RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Watson 58]
BRAINTREE TOWN – 2 [Mooney 36. Forrester 75]
Despite saturdays defeat, fortunately the results around us went our way and we only dropped 1 spot to 15th. Otherwise we’d really have been in the shit. Not only in respect to making that Conference cut off, but relegation places wise as well!
Tonights oppo were until recently propping up the table, but a win over St Albans on saturday (who, puzzlingly, are as pony as us at the mo) has lifted them up the table a tadge. Great, just what we need. Vistors who are on form. Relatively speaking that is.
Pint-before-the-game ritual observed, Gareth & myself head to the for GGL and not so much a ‘Clash of the Ttitans’, but more a ‘Bump of the Midgets’.
It takes us a couple of minutes to work it out, but unbelieveably, JR has dumped his favoured 3-5-2 formation and gone to a much more traditional 4-4-2 system. Dray & Hamlin start at full-backs with Palmer & Gonsalves in the centre. Matt Gray & Akuamouah are to be used as wingers with Bailey & Hanlan in the centre. JR also gambles on the fitness of Matt Fowler and he starts up front with Watson.
Things start badly with an early Braintree attack down our right ending with a shot being scooped across Iga’s goal and wide of the post.
The U’s first serious foray is a few minutes in coming, Akuamouah making the most of his more advanced position tonight with a run down the line. He knocks the ball into the corner of the 18 yard box for Fowler, who hooks an effort over the bar.
As the minutes tick by, the lads seem to grow into their new formation and after 20 mins Palmer pumps a deep free-kick into the box. Watson jumps and heads straight at the ‘keeper.
There! You saw it! An effort on target!! What?? Of course he meant it!
Sod it, we’ll count it anyway.
Soon after, Watson has a far better chance. Good work & persistance from Hanlan on the left wins him possession. He pulls the ball back to Eddie who swings over a very good first time ball. Watso arrives at the back post but directs his header wide of the mark. A definite sitter.
The visitors work hard, but without doing a great deal and Iga has little serious work to do other than gather the odd corner or ball in. Hanlan & Gray combine on the right around the half hour mark and Matty puts in a great low ball. Folwer steps over the ball just before the near post, but a defender clears before it can reach Watson in a better position behind him.
Naturally, having created a couple of chances and not taken ‘em, we go and concede our now standard piss-poor goal. A Braintree man wins the ball on the right and in an exact copy of saturdays opener, the defence backs off until matey gets bored of running with the ball and decides it’d look a lot nicer in the corner of our net. His low driven shot creeping past Iga and inside the near post.
Meanwhile, at the other end of the ground, several people look to the heavens and mutter a wide and varied range of expletives.
It makes you want to spit. Just when will we fucking learn?? Put in a challenge for christs sakes! Or if you’re that worried about missing, just stand ‘em up and deny the fucker time and space!
Complete bollocks if you ask me. In fact, no need to ask. You can have that one for free.
A couple of minutes later, another chance goes begging for the U’s. A corner is won and for once, it’s delivered properly. Bailey driving it in at about waist height. All it needs is a touch as it zips across the face of goal, but no-one attacks it and it flies harmlessly out of play for a goal-kick.
We’re soon heading to the bar for half time, muttering not very nice things under our breath and 1-0 down to the only side currently below us in the ‘form’ table.
One glass of stricknine later and we decide we may as well go out and watch the second half.
Sutton start ok and 8 minutes after the restart Bailey finds Gray streaming down the right. He puts in a good ball, perfect height into the box. Again, no-one can make the contact required to help the ball into the net. Watson missing at the near post & Fowler at the back.
With almost an hour played, we finally get a break. Gray takes a throw in on the right to Fowler. He turns & plays a short ball just inside the box finding Hanlan. Matty drives a first time shot low through a crowd of players. The ‘keeper see’s it late, but manages to get down and get a hand to it. But the ball runs loose and ass it dribbles towards the goal-line, Watson pops up and prods it into the net.
Thank sweet fucking jesus for that.
But, despite the lifeline, we fail to make it count and the game soon drifts into a messy, dull encounter with little in the way of chances. Then, with 15 to play, our defending, or abject sodding lack of it to be more precise drops us right back in the shite.
A free-kick is conceeded a good 35 yards out. The ball is floated into the box and as the defence stands completely still on the edge of the 18 yard box, Forrester nips in and nods a soft header past Iga and into the net. Even as the Braintree lot celebrate our so-called defence hasn’t moved a muscle.
Is this meant to be funny? ‘Cos I ain’t laughing! It’s like watching a bad ITV sitcom.
Just how fucking hard is it to pick up a man and MARK HIM from set pieces?
JR introduces Danny Bolt to the proceedings to try & get some life injected into our play, but it’s a Bolty-esque pass from Hanlan that sends Fowler clear inside the last 10 minutes. But he hesitates slightly with the goal at his mercy, seeming to take that touch too many and a defender makes a saving challenge.
Bolty is soon pinging passes around and with 5 minutes left, one great diagonal ball picks out Collins on the left. His cross into the box finds Watson, but his header is again wide of the mark. And apart from one half hit Watson effort in the dying moments, we seriously fail to test the visiting ‘keeper. In fact, considering we’re the side losing and meant to be busting a gut to get that goal back, we spend an awful lot of our time at the wrong end of the field. Fending off breaks forward by the visitors.
Final whistle and it’s a miserable stroll back to the Hood for a pint or two in the vain hope we can kill the brain cells responsible for storing memories of the kind of crap we’ve just seen.
A depressing night is made worse by a Scummer win, putting them back on top (just what the fuck is going on there by the way?) and other results dumping us down to 18th.
All I can say is, get it fucking sorted. And get it fucking sorted soon gentlemen.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Matt Hanlan. Encouraged and kept the side going.
ENTERTAINMENT – 4. Not great. But we managed a couple of passes & a shot!
TEAM : Iga, Palmer, Gonsalves, Dray, Hamlin, Gray, Akuamouah, Hanlan, Bailey, Watson, Fowler
SUBS : Bolt, Collins
THE REFEREE’S………never really noticed the guy. I was way too distracted by another of our godawful performances.