RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Fowler 24. Nurse 51. Gray 84]
HARROW BOROUGH – 0
Yes! I have returned! Having had a week off reporting duties to go & get drunk wandering around the pubs of Dublin with a Cheerleader on each arm (don’t ask…..), it’s back to my feverish ramblings and I’m hoping that Guinness doesn’t kill any more brain cells than everyday English beer does so that I’ll be able to remember at least the basics of this one.
Like my name for starters…..but I’m struggling. Anyone care to give me a clue?
After Saturdays resounding 3-1 win over George Borg’s full-time Urchins following on from that game against Canvey, we were naturally a little confident of seeing off tonight’s visitors.
Then again, despite their lowly position, they’re not doing badly! One defeat since New Years and 7 clean sheets to boot.
Arse. Banana skin anyone?
The usual faces greet me in the Hood. Dave & Windy are discussing next Tuesdays trip to K’s for the County Cup semi for which they both have the day off. Skiving bastards. Some of us have to work you know! Chalmers stumbles in around 7 and he’s soon depositing us at the ground.
C’mon lads, 3 points tonight and we’re back to 1 behind that lot up the road.
The side has one change tonight, Chris Nurse making his full debut in place of Hanlan who has apparently hurt his back. Still, shouldn’t stop us testing our visitors defensive capabilities to the maximum. Oh goody!
A quiet first few minutes see’s the U’s in control, but not really creating a great deal. But 8 minutes in, Nurse gets the ball to feet just inside the box, turns & shoots. The ‘keeper parries his effort and Akuamouah follows in. But from a couple of yards out, the ‘keeper somehow gets some part of his boy onto Eddie’s toe-poke and it spins wide of the post.
The next incident of note doesn’t come until around 20 minutes in. Harrow making their first real foray into our box. A long diagonal ball picks out the run of the forward, but his prodded shot forces Iga down quickly & he smothers the ball.
A couple of minutes later, Bailey makes a burst from midfield. Finding himself with a clear sight of goal, he cracks in a shot the the ‘keeper pushes away. But before he can get both hands onto the loose ball, Fowler nips in and prods it over the line.
Ok, it’s scruffy, but it’ll do!
On the half hour, Bailey & Gray combine for a left sided corner and Quinton barrels in at the near post, somehow heading Gray’s cross the wrong side of the upright. A free-kick shortly after finds Jinadu doing what big, huge tall defender blokes are supposed to do, winning a header in the box. But this effort is high & clears the bar.
With the break approaching, the ref annoys us with a couple of ropey decisions.
First Fowler battles his way past a couple of lunging challenges outside the box before being nearly decapitated on the edge of the 18 yard box by one ‘tackle’. The crack of boot against shin pad echoes out across the expanses of GGL, yet the ref feels there’s nowt wrong with this and waves play on.
A couple of minutes later, Nurse breaks down the left and drops a cross into the box for the supporting Matt Gray 6 yards out. A defender slides through him as the ball drops and poleaxes the man as the ball bounces away across the box untouched by either red or amber shirt.
Erm. Anyone else spot the deliberate mistake here?
The ref completes his strange little spell right on the whistle. A long ball forwards is nodded back towards Iga by Jinadu. The Harrow no9 makes a futile dash after the ball, but Iga claims well ahead of him. With the no9 still coming, Andy decides that a collision wouldn’t be much fun & takes a step to his left. To no avail. Mr 9 seems hell bent on a bit of pointless physical contact and adjusts his run to make sure it ends right where Iga is standing.
It’s a really shitty challenge and with Andy having had hold of the ball long enough for the guy to check his run or at the very least make it look like he was trying to avoid a collision. Which he didn’t.
It really should be a red card. We know it, Mr 9 knows it and even Dave Howell the Harrow manager knows it as he’s stood on the edge of his technical area shaking his head in that “you stupid twat, what did you do that for?” sort of way.
Unfortunately, someone maybe should have explained this to the ref. As he produces only a yellow card. I give up, I really do.
We only linger briefly in the bar as the AC Milan Champions cash pot on telly fails to hold our attention and we’re soon back on the terraces awaiting the second half.
The U’s start brightly again, having the better of the play and 6 minutes from the restart, increase their lead.
A ball out to the left finds Bailey who makes a run towards the box. He lays a pass across the edge of the 18yard box for Jon Nurse, who turns his marker, glides inside another defender and curls a shot from 12 yards into the top far corner of the net.
Guess we’d better chalk up another Nursey ‘goal of the season’ contender!
Harrow have another rare attack just after the hour, with a move down the right that results in a cross into the box. It picks out an attacker towards the back post, well placed to cause some damage, but he hooks his shot horribly wide.
The U’s continue to control proceedings, playing some of the best footy we’ve seen for a while, but sadly without the final finish to give the scoreline an appearance the play warrants. Bailey combines with Gray on 80 minutes, driving in a shot from the edge of the area that forces Karamoko into a very good stop. But he’s out of luck a couple of minutes later.
A free-kick on the edge of the Harrow box, towards the right has Gray, Bailey & Jon Nurse standing over it. Now normally, when we have half the team stood over a set piece, it goes wonderfully tits up. Gareth mumbles as much this time round.
“This’ll be a complete fuck up”
Nursey touches to Bailey, Bailey nudges it to Gray and Matty smashes a brilliant swerving shot round the wall and past the despairing dive of Karamoko at his near post.
Can we do those every time please??? No? Thought not.
Glenn Boosey is introduced as a late sub and almost adds to the tally, a nasty swerving 25 yard shot forcing an acrobatic, if slightly over exuberant catch from the Harrow ‘keeper. Very ‘African Nations’!
Soon after and the lads are heading down the tunnel with another 3 points in the bag and Conference South now all but assured. We head back to the Hood for a small celebratory drink or 2.
Oooooh. Only a point behind the Scummers now. Hopefully we’ll finally pass those overachieving bastards on Saturday.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Matt Gray. Tormented ‘em all night. Fantastic strike as well.
ENTERTAINMENT : 8. At times, some of the football was a joy to watch.
TEAM : Iga, Gray, Akuamouah, Palmer, Jinadu, Quinton, Bailey, C.Nurse, Honey, Fowler, J. Nurse
SUBS : Boosey, Dunne, Hamlin
THE REFEREE’S………so so. Didn’t have to do much, then had a silly few minutes before HT.