SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Gray p57]
WESTON SUPER MARE – 2 [Rawlins 28.45]
Last saturday of course produced that vital and slightly unexpected win at high flying Lewes. Their first home defeat in some 5 months no less! So how did we follow that up? By losing at home to a side as bad away from home as we are AT home of course!
A side also missing two of their best attacking players, including their top scorer. A side that hadn’t won away in seven MONTHS.
Nice one lads. Pure genius.
Naturally, after Lewes, we thought the visit of a side with such poor form away from their own place would be a good way to get another 3 important points and give our own crap home form a little boost.
Still, it’s a hopeful band of idiots assemble as normal in the Hood for a pre-match beverage.
Down at the ground, it’s much the same team that finished the game at the drippnig pan, with loan man, Jermaine Hunter starting up front with Akuamouah to replace the injured Vansittart.
Shooting towards the Rec end, the U’s make a bright start. Six minutes in a deep Gray cross from the right places the visitors keeper under pressure from Hunter. But the ref decides that the ‘keeper dropping the ball is down to a foul by the big striker rather than simple bad handling.
On 13 minutes, a Gray free-kick from the right is half cleared before being picked up and played out to the right flank once more. Scarborough & then Brake combine to get the ball to Akuamouah in the box. His turn & shot flies slightly over the target.
And thats it. From here on in, the passing goes to pot and we start hitting long high balls forward that huge hulking 6foot+ defenders just love to head clear time and time again.
Signs that things are starting to go wrong come after a quarter of an hour. A quick attack on the right ends with a good cross played in at pace. Wilson is unable to cut it out and it’s left to Elliot at the back post to head away with an attacker on his shoulder. Several minutes later a foray down the left ends with a low cross into the box that finds a white shirt in a little too much space. But fortunately for us, he snatches at the chance and blazes over the target.
More chances follow. A short corner to the left side of the box results in a low driven ball into the area that hits a U’s defender and spins across goal, narrowly wide of the far post. From the following flag kick, a free header is nodded off the line. A couple of minutes later, another raid on our left and a bloke finds himself clear behind the defence. His shot from a narrow angle is blocked by Wilson.
Inevitably, in the face of such pressure, our defence was always going to get caught out eventually. The ball is given away in midfield for the umpteenth time already this afternoon and a quick, deep cross from our right evades everyone in the box and the completely unmarked Rawlins tucks the ball past Wilson from close range.
As we expected, the visitors sit back a little having got the goal. Normally, we’d welcome this as a chance to attack & possibly get back into the game. But, as it is, we produce one ‘chance’ before half time.
Another deep cross from Matt Gray out on the right finds it’s way out to the left corner of the box. Brake chases it down and forces the visitors ‘keeper into a hasty clearance that goes striaght to Hunter about 30 yards out. Unfortunately with the goal at his mercy, he snatches at the chance and succeeds in scuffing an effort in the general direction of the net, but it eventually bobbles weakly wide of the mark.
On the whistle, things go from bad to worse. Once more the defence fails to manage even the simple task of clearing it’s lines. A clearance is charged down by Rawlins and he chases the loose ball into the box and prods an effort goalwards that sneaks under Wilson and trundles into the far corner.
Oh joy. The second half should be a right fucking laugh now….
The 10 minutes or so in the bar are blessed relief from the cold and dreadful football outside, but eventually, it’s time to venture back out and suffer for another three quarters of an hour.
It all starts as it left off, with us once more cheaply conceeding possession in midfield thanks to our somewhat annoying habit of not being able to pass to our own frigging players. The quick attack down our right ends with a ball along the edge of the box being rifled straight at Wilson.
The next chance for the visitors is also set up by ourselves. Again, another dreadful pass gives the ball back to Weston in the centre of the park. A quick ball into the right channel sends their man away and after stepping inside Gonsalves, his rising drive is beaten away one handed at the near post by Wilson.
But as it seems like the visitors are in full control and on the way to adding to their tally, they throw us a lifeline. A rare U’s attack ends with Corbett floating a ball in to the back post from the left. Quinton looks to have got round his marker and looks to apply the finishnig touch, only for his man to clearly stick out an arm to block the ball. Penalty!
Matt Gray does the honours and tucks the spot kick into the bottom left hand corner.
Unfortunately, the goal doesn’t herald the fightback we hoped for as the visitors expertly stifle our admittedly somewhat weak efforts. And it takes another goal line clearance to keep us in the game. A corner from the left is headed out to the edge of the box before being volleyed straight back in towards goal. Only the intervention of Brake at the far post saves Sutton.
But, despite a lot of huff & puff, we create little to threaten the visitors. What little momentum we have is interrupted by the loss of Scarborough & Honey to injuries. Watkins & Tydeman are introduced and the young midfielder finally gives our pedestrian midfield a bit of bite and mobility. And he can find a team mate with a pass too!
It’s not until with around 8 minutes to play that we get a decent sight of goal. A ball to the edge of the box bounces around for a few moments as attackers & defenders try to get it under control before it runs to Brake out on the left. He slips a ball inside for Corbett, behind the defence. But with a decent sight of goal, he cracks his shot high into the side netting.
We fail to trouble the Weston rearguard again before the final whistle and when it is finally blown, a chorus of boos eminate from the covered terrace on the park side.
And I can’t say I blame ‘em really.
Thoroughly depressed, we trudge round to the bar for a beer to drown our sorrows and to watch the Southampton – Man Utd cup game on the telly. Eventually, we head back to the Hood to continue trying to blot out todays events, failing miserably.
All I’ll say is, get it fucking sorted. Quick.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Paul Honey. Worked hard. Best of a bad bunch….
ENTERTAINMENT : 3. A miserable performance.
TEAM : Wilson, Scarborough, Elliot, Gonsalves, Gray, Quinton, Honey, Corbett, Brake, Akuamouah, Hunter SUBS : Watkins, C.Nurse, Tydeman
THE REFEREE’S………so so. Usual irritating inconsistancies, but nothing too major. Lino on our side second half was fucking useless though……