Att : 322
MAIDENHEAD UNITED – 2 [Hughes 6. Whiteman 56]
SUTTON UNITED – 0
Happy new year my arse. 2006 began in much the same vein as 2005 on Saturday with yet another miserable performance from the U’s. And against another relegation threatened side.
One without a home win all season and sporting the worst defensive record in the league. Even worse than the Bobbins. And that’s bad.
It seemed like ages since we’d last got an early train out to a game as we headed in to London for the trip out to Bucks. In fact, I can’t even recall the last time we used the choo-choo for a game. But that’ll be the beer causing short term memory loss rather than it being lost in the mists of time.
Usually a change at Paddington requires a brief refreshment stop off at the station pub, the Mad Bishop & Bear, but today, no-one seems that keen. So instead we head straight towards the platforms for our train.
We’re confronted on the concourse by the massed ranks of the Metropolitan Police. There must be 70 of the feckers cordoning off the exit to one of the more central platforms. “Wonder what poor sods are getting that warm welcome?” I ponder to myself.
DS answers my silent query.
“They’ll be waiting for the Cardiff lot coming in for their cup game at Arsenal” he comments.
Closer inspection reveals he’s right, as some of the officers are wearing high-vis vests with the word ‘Police’ on the back and another completely vowel-less word underneath. They’ll be the Welsh plod then!
All of a sudden, despite the presence of half of the Met and a healthy contingent from south Wales, the decision not to go for a re-train pint seems a good one! Right, when’s our train then?
Fortunately, we’ve only ot a couple of minutes to wait and we’re soon on our way, leaving the thin blue line on platform 5 at Paddington to receive the invading Taffy hordes far far behind.
With it being FA Cup 3rd round day, a quick flick through DS’s Telegraph sports section soon produces the obligatory pic of the U’s from ’89.
That Saturday seems like a lifetime ago now and it only serves to highlight just how shite we’ve been in that competition in recent years where we’ve struggled to make the 3rd qualifying round, let alone the bloody third round proper!
Still, it’s not long before we’re off the train in Maidenhead and heading for the Hogshead and the first beer of the day. Thankfully they’ve got the Hull-Villa game on the telly to amuse us while we drink.
It’s not long after befre a phone call is recieved from a matchless TB. It seems Thurrock’s game at Histon has fallen foul of the weather and he’s desperate for a game. And he’d fucking have to be to come and watch our shower of shite!
Still, despite several warnings that we’re guaranteed to be utter cack today, he’s soon made the sort trip from work at Heathrow and joins us depressed souls in the pub.
Villa edge past Hull and it’s then off to York Street for another 90 minutes piss-poor value for money. Athough, at least it’s a quid cheaper piss poor value for money than at our place.
As per normal, team news is soon gathered over a quick snifter in the bar. It seems that Conroy was due to start, but has pulled up in the warm ups and will sit this one out. I dunno what JR was planning to play before, but I’m pretty sure I know what he’ll play now…..
Naturally, it’s 3-5-2 with Gray on the right, Eddie out left and Luke up front with Douglas. Surprisingly, Fearo gets a start in midfield.
One can only hope he shows more today than he did at Welling.
Oh, hang on, it seems he’s managed that already.
He’s tucked his shirt in!
Things get underway and the first few minutes fly by at a jolly old pace. Both sides moving the ball quickly, tackles being snapped into etc etc. In fact, we even look half interested!
Within a minute, Eddie is played in down the left and with a good sight of goal, 1 on 1 with the ‘keeper, seems to pull up and the ‘keeper smothers the chance.We keep pressing, but after 6 mins and with their first serious foray into our half, the home side are in front.
A silly free-kick is conceeded a few yards outside the box to the left and it’s hit through the wall, bobbling past the reach of Wilson and comes back off the foot of the far post. Sadly, the defence fails to react and a Magpie player follows up to tuck away the loose ball.
It takes us a while to recover and it’s not until the 15th min we manage a response. A free-kick of our own from about 25 yards out on the left is played across the face of the box and Gray lashes a drive narrowly wide of the near post.
The home side are clearly bouyed by their successful opening and start playing with confidence. Although weak U’s defensive play doesn’t exactly hinder their efforts! A huge goalkick on 18 mins is twice headed on towards the box and results in a fierce volley struck goalwards that Wilson does well to hold at his near post.
Our best move comes soon after when Gonsalves puts a good cross in from the left, that Eddie heads back from beyond the far post. Douglas tries to pull it back across goal from the opposite side, but his pass is cut out in the 6 yard box.
A minute after, the Magpies almost double their lead. An attack down our left ends with a short ball inside and a shot that is just deflected across goal. The resulting corner comes in from the right and Wilson punches clear, only for the ball to drop to an unmarked man 25 yards out in the centre. But our man does well to regain his ground and solidly field the fierce strike that comes his way through a crowd of players.
Sutton keep plugging away, but rather unconvincingly. As has become the case recently, it’s a serious lack of a cuttng edge up front that’s letting us down. A left sided corner is headed down inside the box, but no-one in an Amber shirt can make a decent contact and 2 weak stabs at goal from close range are fended off before the ball is cleared for another corner.
Twice in quick succession, the hosts proceed to miss great chances to finish the game before half time. Firstly they take advantage of more soft arsed defending on the left. A neat centre sends an attacker clear but Wilson beats away his effort and the man following up blazes his effort over with the target at his mercy. Then Wilson again has to come & try to get his defence out of the shit, racing off his line to clear a through ball. But it drops straight to a man in a black & white shirt 30 yards out. Fortunately, his 1st time effort back on goal is too high and drops just over the bar.
Before the break, Cornwall gets a rare clear sight of goal, getting round the last man and onto a ball down the left, but his effort from an angle squirms through the ‘keepers legs and trundles the wrong side of the upright.
Mildly naffed off and telling TB “We bloody told you so!” we’re soon heading round to the far end for the second half.
It seems the lads have had a telling off at the break as they start the second 45 strongly, taking the game straight to the hosts. A couple of minutes in, a great ball forward from Elliot down the left sends Akuamouah clear behind the defence. He avoids the sliding ‘keeper and rounds him, but the angle proves too narrow and he pulls his shot wide of the near post with the target gaping.
Cornwall has a chance soon after, another ball down the left is nodded on, sending Douglas into space. He delivers a teasing ball that Eddie does well to head back from beyond the far post. Luke arrives just inside, but his own header lacks any serious pace and the ‘keeper is able to get down and smother the ball on the line.
Almost immediately after, Cornwall is involved again. This time chasing down a ball on the right. He and a defender tussle for the ball on the byeline and it seems the U’s man has got the better of his opponent before being rather unceremoniously hauled down. Unbelieveably, the ref awards a foul AGAINST the Sutton forward.
Things take a turn for the worse soon after, when with practically their only attack of the half, Maidenhead seem to have made the points safe. Our own free-kick is swung in, but once again, no bugger attacks the ball and it’s headed away. A surging run up our right takes a home player to the byeline where he squeezes past no less than 3 Amber shirts before squaring the ball for a team-mate to tap in from almost point blank range on the line.
An afternoon rapidly turning to rat-shit is made even worse just shy of the hour mark. A U’s attack down the right ends with a cross shot into the box. Cornwall tries to get a touch and is hauled back clearly in the box, meanwhile Tarr in the Magpies goal has to react quickly to turn the ball away. Gray recovers it on the right just inside the box and immediately drills it low back across the 6 yard box. Douglas pops up to control the ball just beyond the far stick and turn it into the net past a defender on the post and Tarr trying to regain his feet in the centre of his goal.
We all celebrate for a moment before the realisation dawns.
What the fuck???
A quick glance reveals the reason why. The lino on the right hand side has his flag up.
Clearly, despite officiating 2 divisions outside the Football league, this dumb FUCK hasn’t got the first fucking idea about the offside rule.
Answer me this you fuckwit. How can you possibly be OFFSIDE when you have the goalkeeper AND A FUCKING DEFENDER both on the goal-line? For fucks sake, Douglas even had to take a touch and steer the ball past the defender stood on the post you utter cretin!
Even worse is to follow. Within a minute, Gray gets in down the right and challenges the no6 for a ball. Both collide and Matt ends up landing on top of his opponent. Once untangled, matey decides he wants a word and chases Gray to the edge of the box. And naturally, a scuffle breaks out involving several players from both sides. Most of it’s handbags, but Mr 6 gets his revenge, pushing his hand into Gray’s face and then kicking him in the midriff.
Naturally, the ref sees none of this. And nor does our eagle-eyed-hasn’t-got-a-fucking-clue-about the-laws linesman on the right.
End result, is a yellow for the no6, presumably for kicking it all off in the frst place and one for Steve Douglas. Who wasn’t even within 10 yards of the incident and more importantly, Luke Cornwall also collects a caution, his second (the first coming after a similar incident in the 1st half), for doing nothing other than trying to get between players.
Even more hilariously, the ref restarts with a drop ball! One that Ug delightfully challenges for in his usual uncompromising style. And is promptly fouled! The game then proceeds to become one way traffic. With us doing all the attacking.
Typical, it takes a complete mugging off from 2 fucking wanker officials and being reduced to 10 men to start putting up a fight…
Sadly though, despite plenty of pressure and a flurry of free-kicks (for which Mr 6 and a couple of colleagues escape censure for persistent foul play) our lack of cutting edge once more costs us dear.
Of course, having had a striker sent off doesn’t help matters.
Staggeringly, despite being 2 down and down to 10 men, yet having the oppo on the rack, JR elects to keep our 3 attack minded subs on the bench for the whole 90 mins. 2 of which are from his much heralded new signings a couple of weeks back. You know, the ones we only brought in as they’re presumably better than what we’ve already got.
Well, that’s what we’re told.
Naturally, the home side hold out for their first home win of the season.
A quick escape is decided upon, as none of us fancy being in the same bar when that incompetant moron running the line comes in, so we leave his fate to our officials and jump on the train back to Paddington. After a rather sombre train journey, the evening gets worse back in London, as the pub refuses to serve us due to the bar being ‘closed’. Despite being really rather full of people and not looking in any way ‘closed’.
Oh well, back to the Hood it is then.
By the way, any chance we can display the tempo and attitude of when we were down to 10 men today a bit more often lads??
Might help, what with us being complete crap at the moment and all.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Phil Wilson. At least SOMEONE is on their game at the moment!
ENTERTAINMENT : 5. First half usual crap. Second was better, but no cutting edge cost us dear.
TEAM : Wilson, Gray, Scarborough, Palmer, Elliot, Gonsalves, Honey, Fear, Akuamouah, Cornwall, Douglas SUBS : Castledine, Conroy, Gordon, Fear
THE REFEREE’S A………useless twat. Actually had a decent 1st half, but undid that with a frankly dreadful 2nd. Although his assistants gave little help, especially the fucking myopic wanker on the food bar side 2nd half. Quite how this moron can flag for offside when the defending team had their ‘keeper AND a defender on the line is beyond me. I think someone needs to go back to linesman school. And stay there. Then he couldn’t possibly make any more utterly ridiculous decisions like that. Absolutely disgraceful.