Rocks Tough To Crack

RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION

Att: 552



SUTTON UNITED – 1    [Collins 78]

BOGNOR REGIS TOWN – 0

At long last, our old friends Bognor have returned to the Premier! And thanks to the wonders of the Ryman steam powered fixtures computer, we get to play them in August. At home.

Bastards.

And when do we get to go to the seaside, get drunk, act the arse, fall over and quite possibly even watch some footy?

December. That’s when.

You’re sick Turvey. D’you hear me? Sick I tell you. Still, at least the B&B should be a bit cheaper that time of year…

I wonder if Bognor fans get as worked up about coming to lovely spreads of suburbia inside the M25 like Sutton as we do about getting them on a Saturday at the start or end of a season??

Yeah, I doubt it as well.

My usual pre-match beverage is delayed this evening as I have to nip down to GGL and collect my season ticket, as like a complete donut, I’d forgotten to post my application. D’oh! I eventually wander down to the Hood just in time for a quick drink. Gareth leaves early as he is expected on the pitch in a few minutes, having won the clubs ‘Lucky Striker’ draw. His pocket destined to be a 100 quid heavier by 7.30.

Drinks are on you Miller!

To save us a walk, Chalmers shows up at the last mo and whisks us all to GGL in comfort in his motor, sadly we get through the turnstiles barely seconds after Gareth’s presentation and miss out on the opportunity of aiming some abuse his way.

The U’s turn out exactly as per Saturday, with Watson & Fowler remaining up front. Collins remains on the bench.

Proceedings get underway and Sutton have an early sight of goal after only a couple of minutes. Watson gets into the box on the right flank, but his low cross is cut out. Bognor fail to clear their lines and Bailey then Fowler gain possession on the edge of the 18 yard box. Fowler touches the ball a couple of yards forwards to Watson, who holds off his man, turns and hits an effort into the ‘keepers midriff.

Bognor get themselves going and are soon playing some very nice, quick, flowing passing football. Their first effort is a cracking low 20yard effort as the U’s defence allows a bit too much time & space. But Iga is once more to our rescue, diving to his right to keep the shot out. After 6 minutes, Sutton win a corner. Bolt delivers from the right and the ball finds Palmer beyond the back post. He heads the ball back across goal where it finds Corbett just beyond the other post. He nods it back into the 6 yard box and with the Bognor defence wobbling, Watson leaps to head goalwards. But the ball is a little too high for him and the ball just clears the bar.

It’s the last U’s threat for a little while as they struggle to contain the swift passing & movement of the visitors. At times seeming to stand still & watch as white shirts buzzed around them. Around 15 minutes in, one such quick move catches us out down our left. A good cross in is met on the edge of the box, bnut the effort is well over.

The lads try to stamp some impression on the game, but thier inability or failure to close down, hassle & deny the visitors space makes this rather hard. But, still on 17 minutes, we’re denied a certain chance to take the lead.

Watson goes on one of his bulldozing runs, blasting past 2 Bognor defenders on the right. He finds his way into the box before being rather clumsily chopped down having touched the ball past another defender. Now, to be fair, the ref probably doesn’t have the best view in the world. But the linesman couldn’t have had a clearer view if he’d made the bloody challenge himself.

A penalty? You must be fucking joking.

To make matters even worse, Fowler nips in and retrieves the ball on the byeline. Trying to turn away from the attention of another defender he’s half wrestled to the ground before the ball is knocked out of play. Not only does the lino ignore this second reasonable shout for a penalty inside 20 seconds, he then awards a sodding goal-kick!  Tosser. And then some.

Bognor have themselves a purple patch following this let off, twice threatening Iga’s goal. First a cross in from the right is flicked on, but the shot at the back post is straight at our ‘keeper. The next threat comes from the opposite side. The ball is allowed to run right across the area to an unmarked ‘Rocks’ attacker. He brings the ball back across goal before flashing a shot past Iga and just wide of his far post.

Bognor’s attacking play is causing us concern and also our erstwhile manager. Thus we’re treated to the unprecedented sight of JR stood right on the edge of the U’s ‘technical’ area screaming instructions to our off the pace team. Now considering it’s rare to even hear JR from the dugout, we’re all a little surprised to see him doing a ‘Borg’!

Sutton manage a brief foray forwards with the half running out. A ball from midfield finds Gray out on the right, he gets round his marker and fires in a low cross. The supporting Corbett steps over the ball expecting Watson behind him to snap it up, but a defender manages to get there first and makes a desperate clearance.

As we wander towards the tunnel thinking of a half time drink, the Bognor no11 goes on a mazy run, going past 3 rather half-arsed challenges before he’s rather obviously cut down just inside the U’s box.

Er, a penalty perhaps?

Thankfully, despite the ref having a better view of this incident than he did of our complete stonewall, dead cert spot kick at the other end, he amazingly waves play on. Much to our amusement. Twat.

Supping in the bar, we’re all hoping that the lads are currently on the receiving end of a thorough bollocking from JR. Preferably involving lots of swear words. And at maximum volume.

Thankfully the hoped for bollocking seems to have materialised as from the off, as the midfield has pushed up several yards and we’re definately closing down the visitors a lot quicker. Fowler hobbles off within a couple of minutes of the restart and Collins replaces.

Inside a minute a foray down the left puts in Bolt & the ‘keeper is forced to make a sharp save. Sutton keep up the pressure as the visitors start to flag, their quick paced play now a memory. Akuamouah makes a burst down the left delivering a good cross into the heart of the box. But once again, a defender igets to the ball a fraction before Watson at the expense of a corner.

Without the almost limitless time to play the ball out from the back, the Bognor defence doesn’t look quite as assured and they’re constantly being harried by Watson & Collins. One moment of interference from Watson wins him the ball on the left. He turns inside and cuts across the edge of the box before firing in a low shot that the ‘keeper is down smartly to parry.

We keep up the pressure, hoping to force a matchwinning chance. One great ball out of defence from Palmer finds Watson tearing away down the right. He outruns his marker and gets to the byeline, pulling the ball back across the box. But again, a defender just manages to get in the way, this time Bailey has his effort blocked.

Bognor then show a brief flash of the play & movement that had caused so many problems in the 1st half with about 15 to play. An attack breaks down and as the ball is played along the U’s backline, Hodges goes to clear his line, but only succeeds in hitting a chasing forward. The ball is then moved out to the right, where the attacker goes past the now backpedalling Hodges before pulling it back to an unmarked white shirt who takes a touch and cracks an effort from 15 yards off the underside of Iga’s crossbar. The ‘keeper & Palmer then combine to clear the danger.

It’s a rare scare though and almost immediately after a ball over the top has the Bognor defence appealing for offside. The retreating Watson is, but he’s not interfering and Bolt races onto the ball. He tries his luck from 20 yards and with the ‘keeper stranded somewhat, he’s relieved to see Danny’s effort skip just past his left hand upright.

It’s only a temporary let off and a couple of minutes later a long ball formwards carries over the flat Bognoer defence and the lively Collins races onto the loose ball. Leading the charge for the box, shows his composure in front of goal and fires a shot goalwards from an angle, the ball finding the back of the net despite the ‘keeper getting a touch with his legs. Woohoo! About bloody time!

The U’s are now on top and press hard for a second goal to make those points safe. Bailey has one rather cheeky effort with a free-kick from out on the left touchline, swinging a vicious effort at the back post that just flashes wide. Bolty, having had a very quiet night by his standards now springs into life as the visitors tire. One run down the left and he tries to pick out Bailey in the 6 yard box. The ball is cut out but comes straight back to him, but his snapshot is just over. Another quick attack straight after is helped across the field by Bolt to Gray, who outpaces his man and drives a fierce effort right across the goal.

The last action of the night falls of course to Danny Bolt and one of his free-kicks. 25-30 yards out as usual, Dan lines it up and slashes a shot low and inches the wrong side of the post. Bugger!

The ref soon calls an end to proceedings and an eventually satisfying end to the night. We applaud the lads efforts in keeping going and wearing down a tricky Bognor side before skipping off to the pub for the first (of hopefully many!) deserved victory bevvys.

MAN OF THE MATCH : Danny Hodges. Solid from the big man.

ENTERTAINMENT : 8. Some nice footy played by both sides. Good end to end stuff.

TEAM – Iga, Gray, Hodges, Palmer, Gonsalves, Bailey, Bolt, Corbett, Akuamouah, Watson, Fowler

SUBS – Collins, Honey, Boosey

THE REFEREE’S…..once again, not brilliant. Several key decisions missed for both sides. Our penalty & theirs were simple decisions, although the linesnman didn’t exactly help with our penalty decision. Twat..

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