MOLESEY – 1 [Wright 22]
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Watson p51.72]
An’ tha’s to blow ‘is bloody ‘ead orf!
If you’re familiar with the work of Brummie comedian, Jasper Carrot, you’ll get the headline. If not, never mind.
Sutton’s pre-season programme limped into Molesey yesterday for their first really serious game after the AFC, Leicester and Brighton events. I say it’s the first serious one as the previous 3 were either against teams way above our level or opponents that had only been together as a team for about 5 minutes.
A few beers in Kingston and then onto East Molesey for the action. The first thing we realise on our entry is a familiar face in the U’s line up. Yep, Mark Watson is back. Again.
The home team contain a couple of Sutton old boys, with Nko Ekoku and Dante Aligheri turning out along with Chalmers favourite, Gus Hurdle!
Apart from this somewhat unsurprising development, the rest of the team is pretty similar to previous matches. Still no sign of Eddie Akuamouah and it has to be said it now looks likely he’ll be joining Bromley. Ho hum……..
Things start slowly and again, we’re treated to a somewhat dull opening 20 minutes with neither side really doing much special. But with around 22 minutes gone, Molesey midfielder Danny Wright hits a low shot from around 18 yards out. It bobbles along on the bumpy pitch and squeezes under the body of the usually dependable Tommy Dunn. And another crappy goal is added to the now very long list of crappy goals conceded by the U’s in recent years.
Sutton hit back with efforts by Paul Honey, whose 20 yard drive just clears the bar and Craig Brown’s corner that eludes the far post with the ‘keeper scrambling. The useful looking Ben Shannon fires across the face of goal after a strong run down the left and Hanlan hooks a shot just over after the ‘keeper fumbles a corner. Watson meanwhile is doing a good job of holding the ball up and linking the play well, but to no avail.
So 1 down at the break and it’s not looking too promising.
The second half starts with the U’s making no changes to their line up. And the football is pretty much the same as before, when several minutes in Watson turns Hurdle on the edge of the box and the dreadlocked defender grabs a handful of his shirt, hauling him back. The ref has no option but to point to the spot.
Watson takes the kick himself, placing it to the ‘keepers right. He gets a hand to it, but cant keep it out and the U’s are level. Thank god.
The match then to’s and fro’s but without too many incidents. Dunn has to make one good stop from a Molesey striker and the U’s create 2 or 3 openings but are unable to apply the finishing touch.
Into the last 20 minutes and Sutton edge ahead. A ball out wide gives Matt Gray a chance to go at the defence. He gets round his man and drops a ball to the near post. Watson nips in and plants an excellent downward header past the ‘keeper and into the far corner from a tight angle.
The home side hit back with a flurry of shots, but all are straight at Tommy and he’s rarely troubled. In the end the U’s hang on and take the win, but we’re still far from convinced about the performance of the team.
Some players are clearly not ready for the season to start. Corbett seems very unfit, Hanlan for all his efforts still looks like a player who hasn’t played in 3 years. Something just tells me we could be in for one long hard season.
TEAM : Dunn, Holland, Beale, Gonsalves, Honey, Gray, Brown, Corbett, Hanlan, Watson SUBS : Bailey, Fowler, Cooper