SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Scarborough 27. Vansittart 73.88.]
LEWES – 5 [Adeniyi 12.64. Moore 31. Newman 67.76.]
After the season took another turn for the worse last week at Welling, we welcomed Lewes to GGL for our next league encounter.
What was worrying me most was the fact that they’ve not found goals hard to come by after skipping a whole division after last seasons play-off win over K’s. And when you’ve got a defence as utterly dreadful as ours, the last thing you want is free-scoring visitors calling round.
Still, you never know, we could get lucky. The game might be off.
As you probably know, the afternoon begins with an somewhat apprehensive pint to whet the whistle in the Hood before we trudge off down Collingwood Road for the game. Now almost as predictable addition to the match report as that oft used line is the one about JR once again having to make changes to our starting line up.
And here it is!
With quite a few players having picked up knocks recently, we’re pretty much down to the bare bones squad wise this afternoon, with a bench supplied entirely from the reserves. Striker Steve Douglas is given his chance after his prolific form for the Youth & Reserves this season. He’s joined by young Sam Hewitt, he of the huge throw in who made his last (and still his only!) 1st team appearance at Basingstoke about 2 years ago. Completing the set is Graham Tydeman, who also hasn’t been seen in first team action in some time. The last appearance I can recall was a league match at Heybridge, also a couple of seasons ago.
Nigel Brake & Peter Fear are both out. As is Craig Watkins. This forces JR to place Martin up front with Joff.
Shooting at the Collingwood Rec end, the U’s don’t make the liveliest of starts. But then again, the visitors aren’t doing much either! It takes 10 minutes for a reasonable effort on goal to materialise.
Matt Gray plays a nice diagonal ball from left to right & picks out Akumouah on that side. He attacks the defence before slipping a pass through for Martin, but his shot is blocked and deflected wide for a corner that comes to nothing.
A couple of minuets later and the visitors are mustering their first effort on target of the afternoon. With markedly different results. The U’s defence once again displays it’s fantastic ability to retreat in the face of oncoming opponents (A skill they’ve become so adept at, that the only scouts we’re seeing at GGL this season are from the Italian Army), allowing a red shirt to advance just inside our aera. His shot seems quite tame and rather poorly hit, but that doesn’t stop it squirming through the hands of Wilson and inside the far post.
Remember the ‘Shit goals’ video I mentioned last week?? Well that one will be the opener for the “Season 2004/2005. Volume 3” edition.
We have a wobbly few minutes and the visitors push for a quick second. But it’s not until the 19th minute that Wilson is again called into serious action. This time blocking an effort with his legs after we’ve been carved open down the left by a simple 1-2.
Thankfully we keep the damage to a minimum and are back in the game just before the half-hour mark. Boosey is fouled out on the right and a free-kick is awarded. As the Lewes defenders faff about organising themselves for the set-piece, Matt Gray gets bored and takes it early. He drives the ball low to the near post and skipper John Scarborough arrives to thump a low side footed drive between the ‘keeper and his near post from 8 yards out.
It’s a cleverly worked goal and really sums up our season so far. Pretty good in the final third and bloody awful in the first!
The goal gives us a little lift and Boosey is soon testing the keeper from 18 yards after Akumouah has chased a ball down on the right. His pass infield finds the Gandermonium sponsored man, whos effort is held at the 2nd attempt by the Rooks custodian with Martin lurking.
But it’s a brief ray of sunlight as within a couple of minutes, the U’s rearguard are soon once again failing to do what the name suggests they should be doing.
IE. Guarding our fucking rear.
A deep high ball in from the left looks innocuous enough until we notice the sodding great hole out on our right that red shirt is currently strolling through. It’s such a big hole that it could have been the continent of North America in that Lewes shit and it still wouldn’t have come near a Sutton defender.
Even worse follows as Wilson is slow off his line and matey gets to the ball first, powering a rather poor header straight into the ground from 18 yards out which then bounces over the advancing U’s stopper and into the now empty net behind him.
Fucks sake. I know all the Christmas stuff seems to start earlier and earlier every year lads, but giving out presents before the end of November is taking the piss a little.
At this rate, we’ll have to start playing our games in Lapland, chop the team coach in for a Sleigh & some reindeers and change our nickname to the ‘Elves’ or ‘Santas Little Helpers’ before the season is out!
It’s very simple. D-E-F-E-N……….oh never mind.
With their lead restored, the Rooks boss the remaining 10 minutes or so of the half. Although Wilson is only called into action once more, pushing away a first time effort well after we’ve been opened up again by a ball down the right channel.
Grumbling about our somewhat less than glorious defending, we head for a half-time drink to raise our spirits. Or dull the senses. It all depends on your personal point of view. In the bar, we find a certain Mr Sutton enjoying a snifter.
Strange, we didn’t see him outside behind the goal with us first half. Obviously just got here then, I guess! Referring to his habit of going to the wrong place for games, Windy jokingly enquires “You didn’t go to Lewes by mistake did you Kev??”
Mr Sutton pauses, downs his whisky and nods sheepishly. Before regaling us with talk of his pre-match pint in the Dripping Pan bar a little over an hour ago! It seems that the vastly cheaper entry price, the lack of any sort of crowd and the oppo running out in blue were all little clues cleverly pieced together to inform him he’s dropped a bollock.
For the first time ever in a match report, I feel I unable to find a term suitable for such an act of absent mindedness. Suggestions on a postcard please.
Still shaking our heads in disbelief, we soon head back out into the cold for the second half.
Sutton have obviously had a serious bollocking at the break as they set about the visitors from the off, looking for another equaliser. First a ball from right to left finds Gonsalves overlapping on that side. He knocks a ball in to the back post where Martin directs his header onto the target from a narrow angle only to have it blocked by a defender. 5 minutes later and again, we catch the Rooks defence napping with another quickly taken free-kick. This time it’s from the left, but again it’s delivered low. Again it finds Scarborough lurking on the edge of the 6 yard box, but this time he can’t direct his effort properly and it screws agonisingly across the goal and inches wide of the near post.
Undeterred, we keep up the pressure with Gray as usual being a favourite outlet down that right flank. One deep, wickedly whipped in cross just evading the diving Gonsalves at the far post on the hour. Boosey then wastes a super chance 2 minutes later. Sent clear with a nice pass through the defence, he over hits his final touch and allows the ‘keeper to smother the ball just over the 18 yard line.
We’re made to pay for that miss as barely 60 seconds later another piece of defending, so suicidal it would have kamakazi pilots muttering “Bloody hell, that’s a bit foolhardy!”, costs us dear.
Quinton does the hard part of dispossessing an opponent and then preventing a corner, but then chooses to ignore Rule number 1 in the defenders handbook (Which as we all know is “Get fucking rid……..quick!”) and instead refers to the abridged continental edition (Rule 1 : You must play your way out of trouble at all times, no matter what the danger”), playing a weak pass to the edge of his own 18 yard box.
The Lewes no7 can’t believe his luck and before you can say “Oh bollocks, they’ve done it again….” he’s rattled the loose ball past the despairing dive of Wilson to make it 3-1.
Another 3 minutes played and it gets even worse. A ball is played forwards to a red shirt a good 20 yards out from goal. With his back to the target, you’d think an Amber shirt would try & get tight to prevent him from turning. Like I said, you’d THINK one would.
With just a little more time than he really needs, the attacker controls, gets his bearings and turns before despatching a very good low drive beyond Wilson and into the far corner. Undoubtedly a very smart finish, but I’ve known trees take root in less time than matey was given to turn.
Still, the U’s try to come back into proceedings by doing the one thing they CAN do. Attack.
Gray drives a shot just wide of the near post after robbing a dozing defender just outside the box and then inside the last 20 minutes a corner is won after the ‘keeper just saves a deflected effort. The ball is played in by Gray, picking out Quinton. His header is just touched on by Vanisttart inside the 6 yard box and it sneaks between the ‘keeper and defender on the line to once more reduce the defecit to 2.
A bit narked they’ve let another one slip, the visitors soon restore that 3 goal cushion when Quinton conceeds a rather stupid free-kick 25 yards out. The resulting shot is deflected and as our players stand and gawp like they’ve just seen certain pink livestock fluttering by, a Lewes attacker is once more given time & space to turn and crack a shot past Wilson at his near post.
Ok gents, this shit isn’t funny anymore ok? Can we please stop fucking about now?
As time runs out, we trudge towards the bar to start drowning our sorrows when Joff once more reduces the defecit, thumping a header in at the near post from a Matt Gray free-kick out on the left touchline.
A 5-3 defeat at home is bad enough, but when you’ve gifted the oppo at least 3 of those, it’s enough to make you fucking spit
Once again, certain players haven’t performed and it’s time to start getting ruthless with the culprits.
Over to you JR, over to you….
MAN OF THE MATCH – Paul Honey. kept going to the end.
ENTERTAINMENT – 4. 8 goals, but our absurdly inept defence outweighed the excitement
TEAM : Wilson, Gray, Quinton, Scarborough, Gonsalves, Booth, Honey, Boosey, Akuamouah, Vansittart, Martin. SUBS : Tydeman, Douglas, Hewitt
THE REFEREE’S……….handled the game fairly well overall,