RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 4 [Folwer 7.21. Bailey 9. Boosey 74]
HAYES – 1 [Holsgrove 69p]
Since the 2 sides met on the opening day of the season, Hayes & Sutton’s fortunes have varied quite a bit. And not quite how we’d have liked! From that first game, we felt fairly confident we’d go onto make an impression and Hayes, whilst hard working, lacked firepower.
Unfortunately, it didn’t quite go that way. We dipped badly after the first few games and spent the best part of the next 3 months arsing about at the wrong end of the table whilst Hayes, despite still lacking a little up front, built a formidible record based upon their solid defence.
But, fortunes have changed once more and whilst we’re flying with one league defeat since October, tonights oppo have stuttered badly and having sat 2nd at one point are slipping slowly towards that vital 13th place for next seasons new setup.
But tonight would still prove a stern test. But a win would leave us just one tantilising point behind the Bobbins. Could we possibly need more motivation than that?
I wander into the Hood and find a skint Oscar already nursing a pint. I join him and soon after, Dave appears, looking somewhat worse for wear after his lengthy Birthday celebrations. Which started on Thursday and included a late night karaoke session at his house last night.
Where was our invite you bastard?
Greek & Chalmers complete the set around 7 and we prop up the bar, all bemoaning our pre-pay day lack of readies. And in Oscars case, his soon-to-be-post-pay day lack of readies! Unfortunately, the only man amongst the crew with available spending power after a substantial win on an internet Casino isn’t here, using some feeble excuse about having some stitches taken out of his knee this evening for his pre-match absence.
Rubbish! We’ll get you later Miller…
We roll up to the ground a bit drier than expected thanks to transport supplied by Greek & Mr C and wander in to discover a couple of changes to the Sutton lineup.
Jinadu has apparently suffered a knock to his ankle and is missing. As is Tony Quinton despite having now served his 1 match ban, he’s ill. Bloody hell, it’s going to be a bit thin at the back tonight! Martin Dunne and Craig Howard step up from the Reserves to fill in. Good luck lads!
We get a cuppa in from the tea hut just as the teams choose ends. Annoyingly, we end up shooting towards the Collingwood End which involves a stroll. Not that the exercise bothers me, but the chance of having to scribble down notes for this load of old nonsense whilst on the move and holding a cup of tea makes it an un-needed hassle!
The boys are out of the blocks like a rat up a drainpipe and before we’ve made it to the far end, 2 chances have already come & gone. First a quick move to the edge of the box ends with a shot being blocked earning a corner. Then a minute or so later an attack down the right ends with a sharp cross picking out Nurse at the back post. But his firm header into the corner of the net is ruled out by an offside flag. A decision that puzzles I and several other U’s fans with a decent view of events.
The respite is brief though. As on 7 minutes anothewr corner is won. Gray goes over to take it and delivers a rather disappointing effort along the ground directly at a defender on the near post. Comically, he swings wildly at the ball, misses completely and having totally deceived his ‘keeper, it leaves Matt Fowler the painfully simple task of turning the ball in from no more than a couple of yards out to put us into an early lead.
Now why couldn’t those Northwood types do that?
With the next serious foray forwards, our brisk start brings a second goal. A quick movement forwards leads to the ball being slipped out into space on the right. Jon Nurse drives forwards before whipping a great cross to the back post for the unmarked Nicky Bailey to power in a header from close range.
Bloody hell! Thats the way to protect an untested defence. Rip the oppo to shreds before they’ve had chance to have a go at them!
Hayes are soon getting themselves into the game though and whilst their usually reliable defence tries to work out just what the fuck just happened, their forwards are trying their luck. On 13 minutes a move down our left ends with a ball across the edge of our box and a thumping shot that Andy Iga has to scramble out of play for a corner.
A couple of minutes later, a ball down the channel on the right puts an attacker in on goal behind our defence, but Iga is off his line quickly to close down the angle and blocks the resulting shot with his legs.
No doubt feeling a bit better about themselves having started to get involved in the game, Hayesw suffer another setback at the hands of the rampaging Sutton attack. Another ball out wide and this time Matt Gray delivers the ball at pace to the near post where Fowler nips in front of his marker to guide a deft header across the ‘keeper and into the far corner!
We’re coming Bobbins, oh we’re coming for ya!
Bouyed by this fantastic start, the U’s set about cutting open the Hayes defence almost at will. On 23 minutes, another Gray cross is only half cut out at the near post and drops invitingly to Paul Honey, but with the goal at his mercy he drives just over the target from 8 yards out.
A few minutes later, we’re thouroughly entertained by a wonderfully comical melee in and around the visitors box that seems to go on for about 5 minutes! It’s impossible to describe it here and do it’s comic majesty justice. In fact, I’m not sure I could do so even after watching it a number of times on a video replay.
And to think, people would rather stay in and watch bleeding Arsenal on the telly than this! Stupid stupid stupid.
We’re also kept amused by the vistors manager, Willy Wordsworth, who is doing a marvellous impression of Father Jack from the rather funny comedy series ‘Father Ted’.
Well, I thought so anyway. I could’ve sworn one hoarse shout from the Hayes technical area sounded very much like “WOOOMENNNNNNNSKNNNNIICCKERS”
Hayes to their credit shake off the shock of their early battering and set about trying to reduce the defecit. Well, either that or we’ve just got bored of attacking for a while! One corner flies across the face of goal just begging to be touched in and soon after a nice short pass to feet inside the box produces a swfit turn & shot that flies across goal and jiust wide of the mark.
Iga has to make a smart stop on 39 minutes when a blue shirt tries his luck from distance, forcing the U’s keeper to beat out the wickedly swerving shot.
With the break coming up, Fowler looks to be bundled over from behind 6 yards out when trying to reach a low Gray cross in from the right and right on the whistle, Nurse gallops down the left, outpaces his man and pulls the ball back to fowler at the near post. But Matt delays his shot, taking another touch instead and a defender manages to get in and block his hat-trick chance.
Hayes though have the last word, a pass is deflected into the path of a blue shirt 8 yards out, but again Iga is quick to make himself look big and deflects the opponents shot out for a corner.
We offer the usual encouragement as the lads trudge off, but for me personally, something doesn’t feel quite right about this situation….
Thats it! The ref! He’s actually not had a bad game so far and I’m therefore completely unable to abuse him.
Arse. How disappointing.
Still I decide to go for the sarky “You bastard ref, I’ve got nothing to slag you off for!” comment instead. But it’s just not the same. Still, it makes the said official smile. And no doubt think “I’ll show you, you sarcastic little fucker!”
We dive into the bar for warmth and I take the opportunity to drum up some more business for Gandermonium’s first foray into the world of merchandising. Thankfully our commemorative 6-0 Bobbins thrashing shirts are proving a popular idea.
Although I can’t for the life of me think why! *Ahem!*
Thankfully, the rain holds off for the second half and we take our usual spot on the shoebox and set about watching the next 45 minutes action.
The visitors have obviously had a bit of a telling off during the break (With Mr Wordsworth no doubt in ‘Jack’ overdrive!) as they’re looking a damn sight more lively than they were three-quarters of an hour ago!
Within a minute or two of the restart, a ball over the top is gathered up by Palmer, but rather than nod it back to the waiting Iga, he delays for a moment and is hassled off the ball by an attacker. Once again, Iga does his job and closing down the angle, saves with his legs.
The game drops off a little for a while as a bit of a scrap develops between the 2 sides for control of the game. But it’s definately the visitors playing at the higher tempo. Just after the hour, a ball down the right is played inside and a thumping drive flies just past the angle of bar & post on the far side.
Then, with 20 minutes remaining, my innocent little comment to the ref comes back to haunt me.
A Hayes man on a run, cuts in from the left and has his run halted by a well timed, solid challenge by Patsy in the box. Unfortunately, the ref thinks differently and points to the spot.
To add insult to injury, he decides a yellow card is required as well. Holsgrove steps up and dispatches the spot-kick down the middle. 3-1 and game on perhaps?
Sadly for the visitors, no.
Within 6 minutes a ball forwards is held up on the right by Nurse. He turns and slides a pass down the touchline & into acres of space for the overlapping Gray to charge into. He takes the ball to the byeline and pulls it back to the edge of the 6 yard box for the arriving Boosey to slide into the back of the net.
Hayes do keep plugging away, although the game is now well beyond them and with around 10 to play, a corner from the right finds a big man in the middle, but despite being well placed, his powering header flies well wide.
A frantic last 5 minutes see’s the U’s pressing for a 5th and coming pretty close. First a Hanlan drive from around 20 yards out is just tipped over. The resulting corner is only half cleared and drops to Gray some 25 yards out. His vicious curling drive has the keeper scrambling and he somehow manages to push the ball wide of the post for another corner.
With time almost up, another poor clearance drops to Nurse just outside the box, he goes past the defender before laying the ball out to the better placed Fowler. His shot is straight at the ‘keeper, but not for the first time tonight, he fails to gather and Nurse dives in with a defender for the loose ball. Nursey gets there first and just gets a touch. The ball trickles agonisingly towards the line, before being wildly hacked clear by a covering defender.
Soon after, the far worse than he was in the first half ref decides that around 8 minutes of injury time is more than enough and blows for time. We then leg it out the gate & back to PC’s motor so we can get back to the Hood for a couple before closing.
Here we amuse ourselves by taking the piss out of a very worn down Dave, clearly suffering after 5 days of solid alcohol abuse and by dismantling Windy’s NHS crutches and reassembling them in the most amusing ways we can think of.
Us? Easily amused? Naaaah.
Right, now lets stop fucking about boys & get that one lousy poxy measly crappy point gap overturned and get above those bastards down the road.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Martin Dunne & Craig Howard. Very assured debuts. Well done lads.
ENTERTAINMENT : 8. Great start, almost undermined by one twat……….
TEAM : Iga, Gray, Akuamouah, Palmer, Jinadu, Bailey, Hamlin, Honey, Fowler, Hanlan, Nurse.
SUBS : Hamlin, Dray, Fletcher.
THE REFEREE’S………As described, had a decent first half. Nothing to complain about. But was then a TOTAL twat in the second half.