Att: 437

SUTTON UNITED – 2   [Bailey 8. Bolt 32]

HENDON – 3  [Forbes 22. Towler 45. Ofori 90]

After the rather lacklustre performance at Hitchin on Saturday, another challenge arose with the visit of high flying Hendon to GGL. Now, before I go into the events of this evenings game, let me just once more touch on the subject of match officials in the Ryman. Yes, yes, I know we’re always bitching about just how poor they are, but this is slightly different.

You’re all probably as bored reading about the incompetent antics of the ref week in week out as I am of writing/ranting about it on here. So I’ve resolved a kind of solution. From now on, I’ll be adding a small mini-report at the very end of the match reports detailing what a complete bunch of twats the officials were, or, even on the odd occasion, commenting on a rare case of a well handled match.

This way, if you attended the match and are just here to read what load of old cobblers I think I saw, you don’t have to plough through a 2 paragraph tirade about some muppet in black. But if you weren’t able to attend and find ol’ Taz getting out of his pram somewhat amusing, you have the possibilitybonus of your favourite bit right at the end.

Right, now that’s sorted we can begin…

With it having pissed down all day and the famous GGL turf not known for its draining properties we reckoned the game was looking touch and go, but with no mention made of a pitch inspection, I met Bob in the ‘Spoons for a quick pre-pre match pint full of hope. Gareth saunters in shortly after.

Tonight’s match has been strangely changed to a 7.45 kick off, not that we’re complaining as it presents us with an extra 15 minutes drinking time. Which in our book is another pint! A couple of swift ‘halves’ in the Robin Hood and we make our usual pre-kick off trot to the Collingwood turnstiles to find there’s no sodding proggys left again. Bugger.

The Sutton side once again is changed from the previous match with Matt Ottley returning in place of Brett, who doesn’t even make the bench. Hendon get the match underway and the usual first couple of minutes of not much really follows. But with 8 minutes on the clock, the U’s open up the visitors defence with their first real attack and take the lead.

A surging run by Bolt from the heart of midfield takes him to the edge of the area. With Watson free on his left, we shout at him to pass. He doesn’t.

“Greedy sod!” I mutter, just as he slides a lovely pass between two backtracking defenders to Nick Bailey, arriving on the far side of the area. The little midfielder takes a touch, sets himself up and slips the ball past Hook.

Great ball Bolty! We saw it all the way mate. Honest! Ahem.

The U’s have a purple patch for the next few minutes and only some last ditch defending from the Hendon backline prevents both Folwer and Watson from breaking free.

But with a little over 20 minutes gone, some concerted Hendon pressure pays off. The Sutton defence fails to adequately clear their lines after a couple of dangerous crosses. On three occasions, the ball falls to a U’s defender, only for them to barely clear the 18 yard line. On the 3rd occasion, the ball lands at the feet of  Steve Forbes, who lashes a 20 yard effort beyond the dive of Pape and into the top far corner.

Ooops. Maybe we could have dealt that one a little better eh lads??

This brings the ‘Dons’ more into the game and they begin to exert a bit more pressure on our slightly flaky rearguard. But their equaliser proves only to be a setback as the U’s again try to find a way through the visitors defence. Another diagonal ball from Bolt on the left finds Watson, who spins off his man and stings the hands of Hook in the Hendon goal with a fierce effort.

By now, the ref has already been labelled by our little group as a ‘Twat’. Booking both Timothy and Bolt for the frankly petty offence of kicking the ball away. (Oooh. Dangerous!) and has failed to award the U’s a free-kick so much as 5 yards inside the visitors half. When he finally does award one, it’s for a petty trip on a lively looking Danny Bolt.

How far out is that d’you reckon? Hmmm. 30 yards perhaps?? Yep, thats about it.

*Bing Bong*  “Paging Mr Bolt. Paging Mr Bolt. Could Mr Bolt please go directly to the outrageous long range free-kick department immediately please? Thank you.”  *Bing Bong*

All yours DB. *Wallop*

You know the setup by now. Corbett rolls ball slightly to left, Bolt thumps living piss out of it, ‘keeper watches helpless as ball cannons into top far corner of net, U’s fans go apeshit.

Simple, yet effective. I think you’ll you agree.

Undeterred, the visitors go in search of a second equaliser. But despite having plenty of the ball and our defence not looking the greatest on earth, we wander around the tunnel for half time looking like we’ll go in ahead at the break. Well, thats until the fussy arse of a ref found 6 minutes of injury time. Where from? Christ only knows, but of course, the visitors make the most of it. Forcing a string of corners, the final of a sequence of 4 in the 5th minute of injury time seems to be underhit low towards the front post. Sadly, the U’s marking is a little slack again and a Hendon player reacts first to get a diving header in on target that Pape does excellently to block on the line. But the ball breaks loose and despite the presence of Hollands and Gonsalves, Towler reacts quickest and hooks the ball into the roof of the net. Another frigging poxy lousy shitty goal right on half time. Bollocks!

As the teams come off, I question whether the refs watch is running a little slow tonight. I also call him a wanker. Harsh but fair methinks.

The second half starts with Hendon understandably more than a little bit up for it. Sutton start very slowly and almost pay the price a couple of minutes in when a pass splits the defence. The forward runs onto it, and forces a good block from Pape. But, again, the ball runs loose. Hitting a rather surprised striker, it rebounds goalwards, pinging back off the base of the post before once more rebounding off the strikers shins and finally out of play. Almost comical!

Sutton play a little more coherently this half but are once more frustrated at the sharp end either by a poor final ball or the ref and linesmans refusal to give anything like a free-kick for the constant manhandling of Watson. The worst example of which is just after the hour mark. A lovely ball in by Fowler from the near side floats in with Hook rooted to the spot and Watson underneath it. He jumps to nod it towards the gaping goal, only to be blatantly manhandled by a defender. Instead, the ball just bounces off his head and wide. Sadly, the the ref and linesman seem to be the only fucking people at that end of the ground who DON’T see the foul. Another quite staggering non-decision. Twats.

A rare free-kick is then won on the edge of the box and Bolt elects for finesse over power and floats it harmlessly over the bar. Shortly after, the U’s failure to close down invites another long range strike. Pape can only stand and watch as the ball thumps back off his crossbar before Gonsalves hammers it clear.

With the U’s starting to tire slightly, Hendon bring on 2 subs to up the tempo. Whilst we decide not to replace a clearly knackered and hobbling Nick Bailey with Paul Honey and shore up a midfield that is fading badly.

The visitors control the last 15-20 minutes, during which the only U’s acts of any note are Matt Ottley’s dreadful attempts to play his way out of defence. Each time passing straight to a Hendon player and leaving us in the shit. Just bloody twat clear it for christs sake!

Of course, having played 6 minutes of non-existant injury time in the first half, the ref adds the same for the 2nd 45 (Not bad considering the only thing we’ve seen of a physio was a run on-run off appearance from our bench in the 1st half!). Of course, we’re made to pay the full price for this and 3 minutes into added time, Hendon cut through our midfield and the ball finds it’s way to Ofori just outside the box. He sets himself up and drills a shot low to Pape’s right and into the bottom corner.

Ah. That’ll be our home record gone then? The U’s restart but the closest they get to rescuing a point is Gonsalves weak hook shot from Bolt’s cross right at the death.

We return to the Hood and unusually remain until closing, drowning our sorrows and watching Chalmers and Gareth feeding their wonga into a ‘Coronation Street’ fruit machine. It must be the flashing lights that attracts ‘em!

Oh, don’t forget the new bit at the end!

MAN OF THE MATCH : Nick Bailey. Again. The guy is 17. Certainly scares the shit out of me!

ENTERTAINMENT :  7. Good football when the cock of a ref actually let us play.

TEAM : Pape, Ottley, Palmer, Gonsalves, Timothy, Hollands, Bailey, Corbett, Bolt, Watson, Fowler

SUBS : Honey, Gray, Beale

THE REFEREE’S A………Total wanker. Another incompetent moron from our friends on the refs panel. I hope this muppet was being assessed tonight, because his performance was utter shite.

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