PRE SEASON FRIENDLY
MOLESEY – 1 [Unknown 3]
SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Bailey 20. Rogers 23. Fowler 89]
Well, it’s the pre-season, so that must mean a friendly game at Molesey?
Seems we were right. So we make our, by now, pretty annual trip to our friends up the road from Hampton Court for our second outing this week. A sparse attendance from the crew tonight. With only myself & Gareth making the trip. The absentee list is as follows : Bob (couldn’t be arsed), Chalmers (work) and Nick the Greek (5-a-side).
Pah! Fools. They don’t know what they’re missing! Or do they?
First surprise of the night is the bloody 6 quid charge to get in! For a friendly! Do me a favour! They couldn’t even be arsed to run off a few team/thanks for coming sheets on the office photocopier. AND there’s no sign of their new ‘Director of Football’ Neville Southall.
This is already a pants night out.
I have to say, if we play this lot again next pre-season I’m definitely not fucking going. Not even if we sign Ronaldo or Vieri and they’re due to make their debuts in this game. No wonder no bugger watches them. £3.50, maybe £4 at a push would have been suitable. But £6? Sort it out eh gents.
The U’s starting line up tonight is close to our strongest available. Palmer, Hodges, Bailey, Bolt et al all start tonight. But there’s a few familiar faces lurking by the dug outs, so it looks like quite a few changes will be made tonight! There is a new face on display though. Sean Gorman, the ex-Basingstoke forward, starts alongside Scott Forrester up front. Hmmmm. I remember him, not a bad strike rate either if I recall! We’re also informed just before kick off of a late addition to the team. A goalkeeper with a rather exotic sounding name apparently.
Uh-oh! We all know what they can be like! And speaking of which, Mr Chuck Martini is, as it happens, in attendance tonight, making an appearance for the hosts.
Sutton’s start is rusty to say the least and some truly terrible defending see’s us behind after just 3 minutes. We fail to deal with a raid down our right and even when we break it up, the defence is slow to react to the loose ball. It’s nodded back across our area, before being bobbled into the net at the near post. 0-1.
The goal has the required effect though and the lads start to settle and begin moving the ball around well, despite another rather poor playing surface. Bailey has our first serious effort, shooting just wide after a good run on around 17 minutes.
Hamlin then has a strong break down the right a couple of minutes later. His in-field pass finds Bolty, who cracks an effort just wide of the far post from 18yards. But just a minute later, we’re deservedly level. Some nice play across the field ends up at the feet of Bolt. He delivers one of those evil swirling crosses into the box and Bailey pops up 6 yards out to power his header past the ‘keeper. That’s better! 1-1.
Sutton are soon ahead as on 23 minutes, Akuamouah is clumsily brought down on the left, several yards from the byeline, after a good run. Despite the angle, Bolt decides for a cheeky crack on goal. Aiming a rocket towards the top far corner. The ‘keeper reacts just in time and just manages to prevent it from finding the target, but the ball drops just beyond the far post and Paul Rogers snaps up the loose ball to fire his first goal in a Sutton shirt since the early 90’s. 2-1.
Liek Sevenoaks on saturday, this quickfire salvo rocks Molesey with their defence & midfield struggling to cope with the wave of attacks. Rogers wins an indirect free-kick in the box when a Molesey player puts his boot dangerously high. Bolt’s rifled effort zips inches past the far post.
The home side manage to weather the storm, and the only incident of note for a few minutes is the ref advising the Molesey number 6 to go and take a break after clattering Bailey on the halfway line.
The home side are almost gifted a shock equaliser appraoching half-time, when Eddie plays a very poor ball back towards his own box and to no-one in particular. The Moles No9 races in with Hodges in hot pursuit. Davis comes off his line though and manages to save at the attackers feet as he tries to go around him.
But this is a minor abberation in a comfortably dominant Sutton display. Bolt gets to the byeline on 41 minutes, delivering a great ball just beyond the back post that Forrester does well to hook goalwards despite an evil bounce. The ‘keeper just hangs on at the second attempt with Gorman ready to pounce. Almost straight after, a ball down the right sends Forrester clear and he takes his time to deliver a nice cross to the back post, where Eddie outjumps his man. But his solid downward header pings back off the base of the post.
The last real action of the half is the switch of Gray for Deam Hamlin. Bit strange, couldn’t it have waited JR?
The replacements all warm up at half-time, including our mystery ‘keeper. It turns out the guy’s name is Dominic Jean-Zapherin, he’s French (no shit!) and from what we know he was last at Slough. Lets have a look then!
The U’s side remains unchanged for the first 10 minutes or so of the second half, before JR sends myself and Frakers into a scribbling frenzy by sending on 9 subs in one go. Awkward bastard! Gray & Gorman are the only 2 to remain on the field.
Our new stopper is soon called into action. Within a couple of minutes of his arrival, Molesey win a corner on our right. It’s delivered towards the back post, where advantage is taken of poor marking to send a free-header goalwards. But Dj-Z (sounds like someone Eminem would ‘hang’ with! hehe!) leaps to his right and plucks the ball from the air. Top stop!
The match then idles along for a while, with neither side really doing much to threaten. Gorman is replaced by Eddie with about 15 to play and Dj-Z is called into action again, with another flying grab from another header. He’s also got a bloody huge kick on him.
With time running out, a dreadful pass by a Molesey defender across his own area to absolutely no-one seemingly sets up Fowler for an almost certain third. But Matt’s touch lets him down and he tee’s up the supporting Hanlan instead. MH’s shot is charged down, but finds Akuamouah in front of goal a couple of yards out. But his shot is also blocked.
He makes amends within 60 seconds though. Running onto a pass, he finds himself clear in the box. He draws Martini off his line, leaves him sprawling and then slips the ball to Fowler who rolls the ball into the empty net. 3-1.
All in all, another decent workout for the lads. Some of the footy played in the first half was excellent, despite the surface. I’d like to see what we’d do with a decent pitch! The new guys were ok. Goram found the going a bit tough, but thats understandable. It’s not easy trying to slot into a team you’ve only just met! I’m sure we’ll get to have another look at him. The nwe ‘keeper also looked promising. 2 decent saves and he looked confident in everything he did. Definately worth a longer run-out I’d say.
So, next stop on our pre-season extravaganza is sunny Eastbourne on saturday. Where we may or may not have a few drinks. And a huge flag may or may not make it’s U’s debut.*
*- Yes we’ll be getting pissed and yes the flag is coming.
Davis, Hodges, Palmer, Gonsalves, Hamlin, Akuamouah, Rogers, Bolt, Bailey, Forrester, Sean Goram. (No subs made)
(2nd Half) Changed after 60mins.
Dominique Jean-Zepherin, Dunne, Dale, Dray, Hewitt, Gray, Corbett, Honey, Hanlan, Fowler, Goram. (Akuamouah for Goram 75mins)