Champagne Football & Squeaky Bums

CONFERENCE SOUTH

Att: 403



CAMBRIDGE CITY – 2    [Midgely 46. Gash 68]

SUTTON UNITED – 3   [Tanner 8. Gray 21. Quinton 22]

It’s a much anticipated awayday this week, with the crew heading up to Cambridge, the scene of a disgustingly drunken last day trip in the inaugural Conf South season. The stupidity of which can be sampled in the pictures elsewhere on the site.

The trip also served to form something of a bond between the two groups of supporters, further cemented by the more than sympathetic attitude from all at GGL the following season, only a few days after it became apparent that City had been really rather fucked over by their board.

Sadly, the cup got in the way last season and so, this is our first chance to return to Milton Road and once again attempt to drink the place dry. And to coincide with the trip, some absolute fucking lunatic decided it was a great idea to have a race night in the bar after the game to raise funds for their supporters trust. With free entry. And free buffet.

And more importantly, cheap booze.

Oh lordy. We’ll be having some of that!

Of course, not wishing to miss out, we leave Sutton nice and early intending to be in town for opening time. The numbers are good for today, with Windy, Chris PC & Mrs C accompanied by Irish Pete, making his away game debut. The silly fellow.

Greek has decided his gay fetish day is more important (it was actually a Spurs supporters 5 a side, but we’d rather say it was at a gay fetish event than admit to anything to do with Sperz!) so there is no Vodka jelly for the trip. Which is probably a good thing.

All goes to plan and we arrive at Kings Cross in good time. Able to grb greasy breakfast foodstuffs and a cuppa for the trip up, which is again (and somewhat surprisingly for us!) also trouble free and we’re perfectly on time into the old City of Cambridge.

Being lazy, we elect for a bus into town instead of a walk, but then fail to find our bearings for the first planned pub and instead pop into a random boozer to get the first pint of the day done with and to regain our bearings. The other half decides a bit of shopping is more attractive and does a runner, planning to meet up later on.

We instead neck our pint, work out where we went wrong and head for the cosy confines of the Champion of the Thames for another, before next popping up the road to the Kings Street Run which has Sky and is showing the Liverpool-Manyoo game starting at 12.30

Here we sink a few more and take in the rather dull first half before cabs are called, the other half catches up and we head for the club. Naturally, we’ve got time for a quick couple before kick off and we catch up with familiar faces amongst the City support.

Team news isn’t great. Akuamouah and Harris have both cried off sick this morning prior to departure, leaving us a bit short. With no time to make up the numbers with call ups from the Ressies, Haze travels with what he has and names assistant Paul Harford on the bench along with Zak Graham and Luke Naughton!

This also means a reshuffle out on the field and it looks like our only real option is to switch to a 4-5-1. Thankfully Scooby is back in defence, which allows Quinton to return to midfield, which at least makes things a little easier.

Still, it keeps us thinking as we head out for the game.

From the off, we do indeed go with the 4-5-1. McBean operates alone up front with Gray and Tanner supporting as much as possible from the flanks. Quinton provides the craft, with his two enforcers of Bash & Honey in the middle. Wilson retains his spot in goal with Hogan apparently still injured.

We start a little slowly and 4 minutes in, the home side are unlucky not to go ahead. A decisive move down the left ends with a ball fed into space infield and the attacker strokes an effort from just inside the box beyond Wilson, only to see it come back off the inside of the far post where Scarborough follows up to clear the danger.

From here, we settle more and come into the game more. Starting to play some decent football and pressing the home defence. And on 8 mins, the running of McBean and the support of the wide men pays off. A quick break from the back and the ball is fed to McBean out left. He’s overlapped cleverly by the run of Tanner and the striker feeds Craig, who holds off his man and clamly slips the ball into the far corner for his first goal in U’s colours.

Get in!!!

The hosts respond within a minute after a free kick isn’t well cleared and it’s lashed back on goal from the left, dipping just inches over the bar.

A keen contest ensues and McBean is penalised for a challenge on the ‘keeper after he’s punched a left sided free-kick straight into the air . City have a good chance soon after when Alimi intercepts a sweeping crossfield ball but loses his footing, letting in the pass’ original target. But he fires low across goal and wide of the far post.

The U’s start to get the better of things in midfield and this leads to plenty of ball for the wide men and they start to stretch the home defence. A ball through the middle picks out Tanner again overlapping, but he returns the favour for McBean, feeding the ball into the right channel. But his shot is bravely blocked by the ‘keeper racing off his line.

A minute later though, the lead is doubled. Quinton is upended on a forward surge, 20 yards out. Gray steps up and whips a super free kick beyond the dive of the ‘keeper and into the top far corner.

More inebriated celebrations ensuing under the cover down the side!

And before these have fully died down, another minute later and we’re unbelievably 3 up.

The midfield pressures the opposition into a mistake and losing possession. The ball is worked down the right and delivered low to the heart of the box where Quinton arrives 8 yards out to crash the ball high into the net.

Obviously, Quincy has temporarily forgotten his little wager with Windy  and wheels off to the far side to celebrate his strike, leaving the Scotsman stood fruitlessly holding a nice crisp 20 pound note over his head in front of us. Never mind Miller. We’ll remind him at the end!

Quite whether Cambridge are a little shell shocked by this quickfire blast or the sight of a scotsman waving about 20 quid in an aim to give it away, we’re not sure. But they are certainly a little wobbly for the next couple of minutes.

On 26 mins, Honey has a great chance to finish the contest, but he sadly wastes McBeans great break forward and pass by blasting the ball over the target from 12 yards. Eventually though, our hosts find their feet again and manage to stem the tide somewhat, again making a good chance with a sweeping crossfield ball on 33 minutes. But once more, the opportunity is wasted with a low hot hit across goal and wide of the target.

The half peters out slightly with a couple of our lot looking a little like they could do with the break after their first half efforts. In Quintons case, we manage to keep him ticking over with the simple shout of “Twenty quid!”.

Still, we keep the scoreline intact and we’re quite happy when we wander round at the break to take a spot behind the goal. A couple of us popping into the hospitality suite at one end of the stand where a cuppa and a couple of biccies (choc chip no less!) are ponced while we natter once more with some of the locals we know.

Here, I reassure them with the fact that we’re usually a bit shit in the second half of games and that 3-0 is the sort of advantage we can quite easily toss away. Naturally, my words come back to haunt me a minute after the restart. An attack down the right is poorly dealt with and a somewhat hopeful ball across the box behind the defence is eventually tucked away at the far post.

Oh. fuck.

Suddenly, I wish I’d taken up the offer of something a bit stronger than a cup of tea at haf time…..

Despite the early goal, the game remains quite even and after 53 minutes, the U’s really should put the result pretty much beyond doubt.  But after once again wriggling into a great position with a trademark run down the left, McBean this time makes sure he tees up Honey some 6 yards out, but again the midfielder misses his chance. Once more blazing over the target with the goal at his mercy.

Chances become more few & far between as we do what we always do when in front and sit further and further back, inviting the oppo to come onto us as every opportunity. Cambridge keep plugging away and it takes a good stop from Wilson at his near post on 68 minutes after a shot is touched on following an attack down the right.

Four minutes later though and City are right back in it and we’re starting to soil our underwear. A throw from the left is quite poorly defended and an attacker is allowed to control and turn with the ball several yards out just beyond the near post. His low shot beating Wilson and reducing the defecit to a most definitely chuckable single goal.

Oh arse. Here we go again.

We manage a chance ourselves, McBean again feeding Tanner on the overlap from the left. But his effort is deflected and eventually cleared.

Then, as it seems City are poised to launch a final push in the last 10 minutes to tr & rescue the game, their hopes are somewhat dented by the loss of a man. McBean is fouled out on the left by the corner of the box and then stamped on by his man. The ref sees this and blows, but not before Wazza reacts and firmly thumps his assailant in the chest.

Naturally a bit of handbags follows and Warren is ushered away by his team mates and the ref shows the City man a straight red. Amazingly, despite once more going a bit mental and trying to get to the man as he leaves the pitch, McBean only ends up with a yellow. Naturally, not wishing to allow the oppo to get at our man and even things up, Haze sensibly substitutes him for Jason Henry.

The red card and the intrioduction of new fresh legs up front seems to swing the game back away from the home side and back into our favour. And in the last ten minutes, it’s the U’s who have the better of the chances.

Henry breaks clear with 3 minutes left, turning and heading for goal. But he slips at a key moment and as it seems the chance is gone, Bash bulldozes through in support. But his effort comes back off the ‘keeper and Henry’s follow up defelects off the back of a defender and loops out for a corner.

The corner results in chaos in the box as the ‘keeper twice comes and fails to punh clear. Three times the ball is turned on goal by Amber and Choch shirts, but each time it’s blocked and eventually scrambled clear by the defence.

We then have to endure a quite horrible 5 minutes of added time, during which the defence try to shit us up on a couple of occassions, but we hang in there and eventually the ref blows for time.

Thank christ for that!

The lads come over to recieve their deserved plaudits for a good 3 points away from home, with Quinton the most eager, what with Windy waving that 20 quid about again.

Somewhat unsportingly, as our midfielder reaches for his prize, Windy snatches it away and makes a rude hand gesture.

Now now! Thats not very nice is it?

Back in the bar, we start the celebrations, taking advantage of the cheaper bar prices to start well & truly kicking the arse out of it. Quinton appears and finally secures his wonga from Windy, promptly blowing it on some beers for the trip home on the coach.

Tsk! Spending hard earned cash on booze. What a terrible waste Tony!

Eventually the race night is underway and in typical fashion, our gambling doesn’t bring much reward. Although our ownership of a nag in the 5th does bring a win, a bottle of bubbly and an ‘easy’ chant.

Yes yes, I know. We’re not proud, but we were pissed. That’s all I’ll say on the matter!

As the night comes towards it’s conclusion, we book cabs to get us to the station for the train home. Disgracefully, these turn up early (Pah! Call yourselves minicab drivers??) and with the auction still ongoing we’re in danger of losing our transport.

So, we resort to the only option left open to us. Bribery.

Taking a tenner from the whip, I go out and use all my ginger charm on the two drivers, handing them a fiver tip each to stick around for an extra 10 minutes. Thankfully, they accept and surprisingly don’t do what your average Sarf Lundan cabbie would do and fuck off with the money as soon as I’ve gone back inside.

Thanks gents!

Sadly, our consortium horse loses out at the death to one owned by some of the Cambridge crew, prompting a retaliation ‘easy’ chant. Fully deserved really! Then bags and coats are grabbed and with the grateful applause of our lovely hosts sending us on our way, we dash for the taxi’s.

Ladies and gentlemen. Sutton United, have left the building!

Right, station please. And fucking step on it……..Oi! Where’s Windy got to???

Ah, there he is. Er and where did that beer come from?? Oh you bought it? Thats ok. Now, erm, didn’t you have a coat and bag with an expensive flag in it earlier.

“Meh!” is all Mr Miller has to say on the matter.

Twat.

Fortunately, one of the others in the car in front has had the sense to grab the idiots belongings for him (no, I’ve no idea where that came from either. And after a day on the piss too! Remarkable…) and the journey continues full speed ahead.

Arriving with some 10 minutes to spare, Irish Pete and I decide that Miller’s supply of half a dozen bottles of gay Corona lager are not going to help keep us occupied on the trip home. And a bottle of warm cava doesn’t appeal either.

Warm champagne?? Oh please, we’re from Surrey darling. What a thoroughly ghastly thought!

So it’s into the Marks & Sparks at the station and some belgian beers along with a chilled bottle of bubbly, more akin to our posh Surrey tastes are liberated and we head for the train.

Naturally, the trip back is predictably boisterous, with the ticket inspectors deciding not to bother with us when they realise we’re necking an assortment of cheap champers, Corona and belgian lager no one has ever heard of from M&S.

The evening ends with the customary slump on the train back to Sutton from Victoria, with everyone getting off at their respective stops along the way, leaving them to stagger happily off home to bed.

Awaydays. We love ’em!

MAN OF THE MATCH : Craig Tanner. Super performance topped off with a good goal.

ENTERTAINMENT : 8. No complaints about entertainment. Even after the squeaky bum 2nd half….

TEAM : Wilson, Scarborough, Gonsalves, Palmer, Bray, Gray, Honey, Alimi, Quinton, McBean, Tanner.  SUBS : Henry, Naughton, Harford, Newman

THE REFEREE’S………actually had a reasonable game to be honest. No real complaints that I can think of. Got their red card right, but can only assume he either didn’t see Wazza’s retaliation that clearly, or was adhering to this rumoured new direxctive of striking an opponent in the chest is yellow, anywhere above that is a red. No idea.

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