Harlem Globetrotter

CONFERENCE SOUTH

Att: 474



SUTTON UNITED – 2    [Gonsalves 75. Honey 89]

MAIDENHEAD UNITED – 2    [O’Connor 43.67]

The week following last Saturdays abject defeat to Weston has been a bloody long one. Although quite why we’d be waiting apprehensively for the next game after that shower of shite is beyond me.

Our visitors sit a couple of points behind us in the table and another home performance like the last one would more than likely see us back in the bottom 3. Obviously not something we need right now what wth god knows how many other 6 pointers on the horizon.

Still spirits had been lifted slightly by the return of another member of that wonderful line up from last season. Ryan ‘Patsy’ Palmer rejoining us from Crawley, having suddenly found his opportunities limited after spending most of pre-season and the early games persuading ‘em he was worth a go in the first place.

Fuck ‘em Patsy. Good to have you back mate.

An apprehensive crew gathers in the Hood before the match. Chalmers, having returned from his annual week away at the Cheltenham festival boosting the profits of bookies everywhere, is keeping our mind off matters at hand though, explaining just how he’d managed to win the equivalent of the national defecit of Liberia on the last day to leave him 25 quid up.

Right, it’s a quarter to three. Can’t put it off any longer.

The team sheet in the bar reveals that JR is going for a 4-4-2 formation, bringing Patsy straight into the side in place of the injured Scarborough. Elliot, Quincy & Lewis complete the backline. He also leaves Brake on the bench, electing to use Eddie back out on the left and Joff returns from injury up front with Watkins.

Well, it’s the line up most people would want out there. Lets hope they can do the business….

Sutton are quick off the mark, pressing the visitors from the off. Watkins gets our first sight of goal after just 3 minutes, chasing onto a huge kick from Wilson to the right. The Magpies no3 looks very unsure of balls in the air and allows it to bounce behind him, allowing the young striker to get a snap shot off from the corner of the box, but the effort is straight at the ‘keeper.

Gray tests the stopper a couple of minutes further down the line. Honey quickly getting the ball right, allowing Matty to run at, then cut inside the no3 before thumping a left footed shot into the ‘keepers midriff. A minute later, a wicked Gray cross deceives the ‘keeper and picks out Vansittart behind him. But the big man can’t turn his shot onto the target from the narrow angle and again, it’s straight at the visitors number 1.

Soon after, a lofted Paul Honey pass puts Watkins clear into space behind the defence. The ‘keeper races out to meet him and to try & clear the danger, but only succeeds in completely missing the ball. Unfortunately, it spins off the hard ground and out for a goalkick before Watkins can take advantage of the situation.

Rainsy is soon forced into a change of personnel, with Joff’s dodgy calf gives out out again and he hobbles off to be replaced by Hunter.

The U’s keep pressing though and Hunter is soon involved in the action, nodding down a left wing cross in the box that drops invitingly for Gray, but his thunderous shot only goes a couple of yards before being charged down by a defender.

Maidenhead’s first real sight of goal comes after 25 minutes. A huge kick forward finds thier no9 running in to clip a ball over Wilson. But, as ever, Patsy is there to avert disaster and hooks the ball off the line. A very familiar sight to U’s fans.

Proceedings now swing firmly in favour of the Magpies and having weathered that opening 20 minutes, they set about creating a good few openings of their own. Wilson saving with his legs after a ball down the right is knocked inside for the very lively no9, O’Connor to try his luck from an angle. In fact, O’Connor is involved with nearly all our visitors attacking moves. A scampering run down the left takes him to the edge of the 18 yard box before he’s dispossessed, but the loose ball runs into space and his strike partner looks likely to get to there first and clip it over Wilson, but Elliot gets there just in time to prod the ball away for a corner.

Another corner a short while later from the left brings out a great save from ex-Magpie Phil Wilson, stopping an almost point blank header right in front of him.

Sutton finally manage a response after 35 minutes from a corner of their own. Gray swings it in from the right and the ball is headed out as far as Quinton around 20 yards or so from goal. He clips the ball over the advancing crowd of players and into space for Gray to run onto. His low driven centre is slightly deflected and falls to Quinton by the near post. But the Maidenhead ‘keeper reacts well and manages to get a hand to the defender’s prodded effort and pushes it around the post.

With half time approaching, we prepare to head off to the bar. But before we can begin our stroll, the Magpies are in front and in more than controversial circumstances. A long ball up field sets up a chase between Wilson and O’Connor. Wilson appears to have got their first, only for the little Maidenhead no9 to clearly bat the ball past him with his hand.

Naturally, the big Sutton ‘keeper instantly stops and appeals loudly to the ref not 10 yards away and in plain sight for the handball. But staggeringly, nothing is given and O’Connor cracks the ball inside the far post from a tight angle. Wilson, understandably outraged at this amazing bit of fuckwitted officiating races after the ref to protest.

Meanwhile the cheating little shitbag O’Connor legs it off on a celebratory run, topped off with a flying somersault. What a cunt. Fucking us over in one thing mate, but celebrating like you’ve just done something really really clever is just taking the piss.

Quite frankly how the ref hasn’t seen the handball escapes me. It’s not as if he was unsighted and wasn’t very obvious! Everyone around me on the Shoebox some 60 yards from the incident clearly saw his commit the offence and loudly shouted ‘handball’ for good measure. So why didn’t Mr Blindasafuckingbat from fucking 10 yards away?

Jesus wept.

We belatedly amble round to the tunnel, all manner of expletives being muttered under our breath. As we approach, the already pointlessly-booked-for-dissent no7 goes piling into the back of Akuamouah on the near touchline. It’s as clear a second booking as you’ll see, yet all Mr 7 gets is a finger wagging and we get the free-kick.

Cheers you knob jockey.

Still, the guy has obviously graduated with honours from the ‘Billy Harding Academy of Plank Headed Twattishness’ as not 30 seconds after he does exactly the same thing to Scott Corbett in the centre circle! Even someone as dense and incompetent as the guy we’ve got reffing today can’t ignore something this obvious and calls Mr 7 over. Then having animatedly pointed out the previous 27 offences he’s got away with, brandishes a second yellow swiftly followed by the mandatory red.

Ta ra mate.

Wonder what the ref will put in his report for that one? Does anyone know if you can be booked for having an IQ equivalent to that of dead plankton? Answers on a postcard boys ‘n’ girls!

The remaining few moments of the half provide more entertainment with Mr O’Connor further endearing himself to the home supporters by flinging himself theatrically to the ground a couple of times when a Sutton defender so much as comes within 5 yards of him. Naturally, the only cards the ref displays bear ‘style marks’.

5.7 was that one ref??? Oh bravo!

O’Connor naturally is the last one off the pitch when the break finally arrives. Shirt off, he’s obviously trying to look hard and intimidating as he heads down the tunnel to a large amount of abuse. What he actually looks like is a sweaty little bloke in shorts with a lot of people calling him a wanker.

Now would you kindly fuck off to the dressing rooms you cheating little shite, I’d like to adjourn to the bar for a drink thank you very much.

A quick bevvy later and I’m starting to feel slightly better, until a couple of Maidenhead fans behind are clearly overheard to admit that it was handball and that neither of them can quite believe it was given either.

Oh sod this, I’m back off outside.

Despite the fact that they’re down to 10 men, we’re still all very nervous. Our home form is staggeringly crap and conceding such a poxy goal right at the break can’t have done much for confidence in the dressing room. Still, the lads are out nice & early, seemingly eager to get on with the task, so that’s something.

But several minutes in, it’s the visitors who create the first real chance. A striped shirt is allowed to turn & skip between 2 men on the right before delivering a low ball to the near post. It’s met and flicked across goal, dropping just over the bar on the far side.

With almost an hour gone, a lot of Sutton huffing & puffing produces our best chance so far. A ball down the right allows Gray to torment the Magpies no3 once more and having made space, he lofts a ball into the box over 2 defenders and onto the boot of a completely unmarked Eddie Akuamouah less than 6 yards out. Somehow though, he manages to crack his shot wide of the far post when it seemed so much easier to score.

Out of utter frustration, your author punches the green panelling at the back of the terrace as hard as he fucking can in frustration. A satisfying little dent is the result.

COME ON!!!! WE BLOODY NEED THIS!!

Still, we just don’t seem to have any idea of how to capitalise on the extra man and once more, poor passing betrays us. JR tries to shuffle the pack a bit by replacing Elliot with Brake and reverting to 3-5-2, but with 67 minutes played, it looks like it’s all over for us.

A brake throw in from the left deep inside the Maidenhead half doesn’t reach it’s target and is cut out. 2 quick passes later a shot across goal from the right is just deflected wide of the target for a corner. Sadly, the lads fail to acknowledge the same alarm bells that we can clearly hear ringing about now and from the resulting left wing corner, a free header is directed on goal. Gray does well to react on the post and manages to do enough to nod the ball from under the bar, but that little shit O’Connor is lurking and he bundles the ball and Gray into the net.

At the far end, everyone looks on a little stunned. Now we’re really REALLY in the shit.

With a second goal under their belts, the visitors seem to sit deeper and look to keep the advantage they’ve built. Now, even a side as low on confidence and as poor at home as us can’t ignore an invitation like this and we start to pile forward, looking for a goal and a way back into the game.

And with 15 to play, we get it.

Matt Gray puts in a free-kick from the right that the ‘keeper comes for, but never gets. The ball finds Gonsalves out jumping his man at the back post, it drops, bounces once and despite the desperate attempt of a defender to stop it crossing the line, it just makes it.

Hunter retrieves the ball from the net and is blocked by the ‘keeper. A nothing exchange ensues and inexplicably, the Sutton man is cautioned………….for trying to get the fucking game restarted as quickly as possible! Cheers ref. I’d call you another rude name, but you’ve heard ‘em all by now.

Having got the goal, it seems the lads finally believe that they CAN get something here and there follows a 15 minute bombardment of the Magpies goal. Once again though, the majority of the promising positions are wasted by either a poor final ball, or someone just not attacking the ball with any conviction in the box.

With around 5 minutes to play, Eddie Akuamouah has a go at swinging a corner in from the right after Gray’s last couple have failed to beat the first man. It proves effective. Again the ‘keeper comes and never gets near to claiming the ball as Hunter flicks on at the near post. This time it’s Watkins out jumping his man at the far upright, but his header drops agonisingly over a virtually empty net.

One small bright point of the half is O’Connor getting a little bit of payback. Again at the slightest contact from behind, he flings himself to the ground like a 4 year old having a tantrum in a supermarket. Even this shithouse ref isn’t impressed and finally produces a yellow card.

I believe FIFA and UEFA call this offence ‘simulation’. We here at Gandermonium prefer not to use such flowery language and use the term ‘fucking cheating’.

A minute later, O’Connor is properly clattered from behind by Quinton in almost exactly the same spot and he goes down with his now customary squeal. He whinges to the ref about the challenge, but sadly for him, not even a free-kick is awarded. Awwwww diddums?? Did that nasty man hurt woo??

Good. You little shitbag. I hope he fucking does you again the next time as well.

Sadly, it seems like once again at home, we’re going to come up short when it really matters. But with time almost up, it’s the unlikely figure of Paul ‘Ug’ Honey to the rescue.

With nerves shot and fingernails all but chewed off, Akuamouah wins a corner from a darting run. Gray tries his luck one last time from the corner flag, swinging in an effort from the left. Again Gonsalves jumps highest at the near post and his firm header looks to have stolen a point, but it’s desperately nodded off the line at the far post. But it falls loose and Honey pounces to steer the ball into the back of the net from a yard or two out.

Everyone lets out one huge sigh of relief and then jump around madly. Thank fuck for that.

The visitors look beaten, but the U’s just don’t seem to be able to muster the energy for a last ditch grab for all 3 points and the game peters out without further incident.

Drained after the somewhat stessful last 45 minutes, we head for the bar for a badly needed pint.

Thank god it’s Eastbourne away next weekend. At least we can get pissed up and have a laugh!

MAN OF THE MATCH : Matt Gray. Kept going down that flank right to the end.

ENTERTAINMENT : 7. Not technically great, but 10 times more effort than against Weston.

TEAM : Wilson, Palmer, Elliot, Gonsalves, Gray, Quinton, Honey, Corbett, Watkins, Akuamouah, Vansittart.  SUBS : Hunter, Brake, C.Nurse

THE REFEREE’S………pretty appalling. Just how the fuck did you miss the handball for the first goal mate?? Jesus christ!!!

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