CONFERENCE LEAGUE CUP 1st ROUND
SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Boosey 1. Vansittart 28. Gray p90.]
CARSHALTON ATHLETIC – 2 [Saunders 18. Hartburn 71.]
Now, as you probably realise, the highlight of our season is getting to remind that lot down the road just who’s boss in this here Borough. This year, it’s back to the good ol’ days. 2 quickfire derbies over Xmas & New Year with none of this modern rubbish about playing months apart.
Still, there’s only one drawback here. It’s 2 games. If we win one each (yeah yeah, I know, hasn’t happened in ages, but stick with this……..) then where’s the fun in that? Sure, you get the bragging rights following your particular victory, but there’s no……closure. No “yeah, BUT….”.
The only thing that can help is a ‘decider’ of some sort. Recently, the SSC has provided this. And this year, thanks to the new Conference League cup (sponsored by some dodgy Double galzing firm I hear!) and the first round fix er……draw, we’ve got ourselves that ‘Best of 3’ series.
It’s the usual quick beer in the Hood, ignoring the Chelsea Champions League game on the telly before the brisk stroll to the ground. Our fears that the crowd might not be what we’d hoped are well founded as the ground is sparsely populated.
It’s certainly the smallest looking crowd I’ve seen for a U’s-Bobbins game since I’ve been coming.
Damn you Champions League!
It seems both managers have decided not to take the competition that seriously as there’s a few changes to both line ups on the back of the proggy. JR leaves out Warren Haughton (either rested or Lewes don’t want him involved) and Peter Fear who picked up a knock at Weymouth on Saturday. Eddie moves up front alongside Joff and Booth starts in the central midfield role we think suits him best.
Billy Smith’s changes consist of some different players than he used in their last game. But seriously, do you really give a shit?
Naaaah, me neither.
Sutton start brightly and after a couple of minutes, win a free-kick out on the right corner of the 18 yard box. Eddie, Matt G and Boosey stand over the ball. A clever little move is played with Matt stepping over the ball, Boosey peels off to the left and Eddie rolls the ball out to him. Glenn’s fierce right foot shot flies across Searle and into the far corner.
Get in there!! COME ON!
A goal to the good early, the U’s attack a wobbly looking Bobbins defence and the returning Matt Gray is soon causing problems. One good run down the right results in a cross being whipped to the near post where Searle stretches to push it over the bar for a corner.
6 minutes played and another drive forwards opens up the visitors defence. A ball out right finds Akuamouah. He cuts back infield before sliding a little pass through the defence for Boosey. Searle races off his line to close down the angle, but Glenn slips the ball under him and towards goal, only for a defender to get back and manage to clear.
The Scummers manage to see out this spell of pressure and after 14 minutes, Wilson is getting his first call to action. A long ball forward is too high for Gonsalves to cut out and an attacker gets in behind him and manages to retrieve it on the byeline. His low cross being smothered at the foot of the near post.
Four minutes later and somewhat out of the blue, the visitors matching Boosey’s opener with a cracker of their own. Matt Gray loses possession out on the right. The Bobbins player turns infield before arrowing a shot in from around 20 yards across Wilson and inside the far post.
Oi! What the hell are you playing at matey??
Bloody ridiculous. Invite these losers in and they have the temerity to go and score! Cheeky fuckers.
The goal naturally heartens our neighbours and rather than roll over & die as they usually do, they press for another goal. Another mistake almost costs us, when Brake slips on the left and loses the ball. The attack goes down the left before the ball is played inside, but blocked by Scarborough. It runs loose into the box but the resulting shot goes across goal and wide.
Within a couple of minutes though, normal service is resumed and the Borough’s top side are back in front. And in suitably rubbish fashion!
Paul Honey wins the ball down on the right touchline, coming inside, it looks like his options are limited. But he clips a clever little ball down the right for Matt Gray who has overlapped down the line. Matt skips past a defender and into the box, delivering a low cross inside the 6 yard box. Boosey arrives a fraction too late to get a touch, but his run to the near post has done the damage as it leaves Vansittart unmarked at the back post.
The pace on the cross seems to surprise the big forward somewhat and the ball seems to strike him on the shin and just loop over the line. His rather sheepish celebration at restoring the U’s lead says it all!
Still, we’re winning again. And lets face it, it WAS funny! BWAHAHAHAHA!
Very little happens for the remainder of the half with no chances of any note from either side. But we’d expect that from the Scummers. Our lads were obviously just having a breather & trying really hard not to embarrass our guests again.
Well done lads. Last thing I need is another run of commemorative t-shirts.
The only real opportunity before the break falls of course to the U’s. Boosey breaks from deep before sweeping the ball out to the right. Joff claims, holds off a defender and whips a cross in from the touchline to the far post where Akuamouah dives in, but just fails to make contact by a whisker.
After a cheeky half-time drink, we head outside with a small hope that we’ll see a second half much like a certain league match a while back. Ahem.
Things start brightly enough. A pass into the left channel sends Eddie clear, but his angled shot is topped by Searle’s feet at the expense of a corner. But being the spiffingly sporting fellows that we are, we decide to take things easy and toy with our neighbours slightly, allowing them some room to play and even a few chances.
Well, thats our excuse and we’re sticking to it!
The U’s start to doze a bit and allow the visitors right back into the game, leading to a string of decent chances. One ball in from the left just after the hour looks certain to level the scores with an unmarked Bobbin just waiting in the centre to bury the chance.
Except he doesn’t.
What he does manage is a rather embarrassing air-shot and the ball goes out for a goal kick. A silly free-kick 5 minutes or so later goes close. The effort flying just a tad too high of the target and fizzing over Wilsons crossbar. But with a little under 20 minutes remaining, the goal we’ve pretty much expected our half arsed efforts would result in arrives.
And typically, with the oppo seemingly unable to manage it themselves, we give ‘em a bloody great big big helping hand.
An attack is seemingly broken down on the right by Quinton. Who then for some strange reason decides that a big hoof clear isn’t required and plays the ball back across his own box. The pass is woefully weak and never has a chance of reaching a team mate. A lurking Scummer siezes the opportunity and drills the ball low across the 6 yard box for one of 2 team mates to slide in and bundle the ball past a scrambling Wilson.
Er, we were just kidding about giving ‘em a chance lads.
Finally level, the Bobbins understandably sense a chance to nick their first win in the nicer part of the Borough since December 1991. Their best chance comes 5 minutes after getting back on terms, when our favourite ref Bruce McLaren refuses to give a clear free-kick in midfield and the visitors break down the left. Another good ball in is aimed at an attacker at the near post. But once again when well placed, he makes a pigs ear of a good position, scuffing his effort horribly across goal & well well wide.
With another big let-off, the U’s step up and look to win the tie themselves. Quinton tries to make up for his earlier cock up by glancing an Akumouah cross just wide of the far post and sub Craig Watkins tests Searl with a fierce drive from the right that the portly Scummer manages to push away at the foot of his near post.
Now, a quick question. You’re playing a local derby, it’s heading to extra-time. How would you prefer your last minute winner? An absolute screamer, a horrible yet utterly hilarious OG or a pointlessly conceded penalty?
Well, personally, I’d prefer the OG. But I’m a bit of an evil bastard sometimes.
As it happens, it’s the pointlessly conceeded penalty that means our lovely, wonderful cuddly neighbours get to skulk off into the night with yet another ‘Defeat at GGL’ notch cut into their belts.
A lovely ball through the Scummers defence sends Boosey clear and with just the ‘keeper to beat, he forces a good block out of Searle. The ball runs loose and is rolled back to the left side of the box for Akuamouah, he turns and rather stupidly is hauled to the ground just inside the danger area.
Even a complete prat like McLaren, only a few yards away and in plain sight, can’t ignore such a basic stonewall peno as this!
Matt Gray places the ball and to our relief, sends Searle the wrong way, firing high into the net.
Of course, we try our best to waste this total gift deep into injury time. The Bobbins throw everything forwards and a cross from the right is headed clear by Honey at the expense of a corner. The flag kick is swung in and ironically is headed off the forehead of an attacker by a one of his team mates to the edge of the 18 yard box. The resulting shot on goal is charged down by Eddie & the rebound sends Watkins surging upfield. The young striker with no support elects to go it alone and is eventually dispossessed just outside the 18 yard box.
But it doesn’t matter and the ref soon calls it a night, allowing the departing Bobbins to congratulate us on our win and wish us luck in the next round. NOT.
Nice to see you’re still accepting defeat as gracefully as ever you bunch of miserable fuckers.
Knackered, I head back to the Hood for a quiet celebratory pint before ambling off into the night with a nice big smile on my fizzog. OK, so the display wasn’t great, but it’s a win against them.
And that’s always funny.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Eddie Akuamouah. Constant threat up front, worked tirelessly.
ENTERTAINMENT – 6. Not a great derby, but 2 corknig goals and the right result!
TEAM : Wilson, Gray, Brake, Scarborough, Gonsalves, Boosey, Honey, Booth, Akuamouah, Vansittart SUBS : Arkali, Watkins
THE REFEREE’S………Bruce bloody McLaren!!! Although it has to be said this was pretty much the best game he’s officiated for us. Which lets be honest, really doesn’t say much.