SURREY SENIOR CUP 4th ROUND
EGHAM TOWN – 1 [Torson 71.]
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [Gonsalves 9. Watkins 60.]
With the postponements of last week, we’ve been left gagging for a bit of footy. Thankfully the super result at Lewes on the saturday has gone some way to filling the gap.
But, tonight’s the big one. It’s Surrey Cup time again!
Understandably, we’d like to progress in this competition. It’s our last chance of silverware this season and there’s the incentive of a home semi-final tie with the AFC Wombles. Mmmmm, money! Plus, going out to Egham after having worked our tits off to dump out Woking would be more than a little annoying.
Especially when you consider that our hosts tonight are having little better than an utterly horrendous season in the Southern League. Quite what knobend decided that a team from Surrey decided should be in the WESTERN division I don’t know. But suffice to say the ‘Sarnies’ have found it hard going playing sides as far & wide as Sutton Coldfield Town and Bromsgrove up in the Midlands and Taunton in the South West.
Sadly, they find themselves seriously last with a terrible record of 1 win and 3 draws from 26 games. That’s 6 points from a possible 78. Fuck me, even the Bobbins aren’t that bad!
Naturally, with such poor form, many U’s expect us to just turn up, score shitloads and then sit back & wait for the Wombles and their wallets to roll into town.
Well, for those people I have one word………FARNHAM.
Yeah yeah, I know I’m a cynical sod, but we’re like England when we play these lesser mortals. We either put out a pretty strong line up and win 5-0 just because of fitness etc, or we just can’t be arsed and stroll round, knowing that as long as we score a couple, it’s very unlikely they’ll be able to match it.
As it turns out, tonight was one of the latter occasions….
JR has understandably elected to rest a couple of people tonight. With Brake dropping to the bench, his spot on the left goes to Gonsalves. Gray plays on the right despite having managed 70 minutes of a representative game the night before and Chris Nurse comes into midfield for Scott Corbett. The defence includes Howard & Blackwell lining up with Scarborough. The injured Joff is replaced by Watkins and Steve Douglas gets another appearance on the bench.
The recent weather has of course made this game doubtful, but a late inspection has passed it fit. To be honest, it doesn’t look as bad as Lewes’ surface did at the weekend, but there’s still a few dodgy looking bare patches dotted about.
Sutton start on the offensive and it’s soon clear how Egham have amassed their six points. They’re pretty dreadful. A couple of early balls into the box cause complete havoc and after 5 minutes, a long throw in from the right by Matt Gray is helped on at the near post by the combined efforts iof two defenders. Quinton arches his back to head the ball towards the target, but it drops just wide of the far post.
Four minutes later and another ball into the box gives us the lead. Matt Gray fires in a corner from the right that the yellow shirted defenders just stand & watch as it flies across goal before being met with a stooping header by an utterly unmarked Lewis Gonsalves.
Now this is normally the turning point in these games. You either go on and rattle in several more. Or you fanny about a bit…
Sutton continue to press, looking to get the ball into the box as oftern as possible, given the home sides apparent fear of the white round thing in the 18 yard area. Gray delivers one low ball towards the near post that looks an easy claim for the ‘keeper, but Watkins nips in front of him and flicks the ball just wide of the target. The Egham ‘keepers questioning of his defence is somewhat revealing..
“Where the fuck did he come from??”
We start making hard work of matters, giving away possession poorly. And then even start allowing the oppo time & space to attack. On 18 minutes a corner from the right comes in low at the near post. The ball finds it’s path blocked by a Sutton defender, but runs loose to a lurking Egham attacker who from 8 yards somehow manages to blaze his shot over the target.
Proceedings are now becoming very tedious and it takes until the 30 minute mark for any event to warrant a scribble in the Gandermonium notepad. Eddie picks up the ball in midfield and runs at the defence before playing a ball into the left channel for Chris Nurse. His first touch isn’t great and forces him a little too wide. Still, he manages to pull the ball back across goal for Ed who’s continued his run to the back post. But the ball is too high and skips harmlessly off the top of Akuamouah’s bonce and out for a goalkick.
The rest of the half is just as dull, with only a Watkins half volley at the near post follwing a Gray corner even remotely looks like extending the lead.
We attempt to duck into the bar at half time, but it’s already pretty busy and it’s decided to head straight back out. At least it gives us plenty of time to get these bloody flags up.
The second half is little better than the first. One or two U’s players are seemingly strolling about a bit too much and finding oppo players with their passes all too frequently. Egham are naturally taking heart from this and the fact that they’re still only 1-0 down. 52 minutes played and another chance for them.
A corner on the left is allowed to travel all the way to the back post where a rather slackly marked yellow shirt heads down on goal. Thankfully, Wilson is alert and gets down to smother the ball at the foot of the upright.
Watkins running & pace cause the home side trouble all night and one such burst almost leads to a second Sutton goal. Recieving the ball out on the left corner of the 18 yard box, he turns & drifts past 2 men on the edge of the box. As he shoots, the ball is deflected high into the air and loops out to the right, dropping perfectly onto Matt Gray’s boot. But his looping effort just drops over the bar.
On the hour, we finally double our advantage. Gray puts a corner in from the right that Gonsalves heads down at the back post. Again, the home defence freeze in terror at the white thing bouncing about in their box, allowing Watkins to nip in and nod it into the far corner. Getting a boot to the head as he does so.
Naturally, he gets little sympathy from the U’s fans behind the goal. Being offered unhelpful advice with regards to the number of fingers being held up in front of him by physio Sarah.
“Six! Forty seven! Three!”
Thankfully though despite our intervention, he’s ok and is allowed to continue after a few moments.
Egham introduce a couple of subs and go looking for a goal to get them back into the game. One of the new arrivals manages to latch onto a ball into the box from the left, but despite his sharp turn on the ball, Blackwell does well to get a foot in and block the shot.
Akuamouah and Nurse then combine down the right, ending in Ed’s cross picking out Watkins, his looping header being tipped over by the keeper. After 69 minutes, the no2 decides to kick Akuamouah well after the ball is gone, but typically, this only brings a yellow card. Gray swings the resulting free-kick narrowly over the bar.
Then, with a little under 20 minutes left, the hosts pull one back. A ball down our left is played inside for one of the Egham subs. He tries his luck from a narrow angle, forcing a Wilson to block the effort. His save spins into the air giving the no7 the easy job of nodding into an almost empty net.
Our brief hopes of this being a wake up call are dashed and we have to spend the final 20 minutes or so frustrated by our disinterested play. The passing remains woeful and when we do get into decent advanced positions, the delivery is poor. Thankfully though, the home side whilst being a little better at moving the ball, fail completely to test Wilson before the end.
Our own annoyance is compounded by rather silly yellow cards for Gray & Nurse in the last 5 minutes.
Thankfully, we see out the 90 minutes without further incident and toddle off back to the cars for the customary dash back to the Hood for a closing time pint.
Right, where’s those Wombles?
MAN OF THE MATCH : Craig Watkins. More tireless running. Brave header for the goal….
ENTERTAINMENT : 4. Why do we always showboat against these sides instead of crushing them?
TEAM Wilson, Howard, Scarborough, Blackwell, Gonsalves, Gray, Nurse, Quinton, Honey, Watkins, Akuamouah. SUBS : Brake, Douglas, Tydeman.
THE REFEREE’S………a Surrey official. Nuff said!