Sutton Duck Out…


Att: 206

AYLESBURY UNITED – 3 [Manuella 45. Ibe 57. Maskell 70]

SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Watson 6. Bailey 90]

Having finally overcome Chesham in the last round, we ended up back in the same part of the country for this *cough* long awaited league cup 3rd round tie.

Bit of a puzzler this one. Do we want to win the tie and end up hiking out to Grays midweek? Well, not if the reward for hiking out to Grays midweek and winning is a midweek hike out to bloody Canvey Island we don’t!

Managing to make it across town, I find Bob & Chalmers in a Marylebone pub. I swiftly decide I have got time for a beer and neck a pint. Despite our decent form this season, I’m still loathe to watch the U’s completely sober. Especially where the Bryco sodding cup is concerned.

While we’re on the subject, what complete moron thought up the slogan to go with this behemoth of a knockout competition??? “Don’t Miss it”? Do me a favour. Well, if anyone from Bryco is reading, don’t worry. We didn’t miss it and you can gaurantee we WON’T miss it now we’re out of the bastard thing.

We stroll out of Aylesbury station and immediately decide a cab to the ground would be much better than walking. Lazy? Us? As we arrive at the ground, we find a large coach pulling up and lots of blokes in blue tracksuits getting off. Eh? Who are this lot?

It turns out to be the Grays team, whose game at nearby Chesham has fallen victim to the weather and they’ve decided to take in our game instead. Good choice. I’d rather go somewhere else as long as it meant I wasn’t on my way back to sodding Grays.

The U’s side sees one change from saturday, Gandermonium sponsored Danny Bolt drops to the bench with Akuahmouah taking his place. Both Pape and Corebtt are also both missing again. But we’re not too worried as the home side announced is missing 3 of their back four. Oh well, at least it should be a close one!

The U’s start brightly, making use of the excellent looking surface, taking the game to the hosts and making life uncomfortable for their makeshift defence. A couple of promising early moves come to nothing, then with just 6 minutes on the clock we make the most of the bright start. Matt Gray cuts in from the right and delivers an angled ball to Watson deep inside the ‘Ducks’ area. He hods off his marker and just as it seems the ball is going to run away from him, he wraps his boot around it and bobbles a shot across the ‘keeper and into the far corner. Ah ha! At last, a game we have’nt let the oppo score first in!

The U’s continue to come forward as the home side find it hard to settle. A couple of minutes later, Watson is felled outside the box and Bailey fires in a free-kick thats deflected just wide for a corner. Immediately after, Fowler is upended in the far corner chasing a ball towards the flag. Again, Bailey is the man delivering. His whipped in cross finds the forehead of Watson, but the ball flies just wide of the post.

It’s a little over 10 minutes in before the Ducks manage a shot on goal. A quick move upfield finds the striker just inside the box, but his low effort is wide of Ribolla’s far post.

Obviously now having found a little rythm, another Atylesbury attack isn’t far behind. A similar move to the first, again a forward is found just inside the box. This time it needs a defender to deflect the effort wide for a corner. The flag kick comes to nothing and is cleared for a throw. From this throw, the ball is allowed to run towards the far side of the 18 yard box, where an Aylesbury midfielder connects with a fierce drive that zips just over the Sutton bar.

The match now takes on a more end to end style with Sutton just edging it on chances. A Ryan Palmer free-kick from deep is headed back across goal by Fowler. Watson dives in, but just misses out as the ‘keeper punches desperately clear.

Around the half hour mark, the home side have their best chance to equalise. A cross from the Sutton left, finds it’s way to the back post. But the strikers touch is poor and the ball rebounds off his shin…..straight to the other stiker at the other post! Thankfully, his shot on the turn is very weak and Ribolla gratefully gathers.

Just a couple of minutes later, a long kick from Ribolla finds Watson 30 yards out towards the left touchline. He heads the ball on into the channel, finding Fowler. He takes a touch and bursts into the box only to be held back and then hauled down by a defender.

A clear penalty perhaps??? Don’t be ridiculous. You must know full well by now that only a vicious attack with a machete will get a ref to even think remotely seriously about pointing to the spot.


The U’s win possession back and a lovely run from Bailey leaves 3 green & white shirts in his wake. He lays the ball off to Watson on the edge of the area, who then slips the ball wide to the supporting Hollands in plenty of space. Unfortunately our man on the left is unable to supply the final ball.

A Aylesbury free-kick from one Joe Baker (remember him?) is fired into the midriff of Ribolla before Sutton go close twice in the dying minutes of the half. First Paul Honey drives a shot wide of the near post and then Bailey has a goalbound shot clearly deflected over for a corner. Naturally, the ref awards a goal-kick. Cheers mate!

Of course, with the first 45 minutes almost up, the Sutton defence realise they haven’t let the oppo score yet. Here we go again.

Matt Gray gives away a silly free-kick out on the right. Baker puts the ball to the back post, where Manuella pops up unchallenged to nod between Ribolla and his post to level the scores.

I think I’ll bite my tongue here.

We wander into the bar to warm up, for a while before heading back to the action. Because we really want to make sure we do exactly what the sign said and “Don’t miss it!” (Jesus christ, that really is a poor slogan!).

As we wander behind the goal, heading for the cover on the far side, Nick Bailey worms his way into the box from the right. Holding off his marker, he slips the ball beyond the ‘keeper, but also beyond the far post. It proves to be our most threatening moment of the half……….

It takes a little while for the home side to break through, but just short of the hour a lovely ball through the Sutton defence sends Baker clear into the corner. The U’s rearguard recovers it’s ground but fails utterly to close down the little bald bloke, allowing him plenty of time & space to pick out the run of Ibe to the near post. His header across Ribolla finds the far corner of the net.

Hmmmm, decisions decisions. Do we get narked about the nature of conceding a shitty goal? Or do we silently rejoice about the receeding chances of having to go to Grays on a tuesday night for the second time this season??? Certainly a tough one……

The match is largely dull after the goal. Despite the U’s having as much possession as their hosts, the manage to do very very little of any note whatsoever with it. Whilst the Ducks manage to keep our defence nicely occupied.

With 20 minutes remaining, our defence goes all aboriginal on us again and goes ‘walkabout’. A ball from midfield finds Craig Maskell with the freedom of half of Buckinghamshire. Ribolla can only try folornly to close the down the angle as Maskell takes a touch and despatches a wonderfully weighted lob into the net. Hmmm, methinks Grays on a tuesday night is looking a little more unlikely right about now…..thank god!

The U’s continue to toil away. Making very very little headway attacking wise and it’s the home side that seem more likely to add to their tally. Ribolla making one good save from the Ducks No6 who has burst past a sluggish Hollands.

One entertaining moment comes from the departure of the Grays team. The Ducks fans to our right treating them to a chorus of “We can see you sneaking out”. Followed by a rendition of “What a waste of money!”. Most amusing!

Sutton’s best flash of football in the second half comes a couple of minutes into injury time. For once, we manage to string together a couple of passes, Fowler drops deep to recieve the ball from Bailey before turning and slipping the ball into the channel for the little midfielder to charge onto. With the home defence suddenly napping, Bailey carries the ball into the box before rifling a shot between the legs of Worgan in the home goal.

There’s to be no late fightback this time and the ref blows for time soon after. Oh well, bye bye Bryco! At least now we can concentrate on the serious silverware. Bring on the Surrey Cup!

We dash off straight after, hoping to get back into Sutton before 11. Gareth zooms us back round the M25 and we manage to dive into the Hood for last orders with a couple of minutes to spare.

So the night wasn’t a complete disaster then.

MAN OF THE MATCH : Nick Bailey. Liveliest of the buch!

ENTERTAINMENT : 8 for the first half. 3 for the second. Games last 90 mins lads, not 45!

TEAM : Ribolla, Beale, Palmer, Gonsalves, Gray, Hollands, Bailey, Honey, Akuamouah, Watson, Fowler   SUBS : Bolt, Howard, Drew

THE REFEREE’S A………tosser. Cards shown for bugger all yet flashed only one when a terrible challenge left Bailey in a heap and kicked off a nasty looking scuffle in the centre circle. Also missed a clear pen in the 1st half. This is football, not rugby you knob……..

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