PRE SEASON FRIENDLY
LEATHERHEAD – 1 [Tavares 73.]
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Vansittart 10. Martin 55.]
We played Leatherhead at a similar point last summer and it was hot. Fucking hot.
Hot. Fucking hot.
For a friendly, the assembled crew is disgracefully large! With myself, Greek, Windy, Belly, Chalmers and after a long sabbatical, Colin. Naturally the earlyish meet in the Old Bank means we get to sink a few and talk our usual bollocks.
With the heat being a bit intense and somewhat disagreeable to a distinguished fair haired gentleman such as myself, I start to wonder if a hat would be a good idea. Especially having got burned to a crisp at last weeks Casuals-Man Utd fixture.
Actually being sensible for once, I finish my drink swiftly and take a brisk stroll down the high street. After 2 minutes in Millets, I’ve procured a nice hat for the princely sum of six quid. Within 30 seconds of Greek seeing it, he’s fallen in love and I agree to swop with his hat on a days ‘loan’. By the time the train has hit Epsom, the big fella has produced 6 English pounds and made his pre-season loan swoop a permanent deal.
A few more refreshments are partaken in a sweltering bar at Fetcham Grove and it’s almost a relief to get out into the sun for the football.
The side is mainly the same starters as against Dulwich, with only 2 new faces in Lee Doherty & Ernest Simon (another cracking name there!) taking a spot on the bench.
The match itself is ok despite the heat, but as it’s only pre-season, I really can’t be arsed to write too much more, so here’s the basics!
1 min. Matty Gray cuts in from the right, plays a short ball to Joff inside the box and his turn & shot is just wide of the mark.
10 min. U’s 0-1. Brake down the left plays in a low ball across the box. Martin cleverly steps over it at the near post completely taking the defender behind him out of the equation and Joff has the simple task of sidefooting in past ex-U Tommy Dunn from close range.
15 min. The home sides first real threat. A good cross from the right is volleyed not far wide of Iga’s back post.
19 min. Andy Martin chases a ball down on the byeline on the right and his cheeky backheel finds Gray behind him. He plays it short for Vansittart, but his shot on the turn inside the box is blocked.
22 min. Some ropey defending allows a ball through the backline, sending a home attacker through 1 on 1 with Iga. Andy makes the block at the edge of the box, only for the ball to loop up and as the striker seems certain to score, Andy gives his leg a tug & he goes down. The ref looks set to give a penalty until he notices the very late linesmans flag for offside on the far side. Phew!
34 min. More clever play down the right, Honey playing a ball out to the right of the box. Fear backheels it into the path of Matt Gray coming in behind him, but Dunn makes a very good stop from his strike.
45 min. Leatherhead go close with a ball through on our right sending a man clear behind the defence. But Iga is off his line quickly, stands up and forces the attacker to clip his shot over the target.
We nip into the bar for a brief drinkypoo before heading back out to make use of the burger van and admire the posterior of the young lady serving…….
49 min. The hosts start brightly and a cross from the left is narrowly headed over the target at the near post.
55 min. U’s 0-2. A swift & simple 2 pass move sees trialist Simon thread the ball into midfield for Fear who advances a few yards and then does the same through the Leatherhead defence. Andy Martin runs clear and thumps a rising drive past the oncoming ‘keeper.
57 min. Gray battles his way down the right to the byeline & pulls the ball back into the box for Joff, but he can’t quite get the killer touch.
61 min. Another Gray break down the right flank ends with a good low ball across the box, finding Glenn Boosey. His shot is blocked and runs to Gray who scores, but is flagged offside.
70 min. As the game wears on, the home side start to come into it a lot more as the U’s seem to tire. A cross in from the right bringing a good save from Wilson, reacting well to a close range effort.
75 min. A swift attack down our right ends with a very good ball across the edge of the box wghere it’s emphatically thumped off the outside of the upright on the volley!
76 min. A rare foray forwards with Boosey sending Kennedy clear of the defence, but his shot brings a good stop out of Dunn.
79 min. Leatherhead 1-2. The goal thier overall play deserves finally arrives for the home side. And it’s not a bad one at all! A ball to the right picks out Tavares, who turns smartly, glides past Simon and cracks a shot into the top far corner.
81 min. The Tanners push for an equaliser and a free-kick from the right results in a low shot across the goal and just wide of Wilsons far post.
89 min. Visibly knackered, our defence starts to really falter, allowing a run down the left unchallenged. The green shirted man turns inside and tries his luck. The fierce effort being beaten out by Wilson.
We hang on and a reasonable performance has us feeling a tad better about the forthcoming season. We retire to the bar for a quick pint before heading for the train home.
One friendly left.
TEAM : Andy Iga, Matt Gray, Nigel Brake, Danny Oakins, Lewis Gonsalves, Stuart Booth, Peter Fear, Paul Honey, Joff Vansittart, Eddie Akuamouah, Andrew Martin SUBS : Phil Wilson (GK), Glenn Boosey, David Kennedy, Lee Doherty, Earnest Simon.