RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
AYLESBURY UNITED – 0
SUTTON UNITED – 6 [Fowler 18.104.22.168.89. Nurse 81]
Aylesbury’s recent history certainly couldn’t be classified as boring. Even before the ‘title’ season in 1998 when they famously sacked their manager in the run in when about 10pts clear, helping our good selves to ultimately overhaul them, they’ve always seemed to have problems of some sort or another lately.
Well, even by their recent standards this season is pretty unbelievable.
Briefly, it’s so far involved 3 managers. Players refusing to fulfill fixtures. Forced to field kids, reserves and whoever else they can find to pull on a shirt. Chairman withdrawing his funding. Fans managing the team……and god knows what else.
Still, at least the pitch is no doubt looking fantastic as ever.
So given their issues, it’s no surprise that we find the Ducks propping up the table upon our arrival at Buckingham Road last night, after their 4-1 defeat at Ford on Saturday.
Thanks to South West Trains, my already small window of opportunity for a pint at Marylebone is completely lost when we sit at a red signal outside Waterloo for about 10 minutes. For absolutely no reason other it seems than to deny me my customary pre-match refreshment.
Anyway, whatever the reason, they’re still useless train bastards.
So I end up with only enough time to grab a pasty and a (non-alcoholic) drink before finding Chalmers on the concourse & legging it for the choo choo to Bucks. We’d better have time for a swift one in the bar before the game, that’s all I can say!
Thankfully, we’re deposited at Aylesbury station with plenty of time to nab a cab to the ground and still enjoy a snifter or two before kick-off. Unfortunately for Mr Chalmers, Gareth appears as he’s getting his round in, increasing his outlay by 33%. Unlucky mate.
Our first impressions on entering the ground before kick off is just how young the oppo look. Just to be sure, a quick check reveals they are indeed the first team and not some ball boys just having a kick-about. Bloody hell. And I thought we had a young side! I’ve got underwear older than some of this lot.
Our line up tonight welcomes back Bailey after his 1 match suspension, but loses Matt Gray (suspended) and Matt Hanlan (rested). With Boosey keeping his spot and Dean Hamlin coming in on the right, we’re still not exactly struggling for a side. No doubt our comparatively vast resources are viewed enviously by our hosts.
Like Saturday the opening 10 minutes or so are pretty forgettable. Nursey has a couple of runs at the home defence which come to little. But what is apparent very early on is the oppo look unsurprisingly rather out of their depth. This does little to produce a reasonable tempo to the game. Even so, it takes the U’s just 16 minutes to open the scoring, with Boosey flighting a corner close to the back post. Ex-U Kevin Davies comes to claim, but under pressure from Jinadu and with one of his own defenders not exactly helping the situation, he spills the ball. Fowler gobbles up the chance, turning inside the 6 yard box to hook the loose ball past 2 on the line and into the net.
The Aylesbury lads protest claiming Davies was impeded and to be honest, 9 out of 10 Ryman refs probably would have blown for a foul, but when you’re shit out of luck, you seem to attract iffy decisions like this. We know all too well about that.
We expect this to early-ish lead to a real deluge, but it never quite comes. Bailey puts a good ball forwards for Nurse and with the help of a touch from the Ducks no5, JN finds himself clear on goal with only Davies to beat. But his shot is weak and straight at the ‘keeper. He gets another surprise go as Davies fumbles, but lobs the rebound onto the roof of the net.
By this stage, it’s been established that the food bar only does Chips. With chips. Oh and chips with chip sauce and a light sprinkling of chips. Ironically, despite being a bit peckish, the only thing I really don’t fancy to eat are chips. Fuck my life. Still, if there’s any Russians in tonight, I’m sure they’ll be thinking they’ve died & gone to heaven when they clock the Ducks spud stocks.
A neat exchange between Bailey & Nurse almost leads to a second goal about 26 minutes in. Nick playing the ball wide to the left and continuing his run into the box for Nurse to pick him out with a well flighted cross. Bailey gets there ahead of Davies, but despite his little flicked header beating the ‘keeper, it also drops just over the bar.
The oppo are sadly doing their level best to unseat the Bobbins “Worst side we’ve seen this season” throne, offering very little in the way of threat up front. But, to their credit, they keep plugging away trying to play football in the right manner. Sadly just not very well.
This lack of presence unfortunately leads to the U’s starting to fanny about too much on the ball and over-elaborate when in possession. We also seem to be ignoring the usual superb Buckingham Road surface, mainly looking to knock early balls over the home defence for Nursey to bomb onto with his pace.
Erm, could we stop pissing about please and set about dismantling the not-very-good opposition please? Thanking you. 30 minutes played and one of those balls over the top sets Nursey off clear on goal. But as he gets into the box, he thinks he has more time than he actually has and allows a defender to prod the ball out for a corner before he can get a shot off.
The home side briefly remind us that they are still lurking out there somewhere if not very prominently, with half time approaching. A quick ball down our left and a cross is whipped in from deep out on the touchline, picking out a lone Aylesbury forward inside the box towards the near post. His bullet header leaves Iga stranded but zips just a few inches over the crossbar.
Good evening gentlemen, this is your Tuesday night “stop fucking about and start playing properly” alarm call!
The scare has the requisite effect and with time almost up before the break, Akuamouah loops a great cross in from the left right to the back post where Fowler takes advantage of some hesitant defending and nips in to nod his second goal from an angle.
Thank you lads. That’s much better.
Shortly after, the whistle goes and we scamper off to the bar for some refreshment and to catch some of the no doubt million-more-times-thrilling-than-what-we’re-watching Leicester v Bolton Premier League game on the telly. Fuck me. I think I’d rather be queuing for the chips.
Chalmers and I wander out after a quick short to warm the cockles and amble down the front of the main stand heading for the far end. Here our progress is temporarily halted by the ‘tunnel’ gate. This only serves to illustrate just exactly how young the Aylesbury line up is as we get to see them close up as they emerge for the 2nd 45.
Let’s just say there can’t be many clubs in the Ryman Premier whose half time refreshments consist of a can of coke and a pack of smarties each. And I’ll bet the arguments over who gets to use the Playstation 2 first after the ‘gaffer’ has done his tactical talk are murders. And imagine the constant chorus of ‘Are we there yet?’ on the team coach for away games.
The U’s come out for the second half a little more determined than the first, obviously having been instructed to stop fucking about, start playing a bit more football and get the job done. Fowler has an early shout turned down for what looks to be a clear trip in the box and then Nurse plays a nice ball in from the right for Fowler, but he’s blocked out before he can shoot.
But the persistence pays off and around the hour mark, the home defence fail to clear the ball and Paul Honey thunders into a challenge on the edge of the box. The ball spins out to Fowler and he whips a shot on the turn over the now stranded Davies and into the net. 3-0 and Mr F has himself another match ball for his collection.
6 minutes later and he’s making a start on obtaining second one. Nurse makes one of his now trademark turns away from an opponent 25 yards out. He skips past 2 more before slipping the ball into the box for Fowler who draws Davies out before thumping a shot high into the net. 4-0 now and there’s still a good 25 to play. This could get nasty.
With the space the lads are being afforded, everyone understandably wants a piece of the action. Even Dean Hamlin! Running onto a ball to the right he heads for the box, cuts inside a defender and with a sight of goal he pulls the trigger only to have his effort blocked for a corner by a properly desperate last ditch challenge. No doubt these boys will take a beating fair & square, but it seems even they couldn’t bear to be the ones Deano breaks his duck against.
With a beer at stake from Gareth if he hits the net this season and the relevant stick he’s taken since hitting the bar at Bognor his reaction of looking straight at Mr Miller and screaming “FUUUUUUCKKKK IIIIIIITTT!” is a little understandable.
God only knows what he’d have done had it actually gone in! Bad luck Deano old son. Next time mate. Next time.
The game goes a little dull again as we remove Boosey and Akuamouah for Hanlan & Dray, but going into the last 10 minutes, another burst of activity sees the scoreline reach one of ‘Bobbins on Boxing Day’ proportions.
Bailey puts a corner in from the right towards the near post and Quinton rises unmarked to power in a header, but Davies makes a great save and tips the effort over the bar. Sadly for the young South African, his efforts go to waste moments later when his defence fail to learn their lesson and Bailey this time picks out Nurse with the follow up corner. With acres of time and space, JN takes the ball on his chest and cracks a half-volley into the near corner.
Nursey then goes on a weaving run down the right with about 5 minutes left, gets to the byeline and pulls the ball back to the near post for Fowler. His touch hits a defender, bobbles past Davies, is somehow nudged off the line by another defender before being knocked back goalwards again by the U’s man, only for it to be blocked once more on the line and finally cleared.
But not to be denied the half dozen, the lads keep pushing to the final whistle and right on time Nurse slips the ball to Bailey out on the right. Nicky puts a low ball to the near post where Fowler once more lurks. In one movement he kills the ball, turns his marker and before Davies can react, squeezes the ball between the ‘keeper and his near post to make it 6-0.
Er, Matt, is it against your religion to just score ones and twos like normal strikers or something?
We applaud the lads off and also add a little ‘well played’ tribute for our poor battered opponents, who to their credit never stopped working and trying all through the game despite being clearly out of their depth. That and unlike some sides we could mention, they stuck to playing football and resisted the temptation to go kicking the shit out of everything in a Yellow shirt once the game was out of sight in the second half.
There’s no time to hang about though and attending crew members are soon legging it out to the car park to Gareth’s motor and before you can say “Fuck me I’m thirsty, anyone fancy last orders at the Hood?” we’re bombing it back to Surrey for a closing time pint at our favourite watering hole.
An hour later, it’s beers before bedtime and we’re filling in Dave behind the bar on the night’s events.
Right, all thats left now is to hatch a plan to break Miller out of the hospital for Saturdays trip to Hitchin!
Now, where did I put those stun-grenades?
MAN OF THE MATCH : Er, Matt Fowler. Even we’re not dumb enough to ignore FIVE goals!
ENTERTAINMENT : 7.5. Too much fannying about & not enough ball on the ground
TEAM : Iga, Hamlin, Palmer, Quinton, Jinadu, Akuamouah, Bailey, Boosey, Honey, Fowler, Nurse
SUBS : Hanlan, Fletcher, Dray
THE REFEREE’S… had very very little to do really. Not a dirty game at all. No big decisions bottled out of, no blatant red cards ignored. No complaints really!