Anyone Seen Alice?


Att : 245


SUTTON UNITED – 2    [OG 18. Cornwall 90]

Sadly, our tenure as Conference South league leaders lasted precisely 24 hours, with Lewes winning 3-0, ironically here at Yeading, along with Cambridge City’s victory meant we slipped to third.

Bloody disgraceful!! RAINS OUT!

Still, it was a fun while it lasted. Especially when you consider that since becoming members of this particular division last season, we’d failed to get into even make the the top half so far. Let alone top the bastard.

Today’s trip brings back some dark memories for older U’s fans. Yeading is the scene of one of the clubs greatest humiliations, a 4-1 FA Cup defeat to a then Spartan League side. They eventually made it as high as the Isthmian Premier a few years back and even then, we failed to erase that memory, suffering another drubbing under Alan Gane in about 1993 here.

When you add to the fact the ground is on an industrial estate in a part of London about as renowned for it’s decent pubs as Israel is for its pig farming, then it makes for a pretty unappealing encounter.

What we here at Gandermonium would term “Fucking shite”.

With this in mind, Greek offers to drive to the game. We umm & ahh, thinking about going via Paddington and drinking ourselves silly in the Fullers pub in the station, but in the end Greeks offer to “go somewhere for a pint before” swings it.

Right, sod it, we’ll go to Windsor for a couple before the game then!

I sort out a couple of decent hostelries in the town thanks to some Ryman assistance and we head for Her Madge’s second home. Greek drives me, Windy & Belly. With Chalmers & Mrs C accompanying his brother Alan along for the day.

Unfortunately, Windsor on a saturday afternoon during the summer hols is a crap idea. Finding a parking spot is impossible. Instead we decide to lump for the splendidly named ‘Vansittart Arms’ a little way from the high street.

And who was the man who scored the winner in our one victory at Yeading to date??

Yep. Joff Vansittart. A sign from the footballing gods perhaps??

A couple of pints later and it’s sadly time to leave the pleasant surroundings of the pub garden and head for the Warren. And one quick dash down the M4 later, we’re pulling into the car park at their tidy ‘Warren’ ground. In fact, there’s even time for a quick snifter before the game.

With the faffing about in Windsor having cost us a chance of lunch in the boozer, everyone decends upon the burger bar for munchies. Sadly, it seems despite taking several orders at once, the resident chef is cooking ‘em one at a time! Still, at least we get to cheer our lads down the tunnel as they emerge, resplendent in a lovely new striped away kit.

Want one, WANT ONE!

I also want my bloody burger. Where the hell is it??

In the end, having waited 20 minutes, I cop the hump and politely ask Belly to bring mine round when he gets his. Some of us have got fucking match reports to do and poxy great big flags to put up.

Fortunately, the first 10 mins or so are pretty quiet, so there’s no catching up to be done on the notes front. We’ve started brightly though and on 14 minutes a good chance goes begging for the U’s. A ball down the right is flicked on by Cornwall sending Watkins off down the line. He goes past the full back with ease and pulls the ball back from the bye line for Quinton on the 18 yard line, but with a perfectly good sight of goal, the midfielder rifles his shot over the target.

More importantly though, my burger arrives! And very nice it is too. And so it sodding well should be!

I’ve just finished munching when another Sutton raid down the right opens the scoring. Gray & Honey combine from a throw in on the right. The U’s midfielder holds off his man well before feeding the ball into the channel for Gray. His low cross is met by the Yeading no4 by the near post, but with Watkins on his shoulder, his first touch off his knee just puts him in trouble and in his panic, he can only prod it into the corner of his own net.

Cheers mate!

The goal rocks the hosts briefly and 2 minutes later another chance. Cornwall chases down a seemingly lost cause on the left and pulls the ball back to Akuamouah, who then touches into the box for Watkins. He can’t turn for the shot, so rolls the ball back to the edge for Honey to thump a low drive goalwards, forcing a good full stretch save from the Yeading ‘keeper.

Yeading have soon rallying though and a minute later they’re making headway down our left. A good cross in at pace is nodded down & back towards the edge of the 18 yard box from the back post. Matt Gray doing just enough to deflect a powerful strike just over for a corner.

The home side soon find their rythm and are probing the Sutton defence at every opportunity. Playing down the flanks with pace and using the unfeasibly tall no9 as a focus for their efforts. Despite a lot of possession though, their best moments are wasted with weak finishing. A good cross from our right ends with a soft header from a man well placed at the near post, that loops into the hands of Emberson on 34 mins and very shortly after, a corner played in from the left results in a free-haeder at the far post, but it’s again a soft effort and bounces up off the turf giving Emberson another comfortable take.

Another header is wasted by the hosts approaching half-time, again put in from the left, their towering no9 heads over the target from a central position about 8 yards out. In fact, it takes the home side until right on the break to seriously test our ‘keeper. A Yeading attacker is given a bit too much time & space down the left to advance on goal and a little pass through finds the no9, but Emberson reacts well to block his cheeky first time prod at the near post.

The stroll round at half time is somewhat spoiled by the news that the Bobbins are staggeringly 1-0 up against Lewes. Eh? Whats that all about??

Almost as unlikely as us being top last week!

The second half picks up pretty much where the first left off, with the home side pressing for an equaliser. 3 minutes in, it seems they think they have one. A free-kick comes in from the right and is only half cleared. It’s immediately crashed back through the crowd from 20 yards and Emberson manages to get behind it and make the block, but the ball comes loose. A goal looks certain, but somehow the follow up ends up bobbling wide of the target before being recovered and hit back at pace along the byeline and through the side netting.

There’s a bit of a commotion as the Yeading players and a few fans behind the goal seem to be of the impression that somewhere in there, there was a goal scored.

Matt Gray helps the situation by indicating a good 2 foot section of the side netting thats come loose from the goal post.

Whatever happened, a corner is their only reward. And their fairly reluctant acceptance of this seems to back up the ref’s ‘no goal’ decision.

Yeading continue to press, but in a rare bit of action in the other half, Craig Watkins almost registers a goal of the season winner. He collects the ball on the right touchline and gets round his man. A second defender slides in to try & challenge, but the striker clips the ball over him and jumps the challenge. Next in an outrageous bit of ball juggling, the ball doesn’t touch the ground for the next 5-6 yards as he clips it over a third man and then loops a volley from just inside the 18 yard box over a completely stranded keeper and just over the cross bar at the far top corner of the goal.

The majority of the U’s support behind the goal stand there staring at each other, everyone with hands on head like they’d just missed the chance themselves!

Our hosts go back to exerting a lot of pressure, especially down the flanks with their no2 in particular proving a real nuisance down our left. But despite plenty of ball into the box, the final touch is either lacking, or Gary Elliot is there to head or chop the ball clear. With 20 mins left, another rare attack from Sutton almost kills the game off.

Watkins races onto a ball down the right, with the already flagging no6 left virtually standing. He gets to the bye line and pulls a pass back into the path of Akumouah 8 yards out. His first effort lacks real venom and a defender just blocks it, allowing him a second go, but despite getting hold of this shot much better, he only manages to find the midriff of Preddie in the Yeading goal. A real sitter!

Several more balls in and around our box cause anxiety at our end and it looks like the slightest touch could bring an equaliser, but again Elliot is there to get a vital touch or flick on the ball to take it away from it’s intended target.

Our one corner of the half is headed over by Quinton when well placed after Gray has picked him out from the right sided flag, but again the home side come back. Another raid down the left and pass inside is deflected in behind the Sutton defence perfectly for the no9, but his low angled shot across goal gets the finest of touches from Emberson to take it away from the target and out for a corner. The resulting kick is headed on at the near post and drops behind our advancing line, but their man doesn’t realise how much space he’s in and hooks the ball over the target from only a few yards out.

With the 90 minutes approaching their end, Yeading press again for the equaliser they probably deserve. Once more the no2 gets down our left and it seems like for once, he’s got enough space and support to make the attack count. But the resulting shot from his pass is somehow blocked by Elliott and the seemingly dead cert follow up is also blocked by another last ditch challenge.

We’re a good couple of minutes into time added on when a pass forward down the left evades Cornwall & runs for a throw in a few yards in from the corner flag. Like a couple of previous occassions, Preddie races from his goal to recieve a quick throw in and no doubt launch the ball forwards one last time. Unfortunately, Mr 4 adds to his earlier cock up and throws the ball straight past his oncoming ‘keeper!

The ball trundles across the 18 yard box and Preddie races desperately back as Cornwall closes in, but he gets there a fraction too late and arrives just as the U’s striker prods the ball into the empty net from 12 yards out for his 5th goal in 3 games and his second perimeter fence mobbing this week.

Moments later, the final whistle finally goes and it’s another hard fought away win for the U’s!

Slightly shocked that we’ve somehow won 3 from 3, we amble back to the bar for a drink or two to celebrate and work out exactly what’s going on here. I personally come to the conclusion that I’m dead.

I got hit by a bus or a lorry or summat, now I’m dead and this is heaven. That’s it isn’t it??

Having seen the table confirmed on the telly, the angel Taz and the rest of the crew jump back in the Greekmobile and a happy journey back to the Hood for a beer or two.

It’s all got to go horribly wrong soon. So lets enjoy this while it lasts!

MAN OF THE MATCH – Gary Elliot. Another outstanding display from the centre back. ENTERTAINMENT – 7. Intruiging rather than entertaining.

TEAM : Emberson,Palmer, Scarborough, Elliot, Gray, Quinton, Honey, Akuamouah, Gonsalves, Watkins, Cornwall   SUBS : Blackwell, Marvell, Rivers, Wilson.

THE REFEREE’S………was average. Didn’t have much to do really, as neither side got particularly out of hand. Still missed a couple of blatantly obvious ones, but thats par for the course at this level I guess!

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