SUTTON UNITED – 0
GRAYS ATHLETIC – 6 [Martin 7.15.85. Griffiths 47. Brennan 56. West 59.]
Funny how much difference a week can make eh? Last saturday, another cracking weekend away on the piss, with a vital 3 points at Havant. This saturday, a shambolic home performance and a complete hammering by the league leaders.
We knew it’d be a tough couple of weeks, what with Grays visit in the Trophy & League sandwiching a visit fom Cambridge and their awesome away form, plus a cup double header against Woking.
So far, with 3 of those games gone, it’s played 3 lost 3 conceeded 8 scored 0. And we couldn’t see it getting much better today either! Not looking forward to this afternoons clash, the mood is a little subdued in the Hood beforehand. Still, we should be fielding a stronger 11 than we did in the trophy, so maybe we can shock ‘em. Can’t we?
Still, we trudge down to the ground with faint hopes of a shock in store for the visitors.
Any lingering ideas of that shock disappear after a little over 5 minutes. The U’s fail to break up a Grays attack on the left. The ball is worked across the edge of the box and touched through behind the defence before being turned in from close range by a lone vistor. The fact he appears miles offside is lost to both officials in the near vacinity and the goal stands. Cue one or two expletives aimed at the gentlemen in black.
3-4 minutes later, another quick attack down our flank, the right this time, ends with a low ball across the box, the Grays man is unable to meet this with a clean strike and his effort goes wide. We notice during the course of this surging break Scott Corbett pulling up in the centre whilst trying to get back & cover.
It’s a brief respite as on 15 minutes, an apparent foul on Vansittart just in side the visitors half isn’t given and Grays take advantage of a moments hesitation in the U’s defence. A quick break to the left and a cross is put into the danger area. Matt Gray tracks back but his attempted clearance is terrible and he only succeeds in slicing the ball over his shoulder to a Grays man, who forces the ball in off the post and past a stranded Wilson.
Ah. That’ll be us buggered then.
Things get worse not too long after the subs boards come out and the U’s make a change. To our surprise, it’s not the rather knackered looking Corbett who is brought off, but Lewis Gonsalves. Graham Tydeman replaces him and the already struggling Corbett slots into the back 3.
It takes Sutton until around the half hour mark to trouble the visiting defence. A flick on from Vansittart finds Eddie Akuamouah on the left, his run and low cross is aimed at Watkins in the centre. But a defender gets there first and cuts the ball out at the expense of a corner. The resulting corner into the box is flicked on at the near post with the Grays ‘keeper flapping. But his skin is saved by a defender behind him on the line who heads the ball away from under his own crossbar.
The rest of the half is fairly tedious, with the full-timers seemingly content to see things out quietly to the break. Sutton offer little in the way of resistance to this approach & head back into the dressing room still trailing 2-0. We, naturally, head for the bar and a chance to warm up.
The situation deteriorates after the break. Unsurprisingly, Corbett has failed to surface for the second half and Chris Nurse replaces him. It has little effect on the overall outcome as within 2 minutes of kick off, the visitors have strolled in and extended their lead. Gray makes a run down the right, but his ball into the box is cut out by a defender. 2 lightning passes later and the Grays no9 runs onto a defence splitting ball, skips round Wilson and guides the ball into the far corner from a tight angle.
To make matters even worse, Gray has injured himself in the course of the failed attack that has lead to the third goal. He hobbles off down the tunnel and Danny Dray gets makes his first team debut, with JR having to reshuffle the side once again.
With the side out there now even weaker than the one that faced this lot 2 weeks ago, it’s no surprise that they find it hard going. A quickfire double just before the hour mark means we’re heading for a heavy defeat.
56 minutes and Wilson does superbly well to react and push out a cross put in from the left and deflected goalwards, but there’s not much he can do about the follow up and the loose ball is cracked past him from around 10 yards. Almost on the hour we fail to break up play on the right of our box and the ball eventually finds a Grays man in acres of space on the 18 yard line and he picks his spot, curling a short into the bottom far corner with Wilson helpless.
As if the afternoon wasn’t already miserable enough, with 15 minutes left Vansittart talks himself into a red card, rather stupidly abusing the linesman after he’s awarded an admittedly fucking stupid decision against the big forward.
Yes Joff, we know he’s a blind, useless cock, but we’d really appreciate it if you and the lads left abusing these witless arseholes to us please.
After all, with games like this, it’s usually the only entertainment we get.
Fearing the worst having now been reduced to 10 men, already 5 down and with a quarter of an hour still to play, we statr making guesses as to the final score.
Thankfully though, the remaining lads dig in and try their best to get something from the game. Unfortunately these efforts prove futile and with 5 minutes left, the visitors round off the scoring and complete a miserable saturday afternoon for the locals.
We fail to make our tackles count and a Grays man gets to the byeline, is allowed to squirm along it before pulling the ball back for a colleague to complete his hat-trick ramming the ball into the roof of the net from close range.
Er right, can we call it quits now so we can fuck off back to the boozer please?
We trudge back into the bar at the end and get stuck into a few beers and a couple of games of ‘Golden Tee’ to help forget the shambles outside. A discussion with our esteemed chairman ends with a small wager as to the last time we got such a tonking at home. It’s agreed that a meeting with Enfield several years ago was such a moment, but the sticking point is the exact score that day. He feels it was a repeat of today’s scoreline, whereas I feel it was one less. We shake hands on a prize of a pint for the correct answer before the crew wanders back to the Hood for some dinner and an evening of talking shit and blotting out awful home defeats.
The following morning and some quick research reveals that I’m owed a pint and that the previous days result was our worst home league defeat since 1924!
World beaters we ain’t, but it’s certainly a sign that not many sides come and make us look fucking stupid on our own patch.
Although Woking on Tuesday could make it a quickfire pair.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Erm……..
ENTERTAINMENT : 3. Absolute shambles. Everything that could go wrong, went wrong…….
TEAM : Wilson, Gray, Scarborough, Hemsley, Gonsalves, Honey, Fear, Corbett, Brake, Vansittart, Akuamouah SUBS : Dray, Nurse, Tydeman
THE REFEREE’S A………so so. Didn’t really have much to do other than listen to the lino tell him what different names Joff had called him before producing the red card. Although, whatever Joff DID say, he can’t have been far off the mark, as the guy in question was fucking shit.