in the shit.
Bob & I catch some results in the bar, but the best news is supplied by mobile phone. K’s having gone down 5-1 at home to Purfleet. Awww! A defeat that will no doubt become very annoying when they find out 2 of their ‘rejects’ got four of ours today! Sadly, Bob flatly rejects my suggestion of mercilessly scouring London and hunting down Mr K’s fan from earlier so I can inform him of the result. Bah! He’s just a big spoilsport.
S’pose I’ll have to settle for getting pissed back in Sutton then.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Eddie Akuamouah. I’m starting to wonder quite why K’s let him leave for nowt!!
ENTERTAINMENT : 8 for Sutton, 2 for Harrow. My god they were bad.
TEAM : Dunn, Timothy, Mison, R Palmer, Gonsalves, Corbett, Gray, Honey, Wingfield, Akuamouah, Haworth SUBS : J Palmer, Brown, Fowler