PRE SEASON FRIENDLY | Att : N/A
HORSHAM – 3 [Taylor 40.45. Carney p47]
SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Douglas 13. OG 41. Gray p75]
Sutton’s summer bandwagon reached it’s latest destination on Tuesday evening, winding it’s way down the A24 to Horsham and 90 minutes of fun & festivities at Queen Street. But first, there’s time for a couple of refreshments in the Black Jug on the Hight Street! Ah, that’s better, right onto the action…
Having last summer beaten a U’s team so staggeringly bad the local girl guide troop would’ve got at least a draw and clearly buoyed by such a huge scalp, the Hornets went on to have a rather good season. Looking a very good bet for promotion to the Ryman Premier for most of the campaign, their form collapsed at the sharp end and they had to settle for a play off spot, ultimately losing the final 3-1 at home to our old friends Bromley.
And that gives me a nice link in as by coincidence, the staggeringly inept twat who took charge of our two FA Cup meetings with Bromley last season, Mr Chris Salt, is also officiating tonight. Oh goody. Still, at least we’ll be able to get some entertainment out of abusing the fucking moron when he ruins the game….
7 mins – Watkins robs defender, but a good attacking run is wasted with weak 25 yard ‘shot’ at ‘keeper.
13 mins – GOAL 1-0. U’s corner played in from the right is headed up into the air by a Horsham defender and falls to Steve Douglas on the corner of the 18 yard box. He opens his U’s account with a sweetly taken low rasping volley into the corner. See Steve, we told you it’d come eventually!
24 mins – Horsham liven up and neat attack down our right ends with fierce ball across from bye line. But Emberson gathers under pressure at his near post.
33 mins – Home side are getting some joy down our left, with ex-U Jon Westcott in particular causing problems. One ball forward see’s their huge no10 challenge Scooby. Our man wins the header, but only succeeds in flicking it on into the path of the Horsham 11. His fierce drive from 18 yards is straight at Emberson.
40 mins – GOAL 1-1. Not having got hold of the game since we scored, it’s no surprise when the hosts level. And it’s a rather smart little move as well. Westcott collects a ball out to the left goes to the bye line and cuts inside. Gonsalves slips and allows him to pull the ball back for the no9 to thump across Emberson and into the far corner from about 10 yards.
41 mins – GOAL 2-1. Parity is short lived as within 60 seconds, we’re ahead again. The hard working Douglas charges down a defenders clearance on the left touchline. The ball flies back over the defence and Cornwell chases. His first touch is superb and he whips a cross towards the box, only to see it flick off a covering defender and loop perfectly over the stranded ‘keeper and drop just inside the far post.
43 mins – Douglas continues his impressive first half showing with a good run down the left, culminating in leaving a defender not so much for dead, but buried in a shallow unmarked grave. His low ball across the 6 yard box is missed by both Watkins and a defender before rebounding back to Watkins. But falling over as he tries to readjust for the shot, he can only hook the ball well over the target.
45 mins – GOAL 2-2. Salt, who has been predictably irritating so far awards a dubious free-kick out on the left. It’s swung into the box and despite loud appeals for what looks to be a foul at the back post on a U’s defender, the ball is knocked back across goal for the no9 to finish from close range.
Despite the disappointing end to the half, the side has done fairly well, with Douglas in particular standing out on the left. But again, the defence still looks a more than a little wobbly. Still work to do here methinks.
At half time, JR reshuffles slightly and understandably removes the newly returning Gary Elliot for Akuamouah. Ed comes into midfield and Quinton drops to right back.
47 mins – GOAL 2-3. Mr Salt continues his “How to win friends and influence people” campaign immediately after the break. A free-kick is played up to the edge of the U’s box from about 30-35 yards out. A tallish bloke in a yellow shirt stumbles and falls just inside the 18 yard box, promptnig El Twato to inexplicably award a penalty. This would be slightly easier to swallow if A- The bloke had actually been fouled by an opponent and not clumsily fallen over like Bambi on ice and B- Chris fucking Salt wasn’t the ref. The annoying Horsham no7, who has spent all night doing nothing except foul Paul Honey every time he gets the ball, steps up and gives Horsham the lead from the spot.
55 mins – Matt Gray, having had a quiet 1st half finally finds his feet and starts causing problems on the right. One blistering run down the flank leaves two yellow shirts trailing in his wake before he cuts across the 18 yard line and disappointingly drags his shot just wide of the near post.
57 mins – A U’s attack isn’t cleared very well and Douglas gets down the left, clippnig the ball into the heart of the box for Matt Gray. Any plans he may have had in doing something with this teasing little pass are abruptly ended when a defender bulldozes through the back of him. A penalty? Surely? Erm……..well, no actually. Salt’s in charge, so christ knows what’s going through his head. Appeals waved away.
60 mins – Gonsalves plays a poor ball out of defence straight to a Horsham man. He’s allowed to advance some way unchallenged before lashing a shot just narrowly over the Sutton goal.
64 mins – Hosham free-kick on our left is cleverly swung over the wall towards the near post. Emberson does well to get across and push the effort away for a corner.
68 mins – Despite having a bloke stood no more than a yard away, Gray takes a left sided free-kick quickly, forcing the home ‘keeper into a good reaction save.
75 mins – GOAL 3-3. Even a moron of Salt’s calibre is forced to make the odd logical decision. Watkins beats the offside trap down the right and races onto a lovely through ball. He just beats the ‘keeper to it 3-4 yards outside the box, only to be clearly baulked by the Horsham stopper. Now ordinarily, that would mean their bloke getting first dibs on the shower gel, but as this is a PSF, the ref decides to avoid handing matey a ban (and a fine no doubt) by allowing him to stay on the field, but awarding us a penalty. The ‘keeper almost makes the most of his reprieve by getting a hand to Matt Gray’s low effort, but it creeps into the corner.
76 mins – Changes for Sutton. Wilson replaces Emberson, Brake replaces Douglas and Marvell replaces Watkins.
78 mins – Marvell gets his first opportunity with virtually his first touch. Palmer again exposes the Horsham offside trap down the right, but the Ex-Bobbin is unable to keeper his lofted effort on target despite beating the ‘keeper to the ball outside the box. Immediately after, another late challenge from a home player results in what some claim to be a retaliatory stamp from Watkins
79 mins – Another rather unnecessary and late challenge from a home player results in what some feel to be a retaliatory stamp from Gonsalves. The Horsham bench feel so as does the ‘injured’ no6 and the ref is forced to talk to both. He also requests the replacement of the increasingly annoying no7, presumably having tired of continually having to warn about his ‘tackling’. The ‘injured’ Horsham player eventually earns himself a booking for dissent and is then comically left kicking his heels on the sidelines for a good couple of minutes with the ref seemingly ignoring him.
80 mins – Scott Corbett replaces the battered & bruised Paul Honey for his first appearance of pre-season.
82 mins – Gray makes another super run down the right again beating 2 men before threading a little ball through the defence for Cornwell. But the ‘keeper is quickly off his line and blocks the shot.
85 mins – A quick counter-attack from the home side down our left ends with ball being squared into the centre for the no9. But a combination of an onrushing Wilson and a knackered Quinton does enough and matey watches his effort trundle inches wide of the upright.
90 mins – Another swift attack from the hosts. This time a ball in from the right after Quinton has given away possession. Westcott though somehow narrowly misses the target with his first time effort.
All in all, a decent bit of football and all for a fiver. Worryingly, the defence is still not quite there yet. Although we do look a hell of a lot more settled than last season. As one U’s fan said to persons unknown on his mobile as we were leaving “Yeah, drew 3-3……..well, I know. But we lost here 3-1 last year and look what happened!”
Right, I’m off to Salzburg for the weekend. Ta ra!
TEAM : Carl Emberson, Gary Elliot, John Scarborough, Lewis Gonsalves, Ryan Palmer, Matt Gray, Paul Honey, Tony Quinton, Steve Douglas, Craig Watins, Luke Cornwell. SUBS : Eddie Akuamouah, Dale Marvell, Scott Corbett, Phil Wilson