RYMAN PREMIER DIVISION
BOBBINS – 2 [Stone 7. OG 9]
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Bailey 25. Boosey 74]
Having got some good practice in sweeping aside poor opposition when turning over K’s on the Saturday, we were looking forward to doling out a bit more of some Xmas style arse-kicking on our ever cheery neighbours from Colston Avenue.
Well, that was the plan anyway.
The Bobbins had certainly seemed to learn their lesson about building these games up, especially after claiming to be ‘really really up for it’ for both the last 2 encounters. And then not showing up.
This time? A barely noticeable interview with their ‘keeper about ‘hoping to do well’.
As befits such a game, we’d decided to make an early start and the crew assembles in the Old Bank for a drinkypoo or two. By 12.30, we’re off to the Cock & Bull and there Belly finds us. Having made fools of ourselves once more on the quiz machine, we take a short stroll down to the Little Windsor. By this stage it’s all very sociable and nicely paced.
Then as we leave Windsor Jr & head for it’s larger namesake up the road, Greek hijacks proceedings.
Imagine a pub crawl with the SAS. Legging it between boozers, chuck in a couple of stun grenades, quick round of shorts and out before the locals work out who the strange people in the funny shirts are and where all their spirits have gone.
Well, that’s what pub crawling is like Nick the Greek style. Just without the stun grenades. More’s the pity.
The Newtown, The Victory and The Nelson are all hit Iranian Embassy style in the next 15 minutes before we spend a mad 10 minutes or so, finally in the Windsor, necking some marzipan flavoured brandy as recommended by Belly.
We stagger down to the ground and after a few greetings with fellow U’s, the latest LBS derby gets underway. The U’s have made just the one change from Saturday, unsurprisingly Glenn Boosey’s wonder goal has earned him a starting spot in midfield at the expense of Neilsen.
The U’s start just how we wanted. With plenty of purpose and this forces a couple of early corners. The first stop of a hopefully very busy afternoon for the Bobbins ‘keeper, Searle comes after 2 minutes, pushing away a fierce Bailey strike from the corner of the box.
With 7 minutes played, the Scummers win a throw-in in our final third. Nothing special. The throw is long and aimed towards the box. A big man gets his head onto it and flicks it onwards. To our rather big surprise, this harmless set piece produces a rather rare and unexpected occurance.
A Bobbins goal.
The ball drifts over a rather static Iga and sneaks inside his far post. The goal it seems, is pretty unexpected by the home fans too as it’s greeted with not exactly wild celebrations. Even the players themselves appear a little surprised about it all.
Right, they’ve had their fluke early goal. Lets get onto tearing these bastards a new arsehole please.
Sadly though, it seems they’re not quite done with the fluke early goal stuff.
The Scummers no11, Saunders, makes a rather aimless looking cross into the box. Iga makes a claim, under no pressure, seemingly under his own bar before being shoved into the net by a rather enthusiastic forward a moment later. To our horror, the lino flags not for the apparent foul, but for the ball over the line. Even worse, the ref agrees!
Now, either we’ve just seen quite possibly the worst refereeing decision ever in a Ryman League match, or Iga has dropped a big fuck off clanger and stepped back over his line in making the catch. Either way, another low key celebration follows from the Bobbins players.
Now, I know this lot were really fucking poor at Xmas gents. And that our confidence is sky high after recent performances, but shit! Giving ‘em a 2 goal head start? Thats taking the piss!
The U’s take a minute or two to get their heads straight and then go on to produce easily the most one sided half of football I’ve seen in years. Fowler tests Searle on 12 minutes, but the porky ‘keeper manages to block the ball. Immediately after a cross in from the left is poorly cleared and drops to Boosey, he goes all twinkle toes on us again and leaves 2 white shirts for dead, but his shot from the edge of the box is deflected wide. On 18 minutes, Gray plays the ball in from the right for Boosey.
Again he goes past 2 opponents like they’re not there before ripping in another shot from 18 yards. But once more, Mr Searle is there to meet it and palms it away for a corner.
The U’s keep on coming, roared on by the now pissed off U’s fans behind the goal where the realisation that this pile of cack are actually 2 goals up has finally started to sink in. Nursey piles down the right and puts in a great cross to the back post, but Bailey’s header flashes inches wide of the upright.
4 minutes later and it’s game on. A free-kick on the left is played in to the centre where Fowler sweeps it out to the opposite flank. Quinton collects and swings the ball in with pace for Bailey to meet with a venomous header 8 yards out that he powers beyond the helpless dive of Searle and just inside the far post. NOW COME ON!!!! If we can get this second before half time, we’ll fucking murder ‘em!
We keep pressing & probing, looking for another opening. Bailey drifts a cross from out on the left behind the defence on 29 minutes that the overlapping Gray darts onto. But he doesn’t have much time and his slightly hurried chip over the advancing Searle is too high & carries over the bar.
2 minutes later, we almost have a serious challenger to Boosey’s “Bloody hell!” strike from last week. Bailey collects the ball well inside our own half, out on the right flank. He turns a Bobbins man and powers up the touchline into Scummer territory, flying past 2 defenders, he then cuts inside leaving a third trailing before crashing a shot past Searle from the corner of the 18 yard box only to see it thump agonisingly back off the far upright.
Still the U’s pile forwards. 37 minutes played and a cross in from the left is nodded down by Gray and thumped goalwards by Fowler. Searle blocks with his legs, but the rebound drops to Gray, but his shot is also kept out, this time by an outstretched leg before another corner is won.
With half time looming, the chances keep coming. Bailey floats a free-kick to the back post from deep on the right, but once again, Searle reacts. This time to push away a great header from Nurse.
About now, Sutton are forced to make a change to their line up when Quinton hobbles off seemingly holding his back. Martin Dunne slots straight in at the back to cover.
The Bobbins have already picked up 3 cautions for somewhat pointless fouls, when Scummer defender Harding makes a rather crude high challenge on Bailey around 25 yards out from goal. Unfortunately, he’s one of the ones already cautioned and the ref has little option but to show a second yellow.
Nice to see the Bobbins resuming that particular little tradition. It’s not a proper LBS derby without a Scummer walking for some utterly pointless foul!
Before the break, there’s still time for one last push and a corner from the left is flicked on, dropping to Palmer out on the right. His blistering low volley finds Searle’s gut rather than the net and all we get is yet another corner. The ref finally calls time on the Robin battering and despite still, god knows how, being behind, we cheer the lads off loudly.
On our way round at half time, we chat to a few fellow U’s who might have had a better view of the second goal in an attempt to find out just what the fuck happened! Opinions are split, but the majority seem to feel that Andy had looked suspiciously over his line when making the catch.
God only knows why he just didn’t tip it over or at worse case, just punch the fecker.
Ho hum. Still, there’s 45 minutes to play. We’ll get ‘em.
The second half starts with the U’s having to make another change, with Matt Fowler picking up a dead leg in the first half, Dean Hamlin relpaces Gray on the right & Matty pushes up front to partner Nurse.
To start with, the enforced reshuffle doesn’t seem to adversely affect the visitors and roared on by us lot, they continue to seek out a second goal. Several minutes after the restart, a nice pass from Jinadu sends Nurse on his way, but his shot is blocked by Searle. The resulting corner is swung in from the left and eventually finds Boosey, but again his rasping 20 yard drive is pushed away by the Bobbins custodian.
Another of our 3 man free-kicks on 56 minutes sees Bailey drag his shot off target into the box, only for Palmer to react and prod it back across goal and wide of the upright.
The home side are understandably packing men behind the ball and things start to get a little silly with Saunders finally cautioned for his umpteenth pointless foul of the afternoon. Laughably, Paul Honey is cautioned soon after for leaping to his feet and staring out the culprit who has just rather crudely poleaxed from behind for the umpteenth time. Quite how the culprit, Marvel, stays on the pitch after the tackle and then sticking his head into PH’s face is something that is still puzzling me.
The match is still pretty much one way traffic in favour of Sutton, but not as frantic as the first 45. With the removal of Gray down the right obviously hindering our attacking options. But still we keep plugging away. 67 minutes played and a decent cross into the box by Hamlin on the right after some neat play is blotted out at the back post before dropping to Akuamouah on the edge of the 18 yard box. His low effort again forcing Searle into action and the shot is pushed wide.
We then lose our third man to injury, Paul Honey getting a boot in the face from who else but the irritatingly still on the pitch Saunders. It’s clumsy rather than malicious, but still doesn’t prevent us from abusing the little shit. Gonsalves comes in on the left and Eddie pushes into midfield.
With the match approaching the last 15 minutes, a little feeling of “the jammy fuckers are going to hold out aren’t they?” starts to form in a few of the mob’s minds. But obviously not the lads out on the field as we keep playing the ball about, probing for that goal we’re simply owed by this point.
A cross from the left is nodded on and finds Nurse at the back post, he cuts inside the defender but his shot is straight at the ‘keeper. Then a couple of minutes later, it finally happens.
The moment we’ve all been waiting for. The equaliser.
A long ball over the top of the U’s defence sets Patsy off in a race with the Scummers only remaining forward, McDonnell. They come together around 30 yards out & McDonnell is sent sprawling.
Despite loud appeals for a foul, the ref waves play on. Whilst the Scummers seem to stop for a few moments to question the decision, the U’s make them pay for their momentary lapse in concentration.
The ball is swept forwards into midfield, where a very deep lying Jon Nurse collects, turns and heads into the Robins half before swinging a perfect ball over the shoulder of a defender, into the centre of the field 25 yards out where Boosey is charging forwards. His run is timed just as well as the pass and he races clear of the chasing defender, steadies himself and rifles the ball first time past the advancing Searle into the bottom corner.
Unsurprisingly, this sparks absolute bedlam on the covered terracing behind that particular goal.
The Gandermonium sponsored midfielder seems pretty chuffed as well, wheeling away in delight with his shirt swinging above his head. Dean Hamlin seems fairly happy too. Judging by him joining in the mad celebrations amongst the crew at the perimeter fence. I’d have enjoyed it a little more as well had Oscar not grabbed me round the neck and tried to squeeze the very life out of me. The wally.
Right lads, any chance we can get on and win the bastard now?
The equaliser pretty much kicks the Bobbins game plan in the bollocks. With us now level, to sit back and try to soak up the undoubted onslaught that would follow is suicide. So, they decide to open up a little and play a bit more. Into the last 10 minutes, they finally manage to mount a reasonable threat on our goal. A cross played into the box from our right drifting in towards goal, but this time just over the bar.
A frantic last few minutes follows as the U’s search desperately for a winner, but are largely frustrated. The best chance coming after some good play in midfield, Bailey holds the ball well on the edge of the box for Gray to get up in support before laying the ball into Matty’s path. His shot is clean, but not for the first time, the porky frame of Stuart fucking Searle gets down to block the effort.
So, the Bobbins escape with a point from what was quite possibly the most one sided 2-2 draw I’ve ever seen. It’s hard to tell quite what we can take from this result. One the one hand, we gave away two of the softest goals I’ve seen all season and failed to put away a shedload of chances. But on the other hand, the lads once again showed they’re up for these games and deservedly got those 2 goals back.
Oh and it was nice to see the Bobbins show up for once. Even if they did only manage one shot on goal in the entire 90 minutes for their 2 goals.
Slightly hoarse, we stagger off up the road, heading back to home turf stopping off for a burger on the way to try & help soak up those shorts from Greeks mad bender earlier.
By the time we arrive back at the Hood, everyone is pretty drained now the adrenaline of earlier has definately worn off. Predictions include the session not lasting beyond 8pm!
But thankfully, the attraction of Ken’s infamously fiendish Monday night quiz proves too strong and everyone gets themselves a second wind and we work on getting seriously shedded.
There’s always next year Bobbins. We’ll be ready for ya.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Nick Bailey. Behind most of our attacks, good goal & almost another.
ENTERTAINMENT : 8. Played all the footy & did well to overturn that early defecit.
TEAM : Iga, Gray, Akuamoah, Palmer, Jinadu, Bailey, Quinton, Honey, Fowler, Boosey, J Nurse.
SUBS: Neilsen, Hamlin, Gonsalves
THE REFEREE’S………another shocker. And that’s despite sending one of their lot off. How Saunders wound up only getting cautioned once escapes me.