SUTTON UNITED – 0
WEYMOUTH – 3 [Wheeler 8. Powell 29. McDonald 89.]
Following on from the utter relief of Saturdays win confirming our status for next season, there was an air of “who really gives a shit?” about tonight’s re-arranged clash with Weymouth.
Things may have been different though had they decided to stick with their previous manager and not sack him though. We were looking forward to Mr Johnson bringing his ‘Muff side down for this rearranged date after he made some rather scurrilous comments to his local rag in the wake of the original postponement.
According to the short arsed
gimp gentleman in question, we didn’t want to play the game and he “wasn’t surprised” we’d called it off as we apparently had “a few injuries”. Although the most laughable aspect of the interview was his claim that speaking to his daughter, (who apparently lives locally) she had said the weather was fine and how surprised she was that the game was off!!! This is despite a perfectly reputable local ref declaring our pitch unfit.
Sadly, Mr Johnson couldn’t have been more wrong on more counts. We did want to play the game (mainly as his side were fucking useless at the time and we actually had a chance of winning), we actually had a full squad to pick from due to having no injury worries at all at the time, let alone “a few” and it appears Miss Johnson failed to mention to her old man that it had been absolutely pissing it down the 3 days prior to the game.
And no, to our knowledge, Miss Johnson is not a qualified referee. And even if she were, she only checked her back garden, not our notoriously crap playing surface.
Naturally, once we found out about these comments, we weren’t happy. Predictably, Johnson claimed he’d been ‘misquoted’.
Oh sure you were mate. And I’m the president of the Republic of Kryzgstan.
A little peeved, we resolved to give the vertically challenged fellow a warm welcome when the ‘Muff were finally in town. Sadly though, his chairman intervened and spoiled our fun. Sacking him a short while later. Not for the comments he made, you understand, but because as we mentioned earlier, his team had been fucking shit.
Shame really, ‘cos there’s not been much in the way of entertainment at home this season. Ho hum.
Besides, who cares now? We’re safe.
I wander into the Hood as usual, but find it strangely devoid of any other members of the crew. Which is odd as we practically live here! But a quick delve into the old grey matter reminds me why. Windy is meeting an old workmate and Muff fan, most likely at the club. Greek is celebrating his old mans birthday and we’re unlikely to see him until the second half, if at all and Chalmers is…..actually?? Where IS the scruffy git?
Think I’ll have a pint while I ponder the answer to this puzzling conundrum.
Eventually PC and the missus appear just after seven, in time for a quick snifter before the game. This is good news, as it means I don’t have to bother my lazy carcass with a walk down to the ground. PC can give me a lift.
Tonight should be something of a cosmopolitan affair (or about as cosmopolitan as the Conference South CAN get!) with some guests swelling our crowd. Thurrockboy has again decided to visit GGL, despite our dreadful home record, there are two fans up from Weston for the game (are you fucking MAD?), Hayes fan and Conference South site webmaster Nick is also in attendance. Shortly after entering the ground, I find myself being introduced to Ian Ridley. Ex-Muff chairman and mate of Steve Claridge.
Sorry Mr Ridley, but you looked much taller on the telly!
But I digress, on to the action.
With Matt Gray available again after suspension, he returns to the right side of midfield in place of Tydeman. Watkins returns to the front line with Hunter and Joff meanwhile, remains in the back three.
The opening exchanges are nothing much to write home about, until in the 8th minute, the first real attack of the game brings a goal. And it’s certainly not for us.
Gray gets caught high up the pitch and the ball is played into the space behind him where the attacker receiving has loads of time to trot towards goal. He’s not closed down and has time to finish his cup of tea and his paper before smartly despatching the ball between Iga and his near post.
Whats that? A shit goal given away?? At Home??? Never.
It’s a couple of minutes before we respond in any way. Ed battles for the ball on the right corner of the box and wins possession. He feeds Gray who immediately whips the ball into the box. Unfortunately, the ‘keeper cuts it out at the near post. Not that there’s many U’s bodies in there to have made anything of it anyway.
Gray goes closer on 23 minutes though. Corbett’s corner from the left being headed out to the edge of the box. But Matty cracks his fierce drive narrowly over the crossbar. A minute or so later, Watkins has a good surging run down the right, but having beaten his man to the byeline, there’s once again no bugger in the box to capitalise on his cross.
Things get worse after about half an hour, when despite having had a lot of the ball yet created little, the visitors score again with probably only their second real attack. Joff jumps but fails to win a header out on the right and the ball runs into space behind. A low cross is drilled across the box where both Palmer AND Gonsalves fail to even get the slightest touch and it’s bundled in off the stomach of a no doubt surprised forward arriving at the back post.
It’s hardly a surprise to us as it seems we’ve been conceding goals like that almost every week since bloody August. Ho hum!
With the midfield more than a tad overrun, Scott Corbett hobbles off to be replaced with Chris Nurse. This instantly lifts the side and now having a bit of pace & mobility in the centre, we start playing some reasonable football. This presents us with our best chance of the half. Watkins nips onto a ball through the ‘Muff defence, but with the goal at his mercy, Bradley Thomas the ex-Peterborough defender on loan here at the start of the season, puts in a superbly timed tackle as Craig pulls the trigger.
The ‘keeper still has to stop a ‘shot’ of sorts, but he’s hardly troubled by it.
We continue to put in a more hearty display up to the break, but despite some good approach work, the final ball just either never arrives, or just isn’t good enough. Examples of this are a quick free-kick taken on the right by Honey. He finds Nurse who then in turn plays Matt Gray into space. His low cross is cut out at the near corner. And a corner from the left that is flicked on at the near post, that drops around the penalty spot, causing a moment or two of confusion. But it’s cleared before any Sutton man can get there to take advantage.
My hopes of a quiet drink in the bar at half time are dashed when I’m left to regale Windy’s two ‘Muff supportng mates of my disastrous attempt to get to Lisbon last summer. Yes, the worst day of my life so far. Hilarious innit!
JR decides to try something different for the second alf and replaces Brake with young Andy Douglas. Sadly, the second half proves to be a bit of a damp squib.
It’s a good 15 minutes after the restart that a chance comes and surprise surprise, it’s at our end! A corner from the left is met with a perfectly free header at the near post. Thankfully, Eddie is on guard to hook it off the line. Soon after, Chris Nurse comes as close as anyone to reducing the deficit when a ball into the ‘Muff box is allowed to bounce. It pinballs about for a moment before Nursey arrives and with and outrageous flick off the outside of his right boot, the ball pings off the outside of the post.
The game pretty much peters out from here, with only a Hunter/Eddie combo down the left delivering a dangerous ball into the ‘Muff box. But it’s headed away from between the two arriving U’s players. In fact, we get more incident in the last couple of minutes than the previous 20!
Sam Hewitt has been introduced for the seemingly injured Vansittart and with about a minute to go, gets the opportunity to show off that long throw of his. He bombs it in from the right and it lands in the chest of Gray by the near post. But before he can do anything with the ball now in front of him, he’d clearly barged in the back and sent sprawling to the turf.
Naturally the ref has seen nowt wrong. There’s a surprise.
A minute later and to add insult to injury, a ball down our right is crossed into the box from deep. From the shoebox, the bloke arriving at the back post looks offside to me, but the flag stays down and he prods in the visitors third.
Having now seen the video on the ‘Muff site, I’ve little reason to disregard my original thoughts!!
Still, we’re safe and no-ones really that cut up about it. And the lads get a round of applause at the final whistle. We head off back to the Hood for a couple of pints before closing, safe in the knowledge that we can go to Cambridge for the last game on saturday and get absolutely shedded without having to worry about the outcome of the result.
Oh and one final thing….
COME ON EASTBOURNE!
MAN OF THE MATCH : Paul Honey. Chased like a madman again.
ENTERTAINMENT : 6. Not a bad game. Played some decent stuff. Shame about the defending.
TEAM : Iga, Vansittart, Palmer, Gonsalves, Tydeman, Honey, Corbett, Akuamouah, Brake, Watkins, Hunter. SUBS : Douglas, Clayton, Hewitt, Wilson
THE REFEREE’S………hmmmmmm. Not too convinced really. Missed the stonewall peno at the death, but the really amusing event was during the first half. Gray in possession down the right following a throw in and the ref clearly blows his whistle twice to stop the game. Gray lets the ball run out over the byeline only for the ref to turn, award a goal kick as if nothing had happened!! Erm, never heard the term ‘play to the whistle’ then dickhead??