Att : 540
FARNBOROUGH TOWN – 2 [Sestanovich 61. Charles 78]
SUTTON UNITED – 1 [Douglas 59]
It’s Saturday blah blah blah, league game, yadda yadda yadda, one win in 16, rhubarb rhubarb rhubarb, playing shit, blah blah blah……you know the drill.
Right, that’s that out of the way.
Still, today was at least a little bit more anicipated. We’d not been to Farnborough in a few years now and we were looking forward to seeing how the place was shaping up after Mr Wanker Westley had departed. With all the team. And the bank balance.
Typically, with watching the U’s not exactly a joy to behold at the moment, it’s probably understandable that getting to away matches should therefore be made as much of a pain in the arse as possible.
So, today, instead of simply hopping up to Clapham and being in Hampshire in around an hour, we’ve got to go to Leatherhead, then Guildford and finally Farnborough North. All because some bastard thought it would be a great idea to dig up the mainline through Woking.
Now, if they’d been digging up Woking itself, that’d be a different matter altogether. We’d probably have donated a couple of shovels or something.
Still, if the ailens from War of the Worlds couldn’t manage it, what chance have whatever-railtrack-are-called- these-days?
My own day of course, also has to start badly. A trip to the cash machine reveals my new employers have omitted something from my wages. The money.
Arse. Looks like it’ll be the ‘Bank of Windy’ for a short term loan on very favourable interest rates again then!
I find the rest of the crew assembled at Sutton. Bar Greek, who’s decided to give today a miss and do some decorating instead. Well, if there’s one thing you can’t say about the big fella, he’s certainly not fucking daft.
DS steps in as ‘sub’ though and proves a more than adequate replacement, getting the teas in for the first leg of the journey. The beverages in question turning out to be so big, they’d probably last the whole way down AND the retrun journey.
Since when was tea served by the pint??
The trip to Leatherhead is lightened by a Tanners supporter, on his way down to their game at home to Casuals. As we pull into our first destination 25 minutes later, I finally start getting a hint of the 10 or so sachets of sugar I’d added to my urn of tea at Sutton.
Thankfully, South West Trains aren’t in a funny mood today (other than the digging up Woking that is) and everything runs smoothly to Guildford. Another brief wait and a short trip through famous places like….er ‘North Camp’ and ‘Ash’ later, we’re at the equally popular commuter destination of North Farnborough.
We decide that it’s best not to arse about and head straight for the hosts clubhouse. Halfway there, we’re passed by our team’s coach. With Matt Gray in hot pursuit, looking dead impressive in a sparkly blue coloured Nissan Micra.
He cheerfully toots and flicks a v-sign as he drives past. Cheers mate. Appreciate the thought.
By coincidence, at this very moment, several Sutton fans trudge on towards Farnborough Town Football Club, quitely cursing the name ‘Gray’ and making a mental note to vote for someone else come ‘player of the year’ time.
We finally make it to the ground just before 2 and on first glance, the round doesn’t seem to have changed much. The car park certainly hasn’t and it takes 10 minutes to wind our way to the clubhouse across the moon like landscape. Thankfully it’s still light, so I manage to avoid a repeat of almost breaking my frigging neck in one on my last visit.
The bar itself though, is a huge improvement. Not only is it warm, welcoming, furnished and has beer, everyone seems to be smiling. Just goes to show that you can decorate all you like, the best improvement to make to a football club is to get rid of the total cock in charge.
Over a couple of pints the usual pleasantries are exchanged with our fellow masochists er, travelling fans and pick up the team news. Steve Douglas is back from the family wedding in the West Indies (and not so much as a postcard young man!) and returns to the starting line up. Cornwall is also available after his short suspension, but finds himself on the bench. Joining him is a new striker, Jones Awuah (apparently pronounced ‘Awooha’) which if nothing else, is going to keep us entertained.
If he’s any good, that’ll be a bonus!
Once outside, we manage to make some sense of our proposed formation. Conroy takes the wide right spot and Matt ‘Nissan Micra Automatic’ Gray moves into a more central role, just behind the attack of Eddie and Douglas.
The first 15 minutes or so are quite one sided, as the hosts come out strong and look for an early goal. But despite a fair bit of pressure, a poor miskick when well placed in the box is all they really have to show for it.
This spell ends with our first real chance of the match after 15 mins. Conroy feeds the bal up to Eddie from the right. He lays it off to Douglas, who in turn finds Gray across the edge of the 18 yard box. But his driven effort is hit across goal and comfortably wide.
Farnborough hit back a couple of minutes later. A high ball down the lef is allowed to bounce by Palmer on the edge of the box and lets in a n attacker, but Conroy covers well and nips in to intercept. The loose ball comes back out to the corner of the box, where a firece rising effort is hit straight at Wilson stood at his near post.
Conroy, Ed, Douglas and Gray combine again soon after to create a reasonable chance. Once more the loan man finds Ed, he finds Douglas and the striker feeds Gray outside the box. This time the shot through the crowd is deflected by Peter Fear and the ‘keeper manages to get down to hold it on the line.
The match itself soon develops into a fairly even contest, although we probably have slightly the better of the openings, the home side are by no means uninvolved in proceedings.
Conroy continues his good form down the right on 27 mins, battling back to win the ball out on the flank, he advances before curling a teasing low ball across the box. It evades Ed at the near post, but finds Gray arriving behind. Unfortunately, the ‘keeper has guessed right and makes a good block at the non-lift giving attackers feet.
Farnborough have sights of goal, but mostly from range and either at Wilson, or off the mark.
Before the break, we manage a couple more opportunities. First a teasing Gray free-kick from the left is aimed at the far post, but again our atackers are loathe to attack the ball in the danger area and Douglas fails to make contact with a good opportunity. On 40 minutes, another Conroy ball in from the right causes problems.
A clearance is half blocked and the ex-Palace man chases down the loose ball before delivering a cross from the byeline. Ed pops up near post, but is beaten to the ball by a defender. Laughably, the somewhat portly (and so far decidedly rubbish) ref decides it’s a goalkick.
Er, cheers mate.
So, at half time, we’re actually fairly optimistic for a change. Which makes the trip to the bar decidedly more pleasant thats for sure.
Fear is replaced at the break, presumably injured, giving new man Awuah his chance to impress.
Not entirely to our surprise, Farnborough come out raring to go for the second half. 53 minutes played and a patient build up out on the right leads to a cross driven into the box. It’s neatly nodded down by an attacker, finding a colleague, but his shot from an angle is smartly blocked by Wilson.
A couple of minutes later, a build up from the left and the U’s defence backs off allowing the no far too much time & space. Again though, Wilson is equal to the effort. Getting down to save in the centre of his goal.
Then, just before the hour mark, a real collectors item.
A Sutton United goal!!!
Awuah breaks forwards and feeds Gonsalves in space out on the left. His deep cross has the home ‘keeper in trouble and he has to tip it over the bar for a corner. From the resulting kick in from the right, Douglas finds himself in a bit too much space and he loops a header into the far corner of the net.
It’s only the second U’s goal in about 750 minutes of football.
Somewhat predictably, the lead is shortlived. Just a couple of minutes later, Scarborough conceeds a freekick around 20 yards out. Farnborough’s vastly experienced midfielder Shesht Schest Shush in the number 7 shirt steps up. We can see a mile off whats coming, but no-one else can.
Naturally, he takes two steps and whips the ball up and over the wall and into the near top corner beyond the dive of Wilson.
Despite the setback, we do keep going and another Gray corner leads to a chance. Half cleared, Gonsalves nods back out right and Gray drives it in low to the near post, but again, a defender just gets there ahead of Ed and clears for another corner.
But with 10 minutes left, a U’s attack breaks down with an offside just inside the Farnborough half. It’s taken very quickly, with the ball seemingly still in motion. It catches the Sutton defence slightly on the back foot and a prodded pass in from the left finds a striker in space and he neatly despatches his effort inside the near post to put the home side ahead.
Somewhat harsh methinks.
Stll though, we stick to our task and in the last 10 minutes are slightly unfortunate not to nick a point. First a poor goalkick finds Douglas 30 yards out, but his run and shot is tipped wide by the ‘keeper. Next up, Awuah nips onto a ball over the top of the home defence, but with a defender snapping at his heels, his first time effort on the stretch is always curling away from the target.
Still, JR throws on Gordon and Boosey in the last few minutes to try & salvage something. And in injury time, it’s Boosey who comes the closest.
A throw in from the right drops to Boosey on the corner of the 18 yard box and in a audacious move, clips the ball over his head and hits a volley on the turn that beats the ‘keeper but not his near post and the ball rebounds off the upright. Sadly, Awuah can’t react in time before the ‘keeper gathers up the loose ball.
So, another defeat. But this time, at least we had a go. Besides, we’ve played far worse recently and got a point from games.
We retire to the bar and enjoy a few beers in the company of some more Conference South Forum ‘celebrities’.
Eventually, we decide to head back to the station and after a brisk stroll, only just make it in time for the train. Dashing accross the level crossing to make it and earning ourselves a bollocking from the annoyed ticket bloke after we’ve boarded.
Sadly, SWT decide that now is the time to fuck us up and the trains are less than helpful once we arrive in guildford, causing 2 mad dashes for trains that aren’t there.
Eventually, it’s home via clapham and back to the Hood for a few more beers before closing.
God I hope we get a win soon.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Jay Conroy. Again, pretty much the best man in a Sutton shirt….
ENTERTAINMENT : 6. Not a bad game. Draw was probably fairest result, but there ya go…..
TEAM : Wilson, Scarborough, Palmer, Elliot, Gonsalves, Conroy, Fear, Akuamouah, Gray, Gordon, Douglas SUBS : Gordon, Awuah, Boosey
THE REFEREE’S A………fairly rubbish to be honest. Let several daft challenges go for them, then finally books one for not much at all. Then first challenge Gray makes….yep, you guessed it, straight into the book. Twat.