Att : 640
SUTTON UNITED – 4 [Quinton 6. 24. Akuamouah 53. Cornwall 76]
ST ALBANS CITY – 0
If you scroll back up a bit, you’ll see that after the disappointing performance down in Basingstoke, I commented “Saturday in Chippenham should be a right laugh!”.
Well, it fucking wasn’t.
It was shit. Not only did we play dreadfully. It rained. And I got wet.
The following week was pretty miserable as well it has to be said. Normally by about 4-5pm on the Friday, I’m thinking about the end of the working week and “great, football tomorrow!”.
Not this time. This week it was more “Oh bollocks. Football tomorrow. Er…….great.”
Now, after such a dismal showing, what you want to get you back in your stride is some pile of cack in the bottom 3 or 4 to come to yours for a good going over. Someone like Carshalton for instance!
But oh no, not us. That’d be too easy.
We get a home game against the second placed side who’ve been scoring goals for fun in the last few games, including a 4-0 gubbing of red hot title favourites and full timers, Weymouth.
Still, their own 4-0 tonking during the week at the hands of Kettering in the cup along with the loss of their top scorer has lifted spirits a little on our side. And hopefully our lot will want to restore a bit of damaged pride.
Well, they better had or there’ll be fucking murders afterwards.
The pre-match beverages are still fairly subdued, mainly as everyone is still a tadge depressed after events last week. Still, a pint or two and a ham and cheese toastie later and Gareth at least is seeming a little happier.
Thankfully, on arrival at GGL, there’s no sign of Billy Harding in the side as Castledine is fit enough to claim a spot on the bench as JR retains the side that went out of the cup.
Sutton get off to a brisk start and are immediately on the offensive. Ekoku showing more in the first 60 seconds than in 70 minutes at Chippenham by getting down the left, holding off his man and laying a pass back to the edge of the box for Honey. But Ug’s shot lacks power and it’s an easy save for Bastock in the Saints goal.
Both sides start to move the ball well, but it’s the U’s who seem to have that little bit more spark and after 6 minutes, it brings the opening goal. Pitcher plays a raking diagonal pass from right to left for Cornwall. Who with some sexy footwork on the corner of the box, makes himself some space to get past his man and deliver an inviting cross to the far post where Quinton is arriving. He does well to hold his marker off and powers in a downward header.
Yabba dabba do! Where the hell was this last week eh?
The visitors dig in and try hard to muster a response, but are finding the U’s defence back to it’s early season ‘none shall pass’ mood and despite some good build up and decent passing, most attacks flounder in the final third.
Ekoku continues his own bright start with some good runs and on 19 mins, gets on the end of a Honey cross from the right after Gray finds his way through blocked. But the header is straight up into the air and the ‘keeper claims.
Our next attack brings better rewards though. Another good pass from midfield, this time from the centre, again finds Cornwall out to the left. More fancy footwork from our top scorer is enough to give him the space to deliver another excellent cross to the far post, where once again, Quinton arrives late and this time squeezes a neat sidefoot volley between the ‘keeper and his post to make it 2-0.
Now THATS what we want!!! More more more!!!
Our guests up the tempo a bit more after this, looking for a way back into the game. But as before, despite showing plenty of invention and the will to play the right way, they’re unable to craft any notable openings. The half peters out a bit and it’s not until just before the break that they finally get a decent sight of goal. A neat move down our right leads to a pass across the edge of the box and gives the visitors a 2 man overlap on the left.
The attacker furthest across touches it back inside for a team mate, but probably wishes he’d had a poke himself as matey loses his balance at the cruical moment and screws the shot a good several yards horribly wide of the target.
Off to the bar we skedaddle at the break and sadly discover that the Bobbins are level in their bottom of the table clash with Eastleigh. Bah!
Although, the good news is table toppers Histon are being given a right royal gubbing at home by Farnborough and are 4-0 down.
Bloody hell, that means we could be pissing this tinpot league again by tonight if we keep this up!
St Albans start the second half strongly and 5 minutes in, Wilson is called into serious action for the first time this afternoon. A cross into the box from deep out on our right is headed back across goal from the far post where a white shirt, all alone in the centre, heads at the target. But Wilson is on hand to acrobatically claw the ball away from the top corner.
The visitors task is made even more difficult. Gray’s persistance down by the corner flag on the right wins a corner. It’s perfectly flighted in and a deft flick on at the near post from Quinton carries it to Akuamouah stood at the far post and he sticks out a foot to divert it into the net.
To their credit, the Saints stick at it and keep trying to find a way back into the game and on 55 mins, Wilson has to be alert to cut out a low ball across his 6 yard box after an attacker has smartly turned Scarborough on the right of the box.
Straight after, JR decides that with the game probably won, to give Ug a breather and replaces him with Castledine.
Within 30 secs, any immediate ideas of gently cruising out the last half hour or so are killed off when Pitcher, already booked in the first half, throws the ball back at the ponytailed no18 after a foul down on the far touchline. Mr 18 squeals and goes down like he’s just copped a right hander from Amir Khan and rolls around on the ground a bit.
The ref calls the U’s midfielder over and promptly produces a second yellow followed by a red. Which would tend to indicate it was more for throwing the ball away than actually at the 18.
Sadly though, Mr Ponytailedgirlysquealer escapes sanction for his theatrics. Although he does spend the rest of the match being loudly booed by the stand every time he touches the ball.
Which is pretty special, as you’ve got to be a complete cock of the very highest order to get abuse from the main stand at all, let alone for the rest of a match!
The original free-kick is taken and delivered to the heart of the U’s box, but disappointingly hooked over from about 8-10 yards out.
Ekoku continues to have his best game in a U’s shirt and around the hour mark, almost adds to our advantage.
Running onto a ball from the centre into the right channel, he cuts in and skips between 2 defenders as if they weren’t there and into the box before trying his luck from the angle. Bastock reacts well to block the effort and a recovering defender is on hand to prevent Gray making anything of the loose ball.
Things go a bit quiet for a while as the U’s 10 men drop very deep and seem happy for the visitors to come at them before breaking up any attacks in and around the final third.
With 20 minutes left, the Saints get a rare sight of goal. An attack down brings some success and a cross into the box from the byeline is touched on at the near post taking it past Wilson. The ball drops loose around the penalty spot and a goal looks a distinct possibilty, but fortunately Palmer reacts quickly and clears before any white shirt can take advantage.
The visitors best chance of the match arrives a few minutes later when the no18 collects a ball across the edge of the box and with the boos from the stand ringing in his ears, rattles the cross bar with a solid curling effort.
Any hopes our guests-for-the-day have of building on this near miss and salvaging something from the match evaporates completely around a minute later when a huge goalkick from Wilson is headed straight up into the air by a St Albans defender about 30 yards out from his goal. The ball returns to earth at the very spot Luke Cornwall is currently occupying and he outrageously turns and hits a looping volley that Bastock can only watch and admire as it sails over his head and into the net.
He’s so impressed, he even applauds the effort! Very sporting of you dear boy!
Cornwall celebrates his goal of the season contender by removing his shirt and is promptly booked for his trouble. Have I ever mentioned what a completely fucking shitbag miserable arsehole law that really is?
I find it strange how the law about a player removing his shirt warranting a caution came from the same governing body whose head bloke who thinks women players should wear tighter shorts to show off their arses better.
As some one once said. “You couldn’t make it up couldya?”
Now home and dry, the U’s park their arses firmly in their own half and look to sit out the last 15 minutes or so. The visitors accept the invitation and go looking for a consolation.
Although, they find our back line still in no mood to surrender their 6th clean sheet of the season.
Palmer is smartly turned out on the right and the resulting pass is pulled back from the byeline, which Wilson gets a hand to and diverts towards the edge of the box. Again, a goal looks certain as all the unmarked attacker has to do is hit the target. And I’m pretty sure he thought the same thing until his shot was blocked by Lewis Gonsalves diving desperately in front of him like some secret agent taking an assassins bullet to protect his President!
The Saints no10 then tries his luck inside the last 10 minutes, cutting inside across the edge of the box and cracking a drive just over Wilsons bar.
Ekoku really should make it five with a couple of minutes left when he latches onto a defence splitting pass from Castledine. But he hesitates at the crucial moment and a defender manages to get back and prod the ball away to safety.
The final act of the afternoon is provided by the visitors almost right on time and rather sums up their rather frustrating afternoon. A good low cross is put across the edge of the 6 yard box and the no10 times his run perfectly to dive in and try to head the ball onto the target. Sadly though, it skids off the top of his shaven head and well wide.
We return to the bar for some beer and scores. The Bobbins have gone down 3-1 at Eastleigh, which draws a chuckle from those assembled. And as expected, Histon have failed to recover from their 4-0 half-time deficit and were eventually tonked 6-3.
So, looks like we are top of this bloody tinpot league again. And the Bobbins are bottom.
We have a brief natter with some of the visitors ‘notorious’ EFM ‘firm’ (this year thankfully devoid of nautical flares and offensive trousers) before staggering round to the Hood for food and er…….more beer!
Well, it’s certainly been a lot more fun than last week.
MAN OF THE MATCH – Tony Quinton. Best performance since returning from Canvey last season.
ENTERTAINMENT – 8. Probably our best performance of the season.
TEAM : Wilson, Gray, Scarborough, Palmer, Gonsalves, Akuamouah, Pitcher, Quinton, Cornwall, Ekoku SUBS : Douglas, Adams, Charalambous
THE REFEREE’S………probably should’ve shown a second yellow to Mr ponytail for his piss poor squealing & falling to the ground act when Pitcher lobbed the ball back to him, but apart from that, no major complaints!