RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Hodges 8. Gray 90]
As if matters couldn’t get any worse after the awful display on Saturday & the Scummers still topping the table, the bastards picked up another spongy 3 points on the Monday to move an inconceivable 6 points clear.
Fuck me, once you’ve seen that, you could quite plausibly believe in UFO’s, flying pigs and that Lee Harvey Oswald actually DID shoot Kennedy.
So this made tonight’s trip to Hendon a bit more important to us, as 3 pointrs were needed just to remind the cock-a-hoop Bobbins that we’re still around and just waiting to reel ‘em in.
My recent exposure to public transport when trying to get to footy has been less than satisfactory, with horror of horrors, arriving so late a couple of Saturdays ago, I was unable to enjoy a pre-match drink and was forced to watch a match completely sober.
Despite taking a good 30 minutes more than expected to get to Farringdon & hook up with Chalmers, I still thankfully have time to down a pint before we head out to the station. Thank god.
A swift stroll from the station at the other end and we’re at the ground just before kick off. Also getting in for free courtesy of 2 complimentary tickets for writing a small article for tonights program.
I could get used to this ‘free’ lark.
We find Gareth also recently arrived just inside the ground. The U’s line up tonight is changed around following Saturdays nonsense. Mark Watson is out, replaced up front by Gray. Hamlin filling his spot on the right. Danny Bolt finds himself on the bench, with his place taken by Honey. Making his first ‘senior’ appearance, albeit on the bench, is another of the Bolt clan. Aaron Cole-Bolt. On display at the far end are also a couple of flags. Pah! Call those flags? Wait ‘’til you see what we’ve got in the second half.
Sutton start quickly and straight away win a free-kick about 25 yards out to the right. Bailey hits it, but it’s deflected well wide by a defender for a corner.
Our hosts are slow out of the blocks and we take advantage after 8 minutes. Bailey plays a corner in from the left side that finds it’s way out beyond the far post. As usual, Palmer is lurking out there and collects the loose ball. Going past a defender, he cracks a fierce low cross in towards the near post. The ‘keeper gets down to gather, but makes a hash of it and can do nothing but watch as Collins just fails to make contact, then Danny Hodges prod the ball over the line.
A few minutes later Hamlin makes inroads down the right before setting up Corbett for a cross into the box which just skims off the head of Collins at the near post.
Sutton have the better of things for a little while longer, but slowly Hendon begin to settle and control of the game starts to swing their way. Although despite a shedload of possession & a few moments on the edge of our box, they fail to seriously threaten Iga until just after the half hour. A corner from the right is met at the near post and is powered just a shade too high & wide of the mark.
The game really springs into life in the last few minutes before the break. Hendon finally manage to make some of their pressure pay and work the ball into the box. The attacker turns and from 10 yards forces a great low save out of Iga. The U’s come back a couple of minutes later with a swift break down the left which eventually ends with Akuamouah putting a high ball into the box. Paul Honey meets it, but heads over from 10 yards and is penalised by the increasingly petty ref for a push.
Hendon are soon back on the offensive, with Gonsalves penalised for a challenge on the left corner of the box. After a slight delay, the free-kick is whipped round the outside of the wall and wide of the near post. Sutton break quickly again with time running out & produce their best move of the match. Gray races out from his own half & feeds Collins, who after some good work holding the ball plays it back to Matty who lays it into the path of Corbett. The Sutton skipper rifles his effort just inches over the Hendon bar.
But thats still not quite all! With the last act of the half, Hodges is adjudged to have obstructed an oppo player in the box, giving Hendon a free-kick some 12 yards out. A big wall is put together and it does it’s job, the ball thudding into the massed Amber n Choc ranks before being lumped clear.
Mildly satisfied with the lead, we head for the bar. With only some crap spanish side on the telly (Real somebody or other. Never heard of ‘em!) Chalmers & I head back out to see if we can find a nice spot to hang a sodding great flag.
As it turns out, there’s a spot behind the far end. But getting the big flag-fence combo together proves a little difficult. But after 10 minutes or so of clambering around and trying not to break our stupid necks, we finally manage to get the bastard thing up. And it looks rather nice too!
Naturally, with all the hard work stuff done, Gareth emerges from the bar. The git.
Again, Sutton start the half the brighter. Several minutes in, Corbett goes down the left & plays the ball infield for Collins who turns his man and cracks a shot straight at the ‘Dons ‘keeper. Then a couple of minutes later, it’s very nearly 2-0. Collins nods on a forward ball & Gray darts into the left channel behind him. he delivers a good low cross to the near post where Collins has continued his run. He gets a slight touch that takes the ball away from the ‘keeper and across goal. Just as it seems Bailey will snap up the chance from a couple of yards out, a very good saving tackle denies him at the expense of a corner.
Hendon again come more and more into the game as the half wears on. But like the first, there’s plenty of possession, but not a great deal of end product. Numerous times a man in a green shirt scuttles along the edge of the U’s 18 yard box, but rather than try a poke at goal, they’re always looking for a little ball through and ultimately they’re generally hustled off the ball by Hodges/Gonsalves or Palmer. It gets so silly at one point even I feel like shouting “For fucks sake, just have a shot!”
Just before the hour, Bailey puts a lovely ball in from the left for Collins. He collects the ball and manages to skip past his marker, but from a rapidly narrowing angle his shot is against the legs of the ‘keeper.
Hendon then go on to have about 300 corners in the next 10 minutes or so, one of which from the left flies across the face of goal & evades everyone when even a slight touch would put it into the back of the net.
The home side are by now well on top and the U’s are digging in, trying to hang onto that slender advantage. 77 minutes in and a throw from the right gets Hendon as close to an equaliser as they’re likely to get. The ball is crossed and touched on at the near post, dropping invitingly to an unmarked man at the back post. His header is somehow blocked on the line by an Iga/Akuamouah combination. The ball rebounds to the same bloke who this time tries a shot and volleys the ball goal wards. It’s not his night, as his belting shot cannons off Ryan Palmer, stood on the line in the middle of the goal. The ball runs to the edge of the area and a final follow up shot is blazed over.
They keep going though and with a little under 10 minutes to go, they again manage to work the ball through our back line putting one of their guys 1 on 1 with Iga. Unfortunately, mateys shot doesn’t even come close to troubling the U’s stopper as he wastes the opportunity by screwing his effort a good couple of yards wide.
On 83 minutes, another ball in from the right is met on the volley out at the far post, but once again, despite being well struck, the ball is firmly into the grasp of Andy Iga.
With the ref looking at his watch, Sutton deliver the coup de grace. Bailey is penalised for gobbing off & booked, conceeding a free kick on the halfway line. The ball is pumped forwards, but is lumped clear out towards the left hand touchline. Matt Gray chases down, as do 2 Hendon players. They get into a right mess, virtually tackling one another in their haste to get the ball forwards again and leaving Gray with 60 yards of open field to leg it into.
Matty races off with the ball and despite Bailey screaming for a pass in the centre, Gray keeps his cool and slots the ball between the ‘keeper and his near post. Ooooops! Sorry!
We decide to scarper back to the Hood before anyone twigs we’ve mugged the poor ‘Dons of another 3 points on their own turf. And an excellent decision it is too.
We’re greeted by the friendly landlord of our favourite boozer who not only buys us a beer (hey c’mon, we’ve probably paid up his retirement plan by now!), he introduces us to his son. Nice bloke. Who proceeds to show us some lovely holiday snaps from a recent trip to Brazil.
You know, the usual lads holiday stuff. Pissed here, there & everywhere, naked women in hotel rooms.
Right, when’s the next flight to Rio lads?
MAN OF THE MATCH – Matt Gray. Ran non-stop all night.
ENTERTAINMENT – 6. Not great, but then again, not that crap either!
TEAM : Iga, Palmer, Hodges, Gonsalves, Hamlin, Akuamouah, Corbett, Honey, Bailey, Gray, Collins
SUBS : Bolt, Drew, Cole-Bolt
THE REFEREE’S………a petty tosser. Adhered to the first commandment of an annoying homer bastard. “Thou shalt give Sutton fuck all” with a second half performance that somewhat irritated us. Dickhead