RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
SUTTON UNITED – 4 [Fowler 19. Nurse 39. Boosey 73. Gray 79]
KINGSTONIAN – 1 [Beard 48]
Ah, it’s the Easter break. And what a busy little period this is going to be. Not only have we got both K’s and the Scummers to play inside 72 hours, we’ve also got some serious drinking to do. Still, what can we say. We didn’t choose the crap Non-League life, the crap Non-League life chose us…
So, 10 Days after the U’s had dumped struggling K’s out of the Surrey Cup on their way to the final itself, the once mighty Hooped ones hopped on a 213 and made the short trip over to GGL desperately looking for points as they try to avoid sliding further down the table & into the relegation spots which are currently concerning them far more than any thoughts of making the top 13 to qualify for the new Conference South starting next season.
We’re making an early start and just after 11, I wander into the Old Bank at the top of the High Street finding Greek & Windy passing the time playing the golf machine. A chat with some of the K’s lads I know who are also in attendance and a couple of pints later, we’re off to our usual pre-match haunt at the Hood.
Thoroughly refreshed after the normal pre-match medicating, we stroll down to GGL looking forwards to another dismantling of our friends from down by the Thames to go with the one we dished out in the SSC.
With Chris Nurse suspended this week after his red card at Braintree, his place in the starting line up is taken a little surprisingly by Jasper Neilsen and not Glenn Boosey. But this is the only change to the side from last time out.
Despite the rough looking surface, suffering from the effects of the Coney Hall-AFC Wimbledon cup semi-final on the Thursday night that a few of us got roped in to steward (my what a lovely bunch the Coney lot were! So polite. So friendly….), the play is surprisingly tidy and the U’s set about their task early on. With 13 minutes on the clock, the K’s defence fails to deal with a corner from the left which is headed on. Nurse’s shot being blocked on the line by the stout (read: fat) figure of Key in the K’s goal. A minute or two later, a ball over the top sends Bailey clear of the defence. He pulls the ball across the area which is seemingly blocked by the hand of a defender. But despite loud appeals for the penno, the ref waves play on having seen nowt.
It’s a brief let off however. 19 minutes gone another ball over the flat K’s defence this time sends Nurse clear down the left hand side. He beats his man to the bye line and pulls the ball back to around the penalty spot where Matt Fowler is arriving to sweep the ball beyond the dive of Key and in off the base of the far post to put Sutton ahead. It’s been coming!
There follows a lull where the U’s are in control but few chances are created and it’s not until the 33rd minute that the next real moment of consequence arrives. Bailey chases a ball down on the left and slides in to hook it back from the bye line, finding Nurse in the penalty area. But his shot is just deflected wide by the desperate intervention of a defender in front of him.
K’s finally trouble the Sutton rearguard on 36 minutes, a neat pass out to our right puts a hooped attacker in behind the back line. Iga comes off his line to meet him, but is rounded. Thankfully though, he’s done enough to force his man wide of the target and the K’s forward pulls his shot back across the box and into the side netting.
It’s another brief respite for the visitors and with half-time looming, Nurse goes and doubles the U’s lead. Key launches a kick forwards that Jinadu meets well inside his own half. His huge header drops behind the K’s defence pushing too far up and Nursey is in behind like a shot. With the defence trailing, JN races into the box and from around 15 yards out, drills a low shot past Key and into the bottom corner. 2-0.
Sutton see out the remainder of the half without incident and go in at the break incidentally holding the same advantage over the same oppo that we did 10 days ago. Let’s hope it ends up the same at the end!
Things get interesting after the restart though. A couple of minutes in a free-kick from outside the area is blocked. The rebound falls to Beard and he scuffs a shot goalwards. It really shouldn’t trouble Iga, but it takes a deflection on it’s way in and wrong foots the U’s stopper. There’s nowt he can do but watch as the ball trundles past him and into the net. Bugger. That wasn’t in the script.
Despite this unexpected hiccup, Sutton hit back not long after when a Bailey corner from the right picks out Quinton at the near post, but his effort is nudged wide of the mark for another corner. Bailey again puts the ball in and this time finds Nurse, but his header flashes just wide of the near post.
Having got their opening back into the contest, K’s step up their efforts and for a good 15 minutes or so, the game hangs in the balance with the visitors looking hard for their equaliser. But the U’s defence holds firm under pressure and manage to prevent K’s carving out any serious chances that trouble Iga.
JR elects to inject some life into proceedings at this point and with 20 minutes to go, brings off Neilsen for Boosey. The change proves to be inspired as having been on the park only 2 minutes, the U’s substitute is soon sending a huge “try and leave me out now!!” message to the gaffer.
Collecting the ball just inside the visitors half, he heads upfield, evading 2 hooped shirts as he goes. As he reaches the edge of the box, he finds his way seemingly barred by at least 2 other K’s defenders. But with some amazing footwork he leaves them both on their arses in his wake and suddenly finds himself in front of goal, 8 yards out with only the ‘keeper to beat. Selling Key a dummy and leaving his fat arse sprawling as well, he steps past the prone keeper and strokes the ball into the far corner for what is possibly one of the best goals I’ve seen in a bloody long time.
If you saw Henry’s goal against Liverpool, it was just like that. But chuck in a couple more defenders, actual attempts by the defenders to stop the attacker and you’re there. Oh and Glenn’s not French either. But yeah, you catch my drift.
With the game drifting away from the visitors, the U’s withdraw Fowler for Hamlin and push Gray up front. Within 5 minutes, Matt makes his impact. Palmer drives a ball forwards from deep, over the K’s back line. Matty times his run perfectly and spotting Key off his line loops a glancing header straight over the portly stopper & into the back of the net.
Game, set, match. Those 2 quick goals serve to kill of the visitors completely and the rest of the match is seen out with little further incident. Another 3 points to the tally, cheers lads!
Happy with another solid lesson handed down to the boys from the Royal Borough, we amble back to the Hood for more than a few celebratory beers and to discuss the plan of attack for Monday’s short trip over to the Bobbins. Which will no doubt involve a lot more beers.
Here’s hoping we tonk ’em again!
MAN OF THE MATCH : Glenn Boosey. Ok, he was only on for 20 mins, but WHAT a goal!
ENTERTAINMENT : 7. Not bad considering the state of the pitch
TEAM : Iga, Gray, Akuamoah, Palmer, Jinadu, Bailey, Quinton, Honey, Fowler, Neilsen, J Nurse.
Subs: Boosey, Dunne, Hamlin