RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
BEDFORD TOWN – 2 [Harrison 65.70]
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Fowler 34]
Ahh, Bedford away. That’ll be a drink up then?
With the promising first couple of games out of the way, we headed north into Bedfordshire hopeful of another decent display and maybe some reward. But all this would come after we’d trawled lots of pubs of course…
An early start and Mr Chalmers finds himself too wrecked from the night before to make it to East Croydon on time. Thus ol’ Taz rolls into Bedford on his tod and strikes out for the Wetherspoons to hook up with Mr Bell and Bob. A couple of beers and some grub later and Jules rolls in. Pints necked, we move on to the Hobgoblin down the high street. Minutes after our arrival, Mr Chalmers finally shows his face and we watch a bit of the Man City-Newcastle encounter with a somewhat crap pint.
Final stop is the slightly ‘posher’ Wetherspoons at the far end of the high street and another drink. Then it’s off for a cab to the ground. Unfortunately, the spot that was last season heaving with mini-cabs, is this year somewhat lacking. In fact there’s not a taxi to be seen! With time ticking past 2.30 Chalmers investigates the bus timetables and finds the right bus that’ll drop us outside the ground. And it’s leaving very shortly!
We leg it across the bus terminus and manage to catch the last bus to get us in before kick off. 15 minutes later and we’re dumped off outside the Eyrie. I wish the buses were like that back home!
We amble in and take our spot before observing the minutes silence for the 2 unfortunate young girls from Soham.
The U’s line up, unbelieveably for the third game running, is completely unchanged. We ponder amongst ourselves when the last time that was!! The good news is that Matt Gray is well again and earns a place on the bench.
The U’s start the game slowly, probably due to the team having to battle through bank holiday traffic and arriving rather late. As it is, the home side make the early running and have a couple of efforts that cause a bit of concern. First Tommy Dunn has to be alert to block one effort and another just clears his crossbar.
We meanwhile are putting in another workmanlike performance, but without creating a great deal. For once, the lively Danny Bolt is having a quiet game and the Bedford defenders are closing him down rapidly to deny him the space he loves to exploit. Their big No5 is also sticking so close to Watson, the only way he could actually get any closer would be to clamber into our striker’s shorts! Quite how some of the treatment dished out to Watso is deemed legal escapes us. We keep plugging away, but despite some half decent approach play, we can only manage an off target Bolt effort on goal.
The home side maintain a steady stream of pressure, mainly down our left flank where Hollands is having trouble keeping with his man as 2 or 3 times he;s outflanked and has to rely on either Gonsalves baling him out or managing to get in last ditch challenges at the expense of corners.
This pressure down our left also resulted in some nervy moments with the ball having to be hurriedly cleared from dangerous area’s. Although the home strikers provided one amusing moment with a truly awful finish to one promising looking move. The ball being wickedly sliced at a 90 degree angle to Dunn’s goal and troubling the traffic on the dual carriageway more than our young ‘keeper!
The U’s persistence up front paid off just after the half hour mark, with Watson dropping off his big marker out to the left. He reciveves the ball and ploughs past 2 defenders into the box. Looking up, he lays the ball off to Matt Fowler several yards out at the near post. He proceeds to hit a first time side foot volley past the stunned ‘keeper and into the top far corner of the net. An absolute cracker of a goal and what we’d like to see more of thank you Mr Fowler!
The home side get back to their task of trying to prise open the U’s defence, but again, the lads stick to the task well, breaking up a fair few attacks. But, before the break, the ‘Eagles’ have their best chance with a corner being delivered to the back post. For once, Hodges loses out in an aerial challenge and the header is directed goalwards. Thankfully, Beale does his job on the post, chesting the effort down on the line and hammering it clear.
So, rather pleasingly, we go into the bar for the half time results a goal to the good. Which we like. A lot!
Neither side makes any changes at the break and the match resumes with the home side again looking for a breakthrough, but again the U’s defence holds firm and it’s the U’s who manage the first effort on goal of the half. Bolt puts a pass into Fowler on the left side of the area, he drifts past his man and despite having Watson in support, he lashes a vicious effort at the near post which has the ‘keeper at full stretch to turn away for a corner.
Sutton’s forays forwards continue with their best spell of the match. A ball out of midfield catches the Bedford defence and Matt Fowler collects the ball on the right side of the box. Closed down, he turns and lays the ball into the path of the oncoming Bolt. Bolty’s fierce left foot effort from the edge of the box os tipped onto the inside of the post by the ‘keeper and the ball procceds to roll along the whole goal line, evading Mark Watsons touch at the back post before rolling out of play. The result? A goal kick! Eh??
And so begins the first in a puzzling set of decisions by a somewhat average official.
Bolt goes close soon after with a rather cheeky and quickly taken free-kick from 30 yards out just dropping over the bar with the ‘keeper stranded. Moments later and a defensive cock up so glaringly absent so far this year costs us another of those silly goals.
A corner from the Sutton left side is swung in. Dunn calls and comes for it, but gets nowhere near the ball. Leaving Harrison the simple task of nodding into a rather empty net. Feck!
The goal puts the lads on the back foot and having already gifted one goal, they go and do it again not 5 minutes later. This time, the normally solid and dependable Ryan Palmer has the simple task of sheperding the ball out of play, but with an oppo forward in close pursuit he opts to try a clever drag-back and turn rather than twat the bastard into Bedford United’s ground behind the terracing. Sadly, the trick fails and Mr striker nicks the ball before laying it into the path of Harrison who has the simple task of popping the ball past Dunn from 6 yards.
So, from not looking like losing 10 minutes ago, we suddenly trail 2-1. Which is a bit of a shitter really.
For once, JR decides there’s something left in the match and throws both Matt Gray and Matt Hanlan into the action. Both are involved in many melee’s on the edge of the box, but we fail to really put in a meaningful effort on goal until the last 5 minutes. Hanlon wins the ball 20 yards or so out and plays it into Watson’s feet. He takes his touch and rolls the defender right on the edge of the 18 yard box. In on goal, the defender reacts by grabbing him around the waist and hauling the U’s striker down with what can only be described as a rugby tackle! Penalty! Er, well in a million other matches anywhere in the world, YES. In this particular match officiated by a certain Mr Evetts? Well, NO of course!!!
To the absolute outrage of every U’s player and the support on the terrace behind the goal, the ref, not TEN YARDS away waves ‘play on’. Quite how he’s come to this decision escapes us. It’s either a fucking penalty or a fucking dive. And as there’s no yellow card forthcoming (as the laws now CLEARLY state) it MUST BE a bloody penalty.
Even now as I write this report, I still can’t believe he didn’t give it!!! To get some sense of my outrage, imagine the most utterly blatant penalty you’ve ever seen awarded. Then imagine one TWICE as blatant, now imagine that NOT being given! You’d be pissed off wouldn’t you??
There really is only one conclusion we can draw from this incident and that is, Mr Evetts, you’re a fucking cheat. Pure and simple. And I’m SICK to death of cowards like you failing to make decisions that frankly even the most inexperienced sunday ref could make.
Incensed by the decision, Sutton throw everything forwards in search of an equaliser they’re now damn well owed. With time running out, Matt Gray makes a great run down the right and whips in a fantastic ball for an unmarked Danny Hodges to power a header agonisingly inches over the Bedford crossbar.
Belly takes the said header sqaure in the midriff and instantly returns the ball to the waiting ‘keeper. Who decides to be a clever wanker and flick it straight back over the fence. An incensed U’s fan retrieves it and makes sure he gets it the second time by chucking it right under his nose. Now take the goalkick you time wasting prick.
Sadly time runs out and once again, having worked our bollocks off, some 2 bit fuckwit in black has cost us something from a game. Losing is bad enough, but that I can take. Being downright fucking robbed in broad daylight is somewhat harder to swallow.
We applaud the lads efforts and the despairing look on Mark Watson’s face says it all. Don’t worry mate, we’ll get ‘em next time.
We depart to the bar, whilst some U’s fans (like John Rains it appears!) head to the tunnel area to inform the ref what a cheating peice of shit he really is.
Chalmers does the decent thing and orders a cab as we get the other results. Soon we’re on the way back to the excellent Wellington Arms in a 7 seater cab/mini-bus that Jules says remninds him of an old ‘Black Mariah’! We offer to get the cabbie to stop so we can rough him up and sling him in through the back doors, but he politely refuses. In the pub, Chalmers drives us all nuts with a rather annoying footy related question before winning almost 200 quid on his footy bet. The bastard!
Having spent a couple of hours getting rather shitted on the Wellington’s extensive range of beers, we stagger to a nearby chippy before getting completely lost and we end up being guided back to the station by a West Indian fellow holding a can of Red Stripe and wearing a ‘saturday night fever’ style white linen suit. Thanks to the intervention of Jah Travolta, we just make the last train out and settle in for the journey home.
The journey back is notable for Mr Bell rousing 2 gentlemen of non-heterosexual persuasion from whatever activities they were engaged in the toilet as he desperately needed a piss. And he then awakens a somewhat dead to the world Bob from his slumber with a hefty slap to the mush at Farringdon. “Get up ya bastard, it’s our stop”
Chalmers and I say our farewells to the Sutton bound three with a round of abuse, expletives and licking of the windows.
Ahhh not a bad night at all.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Mark Watson. Kept at it despite being under constant pressure.
ENTERTAINMENT -6. Not a bad game. A point would have been fairer.
TEAM : Dunn, Hodges, Palmer, Hollands, Beale, Gonsalves, Honey, Corbett, Bolt, Watson, Fowler.
SUBS : Bailey, Hanlan, Gray