RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Corbett 37. Bolt 44. Bailey 89]
AYLESBURY UNITED – 2 [Bangura 32. Ibe 88.]
For the first time this season, the U’s recorded back to back wins with this ever so close victory over Aylesbury at GGL. Just as impressive is the 5 wins and a draw from our 6 home games so far.
The ‘Ducks’ returned to the Premier Division in the summer after an absence of 3 years. This after getting relegated on goal difference instead of the Scummers. Earning the poor bastards the sympathy of many U’s fans remembering the title race the previous season.
It’s the usual saturday ritual and ol’ Taz rolls into the Hood just after 2, cursing a very slow bus journey into Sutton that has cost him a good 15 minutes or pre-match pint time. Oscar is already in, nursing a pint and watching the telly. Bob soon joins us and later Mr Chalmers, fresh from a drive up from Somerset, rolls in for a swift half.
On arrival at GGL, Bob and I, being season ticket holding VIP’s we are, walk straight in under the stand, leaving the Oscar and Chalmers to wander round to the main turnstiles with all the other Oiks and pay to get in via grubby cash money.
The team remains the same that conquered at Purfleet on Tuesday evening, including new siging Matt Ottley although Mark Watson has apparently picked up a knock in that 2-0 win and he’s replaced by Matt Hanlan.
The Ducks fans are in healthy attendance and the noisy buggers have once more brought their bloody drum with them. Thankfully none of us were out on the sauce the previous evening and so we avoid aggravating any hangover. Small mercies and all that.
The match starts quietly, with neither side really taking charge of proceedings. And the only real points of interest in the first 20 minutes or so are the 2 substitutions by the visitors. The only real efforts of note on either goal are both by Sutton. The first is from Scott Corbett, marauding forwards, but his effort is high and wide. Danny Bolt then has a great chance, cutting in across the face of the box the ‘Ducks’ defence opens up for him, inviting a shot. Unfortunately, he drags his effort just wide of the near post.
With around half and hour played, the visitors take the lead with what is pretty much their first serious attack. Ibe playing a simple ball through the U’s defence for Bangura to slip the ball past the exposed Pape. Womens knickers…
The goal finally kick starts the U’s into life and they start to play their best footy of the half, puttnig the visitors under some serious pressure. As we push for the equaliser, the ‘Ducks’ are somewhat fortunate not to be down to 10 men. Danny Bolt collects the ball in the middle of the park and runs at the retreating defenders. He weaves one way then the other and goes to drift past their no.14
He’s having none of it and he lashes out at DB, elbowing him in the mush, before wheeling round and belting him with his forearm just for good measure. A clear red card in the eyes of everyone but a Ryman League refferee. Who inexplicably produces only a yellow! What? Lets get this straight, the bloke has poleaxed the man, the ref has blown for the offence AND given a free kick yet only issues a caution?? Twat. Just what the fuck constitutes a red card offence these days?? It seems that the only way a player will be dismissed nowadays is if he murders an opponent and the ref catches him trying to dispose of the corpse in a shallow grave somewhere around the 18 yard box! And even then, the only way the blind twat would probably know about it is if he tripped up over the perpetrators shovel!
Thankfully, this lively spell pays off towards the end of the half. A Bolt corner causes problems in the Aylesbury box and finds it’s way to Ryan Palmer at the back post. Under pressure, he lofts the ball back to the edge of the box, where the waiting Scott Corbett lets it drop before thumping a corking right foot volley beyond the dive of McCann in the visitors goal and into the top corner. WOOO HOO! Another cracking goal to keep the GGL public entertained.
Within a minute, Sutton almost take the lead. Bolt finds Darren Beale storming down the line and plays him in. The full-back’s looping cross picks out Matt Hanlan and his close range header is just fisted away by McCann.
The U’s are now in conttrol of the match and continue to push forwards before the break. We amble round to the tunnel so we can nip into the bar at half time and catch some results. As we await the half time whistle, a late Sutton raid is stopped some 30-odd yards out by a foul. Naturally, Mr Bolt stands over the ball. “Bolty’ll have this one” I declare.
“Are you sure?” replies a somewhat amused Chalmers. “Thats got to be about 35 yards out!”
Having not seen the Ford game, Mr Chalmers attitude is understandable.
“Oh he’ll have a go from there all right!” I remind my fellow drinker.
And he doesn’t disappoint!
Taking a run up, DB thumps the ball low and hard, inside the surprised McCann’s near post. We jump up and down celebrating and the bloke with the mean left peg heads over to show just how happy he is with that particular effort!
Well, that makes a fucking change. US scoring a goal right on half-time and not the oppo!
We then are treated to the comical sight of a non-playing member of the visitors bench having a few choice words with the aged Mr Pape. “You’re not big enough mate!” Papey points out and heads off down the tunnel chuckling as the match officials keep Mr Angry from getting himself into trouble. It doesn’t deter him and as we head to the bar, we can see him persuing our man into the changing room. Nice to see Mr Pape hasn’t completely mellowed with age!
The second half isn’t quite what we hoped. We’re expecting the lads to come out and have real go at the Aylesbury defence. Sadly, we don’t. Slipping back into the more sluggish performance of the first half. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad by any means, but it’s a little frustrating to watch as we fail to make any impact early on. This gives the ‘Ducks’ a lift and they start to push up on our defence a bit more, sensing they could maybe nick something from the match.
With around 20 minutes played, the U’s have their first meaningful effort on goal of the half. Matt Fowler challenges McCann for a long ball forwards on the far side of his area. The striker wins the ball and with McCann struggling, he lays the ball back to the supporting Bolt. He instantly looks up and lofts the ball towards the empty net where 2 recovering defenders are erlieved to see it flash inches wide of the far post.
Despite a lot of pressure, the best the visitors can manage is a fierce effort into the side netting and also to have another brush with a red card. The no.6 challenges Beale as he clears the ball, but his foot is a little high and he catches the U’s defender, earning him a yellow card, much to the annoyance of the noisy Ducks fans in the covered terrace to our left. Beale earns a bit of stick for his involvement and responds by blowing a couple of kisses their way. Awww, how sweet!
The same no.6 then just a couple of minutes later, is adjudged to be offside as he chases after a long ball forwards. He reacts by punting the ball out of the ground and into the park behind the Collingwood Rec terrace. But, again, rather than actually have the bottle to make a decision, the ref decides a talking to is in order. Jesus..
Aylesbury continue to push up in search of a goal and this leaves space for the U’s to exploit at the back. But despite several promising breakaways, we fail to seriously test the ‘keeper, although one attack does end up with what suspiciously looks like a penalty to us when McCann rushes off his line to fell Bolt. But there is no real appeal and the ref allows play to carry on. Ibe then blows a glorious chance for the visitors with around 10 minutes remaing. Getting the ball on the edge of the box, he rides 3 challenges and with the net gaping and only Pape to beat, he thumps the ball into Collingwood Rec from around 6 yards out. A more missed sitter you could not ask for!
A tiring Hanlan is replaced by Gray and with time running out, the Ducks persistance pays off, albeit following another fucking dreadful decision from the ref.
Beale and Ibe are involved in a chase for a long ball. Both have their eyes on the ball and they just collide a few yards outside the box. To our dismay, the ref blows and awards a free-kick. Which judging by the reaction of the Aylesbury attacker, even he’s a little surprised with the decision. Naturally, the free-kick causes havoc in the U’s box. Sutton fail 3 times to clear the danger and eventually, Ibe makes up for his earlier howler by bundling the ball past Pape from a couple of yards out. Much to the delight of his team mates and their noisy fans, who are jumping around like loons.
We, meanwhile, are cursing at such a late slip and accompanying this with some rude hand gestures towards the incompetent ref.
With time almost up, we pretty much resign ourselves to 2 points dropped. But thankfully, the lads have other ideas and once again the opposition goal stings us into action.
With the 90 minutes almost up, Nick Bailey snaps into a tackle on the far side. Winning the ball, he heads off up the touchline, before drifting infield past a rather tired challenge. We look on in disbelief as the Ducks defence evaporates in front of the young midfielder. Against our better judgement and ignoring the probably better option of a pass to the overlapping Bolt, we all scream at him to have a poke. Nick obliges, cracking a 20 yard effort beyond the dive of McCann and into the bottom right corner of his net.
And now it’s our turn to go completely mental! The lads engulf the delighted Bailey and Beale makes sure to give the Aylesbury fans a cheery ‘thanks for coming’ wave.
Unfortunately, while all the celebrations are going on, the ref’s apparent determination to get the visitors something from the game continues as he allows them to restart the match with the majority of our team still in a heap somewhere on the nearside of the pitch. Thankfully, Aylesbury fail to make the most of this opportunity and the ball ends up with Pape. JR leaps from the bench to register his disgust at this latest episode of fuckwittery and Matt Gray is booked for his own protests. We also pitch in with our twopenneths worth.
After several minutes of added time, Mr Rolfe admits defeat in his attempt to prevent a U’s win and blows for full time, to the relief of the assembled U’s fans. We applaud the lads off before trudging off towards the Hood. As we leave, we notice the lone figure of ex-U, Gary McCann despondently leaning against a goalpost, sipping from a water bottle while his team mates gather in the centre circle. You can’t help but feel sorry for the short bloke.
We amble into the Hood and partake in a few bevvies before heading off up the High Street for our usual Saturday night drink in the ‘Spoons, where yours truly manages to dump the best part of a pint into Bob’s lap. Oooops!
Well, at least we won eh.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Nick Bailey. Another oustanding performance & goal from the young un!
ENTERTAINMENT : 7. Not a great match, but a rousing finish always helps!
TEAM : Pape, Ottley, Palmer, Hollands, Beale, Gonsalves, Honey, Corbett, Bolt, Hanlan, Fowler.
SUBS : Gray, Timothy, Honey