FA CUP 3rd QUALIFYING ROUND REPLAY
BROMLEY – 2 [OG 42. OG 45.]
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Fear 15.]
Just in case you’re wondering where the third ‘Oggy’ went, we’ve already had it. In the first game. FFS. Now, if Saturday’s performance (the second half in particular) could be described as, shall we say, ‘shit’, then I’m afraid the expletives required to describe the first half at Hayes Lane in the replay have yet to be invented.
And when you consider a comment like that is coming from such a connoisseur of finest Anglo-Saxon obscenity as my good self, that’s saying something!
Making a dash for Victoria, I find myself in town disgracefully and unexpectedly early. Grabbing some scoff, I decide the 6pm train would put me in Bromley in good enough time for at least a couple of pre-match snifters.
Naturally, things start to go wrong from here on in. With a 15 minute journey to Bromley South taking nearly 50 minutes because of ‘signalling problems’. Thoughtless bastards. I need a beer!!! There is no way on earth I’m watching tonights game stone cold sober!
Evenetually I arrive and dash over the road from the station, into the local Wetherspoons. Bob is already looking comfy with his pint. I join him and plonk down on a buggered chair, almost going through the bloody thing.
Anything else care to go wrong?
Oh yeah, an FA Cup replay.
We wander off down the road to Hayes Lane and discover they’ve at least bothered to tarmac the little approach road to the ground. Last time we’d visited, it had more holes than our defence. Although the car park itself is still pretty poor. Bob & myself circumnavigating water filled craters that look like they were made by 12 inch artillery shells.
The rest of the crew have come by car and are currently ensconced in the bar. We can’t be arsed and stand chatting about team news with other supporters.
There’s 2 big surprises in our line up tonight. But not the ones we expected. The return of Glenn Boosey to our midfield is a definite shock, but the exclusion of Paul Honey, the one man we hoped would start and shore up our lightweight midfield, is the one thing that really worries us.
One thing is for certain, we’re in trouble here…
We all assemble at the far end and the ‘action’ begins.
As on Saturday, we start brightly and after just a couple of minutes, a quick break from deep sees the ball played out Martin on the right. He comes inside and hits an effort that flashes just wide of the far post.
The hosts are lively themselves, pressuring our suspect rearguard, especially down our right where Matt Gray is being double teamed either when he’s attacking or defending. Still, despite this, we manage to create the better of the openings.
Mr Salt, who had such a piss poor game at our place, is soon displaying that the 4 day break really hasn’t improved his skills as a referee. On 13 minutes, Boosey breaks from midfield and feeds the ball forwards to Martin, who immediately lays it off to Eddie on the left. He goes past one man and into the box before seemingly having gone past a second. A hearty hand in the back from this opponent sends him sprawling on the turf and has us lot behind the goal screaming for a penalty.
The decision that follows is incomprehensible. Not only is a penalty not awarded, Mr Salt decides that it’s Eddie who has committed some ‘offence’ or other and gives a free-kick to the home side!!!
Yes, you read that right. Eddie ‘clean through on goal, in possession of the ball and about to pull the trigger before being bundled over’ Akuamouah is adjudged to have done something illegal. Probably put a divot in the turf or something.
All I’ll say is Mr Salt should thank his lucky fucking stars that semi-automatic weapons are not legally or even readily available in this country.
Still, 2 minutes later having weathered a couple of nervy moments at the back, we’re ahead. Again Boosey starts it all with another run from deep skipping past 2 challenges. He lays the ball of to Martin on the edge of the box and he’s fouled as he tries to turn. The free-kick takes an age and when it’s eventually taken, a Bromley player charges it down not 2 yards from the spot Peter Fear has just kicked it from. Amazingly, this earns him a booking.
As the wall reorganises itself, Fear tries again and this time whips it up and over the wall and into the top near corner with the ‘keeper helpless.
Nice one gents. Now, er any chance of NOT fucking this one up?
Another Boosey run on 22 minutes ends in a fierce 25 yard drive through a crowd that the ‘keeper gets down to and pushes away. Bromley’s first serious chance isn’t far behind…
Not for the first time, a U’s corner is poorly executed and the home side break out down our right. 2 cutting passes later and the no3 is charging through into the box. With only Wilson to beat, he shows his defensive side and drives the shot well over the target.
A 25 yard shot from Fear soon after again tests the ‘keeper, who manages to hang onto the skidding effort at the second time of asking. But, the home side are starting to control more and more of the play with our midfield becoming steadily more anonymous by the minute.
Wilson makes his first serious stop soon after, a chipped ball into the back post from the right finds the no7 and his volleyed effort from a tight angle it turned away by the U’s stopper.
A sign that despite being in front, this might not be our night, follows almost immediately. Gray overhits a cross from the right and Boosey scampers out to the left to retrieve the ball. A little bit of trickery works him enough space to deliver a teasing cross, that the Bromley no5 meets with a perfect downward header towards his own goal! Sadly, the ‘keeper reacts well and dives to his right, managing to stop the ball pretty much on the line and then smother it.
With the half drawing to a close, we naturally go and do what we always do at this point in a match.
Have a shocker.
With a couple of minutes left, Bromley win a corner. It’s headed clear and then fed out to the right. Matt Gray blasts off up the touchline, leaving 2 white shirts in his wake before whipping a lovely ball to the back post. Boosey rises and heads on target, but the ‘keeper has spread himself well and makes a sprawling save at the expense of a corner.
The kick is swung in, but is too deep. Corbett makes a little run round to the back post and looks to retrieve the ball, only to be clattered by the ‘keeper with the ball seemingly an afterthought. With a penalty or a corner at the very least being the logical options for Mr Salt, he displays yet more mindless fuckwittery by awarding a goalkick.
Naturally, with our man down injured off the pitch and a huge hole in the centre, the kick is taken quickly and the home side pile forwards to take advantage. A bit of a scramble ensues with another corner the result. Quinton heads clear, but only as far as a white shirt 25 yards or so out. He hits a low shot through a gap towards goal, but it seems to lack any real venom and is apparently straight at a clearly sighted Wilson until Gonsalves lunges out to try & block the effort, only succeeding in diverting it away from our ‘keeper. Completely stranded, Phil can only look in in horror as the ball bobbles just inside his near post.
Fucking typical. They’ve totalled 3 goals in the tie and we’ve scored two of ‘em!
Naturally, having conceded such an utterly shite goal our already fragile confidence disappears down the plughole and we spend the last couple of minutes desperately trying to fend off waves of white shirts piling forwards.
The air of “It’s coming, it’s coming” at our end of the ground is unmistakeable. And we’re not about to be proved wrong.
A good 4 minutes into 1st half injury time, Eddie is seemingly fouled out on the left. But naturally the kick is awarded the other way (just WHAT game were you watching you c*nt???). Fear is booked for impeding the taking of said kick, which is then swung in towards the box. It bounces on the edge of the box and Scooby darts back with a forward to nod it away for yet another corner.
With the defence looking shakier than Ozzy Osbourne on a bad day, the corner comes in, picking out the towering figure of Arkwright in the centre. His header is directed down and at the far corner where Eddie seems to panic in an attempt to clear and only succeeds in kneeing it into the roof of his own net.
The whistle for the end of the half follows soon after and we trudge round to the opposite end. The majority of the conversation involving a combination of the following words “We’re”, “out” or “fucked”.
Our depression is lifted slightly by Paul Honey’s disappearance at half time. It can only mean that Corbett’s interaction with the ‘keeper is going to prevent him for continuing. At last, some steel in the centre!
Sutton begin the second half fairly brightly and push the home side back, looking for the equaliser.
The ‘keeper is called into action on 54 minutes when a Boosey shot from the left is deflected into space behind the defence and Watkins nips in. But Walker in the home goal spreads himself well and blocks the effort. The ball runs to Martin in the box to the left, but his follow up effort is blocked by a defender.
A couple of minutes later, Boosey goes close after Martin turns in midfield and feeds a ball out to Eddie on the left flank. He immediately slips it back inside for Boosey in space 20 yards out on the corner of the box, but his curling sidefoot effort is inches too high at the near post.
We keep pressing the Bromley defence looking desperately for an equaliser, Martin turning in a shot following a ball in from the left. But despite it being deflected, the ‘keeper again denies us, getting down to keep it out by the foot of his post.
A rare Bromley attack with around 15 minutes left briefly lifts the pressure. An attack down the left ends with a low ball in across the box. A messy melee follows before Gray’s attempted clearance is charged down and Akumouah eventually hoofs clear.
We keep going though and with a little under 10 minutes remaining, a low corner from the left is aimed at the near post where Fear tries a clever flick, but it’s blocked on the line with the ‘keeper scrambling. The ref then eventually punishes the constant time wasting of Walker in the home goal. Sadly about 20 minutes too late and JR decides to introduce Nigel Brake into the game.
He has a couple of god runs down the left, one of which ends with a low cross being whipped into the 6 yard box, but typically, there’s no yellow shirts there to apply the final touch.
With time running out, our last chance to force extr-tmie comes with a minute of normal time remaining. A deep free-kick from Fear out on the left is allowed to bounce in the box by the home defence. 2 attempts at clearing follow, the second of which ends up with the ball being sliced striaght up into the air invitingly. Scarborough leaps and powers down a header at the back post, but again Walker is on hand to save his side, just keeping the effort out at the foot of the post.
We’re then treated to the spectacle of all 5 minutes or so of added time being used up by the home side in the corners at the opposite end of the field.
Eventually, Mr Salt decides to put us out of our misery and calls time on another U’s FA Cup (non)Run.
Touchingly, the home fans are gracious hosts and we have to listen to a patronising PA announcement and a chorus of “Fuck off Sutton” from the home fans at the far end.
Same to you too gentlemen. Our best wishes for the next round……Cambridge. Hope you get royally buttfucked by ‘em.
The journey home via GreekCabs is somewhat sombre, with little said. The mood on returnnig to the Hood is little better, even after a pint. Even the attempts of the locals to cheer us up fails miserably.
Even the consolation of being able to spend the weekend getting obliterated in Weymouth at the end of the month fails to register even a smile.
Romance of the cup my arse.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Erm…..
ENTERTAINMENT – 5. Terrible 1st half, especially the goals. 2nd slightly better
TEAM : Wilson, Gray, Scarborough, Gonsalves, Quinton, Fear, Corbett, Boosey, Akuamouah, Watkins Martin. SUBS : Honey, Brake, Arkali, Booth
THE REFEREE’S………as bad as saturday! What a tosser. Seriously, what goes through the minds of these fools sometimes???