RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
BOREHAM WOOD – 3 [Findlay 19.60. Dixon 29]
SUTTON UNITED – 0
“Are you struggling against relegation?? Finding goals and points hard to come by?? Well, worry no more!! Just give the survival specialists a call! We’ll deliver a beautifully gift wrapped, priceless 3 points right to your doorstep! And we’ll even make it look like you earned them too!! Don’t delay, just call : 0208 644 4440 and ask for John!”
Yeah, you guessed it. The U’s turned in one of their customary end of season surrenders against a side that we really should be turning over without too much trouble.
We arrange our usual ‘Thameslink’ meet in Farringdon. A doddle for me to reach. Well, it would be in an ideal world with a transport system that isn’t fucked up. But, this isn’t an ideal world. This is London. England. With a transport system that is fucked up and about as much use as a one legged bloke in an arse kicking competition.
Having gone round what seems half of sodding London, I finally stagger into the pub 10 minutes late. Here I find Bob, Gareth and Paul already supping. Chalmers decides he’s not coming after a rough night out, but then changes his mind as theres “only crap racing on the telly”. He’ll be meeting us up there. A couple of beers and a sarnie later, it’s off to another of those towns that we love so much in the Ryman Premier. Boreham Wood. Yes yes, before you start, I know full well Sutton isn’t exactly Las Vegas either. But compared to this place? It comes pretty damn close.
That and the Wood now have that annoying shouty bloke, George Borg in charge. Oh joy.
The U’s are a few faces short for today. Dunn and Hodges are deemed still not fit enough, with Jamie Ribolla and Nick Drew taking their spots. Craig Brown keeps his spot ahead of Matt Gray.
We’re expecting the home side to be up for it today and so it proves as they’re out of the blocks like a whippet with it’s arse on fire. Only 4 minutes in and a huge throw in from our right causes problems, but the header is straight at Ribolla. Almost straight after, a long ball forward bounces & is headed goalwards. Again Ribolla has to be on his toes, tipping the ball away before claiming it at the second go.
‘Wood keep up the pressure and Jamie is called into action once again after 8 minutes. A corner from the Sutton left finds an oppo man at the near post. His first time shot from around 8 yards out is brillaintly tipped away by our young ‘keeper.
In the meantime, we’ve managed little in the way of any kind of attacking moves. But it seems that if we can weather the first 20 minutes, we’ll be all right. Unfortunately, we don’t get to find out. 12 minutes played and Patsy robs their no6 on the edge of our box. As he comes out with the ball he’s barged off it from behind by the same no6. Foul surely!
Er, no. The 6 turns and plays the ball out to the right corner of the box for Findlay, who evades the desperate challenge of Hamlin and slots the ball across Ribolla and into the bottom left hand corner.
Thanks ref. No really. We appreciate it.
The U’s stumble about for the next few minutes, trying to muster a response. But instead of getting the ball down and trying to play, we’re launching aimless balls forwards for Watson to deal with. He’s tightly marshalled by his marker and most of the time, there’s not another Amber shirt close enough to pick up the pieces. After 17 minutes though, we win a free kick out on the right. Bolty does his stuff and swings it into the box, aimed at the far post. Corbett gets there and heads back across the face of goal, but there’s no-one in the 6 yard box to capitalise and the ball is cleared.
More aimless hoofing follows from the U’s whilst the home side continue to batter at our defence. 28 minutes gone and it pays off. A silly free-kick is conceeded on the halfway line out on the right touchline. The Wood ‘keeper wanders out to take it, aiming it at our far post. All the U’s defenders and Ribolla follow it there like Lemmings, but none of them gets near it. It’s headed straight back across goal where Dixon has the simple task of hooking the ball into a virtually unguarded net.
Um, lads? Any chance we could stop pissing about and start playing??
The half is played out in the same manner, with us failing to link more than 2 passes together or either lumping the ball in the general direction of Watson whilst the home side close down quickly and generally battle like you would expect a relegation threatened side to do.
The only other event of any note in the half comes after 34 minutes. A pass into the Sutton box is overhit and Drew sheilds it back to Ribolla. But before the ‘keeper can claim it, a rather clear shove in the back from the chasing forward causes Drew to nudge the ball past the ‘keeper and towards the goal. Thankfully, Patsy is on hand to intercept the ball as it trickles towards the line and clear the danger.
Errrr, ref? Can we please have a chat about this ‘blatant foul’ business?? ‘Cos it seems you’re not all that well clued up on it.
Half time can’t come quick enough and we head for the bar to get some results.
Forcing ourselves back outside for some more ‘entertainment’, we’re at least treated to a very very brief spell of Sutton activity. First Bolt fires a free-kick from the right narrowly over on 51 minutes and then our first reall footballing move of the match on 58 minutes, when Corbett plays in Akuamouah down the left. He cuts inside a defender and passes to Watson inside the box. He turns his man well, but with the goal in his sights, blasts his shot well over.
A minute or so later, it’s all over as a contest (well, not that it wasn’t pretty much over already!) when a corner from the right finds Findlay 6 yards out with a free-header and he makes no mistake.
It takes Sutton a further 10 minutes to muster a serious effort on goal, Corbett running from deep and flashing a shot from 20 yards just wide of the Wood goal. Its to be the closest we get over the 90 minutes.
Boreham Wood always look the more likely to score again, but somehow we manage to keep it to just the 3. Ribolla having to tip away one dangerous cross from the left with around 15 left.
Our day is summed up just inside the last 10 minutes when some persistance from Craig Brown wins us a corner. Bolt puts it in towards the near post, where Drew flies in only needing a touch to register a consolation goal, but he misses completely and the ball goes out for a goalkick. Arse.
It’s the last act of any serious note and we fail to trouble our hosts again. As we head for the bar for some more scores, we’re taunted by some of the younger locals. When told to be quiet by their accompanying adult and respect the fact we’re 6th, one kid pipes up “6th?? They played more like they were 66th!”. Thing is, the youngster’s not far wrong there.
It turns out Woking have pulled off their last day escape act in the Conference. The Scum are finally back in the Premier, despite making hard work of the Ryman 1 race with a budget that could win you the Premier after beating Croydon and K’s have lost at Aylesbury, meaning another season below us for the Hoopy ones. Awww! We also find out that Enfield have lost at Canvey in an 11 goal thriller. Which would no doubt have been an exciting game had the already relegated E’s managed to net more than one of those 11. Yep, a 10-1 bumming. Jesus christ.
We snatch a quick pint in the local ‘spoons’ before hitting the chippie and then back to the station. Gareth decides on an early night (wuss!) and heads home. We meanwhile hook up with Jules and hit the Hood to drink away the night and talk the usual shite.
“Delivery for Mr Borg! Here you go sir, the 3 points you ordered. Just sign here please…….”
MAN OF THE MATCH : Craig Brown. Only one who really tried to play today.
ENTERTAINMENT : 2. Really really bad!
TEAM : Ribolla, Brooker, Palmer, Drew, Hamlin, Corbett, Akuamouah, Bailey, Bolt, Watson, Brown.SUBS : Beale, Gray. Hanlan.
THE REFEREE’S………a bit short sighted. Missed the obvious foul that lead to their first goal, but apart from that, did little wrong. A bit card happy for my taste, but to be fair, he was at least consistent when dishing them out…