Att : N/A
LEATHERHEAD – 3 [Stevens 26.40. Charles-Smith 89]
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Gray p90]
As final warm ups go, this certainly won’t be getting an entry into any forthcoming instructional books or videos entitled “How to make sure you’re properly prepared & raring to go for that first league game!”.
For the third year running, we head down to Fetcham Grove for the last game in our pre-season programme. with the previous 2 visits having both seen unconvincing U’s victories in unfeasibly hot weather.
Thankfully, at least it’s not hot today. Although the lack of sun does have Greek complaining about his Oakleys being redundant.
For the last time this season, here’s the main points from the game….
2 mins – A super bit of play down the right between Gray & Cornwell allows the striker to slip the ball though for Watkins in the box. He skips past his marker and curls an effort on goal that crashes back off the bar with ex-U’s stopper Tommy Dunn a spectator.
10 mins – Gray’s long throw from the right is headed on by Scarborough in the box and drops to Quinton on the 18 yard line. His volley flashes just wide of the near post.
13 mins – The Tanners first sight of goal comes from a poor defensive header in the left corner of the 18 yard box. It drops to a green shirted attacker and his first time effort finds it’s way straight to Emberson.
25 mins – Crossfield ball finds Gray in acres of space on the right. He advances and elects to shoot rather than use the overlapping Palmer. Dunn gets down well to save low at his near post.
26 mins – GOAL 0-1. Having had little of the play, the home side find themselves in front with an absolute gift. A silly pass back towards our own box from the right catches out Gonsalves on the edge of the box and his poor control sets up the no1 perfectly. He makes no mistake, rifling a shot past the exposed Emberson.
37 mins – Gray corner from the left is driven in and a low flick at the near post causes problems, with both a defender and Dunn combining to block the effort & clear.
40 mins – GOAL 0-2. Another awful bit of play costs us dear again as Quinton elects to play the ball back to his own goal, only to leave the pass woefully short. Again, the no11 can’t believe his luck and once more finishes past Emberson from 10 yards.
43 mins – Another loose pass in midfield almost presents the no11 with his hat-trick. Possession is surrendered and a quick ball through the defence sends their man clear. But Emberson is alert and blocks the shot with his legs.
Needless to say, we’re slightly miffed at the break after witnessing the same suicidal play that cost us so dearly on many occasions last season. The first 20 minutes had shown promise and we’d played some really good football. Especially down the right. But as soon as we gifted ‘em the lead, we’d just not looked interested.
A huge improvement would be required second half.
54 mins – A surging run forwards by Akuamouah is ended in a rather ugly fashion when he’s cut down from behind by the Tanners no3. With a couple of iffy challenges having already occurred since the restart, he pays the price and the ref requests his replacement.
56 mins – Gray’s throw on the right finds Honey and he returns the ball to the right sided player for him to slip a pass through to the overlapping Palmer. His cros sin decieves everyone it seems and drifts just wide of the far post, just begging for someone on our left side to nip in & finish.
62 mins – Good diagnoal right to left pass picks out Gonsalves in an advanced position. His driven low ball exposes a lack of U’s firepower in the box and it’s not until it reaches Gray beyond the far post that Dunn is tested. Matty’s strike ending up in the ‘keepers midriff.
64 mins – Triple substitution for the U’s with Emberson, Watkins & Elliot all removed and replaced by Wilson, Tomlin & Castledine.
77 mins – Our last change of the day, Akumouah replaced by Douglas out on the left.
84 mins – Gray free-kick from the left is met by Douglas in the centre, but his stooping header loops over the target.
87 mins – A reasonable bit of play sees the ball worked across the edge of the box. Eventually it comes to Cornwell on the right and he turns into the box, giving him a good sight of goal. But his effort is pulled well over the bar from 10 yards.
89 mins – GOAL 0-3. A pretty poor performance is rounded off when a very flatfooted and disinterested defence is caught out by a deep ball into the right corner flag. Quinton having switched to right back since the arrival of Castledine goes to close down the attacker, but backs off and then makes a frankly crap attempt at a tackle on the sideline of the 18 yard box. Matey skips round this effort and clips the ball into the 6 yard box, where it’s diverted in from close range.
90 mins – GOAL 1-3. An exchange of passes on the left allows Honey to skip into the box, only to be clumsily felled from behind by the Tanners no12. The ref has little choice but to award a penalty, despite the offender’s protests of innocence. Matt Gray thumps it low to the keepers left and despite getting a hand to it, the ball finds the corner of the net.
All in all, a rather poor effort considering the season proper is just 7 days away. Plus points are hard to pick out, but Castledine looks like he’ll be a good addition once he’s 100% fit and some of the football in the first 20 mins was very entertaining.
Ho hum. One week to get it all sorted gents…
TEAM : Carl Emberson, Gary Elliot, Lewis Gonsalves, Ryan Palmer, John Scarborough, Matt Gray, Paul Honey, Tony Quinton, Eddie Akamouah, Luke Cornwell, Craig Watkins. SUBS : Phil Wilson, Gavin Tomlin, Stewart Castledine, Steve Douglas