RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Haworth 40. Akuamouah p62]
HITCHIN TOWN – 4 [Nolan 14.28. Bremmam 34. Drew 85]
Back in September, at the 11th attempt, Sutton finally won their first league match of the season at the expense of Hitchin.
So with the U’s now unbeaten in the league since November, this return fixture presents a clear chance to claim our first double of the season. Well, that was the general idea anyway!
Bob and I convene for the usual pre-match ritual of a bevvy in the Robin Hood. Chalmers meanwhile has elected to spunk 25 quid on a ticket to watch Chelsea at the Valley. Stupid boy! No doubt that’ll end in very expensive tears. We sit and watch the first half of Englands latest attempt at a 6 nations Grand Slam go spectacularly go down the pan. Then it’s the normal 10 to 3 stroll into GGL for kick off.
With skipper Mison still suspended, JR has elected to change things around one more. Dave Timothy is also absent (injured we presume) so this means a start for Nick Williams on the right, Eddie Akuamouah dropping into midfield and Matt Fowler given a spot up front. Instead of Matt Gray? Hmmmm. Not sure what that’s all about.
Like at Enfield last week, the U’s start half asleep and Hitchin are attacking immediately. A dangerous looking ball drifts across the Sutton penalty area inside the 1st minute, but thankfully, no one is able to meet it. Eventaully the U’s wake up and start to try making an impression on proceedings. And after 14 minutes we win our first corner.
Wingfield plays it to the near post where it’s headed clear by a Hitchin defender. The ball drops outside the area and is then played onto Matt Nolan a good 20 yards inside his own half. With the Sutton defence all over the shop, he sets off on a 60 yard race for goal. With choc n amber shirts trailing behind, he reaches the edge of our area and with Tommy racing off his line to close the angle, Nolan lofts the ball over his head and into the far corner. And for the 3rd home match running, we’re behind to an early goal.
Sutton try to hit back, but fail to make any serious impact on the Canaries back line. With Williams and making no ground on the right, a lot is aimed at Phil Wingfield on the left. But he continues his disappointing recent form, supplying little ammunition for Fowler and Haworth.
With 24 minutes gone and the job is made harder by another erratic bit of defending at the other end. Two failed tackles on our left fails to halt the progress of an attacker and he feeds Nolan at the back post and he has the simple task of finishing past an exposed Tommy Dunn.
Before we can muster a reply, it’s 3-0. A move down our right flank and the ball is played into the area. It’s partially cleared to Brammam 20 or so yards out who hits the ball first time beyond Dunn at his near post. Now we’ve come back strongly in our last couple of home games to overhaul vistors who’ve been in front, but somehow I doubt we’ll be doing that today!
The 3rd goal finally seems to trigger our lot into some action and we force the Hitchin ‘keeper into a couple of decent saves. The short spell of pressure pays off with 5 minutes to half time. A cross in from the right is met by Rob Haworth 5 yards out. His prodded effort is stopped by the ‘keepers foot right on the line, but the big centre forward manages to get his boot on the loose ball and force it over. Giving Sutton a glimmer of hope for the 2nd half.
The second half begins as we’d expect. With the U’s straight into the attack and trying to reduce the defecit. I purchase a cup of tea and what turns out to be one bastard hot pasty, returning to the terrace in time to witness quite possibly one of the worst peices of officiating I have probably EVER seen.
A ball over the top of the Hitchin defence is chased down by Akaumouah and with the defender trailing, it looks like he may just beat the ‘keeper to the ball on the edge of the area. The ball bounces up and the ‘keeper catches the ball whilst stood right in the ‘D’. Eddie and the supporting Haworth both appeal loudly as Mr ‘keeper offloads the ball as quick as possible. Both the Sutton players turn their protests to the linesman who is DEAD level with the offence and with a totally unobstructed view. Naturally and not for the first time, a Ryman official simply fucking bottles it.
‘No no’ he shouts, shaking his head vigorously at our stunned players. WHAT? Are you fucking blind you twat? It’s not even bloody close!! The guy has caught the ball a YARD outside his sodding area you complete muppet! All I have to say is Mr Linesman, not only are you stupid, disgracefully incompetent and a complete coward, you are a total fucking cheat as well. Yet another areshole whose saturdays would be better spent in tow to the missus pushing a trolley around Sainsburys.
Sutton put this behind them and keep plugging away. And with just over an hour gone, a Hitchin defender slices an attempted clearance stright into the air. Haworth stands underneath waiting for it to drop when a defender bundles into the back of him and the ref points to the spot. Akuamouah steps up and fires the spot kick into the top corner. JR decides now is the time to go for it and replaces Nick Williams with Matt Gray. About bloody time!!
There follows a flurry of U’s pressure as they try to force an equaliser and it only seems a matter of time before the goal will come. Matt Gray makes an immmediate impact on the right delivering 2 excellent first time crosses that are desperately cleared by an under pressure Hitchin rearguard. But as the half wears on, the U’s bombarment subsides with many attacks failing on Fowlers inability to stay onside. The visitors start to find gaps in which to launch counter-attacks.
It’s from one such break out that they seal the 3 points. A Sutton attack breaks down around the Canaries box. Nolan races into the U’s half, past 2 soft as shite challenges. Ryan Palmer gets ahead of him and 25 yards out puts in another half hearted tackle. Nolan carries on his run, before feeding Drew on the edge of the box where he hits an excellent half volley with the outside of his right foot beyond Dunn.
The last few minutes are played out with little incident and Hitchin become only the 3rd side to leave GGL with all 3 points this season.
We head off back to the Robin Hood for a consolation beer or five, catch the results and then take in the Arsenal-Newcastle game on the telly. As we arrive, one of the barmen is outside having a fag break. He enquires as to the result and sensing we’re not that happy, cheers us up by telling us that Charlton have turned over Chelsea. Told you it would end in tears didn’t I!!
MAN OF THE MATCH : No one stood out unfortunately.
ENTERTAINMENT : 6. Giving your oppo a 3 goal head start is not advisable!
TEAM : Dunn, Palmer, Gonsalves, Hammonds, Williams, Honey, Corbett, Wingfield, Akuamouah, Fowler, Haworth. SUBS : Gray