FA TROPHY 1st ROUND REPLAY
SUTTON UNITED – 4 [Watkins 5. Akuamouah 54.57. Boosey 90.]
HAMPTON & RICHMOND BORO – 1 [Inns 67.]
Having got away with it a bit at Hampton on saturday thanks to Craig Watkins intervention, we had the luxury of a second chance at GGL tonight.
Due to running late, Greek & Windy head straight for the club for their pre-match pint. I grab some munch and head for the Hood as usual. Oscar soon shows up to join me for a drink before we stroll off into the cold evening to experience a game hopefully somewhat more exciting than the one before.
The only difference to the line up in the absence on Peter Fear, still suffering from the knock picked up on saturday. Thankfully, Paul Honey has recovered from his own and retains his spot in the starting line up. Watkins reaps the reward of his goal and makes the starting 11.
Sutton make a bright start and after barely a minute, Watkins is causing problems with a run down the right. Going past a defender he pulls the ball back across the box to the near post. Boosey’s turn & shot being blocked. 3 minutes later, Watkins is sent clear of the defence by a good ball down the right from Honey. The young striker beats the advancing keeper to the loose ball on the corner of the 18 yard box and clips it over him into the empty net behind.
Marvellous, now can we please not fuck this up? Ta!
Unfortunately, after this bright & promising start, almost all of the next 20 minutes are incredibly boring & tedious. The visitors have a fair bit of possession but fail to really make it count. Most of this possession is presented to them by some very ragged passing from the U’s midfield.
The first real threat from the Beavers comes on 23 minutes. A dubious free-kick is awarded about 20 yards out from goal. It’s driven in past the wall and looks on it’s way to goal before striking a Hampton player around the edge of the 6 yard box and rebounding out before being cleared.
We respond with a Matt Gray shot saved at the near post after Akamouah breaks up play 25 yards out and find Watkins, who then sets up Matty for his strike. This brief period of activity then once more gives way to another good 10 to 15 minutes of teduim before Eddie chases a ball down the right. Cutting in, he evades 2 challenges arriving at the centre of the 18 yard box before getting his shot off, but the ‘keeper beats away the effort.
Hampton then have a sight of goal on the whistle. The defence standing off a forward 25 yards from goal and allowing him time to turn and crack a shot low across Wilson. The U’s stopper getting down well and touching the effort wide.
Somewhat bored, we head for the bar to warm up a tad. The 2nd half had better be more interesting!
The second 45 minutes is only 9 mins old when Watkins causes the visitors more problems. With Hampton pressing up to try & find an equaliser a quick ball down the left sends Watkins clear. Racing 60 yards with the ball he holds off the attentions of a defender before delivering a cross to the back post for the arriving Akamouah. His header squirms under the keeper & sneaks over the line to double the U’s advantage.
3 minutes later and a repeat move effectively ends the tie. Another quick break down the left with another strong run from Watkins ends with him just getting a low ball across as he’s challenged. Again Akuamouah is waiting at the far post and sweeps the ball in to make it 3-0.
Again, there’s not much activity to follow until the 67th minute when the visitors win a free-kick out on the left. It’s delivered low to the near post where a nice flick decieves Wilson and creeps between him and the upright to give the Beavers a small lifeline.
The goal briefly sparks the Beavers into life and sensing that theres still a chance. But despite again having quite a bit of the ball, they only really have one real opening.
Brake loses the ball out on the left and a quick ball is played down the same flank behind the defence. An attacker chases the ball down with Wilson racing off his line, acting as sweeper. The guy goes past him, but’s forced wide enough by our wandering ‘keeper to make scoring almost an impossibility and he skies his effort.
Entering the last 10 minutes, Watkins is forced to leave the field following a somewhat clumsy lunge by the Hampton no5 as he chases a ball down towards the corner flag on the right. Despite the close attention of the lino and referee, absolutely nothing is given.
Craig hobbles off and Andy Martin comes on to replace him. He’s soon in the thick of things, earning himself a booking within a minute of coming on following a spat with the Beavers no7 out on the left touchline. The No5 soon reveals his brainless streak a bit further, poleaxing Wilson at a corner to earn a card of his own.
The last few minutes find Sutton pressing forwards into the growing gaps behind the visitors defence. Eddie chases a ball down the right and cuts into the box, skipping two challenges. But he ignores the unmarked Boosey in the centre and tries to complete his hat-trick with a fierce effort at the near post that the ‘keeper just beats out.
Boosey though gets on the score sheet in the last minute. Honey & Gray exchange passes down the right, sending Matty sprinting clear to deliver a good cross to the near post for Boosey to head across the ‘keeper and into the far corner.
With a rare, if somewhat dull win to celebrate, we return to the Hood for a couple of pints and to sort out just what the plan is for the weekend trip to Welling, who have yet to register a win at home this season.
Marvellous. Just the sort of record we like to put an end to…
MAN OF THE MATCH – Craig Watkins. Scored one, made 2. Nuff said!
ENTERTAINMENT – 6. Largely poor game with little incident except the goals to liven it up!
TEAM : Wilson, Gray, Vansittart, Scarborough, Gonsalves, Brake, Quinton,Honey, Boosey,Akuamouah, Watkins. SUBS : Booth, Martin, Nurse, Iga
THE REFEREE’S………once more, not that bad to start with. Did little to get on your tits during most of the game, but like on saturday, lost it a little near the end, he and his assistant missing a dreadful challenge on Watkins by the no5. Naturally a flurry of cards follows. D’oh!