How Low Can You Go?

FA TROPHY 3rd QUALIFYING ROUND REPLAY 

Att : 252



SUTTON UNITED – 0

UXBRIDGE – 1   [Swift 28]

Now, I realise that these reports do convey pretty much how I saw the game. But, in a case such as this where we were so utterly bad, I also realise that even my colourful use of the English language may not quite convey the full horror.

So I’ll be providing a few descriptive words here & there to help you along, just in case you feel I’ve not quite covered how shit it really all was. And here’s a few to get you started….

Substandard, unsatisfactory, unlpeasant, nightmarish, shuddersome, accursed, damnable, woeful, shite.

And don’t worry folks. There’s plenty more where they came from!

With the somewhat….er….shall we say, ‘disappointing’ showing on saturday still more than fresh in the memory, you can understand our lack of enthusiasm for the return tie. But, trying to remain as positive as possible in the face of adversity, we fell back on possibly the oldest SUFC mantra there is.

“They can’t be that bad again, they can’t be that bad again, they can’t be that bad again”

Sadly, we kind of ignored one small fact here. It’s absolute bollocks. Yes they CAN be that bad again and they most probably will be.

Faith eh? It’s a powerful thing……

Worryingly, for a game with such potential for disaster, I put myself in a situation where I could possibly be witnessing events sober. Now normally this isn’t my favoured plan of action anyway, but after saturday, being virtually comatose drunk might not even cover it.

The problem was cause by having played the good samaritan and volunteered to sort out on the clubs PC’s. Having completed the job and having no transport, it then sat on my living room floor for the best part of two weeks. Contibuting little more than several instances of ‘stubbed toe’ for the dozy clumsy inhabitant (ie. Me!) of Gandermonium HQ.

Fortunately, a very kind offer of a lift in tonight from the club secretary solves the problem of removing the Intel Pentium III toe-stubber from my sitting-room, but leaves me in the rather worrying position of possibly not having a bevvy beforehand.

It seems the footballing gods are in a fairly good mood though, as I arrive with enough time to ponce a Bombadier off of Chalmers upon arrival and even savour it before kick off. Result!

The side has again been twiddled with after the first game, with Pitcher reverting to the bench & Gonsalves returning. Ooooh. Could we be going for the fabled 4-4-2?? Er, no. The team lines up in what seems to be a rather confusing 3-slightly to the left 1-4-2.

Erm, yes, very good.

Again, things take a little while to get going, with Neither side really imposing themselves from the whistle. We do though create a promising opening after 8 minutes. Paul Honey turns in midfield and delivers a super pass into the left hand channel for Tony Quinton. Quincy gets into space behind the full-back and looks to have a clear run in, but the ‘keeper comes off his line and the U’s midfielder prods an almost apologetic ‘shot’ into his midriff as he slide out.

The cause isn’t helped after around quarter of an hour in, when Elliot lands awkwardly after a challenge and limps off to be replaced with Steve Douglas.

Our next opportunity comes a couple of minutes later. Rivers links up the play from the centre, feeding Gray out on the right. Matty swings the ball in and it eventually finds it’s way to Akuamouah just beyond the fat post, but his volley on the stretch flashes wide, grazing the side netting on it’s way through.

Proceedings remain slow at best, although we’re not looking in any great danger from the subdued visitors. Gray puts in a dangerous corner from the left on 27 mins, swinging it low in towards the near post. The ‘keeper dives in to touch it away and as a scramble for the ball develops around the penalty spot, the ref stops play and awards a free-kick. For a ‘foul’ on the ‘keeper.

WTF? Since when has putting yourself in danger of bodily harm resulted in YOU getting a bloody free-kick? If anything, we should get one for the guy being an idiot!

Naturally, having not threatened our goal once and created bugger all, the visitors are ahead within a minute.

A long kick forward finds the tricky no11 from saturday and he eventually works a cross into the box. It drops invitingly to Gonsalves, but he fluffs a simple volleyed clearance and slices the ball into the path of an attacker behind him on the left and he rifles a volley of his own beyond the dive of Wilson and into the far corner.

Ah. Now you see, we have a problem.

Time for a few more of those words I think……….

Distressing, dire, depressing, frightful, bollocks, dreadful, garbage, alamitous, god-awful, pitiable, unbearable, regrettable woeful abhorrent.

Right, back to the action *cough*bollocks*cough*.

The rest of the half is played out in a fashion that can only be described as dire. Despite a couple of brief flashes of action from Sutton, where Gray delivers crosses that no-one attacks in the box, our visitors are made to suffer little discomfort and the first period comes to a somewhat depressing close with the U’s departing the field to some booing from the park side.

Personally, they’ve been so bad, I can’t even be arsed to boo.

Despite the cold, everyone is just a mite too pissed off to head for the bar. I briefly head down the tunnel to relieve myself in the gents. Which is probably my highlight of the match so far.

Stood at the Collingwood end, getting cold and muttering about “bag of shite” we hope that JR is delivering a bollocking of biblical proportions. Some of us even hope he’s brandishing a nasty looking blunt instrument to get his point across.

But, when the second half gets underway, it seems as though if such a reprimand has been administered, everyone was either in the bog during it, or had their iPods on.

5 minutes after the restart and we’re in trouble again. A low cross in from our left has Scarborough stretching facing his own goal to cut it out and he only succeeds in bringing a smart save out of Wilson at the foot of his post.

For fucks sake lads!!!!!

Things get even worse a couple of minutes later and another low ball in from the left is flicked on just before the near post and clips the foot of the upright.

By strange coincidence, at the other end, a number of people are turning the air blue with lots of naughty naughty words.

Ah, while we’re on the subject of words. Time for some more methinks!

Cack, abysmal, shite, bilge, balderdash, offal, bunkum, wank, pony, dross, trash, slop, swill, compost.

That chance proves to be the last the visitors muster all night as they are forced onto the defensive by a desperate U’s side.

Sadly, that desperation is clearly displayed in our play. Passes are short or woefully misplaced and possession is squandered stupidly.

It’s not until the 62nd minute our next chance arrives. And it’s a bit of a sitter.

Gray finally gets a chance to really run at the defence and surges down the right touchline before pulling a dangerous cross back into the box from the byeline. A defender tries to cut it out at the near post, but slices the ball over his shoulder and straight to the unmarked Douglas 6 yards out at the far post. But with time to bring it down & strike, he hits it first time and blazes the ball high over the target.

The chance lifts us a bit and we press again. Gray once more gets down the right before cutting in and laying the ball across the edge of the 18 yard area. Quinton meets it, but with a soft as fuck sidefoot as opposed to a blistering drive and the ball trickles harmlessly to the ‘keeper.

AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!

Sutton keep pressing, but still silly mistakes and poor play wastes vital possession, which somewhat blunts our offensive efforts. But as the visitors start to tire, we keep them pressed back. A Gray corner from the left with 20 minutes remaining causes problems in the box and the keeper flaps it away for another corner. This Matty duly swings in, but it’s not a great ball. Quinton tries to get the ball onto the target with a header, with clips Akuamouah and is then prodded away for another corner by a defender stood at the near post.

Clearly, the only way we’re going to get anything is through Gray on the right. And it’s again the U’s midfielder who provides an opening. A free-kick is whipped in from the right and finds it’s way straight to Scarborough at the far post. But he’s taken completely by surprise by the arrival of the ball at his feet and despite his best efforts to dig it out and get a shot off, the ball is cleared. It’s recovered and naturally worked back to Gray on the right. He darts forward before delivering a wicked low ball into the 6 yard box, but the desperate lunge of a defender cuts it out at the near post at the expense of another corner.

From around here, any momentum we had seems to wane and things get a little more comfortable for the visitors, with Uxbridge spending just as much time in our half in the last ten minutes as we spend in theirs.

Still, despite a couple of worrying moments, the chances come to us. Scarborough fails to make any contact at the near post from a super Gray cross out on the right, when even the slightest touch would have surely drawn a save from the ‘keeper at the very least.

In the end, the game peters out, with defeat inevitable. The final nail comes with about 2 or 3 minutes to go. Another Gray corner causes problems from the left with the ‘keeper again flapping. But he recovers well to pluck Scooby’s acrobatic effort onto the target from under his crossbar.

Moments later, the whistle goes and once more, we’ve fallen to ‘inferior’ oppo and pissed away a nice few quid into the bargain. Unsurprisingly, the visitors are delighted with the result ans celebrate wildly. Just as unsurprising is the clear sound of booing from the home support. This time, I CAN be arsed to join in.

And here’s some more nice words to help sum it all up.

Crap, shit, amiss, fallacious, deficient, cruddy, bogus, tatty, two-bit, mangy, duff, repellent, execrable, horrid, shocking, unnerving.

For some strange reason, we end up back in the bar afterwards for a consoling pint instead of heading to the less depressing surroundings of the Hood. We try our best to look on the bright side, but no-one’s really in the mood for humour.

A miserable Windy breaks the silence. “So what now?” he mumbles.

Well, I dunno about you mate, but right about now an activity involving a pair of pliers, a blowtorch and some members of our squad seems rather fucking appealing……..

MAN OF THE MATCH – Paul Honey. Did more in the warm up than most of his team mates did in 90 mins.

ENTERTAINMENT – 0. Fuck off. Just fuck right off.

TEAM : Wilson, Gray, Quinton, Scarborough, Palmer, Elliot, Gonsalves, Honey, Akuamouah, Rivers, Cornwall.

SUBS : Fear, Castledine, Pitcher

THE REFEREE’S………not brilliant really, let quite a bit go before booking Gray for something no worse than several of the visitors had already commited. But can’t really complain to be honest. We were just utter gash.

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