Swanning About…


Att: 110

WALTON & HERSHAM – 1 [Edgar 46]

SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Fowler 28.53. Watson 32]

The U’s headed to the familiar surroundings of Stompond lane last night looking to halt their recent run of 4 defeats and keep alive their hopes of some silverware this season.

The good thing about this fixture was it’s proximity to where I work. Ha! Makes a change for Bob & Chalmers to have to travel the furthest midweek for any away game!

Sadly my plan of a quiet couple of beers in the Hogshead beforehand are once again ruined by those useless bastards at SW Trains. Just as I sip my 1st mouthful of beer, Bob calls. “Trains are fucked. I’m going straight to Walton”

Oh great. S’pose I’d better sup up and make a move myself then.

Gareth wanders in just before 6 and grabs himself a swift pint, then it’s off to the wilds of Walton via 20 minutes crammed into ‘livestock’ class with the aforementioned bastards, SWT. Chalmers then calls, he’s being forced to work late and will never make it in time.

A brief stroll later, we find Bob lurking in the ‘Halfway House’. Gareths mate Paul (Another Sperz fan, but hey, nobodys perfect!) then arrives shortly after (Ooooh, 2 away games in a row!! He’ll have a shirt by the end of the season, I guarantee it!).

Gareth welcomes him warmly………..”Ah! Our lift home!”

Subtle mate, veeeeery subtle.

The U’s line up has once more been tweaked for tonights clash. Ryan Palmer suffering a knock on Saturday after our meeting with the K’s bruisers. Nick Drew takes his place. The apparently ‘retired’ Matt Hanlan makes a second consecutive appearance on the bench.

The U’s start the brighter of the 2 teams. With Bolt and Gray probing down each flank. Bolty puts one early low ball in from the left, but the ‘keeper is smartly off his line to collect with Watson looking on. Walton have a near thing a couple of minutes later when the U’s defence are slow to close down a lurking striker. Thankfully, he puts his shot from the byeline into the side netting.

It’s a minor blip and Sutton retain the upper hand. A cross from the left is met with a looping header by Watson, but the stranded ‘keeper is rescued by one of his defenders, who heads the goalbound effort clear a couple of yards from the line.

After 10 minutes, a Matt Gray ball in from the right catches out the Walton defence but Watson can’t get a sufficient touch to turn it in and it slips wide of the far post. The U’s keep pressing and on 16 minutes, a surge down the left by Danny Bolt puts him in an excellent position. But he and Fowler get tangled up on the edge of the box and by the time Bolty has recovered the ball, the defence has made up lost ground and his tame effort is straight at the ‘keeper.

As the half hour approaches, the U’s efforts pay off. Bolt runs at the Walton defence and as they back off, he slips a short pass in to Mark Watson. The U’s No10, latches on and pulls the ball back across the box. Matt Fowler nips in at the near post and touches the ball past the ‘keeper to give Sutton the lead.

The lead is increased a couple of minutes later. Again, the home defence is asleep and Bolt receives a pass from Watson on the left. With no-one near him, he has tons of time to wait for Watson to leg it into the box towards the back post. DB then delivers one of those wicked left foot crosses over the single defender, beyond the ‘keeper to that back post where Watson meets it, powering a header into the back of the net.

Walton find a response of sorts soon after,  a deep cross is headed back across his own goal by an under pressure Gonsalves. Thankfully Ribolla isn’t troubled and plucks the ball from under his crossbar.

Sutton largely remain on top of things, with the left flank becoming a popular launching pad for assaults on the Walton defence. It’s in this position that the U’s already thin defensive resources are reduced even further. Mike Hollands is pushing up, supporting the play. He takes a pass going away from goal and turns towards the touchline, looking for a colleague to move the play along to. He’s just taken his first touch when the Walton No4, Blackman dives in from behind. With the ball at least a yard in front of his opponent and the play currently going away from goal, it’s a somewhat needless tackle.

No sooner has the ref blown for the foul and called Blackman over, Hollands starts screaming. The scream of a person in really serious pain. Oh shit, that’s bad. Really bad.

Hollands is rapidly stretchered off, with Eddie coming in place. The ref then angers the visiting U’s fans by showing only a yellow card to Blackman.

Naturally, the incident kind of puts a real downer on the rest of the half. With the Sutton lads in particular thrown out of their stride a little. The home side have more of the ball in the last few minutes of the half but make little of it. But they are denied what seems to be a fairly clear penalty within 5 minutes of Hollands going off. That man again, Blackman takes a pass and bursts into the box. Only to be upended by Gonsalves.

But whether the ref realises who it is, or is just plain stupid, nothing is given. Even Blackman himself fails to appeal and we get off the hook, keeping that 2-0 advantage intact at the break.

We can’t be arsed to walk the several miles to the bar and instead move to the other end of the terracing, passing the time until the restart with discussion of just what a dirty bunch of bastards K’s really were on saturday.

The U’s start the second half in sluggish fashion and within 60 seconds of kick off, our hosts are back in the contest. Beale fails to cut out a through ball and Edgar nips in behind the defence to slip a shot beyond Ribolla and into the far corner.

Oh arse. Lets hope the lads aren’t going to fall apart.

Thankfully, they shake off the poor start to the half and are soon relentlessly pinning Walton back in and around their own 18 yard box, responding to the goal within a minute themselves. Matt Gray makes progress down the right. His low ball into the box only goes as far as the first defender, just inside the area. His reaction is to almost catch the bloody thing with both hans, like he’s keeping wicket!! To our astonishment, the linesman despite having as clear a view as possible from no more than 10 yards away does nothing. Not a sausage.

Sometimes, I really do wonder just what the fuck some of these lot are actually meant to be out there doing. Because it must be so dull just flagging for offsides/throws & corners.

Unfortunately for Mr Lino, he’s got us lot stood right behind him as he makes this particular non-decision and we preceed to loudly in an Anglo-Saxon manner the error of his ways!

Matt Gray is in again shortly after and he hits a blistering effort from the corner of the box that Gindre in the Walton goal does very well to hang onto. Fowler is then onto a ball over the top and breaking clear, he forces another good save out of the young ‘keeper. But from the resulting corner, there’s no respite and the pressure tells. Bolt swings in the flag-kick and Fowler meets it with a firm free header inside the back post to restore our 2 goal advantage.

Not satisfied, we keep on coming and almost immediately after, Watson holds the ball up well before playing a deft little ball over the defenders to Akuamouah. But again Gindre is alert and makes a great stop from Eddies volley on the run from 8 yards out.

Finally, Walton come back into things more, allowing them to relieve the siege on their goal. This allows the match to hit a quiet spell and its not until with 73 minutes on the clock that the next real bit of action occurs. And again, Mr Incompetant running the line has the Sutton fans doing their nuts.

Fowler hassles a defender off the ball some 30-odd yards out from goal. Again, he breaks clear and approaching the edge of the box, he finds Gindre again off his line, rushing to meet him. Matty hits a low early shot and is again denied by the ‘keeper. The problem? The ‘keeper is a good yard outside his box when he parries the shot. And AGAIN the lino is in direct line of sight with the incident and AGAIN it’s on this near side, no more than 10 yards away.

No flag. No nothing despite FOUR Sutton players all within sight of the incident seeing it and appealing!

Gindre’s luck holds and with around 10 minutes left, a wicked Bolt free-kick is aimed at the near post. Fowler tries to get a touch onto the ball with his head. This wrongfoots the ‘keeper, but he manages to scramble back and prevent the ball from crossing the line.

Matt Gray again tests him immediately after. Reacting to a deflected cross with a wonderful hooked volley that the ‘keeper once more keeps out at full stretch.

The last real action of the match involves the lively Gray again. Flying down the right hand touchline, he see’s the Walton No5 Whelan closing in. He toes the ball past the big defender, who then, without even breaking stride, clatters into Gray. To make such a challenge after the incident of the first half staggers belief. To make matters worse, he does nothing to feign innocence, instead mouthing off at the already angry Gray. Of course, the ref bottles the situation once again and a pathetically laughable yellow card is shown.

Soon after, the ref blows for time and we scarper off for our lift back to the Hood for our now customary post-away game pint!

So, now onto Graham Roberts evil Bobbins of Darkness in the Quarter Finals.

And we all know, good must overcome evil.

MAN OF THE MATCH :  Matt Fowler. Lively performance after a couple of quiet weeks……

ENTERTAINMENT : 7. Job done.

TEAM : Ribolla, Gray, Hollands, Gonsalves, Drew, Beale, Bailey, Honey, Bolt, Fowler, Watson.

SUBS : Akuamouah, Hanlan, Corbett

THE REFEREE’S A………waste of space. Another embarrassingly poor display from officials plainly not up to this level of football. Ok, the ref’s award of the yellow card to Blackman could be argued as the challenge wasn’t malicious and the guy didn’t intend to injure Hollands. But the yellow given to Whelan was a fucking joke. The guy had one thought on his mind when he went in. To take out Matt Gray whether the ball was there or not. Pathetic. And the complete ignorance of the linesman just made matters worse. If you’re NOT going to apply the laws of the fucking game, just don’t bother at all……..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *