RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
AYLESBURY UNITED – 0
SUTTON UNITED – 4 [Bolt 6.76. Fowler 22. Bailey 60]
Sutton racked up a third straight league win and second birdie bashing within 7 days with a 4-0 cruise against a rather poor Aylesbury side who it appears may have had their minds on their big FA Trophy tie with Windsor next week.
The usual meet was planned in town and your erstwhile author made the standard trip from East Croydon to Victoria. My slow, beer damaged brain fails to register quite why the normally fairly quiet, late Saturday morning train is packed to the rafters. All becomes clear on my arrival at Victoria.
The concourse is heaving. Packed with Crusties and Art teachers as far as the eye can see. Most holding placards. Oh bollocks. Of course. Todays that ‘Stop the War’ get together in Hyde Park. Marvellous. Getting to Marylebone is going to be a right bundle of bloody laughs.
Ducking and weaving my way through the throng, trying not to have my head knocked off by assembling protesters who are finding it hard to keep their ‘No Tony!’ and ‘George is a war criminal’ placards under control.
“Oi! Have you got a bloody licence for that thing?”
I manage to reach the underground unscathed and emerge at Marylebone gagging for a pint. My need is soon fulfilled round the corner in the Hobgoblin where Gareth, Bob and Paul (another away game?? Bloody hell mate, getting a bit keen aren’t we?). Mr Chalmers decides not to attend as he’s still recuperating from having his mincers straightened out.
When it comes to catching the train, like most things recently, we cut it a bit fine. With Bob and myself legging it to the pastie stand and then down the platform to dive onto the choo-choo seconds before the doors closed. Nice to see we still have our priorities straight. Beer first, grub second……and er……..what was number three again?
Oh yeah. The train.
A swift couple in the pub and we’re again leaving it late. Bob and I dashing through the turnstiles at 2.59 50sec with Gareth & Paul not far behind. I’m rather pleased as in my haste, I’d entered through the OAP/Kids turnstile. The lady in the booth never even looked up to confirm my age and my request of ‘One Please’ brought me 6 quid change instead of the expected 4! Result!
The U’s are fielding a slightly weakened side today, with Brooker and new signing Tyron London both on the treatment table. Strangely, Scott Corbett retains his role at the centre of defence despite Nick Drew being available. Hmm! Eddie also starts, filling the unfortunate Mike Hollands role on the left.
Our fears at how our slightly patched up side will fare are unfounded as they start brightly. Neither side creates a great deal for the first few minutes, but it’s the U’s who strike first with a rather entertaining goal.
Fowler is upended out on the left and Bailey plays the resulting free-kick forwards about 5 yards. Danny Bolt takes a touch and whips in one of those left foot crosses we love so much. Much to our surprise (and DB’s as well perhaps? Who knows!) the ball loops over a stranded ‘keeper and finds it’s way inside the far post!
Woo Hoo! That’s not bad for starters gentlemen.
Whats that? He didn’t mean it? Oh of course he bloody did! *cough* Eh? I’m biased? Never! I only sponsor the blokes kit. I’m completely impartial.
The goal seems to stun the home defence and give Sutton a welcome early boost. The U’s proceed to apply some more pressure. Bolt firing a free-kick from the edge of the box just over the bar.
Aylesbury finally muster an attack around 15 minutes in, but Dunn punches the cross straight up into the air before catching it! Stylish Tom. Very stylish. Just don’t do it again eh?
A couple of minutes later, Bolt chases a Ducks defender to the byeline, before helping him on his way with a sly shove. The ref doesn’t see it and Bolty puts a dangerous cross to the back post where Matt Gray arrives but slices his attempted volley a good couple of yards wide.
Watson then goes on a rampaging run past 3 defenders from out on the left before putting a shot into the ‘keepers midriff. Soon after, Watson is again proving a real handful. A poor pass in midfield out on the right presents Matt Fowler with a chance to run at the backpedalling defence. He passes into the right for Watson, who gets past the last man and plays a solid cross towards the near post. Fowler nips in and guides a lovely header across the goal and into the far corner with Worgan rooted to the spot, doubling the U’s lead.
Looooove it! Looks like Mr Fowler has rediscovered his touch.
Mark Watson’s no prisoners approach then upsets the home crowd with a somewhat…er…’robust’ challenge on Worgan in the home goal which earns him a yellow card.
The home side finally begin to get more of a foothold in the match and after 36 minutes, Tommy has to make his first real save. A cross from the U’s right is too high for Akuamouah and it finds Campion lurking inside the box. Dunn is quick off his line to make the save with an assist from Corbett who nods the ball clear with a Ducks striker lurking.
The clearance swiftly works its way up the other end and finds Watson inside the box. He drops his shoulder and turns the defender inside out, before lashing a shot against Worgan’s near upright and out for a goal kick. Bugger. Would’ve been nice to kill it before half time!
Very shortly after, probably Aylesbury’s best chance of the match so far goes begging. A ball into the U’s box finds Maskell, but his smart turn & shot zips across goal and just wide of the far upright with Tommy scrambling a little bit.
The last opportunity of the half falls to Sutton. Another Danny Bolt free-kick picks out Matt Gray at the back post, but like earlier in the half he unfortunately screws his shot well wide of the mark.
We swiftly head for the bar to get out of the cold and catch some results before heading back out to occupy the end we were in that amazing day back in 1998 when Naz copped a hat-trick & the title race reached it’s peak.
Same again please lads!
It only takes the U’s 5 minutes to pick up where they left off. A neat exchange of passes out on the right involving Gray & Bolt ends up with DB playing a slide rule pass into the box, having spotted the run of Fowler at the near post. But Worgan is quick off his line and blocks the strikers effort.
The home side rally slightly and have a short period of pressure that sees them twice go close to halving the deficit. First a long range effort deceives Dunn, swinging in wickedly and he has to scramble across his 6 yard box to help it past the far post. 2 minutes later, a good cross from the right picks out Maskell, but his header from 10 yards is straight at Dunn.
The misses prove costly as within 5 minutes, Sutton effectively kill the game. Bolty again whips in one of those free kicks towards the near post, where Matt Fowler takes advantage of some woeful marking on behalf of the Ducks skipper to flick a looping header goal wards. Again, Worgan is stranded and despite getting a hand to the ball, it drops towards the gaping net. Nick Bailey barrels in to head into the roof of the net from virtually on the goal-line.
3-0. Looks like we can break out the pancakes & ho-sin sauce lads. This duck is almost done!
An amusing aside of the goal is the Aylesbury skipper, McGrath remonstrating with the linesman. Erm, why? If anyones to blame for that last goal mate it was you and your ever so slightly slack marking! Of course, we loudly point this out to him, which I’m sure he appreciates.
The remaining half hour is pretty much one way traffic with the Ducks managing only a few token attacks that fail to seriously threaten Dunn’s goal. We’re kept amused by some of the stick coming from the ‘Chicken Run’ on the far side and engage in some light hearted abuse over a range of 30 yards. Although credit where it’s due, they do keep singing to the end.
Mark Watson comes in for a bit of stick and responds perfectly. Showing 3 fingers of his gloved hand and blowing a few kisses for good measure! The big striker then continues to pulverise the home defence. They simply don’t have an answer. THIS is the Mark Watson we want!
Just after the hour, he muscles a defender off the ball out on the left, cuts in and unselfishly lays the ball across the edge of the box for Fowler. But with the goal at his mercy, he gets under the ball slightly and his effort is just over.
If the result wasn’t already settled, another U’s attack with around 15 to play kills it stone dead. A Bailey ball through the ragged Ducks defence finds Watson. He cuts past the last defender, before once more unselfishly allowing the ball to run onto the slightly better positioned Bolt who from 12 yards, rifles the ball into the bottom far corner. Worgan, again left exposed, can only stand rooted to the spot. Watson’s response to the goal is to wave to the Ducks fans on the far side……this time displaying four fingers!
Despite there being almost 15 to play, the game dies a bit and the only real chance near the end falls to Paul Honey after Fowler has been dispossessed after a good run. But his shot from the edge of the box flies just wide of the post.
So, a spanking 4-0 win and 3 important points. Always good for the mood at 4.45 on a saturday afternoon. Well, I think so anyway!
We trot back into town and head for a recommended boozer, which turns out to be tops. A real locals pub, there’s a group sat in the corner having a sing song and as per usual, the U’s infamous colours are the source of plenty of chatter. Here we also discuss how to get Paul back to Sutton in time so that he can take his missus for a valentines night out and avoid a slap!
Another mad dash to the station later and we’re off back Suttonwards.
By the way, avoid the Wetherspoons in Sutton. The doormen are c**ts…
MAN OF THE MATCH : Mark Watson. Excellent. Tormented the home defence all day long!
ENTERTAINMENT : 8. What d’you expect? It’s a bloody 4-0 away win for christs sake!
TEAM : Dunn, Gray, Corbett, Palmer, Gonsalves, Akuamouah, Bailey, Honey, Bolt, Fowler, Watson.
SUBS : Brown, Beale, Drew
THE REFEREE’S………really not that bad. One of the better ones. We can’t complain, we won 4-0 away! The linesman we had in the 2nd half was a bit of a twat though.