RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
HENDON – 0
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Fowler 47. Bolt 70]
Match Reporter: Gareth
Now the style of writing for this report may not be quite the same as you have become so accustomed to over the years as our regular intrepid reporter, Taz, chose not to venture to the delights of Hendon, preferring instead to attempt to get into some Austrian knickers (Cheers mate, makes me sound like I was trying on Lederhosen or something! – Taz), so the last week has involved much debate over who should do this report.
I say debate, but to be honest I didn’t really have much choice – after several pints in the Robin Hood after Tuesday’s mauling of the Bobbins, I would have agreed to anything to be honest! But, whilst sitting smugly next to some scummers, I seem to remember overhearing the following conversation between Taz, fellow Yid Paul, Chalmers and Bob:
Taz: “I’m not going on Saturday so who’s doing the report?”
Yid Paul: “Gareth.”
Or words to that effect anyway. Bugger.
So manned with a new leather notepad, pen (not of the bookie’s variety) and journalist’s brain, I set off to meet Bob and Chalmers in the Head of Steam in Euston for a few pre-match beverages over the Old Firm game. One point for Taz here – I’m sure Chalmers would prefer to listen to your directions if you knew your left from your right. Instead of going out of the left hand exit at Euston and into the pub, the poor boy was walking round half of Central London in the pouring rain after a certain webmaster had told him it was on the right!!! (Chalmers and directions do not mix! – Taz)
Disappointingly, the bar staff in the pub only let us watch the first half of the footie as they were egg-chasers, and apparently there was some meaningless game going on in Dublin at 2.00, so we had to concentrate ourselves on the alcohol, whilst simultaneously chuckling unbelievably at a certain Mr. Roberts comments in the Sutton Comet the previous day – was it really the worst challenge you have ever seen Graham, ‘cos I can certainly think of you on more than one occasion flying into tackles with your studs chest high wearing a Rangers shirt. Twat. Matt Fowler – you’ve certainly got our support on that one.
Anyway, a short journey to Brent Cross followed by a brisk walk to the ground meant we arrived at the ground just in time for kick-off and – for the first time in a long, long time – we had actually arrived at the end of the ground we were attacking.
The first half wasn’t the greatest by any means from either point of view, not helped by strong winds favouring Hendon and driving rain favouring no-one – especially not us mugs who chose not to go in the covered terrace.
17 minutes in, a Hendon corner was swept in to the near post but headed narrowly over. 3 minutes later, some great work from Matt Fowler on the left wing and then an accurate throughball to Mark Watson led to a shot from just outside the area, which the keeper did well to hold down to his right.
Hendon’s best spell of the game followed, with a cross-shot from the left wing hitting the outside of the near post – well left Tommy – and then another cross from roughly the same area looping over Tommy and hitting the top of the crossbar.
Then, just before half time, after a scything challenge on Paul Honey, Danny Bolt passed out to Matt Gray on the right who brushed off the left back with no problems before crossing low and hard to the near post, forcing the keeper into a good save.
And so off we trot into the nice warm bar for the half-times. Unfortunately, we seemed to misjudge the interval and by the time we get back into the ground, we are apparently one-nil up. Matt Fowler, we are told by the Hendon official with a microphone. I apologise if this isn’t the most accurate report of a goal ever, but thanks to Tony Dolbear, Mark Frake and the NLP, I have come to the conclusion that Bolty, Nick Bailey and Fowler were involved in a bit of a triangle, Fowler was threaded through and slotted past the keeper with his left foot. Please feel free to complain to the webmaster if this is in the slightest bit inaccurate, if only to piss him off for the rest of the week!!! (Bastards….. – Taz)
Not long after we had scored, Tommy Dunn sent a long clearance well over the defenders’ heads which Fowler once again ran onto but this time the keeper saved. On 52 minutes, after good pressure from Watson on Fowler, the keeper seemed to handle a poor back-pass – now of course we weren’t expecting a Ryman official to give any sort of contentious decision like that in our favour – but the ball did fall to Watson who should have done better. Not long after that, A long Ryan Palmer free kick aided by the wind fell to Watson and this time his shot looped over the despairing keeper but just wide.
Bloody hell lads, now correct me if I am wrong, but was this not the side who beat us 3-2 at GGL and looked quite frankly the best footballing side we had seen all season? We were literally all over them. Soon after, Matt Gray picked the ball up after a rare Hendon attack just outside the Sutton area, and proceeded to run 70 yards with the ball, just shooting wide. The next attack followed, with Watson laying the ball out to Gray, who crossed to the Eddie at the far post. Eddie controlled the ball well, sent another cross into the middle and Watson sent a header just wide.
Then, on 67 minutes came the second goal we really needed to settle any nerves. Paul Honey headed the ball out wide to Gray, whose rather mis-hit cross fell to Bolt 25 yards out. Bolt simply made it look easy as he turned off a defender and smashed the ball with his left foot into the top corner, with the Hendon keeper simply shaking his head in disbelief as the ball flew past his right shoulder. Cue loopy celebrations.
After a brief flurry of Hendon attacks, most notably Rob Haworth heading just wide and another left wing cross leading to a free header which Tommy Dunn did superbly to push wide, U’s should have increased their lead when Fowler went past 2 defenders on the right and crossed to Nick Bailey just outside the area. The young ginger twinkletoes did superbly by beating another 2 defender, then did a neat one-two with Bolt but shot just wide from 18 yards out.
And that was that really. One of our best displays of the season I think. We did well to hold them to nil-nil at half time and used the wind to our advantage in the second half. Myself, Bob and Chalmers made for a swift exit after the game to try to get back to the Head of Steam for the Arsenal – Chelsea game.
All in all a very satisfying Saturday afternoon.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Tie. Ryan Palmer & Paul Honey
ENTERTAINMENT : First half – 4 (generous, but it was better than Stortford), second half – 8
TEAM : Dunn, Gray, Gonsalves, Palmer, Hodges, Bailey, Bolt, Honey, Fowler, Watson, Akuamoah.
SUBS : Brown, Brooker, Corbett
THE REFEREE’S………can’t complain really. Should have got hold of their no.10 for at least one his challenges but there was nothing really contentious..