RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Palmer 25. Bolt 33. Bailey 88]
BOREHAM WOOD – 2 [Forrester 9.48]
Following on from Tuesdays….*ahem*…….interesting events up in Buckinghamshire, we returned to boring old league action with the visit of Boreham Wood. With all the dodgy weather recently, this one was touch and go, but after a 1pm pitch inspection, we’re on.
Unlike the expensively manicured carpet at Coldsore Ave. Which is waterlogged.
No point having a billiard table to play on lads if there’s no frigging drains.
Having had a nice lie in and checked the game was on, I ambled out to the bus stop and awaited my 407 that would take me to my saturday afternoon pint in the Robin Hood. As luck would have it, my brother came by and offered me a lift into Sutton as he was off to the cinema to watch the latest Harry Potter offering with his girlfriend and her little ‘un. What he didn’t tell me was that he was going to Sutton via the arse end of Carshalton *spit* and as it happens, I pile into the pub actually having lost drinking time. Bloody typical!
Bob rolls in and joins Gareth and myself a couple of minutes later having sat in & watched the Man Utd-Newcastle game on the box first. Pah! Alright for these people for posh telly. I have to put up with shit like ‘On the Ball’ before I come out for a home game on a Saturday!
The pre-match bev is poorly timed today and we walk in the Collingwood Rec turnstiles with a whole 10 minutes to kick off. Disgraceful! The plus side is, we get programs for a change and dont have to go walking all the way round to the other bloody end. Still could’ve had another pint though I reckon…..
Paul Honey is the unfortunate one who loses his place, dropping to the bench, with Bailey dropping back into midfield with Corbett and Watson, still struggling with his hamstring and was apparently ‘50-50’ for today, rejoins Matt Fowler up front.
Again though, it’s the Sutton defence that provides the first real action. 9 minutes gone and a ball into the box from the left is too high for the not-very-tall-at-all Bailey to cut out (what the fuck was he doing there? He’s not a centre-back!) and it drops perfectly to the unmarked Scott Forrester, who stoops and directs a low header past Pape’s dive at his near post.
Yes, you heard right. Scott Forrester. The young ex-Sutton forward has resurfaced at todays visitors after his spell at Aldershot and a brief stay with Billericay. And he’s naturally gone and scored against us.
The goal stings Sutton into action and they start to try & play a bit of footy on a very soft, wet surface. Within a few minutes, Suttons first reall response comes from a corner that Matt Gray does very well to meet, but is unable to direct a firm effort on goal. Attack seems the only way to keep the visitors at bay as our defence is once again, showing is less than solid tendancies. Then again, the Wood defence is looking even less solid. And thats saying something!
Despite all their hard work and threat up front, we have to wait until just before the half hour mark for the lads to draw level. Another Bolt corner, a short one this time, to Gray who turns inside a defender and whips a cross deep to the back post. As usual, Ryan Palmer is there to collect. He controls, cuts back outside and rifles a shot into the far corner, via a slight deflection. Ahhh! Thats more like it lads!
The Wood defence then goes through a terrible last 15 minutes or so as the U’s press hard for a second goal. 2 or 3 times defenders fail to clear their lines, miss the ball completely or give posession to a U’s player under little or no pressure. It’s one such moment after about 35 minutes that leads to a second United goal. Matt Fowler is once again making a real pain of himself in the centre of the visitors defence and with the help of Mark Watson, a dreadfully short pass to absolutely no one is snapped up by the prowling Fowler. He races towards the box before slipping the ball to his left, where Danny Bolt is legging it upfield in support.
Now when you put it on DB’s left boot like that, there’s usually only one outcome…………..goal! The Sutton midfielder takes the ball in his stride and thumps it low between Imber and his near post. Now we’re getting somewhere!
Wood respond soon after with a very well hit effort that Pape has to push away, but it’s the U’s who make most of the running, but sadly fail to make nay further headway. A Fowler effort straight at the ‘keeper is all we have to show for the pressure.
We take our usual wander to the bar to try & catch some half-times. Trailing behind the rest of the gang a little, I catch the tail end of a really rather heated exchange between 2 blokes standing in the queue for the tea bar next to the stand. Bloody hell, I never realised their burgers were that sought after!
Having got virtually no scores from the bar due to the telly having some Taffy egg-chasers on it (I never knew we had such a large Welsh contingent in our support!), we decide to head out for the second half and escape the pungent odour of several Scummers who had obviously found the lure of Premier Division footy too much and popped down after their game was called off.
Our hopes of carrying on where we left of the first half and finishing off our guests are swiftly dashed. Within 3 minutes of the restart, Wood attack and the U’s defence backs off. Thus, that man Forrester finds himself in enough space to have his own postal code . Naturally, after twisting one way, then the other, he sends a dipping shot from the edge of the box beyond Pape and in.
Methinks we can chalk another one up for our old mate ‘Piss poor marking’.
From this moment on, the U’s huff and puff but fail to make anything like the impact they did in the first 45 on the Wood defence. But within a few minutes of the goal, Fowler slips a delightful ball through the defence, sending Mark Watson clear on goal. Unfortuantely, Watso’s early season promise seems to be lacking a little and he squanders his 1-on-1, firing against the legs of the advancing ‘keeper.
Very little then happens for what seems like an age until Wood find themselves with a glorious opportunity, but Palmer somehow smuggles the ball off the line, much to the relief of us at the far end. Chances at our end meanwhile, are few and far between. Bolty has one of ‘those’ free-kicks tipped over by Imber and what seems like a week later, Bailey fires a shot into netting on the wrong side of the near post following another Bolt short-corner.
Then with a few minutes remaining, a brilliant pass behind the defence by Bailey finds a stretching Gray, but his sliding volley loops across the face of the goal and inches wide of the far post.
With time running out and the visitors seemingly happy with a point and the U’s not looking likely to even come close to breaking them down, our best move of the half brings an unlikely result. A ball out of midfield from Bolt is chased down by Watson. And for probably the first time in the match, he manages to hold onto it long enough to A>Draw defenders out from the centre and B>Lay it into the path of the onrushing Gray. His right footed bullet of a cross zips across the edge of the 6 yard box, just the perfect height for the not-very-tall-at-all Nick Bailey to steam in like a little ginger train and, much to our delight behind the goal, power a header into the roof of the net without even breaking stride.
Woo Hoo! That should cheer up our Bobbin guests noooo end!
Naturally, a late Sutton winner is nothing without it’s partner, “look like chucking it away”. And the boys do their best to shit us up, squandering posession needlessly several times before the ref decides we’ve had enough and calls time. Thank christ!
Off we go then, back to the Hood for more refreshments and the replay of England spanking 7 shades of shit out of South Africa in the Rugby. Laugh? Well, just a little….
MAN OF THE MATCH : Nick Bailey. Was there a blade of grass he DIDN’T cover today?????
ENTERTAINMENT : 6.Not bad first half. Second was a bit pony. Pitch can’t have helped.
TEAM : Pape, Brooker, Palmer, Gonsalves, Gray, Hollands, Honey, Bailey, Bolt, Watson, Fowler
SUBS : Brett, Hanlan, Beale, Timothy, Honey.
THE REFEREE’S………Another reasonable kind of bloke! How strange.