RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Bolt p38. Fowler 88]
HEYBRIDGE SWIFTS – 0
What with last weeks clash with Purfleet falling victim to the weather, and no midweek game, the last 7 days have been a little dull with no football.
So, what better way to get back into the swing of things with a visit of everyone’s favourite Essex team?? Heybridge Swifts! Never has a match postponement looked so appealing.
Besides, a bit of revenge over the slightly physical ones for dumping our arses out of the FA Cup would be nice ta.
For once, my bus is on time and I actually roll into the pub closer to 2 than I usually do. I find Gareth at the bar. He takes one look and his face falls. “Bugger!” he declares. Sorry mate, didn’t mean to screw up your cheap round there! *cough*
A hungover Oscar is also present. Moaning about his headache, the result of a school reunion the night before. Serves him right. He should know better at his age.
Mid-pint, Bob finally wanders in, having abandoned the Liverpool-Middlesboro game on telly. Paul, another hangover victim, then staggers in with his bag of goodies from ‘Greggs’ the bakers. He’s starting to become a real regular! Although we’re not quite sure if this is down to the pulsating, top notch footy on offer (he is a Sperz fan after all!) or he enjoys the company of us charming individuals.
Yeah, we reckon it’s the football as well.
Next stop, GGL and some birdie bashing practice for our SSC clash with the Scummers next month. I then take great delight in nabbing the last proggy, much to the annoyance of Oscar behind me. Sorry mate! We discover Mr Chalmers on the terrace, currently convalescing after having his mincers operated on last week. He takes great delight in displaying his heavily bloodshot eye to all and sundry and especially a somewhat queasy Oscar. The big jessie.
The team has a couple of new faces today. Tommy Dunn is back from his spell at Banstead and we have a new man in defence. Tyrone London. A 6 foot odd tall centre back apparently signed from Erith & Belvedere in the DML Eastern. Welcome to Sutton Tyrone!
The U’s, shooting towards the Collingwood end, start brightly and after a couple of minutes Fowler & Gonsalves combine on the left. The full back puts the ball into the box and Watson manages to win a flick on which drops for Nick Bailey. But his snap shot on the turn flashes wide. Matt Gray is soon involved too. A good run down the flank ends with a disappointing cross that’s too high.
Heybridge hit back inside 10 minutes when their No4 heads over from a corner despite being well placed. It proves to be the only real threat the vistors offer for the half and soon after, Sutton are again pressing forwards. Matt Gray playing a lovely ball into the channel for Watson, who holds off one challenge, but sees the chance snuffed out by a last ditch tackle 8 yards out.
But despite having most of the play, the U’s fail to create many good openings. Ryan Palmer having the best chance around the half hour mark when Bolt takes a corner on the right. It finds Patsy at the back post, he controls, goes round one defender and shoots, only to have his shot blocked.
Matt Gray soon after is playing a delightful cross into the box with the outside of his boot, which the ‘keeper, under pressure from Fowler, punches straight back to Gray. He hits a fierce first time effort that is charged down in side the box. Our new man, Tyrone London, is having a good game at the back. Showing he’s got a good turn of pace and keeping the Swifts front men at bay.
Our other entertainment this afternoon is being provided by the Swifts No3. His wayward clearances and dodgy challenges getting him some stick from the Sutton fans behind the goal. Naturally, with half time approaching, it’s the No3 who gives the U’s a breakthrough. A huge Dunn clearance is chased down into the box by Fowler with the No3 in close attendance. With the striker running out of pitch, the 3 strangely decides to barge him off the ball, leaving the ref with little choice but to point to the spot.
Bolty celebrates his ‘stand by’ call up for the England National XI by sending the ‘keeper the wrong way and rifling the peno inside the right hand post. At last a goal!
The goal leads to Suttons best flurry of the game. With Watson firing into the ‘keepers midriff and Bolt almost claiming a spectacular second when he claims a bouncing ball some 30 yards out and sends a looping volley over the ‘keeper but also a gnats chuff over the bar.
The lads disappear off to the bar and muggins here goes to the club shop in search of some old proggies to help fill out the site, for you, the dear reader!
The second half starts with a change to the Sutton line up. Debut man, London, has not reappeared and Eddie Akuamouah takes his place. Meaning Scott Corbett is now operating as an emergency centre-back! Oh dear! This could be a loooong half! We needn’t worry as almost immediately, a quick Matt Gray throw puts in Bolt on the right, he cuts past the defender and fires in a shot, bringing a good one handed save from the ’keeper.
Matt Gray continues to be a nuisance down the right. Putting a good ball across the box that Eddie knocks across goal and just wide with the ‘keeper scrambling. Another powerful driven ball in, is met by a defender at the near post, just heading over his own bar. The No3 then amuses us further for finally going into the refs book after a silly lunge at Gray in the corner.
You’re not related to that useless twat footballing genius, Colin Wall, by any chance are you mate?
Heybridge finally manage to test Dunn just after the hour mark. A swifts striker runs at Corbett and with the midfielder turned defender backpedalling, he steps round him before firing an effort into Dunns chest. Not long after, our returning ‘keeper is in action again, making an important clearance on the edge of his area after a dodgy back header by Palmer has dropped him in it.
Watson & Bolt then combine down the left for DB to whip a low cross in that just evades the oncoming Fowler. Then a Bolt free-kick, hit from 20+ yards is spilled by the ‘keeper, but gathered at the second attempt with Watson lurking. Watson is then flagged offside shortly after following a nice build up involving Matt Gray & Bolt.
With the game going into it’s last 10 minutes, Heybridge have their best spell. A nice pass into the U’s box finds Abrahams. But Dunn is off his line quickly to deny the striker with a great stop. A few minutes later, Sutton fail to clear a corner and a powerful low effort flies through a crowd of players in the box and zips just wide of the far post.
But with time almost up, we make the points safe courtesy of our mate, No3. A low Bolt cross is parried by the ‘keeper only for the 3 to diver the loose ball straight to the waiting Fowler who rifles home from 8 yards. Woo Hoo! Points safe!
Upon the final whistle, we adjourn back to the Hood for some post-match discussion and beverages before finishing off in our usual cheap Wetherspoons drinkasmuchaspossibleathon.
Birdie bashing. We love it.
And you Bobbins are next.
MAN OF THE MATCH : New man Tyrone London. Excellent.
ENTERTAINMENT : 7. A decent game and we didn’t lose!
TEAM : Dunn, Gray, London, Palmer, Gonsalves, Corbett, Bailey, Honey, Bolt, Fowler, Watson.
SUBS : Akuamouah, Beale, Drew
THE REFEREE’S………another inconsistent fool. Again ignoring foul play by no-nonsense oppo & when he does finally book someone, it really should be his second and an early bath. Naturally, as soon as one of ours does something remotely naughty, he’s straight in the book..