Taxi To Maldon

RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION

Att: 207



HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS – 2  [Budge 31. Windows 33]

SUTTON UNITED – 0

Now the last thing you want when you’re living out the final stages of mid-table mediocrity in a largely disappointing season and haven’t scored for 4.5 games is a trip to deepest Essex and Heybridge bloody Swifts.

In fact the one slightly redeeming factor of this particular trip would be 90 minutes taking the piss out of the worlds worst footballer, Colin Wall. But sadly, during the week, we were informed that Mr Wall has departed for a field somewhere and a lifetime supply of carrots, playing only once more for Heybridge after his Captain Calamity performance at GGL back in October.

Just marvellous. So what are we supposed to do now? Watch the fucking football? Don’t be bloody daft.

I wander into the Head of Steam pub at Euston just after 12 and find Bob sat watching Celtic complete the latest one horse race in Scottish Football history. A couple of beers later and we manage to drag our carcasses round to Liverpool Street. Thankfully for once, the great railway Gods are looking upon us favourably and we snag a train to Witham without any fuss. Witham being the destination as Heybridge is in the middle of smeg nowhere and thus missed out on the industrial revolution that brought most normal places a railway staion of their bloody own.

Arriving at our destination, we amble out of the station looking to grab a cab to complete the final leg. But not just any cab, oh no! One that contains a driver who doesn’t interpret the simple instruction “Scraley Road Heybridge please” as “Maldon, which is 4 miles away from Heybridge where we actually want to go, please”.

Sadly, our selection is somewhat restricted. The only cab being the same one, containing the same twat who had left us stranded last year. Thankfully, this season, his brain appears to be out of neutral and he understands our instructions. Making our offer of a crayon drawing to help get our point across somewhat redundant.

We roll into the….ahem….’quaintly’ named Scraley Road with time to spare and hit the food bar. This leads to us finding a redeeming feature of this godforsaken place. I can heartily recommend the bacon burger with cheese. Top scoff!

The U’s line up remains the same as the not so enthralling Bank Holiday encounter with K’s. Meaning Corbett is still out and Timothy is back on the bench, although unlikely to appear as he’s still carrying a knock. Hmm, constructive!

The match itself proves to be a rather dull lifeless affair between two somewhat limited teams. Both sides manage some early pressure in their opponents final third but produce absolutely sod all in the way of serious chances. Heybridge’s best chance comes after Dunn drops a corner and is rescued by Palmer with oppo strikers lurking. The U’s manage a couple of corners that come to nothing and very little else until almost half an hour in when a good ball forwards is flicked on well by Haworth.

Akuamouah nips onto the ball and heads for the box before playing in the overlapping Gonsalves behind the home defence. Sadly from this promising opening, Louis lashes the ball miles over the bar.

Naturally, a couple of minutes later some rather powder puff defending gifts the oppo a goal. A Swifts attacker is allowed to bundle through 2 half hearted challenges before his low shot is fumbled over the line by Dunn at his near post. Sweet Nelly Furtado. Why is it when we fuck up, it virtually always costs us a goal, yet when the oppo fuck up, we almost always fail to punish them.

2 minutes later and the game is all but over and the home side have yet to manage a serious effort on goal of their own making! Another cringingly bad bit of defending not for the first time this season forces Dunn to come to the edge of his area and challenge an opposition forward. He makes a good stop from the 0ne on one situation, but as his defenders stand and watch, a loitering Swifts player bangs the ball over the stranded Dunn and into the empty net.

The U’s stumble along trying to conjour up a response. The best they can manage is a Rob Haworth effort thumped into the midriff of the Swifts ‘keeper after Akuamouah has played him in.

So, 2 down, we trudge into the bar for some scores. The mood lifts a little when the vidiprinter reveals those lovely lot from Kingston are 2-0 down to rock bottom Croydon. A team even we managed to do the double over!

The second half is as devoid of any real action as the first. But this time we manage to avoid any serious screw ups in the defensive department. But it’s a frustrating 45 minutes in so much as when we get any kind of decent position in wide areas we fail miserably to deliver any kind of remotely dangerous ball. Rob Haworth in particular becoming very frustrated with the big lack of any kind of supply.

The only real openings we manage are a Matt Gray effort accross the face of goal and a Rob Haworth header that bounces off his left ear and over the bar rather than off his forehead and into the back of the net.

The home side have plenty of possession, but prove largely ineffective up front and most of their more threatening moments being set up by our piss poor distribution and awful control rather than their own cunning or good football.

So another blank, which now makes it something like 495 minutes without a goal. Sadly it looks like the good form and fight of the November to March run have evaporated and we’re right back where we bloody started some 8 months ago. The youngsters are good, don’t get me wrong, but they need experienced players around them to bring them on.

We head back to the bar for some full times and call our return cab. Here we discover that K’s have slumped to a 4-0 thumping at Croydon. Christ and I thought WE were bad sometimes!

A quick pint later in Liverpool Street and then back to Sutton for a sorrows drowning session on one of our favourite beers in the Robin Hood.

MAN OF THE MATCH – Oh purleese!

ENTERTAINMENT – 3. Booooooring.

TEAM : Dunn, Hammonds, Mison, Palmer, Gonsalves, Gray, Honey, Bailey, Drew, Akuamouah, Haworth  SUBS : Timothy, Tydeman, Fowler

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