RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 0
KINGSTONIAN – 0
The U’s made it 4 and a half games without a goal with their (surprisingly) first 0-0 draw of the season against near neighbours Kingstonian at Gander Green Lane on Monday. Which if you’d asked, we could’ve told you in advance it would happen. ‘Cos we’d decided as much over pints on Saturday night.
The plan was to meet in the Hood a little earlier than normal and watch the Dagenham-Morcambe clash on the telly. Well, that was the plan. But after some not too surprising Bank holiday Monday bus type fuckwittery, I roll into the battle cruiser with about 10 minutes left to go in the first half. Arse. That’s not gone well.
Still it turns out to be entertaining enough match and the rest of the gang filter in soon after me. One member of the formation drinking team who we shall call ‘Oscar’ (that’s ok innit Mark?) lets slip that a recently boasted ‘shag’ with an ‘older woman’ during a trip to visit his sister in Penrith actually turned out to be a tadge older than he’d admitted (Mark…..er….sorry. ‘Oscar’ reckoned she was ‘50’!). 57 to be precise! We then proceed to spend the best part of the next 2 hours ripping seven shades of shit out of Mark…ooops…’Oscar’. Marvellous fun.
Ambling along to the ground just in time for kick off as oer usual, we find the U’s have again fiddled with their line up, no doubt trying to find that magic mix that’ll lead to some goals. Bailey keeps his spot, but Nick Drew, an impressive sub on Saturday gets a start at right-back. Mike Mison also returns to the defence. Ex-K Eddie Akuamouah starts again but another of the visitors one time favourite sons, Phil Wingfield misses out with a calf strain. Yeah, likely story!
So, with a slightly stronger line up than fielded up at Chesham, we’re a bit more confident of perhaps seeing off the skint Hoopy ones from down by the Thames.
Early exchanges are few and far between as both sides fail to put a foot on the ball and play as well as coming to terms with the bumpy April GGL pitch. The visitors probably shade the early exchanges, but it’s the U’s who go closest around 15 minutes in when a corner is dropped by the usually reliable Lance Key and after a brief scramble, Paul Honey somehow hooks the ball wide from about 6 yards out with the goal at his mercy. We all naturally shout for a corner, disbelieving the young midfielder could actually miss the target from there and that it must have been deflected wide of the mark. Nope, he’d missed.
Sadler and Green cause a few anxious moments for the Sutton defence with Green firing one effort just wide after some decent build up down the far side. But as the half wears on, the action pretty much dries up and we again turn on Mark….doh!…I mean ‘Oscar’ regarding his recently acquired dentures fetish. The only other real chance I can recall of the half falls to Sutton when Matt Gray is given too much time on the ball in midfield and unleashes a low drive that Key has to get down and push round his post. Moments later the whistle signals the end of the first half and we scurry off down the tunnel for some half times and a pint.
Refreshed and informed, the second half is a little bit livlier than the first, with both sides creating chances but not actually managing to force any serious effort from the two ‘keepers at the same time. The U’s seem to have spotted a weakness in K’s game plan and start with Matt Gray roaming wherever he pleases. A ploy that at least makes the U’s seem a little more threatening to the visitors defence.
As the match wears on though, again the chances largely dry up, but K’s go close twice with crosses from wide postions only for Dunn to deny one and Ronnie Green to guide a diving header wide of the far post. Sutton hit back with the most stylish move of the match. Gray switches the ball infield and Honey plays a high ball out wide towards the corner. Gray races in and recovers the ball right on the touch line. Tightly marked there seems nowhere for him to go, but he plays a cheeky back flick to Drew who’s charging into the space behind. He skips past a trailing defender and into the box, but his low effort flies inches wide of the far post.
Gray is involved again soon after when Haworth wins a free kick in a central position 25 yards out. The young striker takes it and whips a vicious curling effort round the end of the K’s wall and just wide of the far post with Key nowhere near it.
Further opportunities drop again to Gray then Bailey. With Matty skipping past 3 players on the edge of the box before he’s crowded out by desperate K’s defending as he tries to dig the ball out for a shot. Soon after a lovely ball in by Gonsalves sets up Bailey for a striking opportunity from 10 yards, but the youngster hesitates and the chance is gone. Eddie Akuamouah has us on tenterhooks near the end with one strong run that takes him round the defender but his well hit effort is charged down inside the area.
Speaking of which, during one lull in the second half we’re amused by the visiting fans raising a chant for their former hero. “Eddie Eddie, give us a wave” they sing like a pissed welsh male choir on crack. Eddie steadfastly ignores the request despite the fans at the far end persevering with their tune a bit longer than is really necessary. After a while they get bored of their attention seeking and change the chant to “You’re not Kingston anymore”. No he’s not thank god. Although the counselling sessions seem to be doing him some good.
Both sides then really go at it in the final 5 minutes in an attempt to nick all the points and either team could have snatched victory with a bit of composure on the ball and some thought about their passing. But alas this all comes to nothing and 0-0 it ends. Guess we’ll have to wait untile we go to Kingsmeadow in 8 days to try and get one over on our ‘friends’ from Kingston.
But before such excitement can take place, we’ve got the joys of a trip to Heybridge (home of Colin Wall, the biggest donkey in the northern hemisphere) to negotiate. And you all know how much we love that part of Essex. Still, if we don’t end up in Maldon, it’ll be a result.
At the final whistle we wander back to the Hood for more Bank Holiday beer and naturally more rabid piss taking of Mark…oh bugger I forgot….. ‘Oscar’, which naturally involves a lot of mentions of sterident, support pants, zimmer frames and nursing homes.
Let’s face it, when you’ve not scored for 5 and a half games, you’ve gotta take your entertainment where you can get it!
MAN OF THE MATCH : Matt Gray. Another storming all round performance.
ENTERTAINMENT : 6. Not great, but not the worst 0-0 ever seen.
TEAM : Dunn, Drew, Mison, Hammonds, Palmer, Gonsalves, Honey, Bailey, Akuamouah, Haworth
SUBS : Tydeman, Fowler