YEADING – 2 [Morgan p9. Healy 37]
SUTTON UNITED – 2 [McBean 38. Tanner 90]
If you visit these pages often, you’d be well aware We’re really not fans of this part of the world. In fact, we’d go so far as to declare Hayes and Yeading are two of our least favourite Conference South destinations.
The fact that they’re about 2 miles apart is no coincidence at all.
Tonight’s trip is made all the more difficult for moi by the fact I work in Egham, which whilst not exactly a million miles away from Yeading, it’s on a completely different train line. And despite tons of research, the fact that I have to get a bus from one shit part of south West London to another is inescapable.
The trip to Hounslow is uneventful and I seek out my bus stop before going for some scoff. Grabbing some junk food, it’s back to the stop to await my transport. While I chew on my burger, I note with interest the destinations of some of the other bus services coming past. Names that conjure up exotic images of wondrous sights. Like ‘Heathrow Main Cargo’.
If only I didn’t already have plans, I know where I’d spend my Tuesday evening otherwise…
About halfway through my grub, the bus I need inconveniently arrives. But a swipe of the old oyster card later and I’m on my way.
On the t’internet earlier, I’d found the journey should take around 35 minutes. But it’s soon evident that only some serious traffic is going to hold us up that much, thanks to the Ferrari F1 wannabe behind the wheel. Roaring along the highways of southwest London, he races towards his destination as fast as his double decker racing bus will carry him, tooting his horn at anything that even looks remotely like getting in his way.
Fucking hell mate. This is Heston, not bloody Turin!
Still, 20 minutes later, I’m hopping off outside Southall station. Alive. So can’t complain really.
With no ground bound buses due for a while, I decide it’s quicker to walk and head off down Beaconsfield Road. The same road that the ground lies on. Sadly though, whoever built it was obviously a bit of a lazy bastard, or bunked off when they did the ‘traversing bodies of water’ module of his road building qualification, as the poxy thing comes to a halt at the Grand Union Canal. And then continues 50 yards away on the other side!
So, despite having got to within 100 yards of the ground, I’ve now got to loop right round for about a mile and come in from the other side. On my stroll along the almost deserted Industrial Estate road that leads to the rather aptly named ‘Warren’ it’s not hard to see why Yeading struggle for crowds. They’re in the middle of fucking nowhere.
Yet tantalisingly, just 50 yards or so away on the other side of the Canal where I’ve just come from, there must be a good 1000 residential places providing a possible support base.
If only some twat had built a bridge!
I finally make it in out of the cold and find Windy PC and Mrs C already in the bar enjoying a pint. Pleasingly, PC is just getting a round in. Pint please, there’s a good fellow…..
Team news is that AJ has dropped to the bench after tweaking his back and hobbling off at the weekend. Tanner drops to the left back spot, Ross moves to left midfield and Jason Henry gets a start up front.
Tonight should be quite a tough task as our hosts have only lost twice here all season. And that was to the top two, Histon and Salisbury! But despite this, confidence is obviously high as the U’s start at a rather brisk pace.
Before we’ve even taken our spots behind the far goal following kick off, Gaynor gets to the byeline on the left and clips the ball back across the box. Henry gets there, but under pressure can only guide a half hit effort across goal and safely wide of the far post.
A minute later, McBean drives at the centre backs before letting fly from 20 yards, but the ‘Keeper pushes the effort away to his left. Warren has another go after 8 minutes, taking a ball in from the left after a good run by Henry, but this time his effort flashes just wide of the near post.
Yeading finally show a bit of life on 9 mins, with a ball across field is taken first time 20 yards out. Wilson having to adjust quickly to tip the dipping curling shot over his crossbar. But just 2 minutes later, a moment of indecision costs us dear.
Gray plays the ball back towards goal, but behind Gonsalves. The Yeading no10 is instantly on the scene hassling the U’s man who goes to ground under pressure 20 yards out from goal. Phil has come off his line to close down the angle and makes a challenge just inside the box. The big striker goes to ground and the ref unsurprisingly points at the spot.
Oh for crying out loud! Phil isn’t happy and remonstrates fiercely with the ref whilst we at the far end expect to see him get his marching orders. Instead, for some reason known only to himself, he shows a yellow. What the fuck?
Surely if he’s decided it’s a foul, he has to go???
The 10 steps up to take the pen himself and promptly produces one of the worst spot kicks seen in years. Hitting it weakly to Phil’s left, allowing him to make a very easy save.
Our celebrations at this let off are short lived as the ref once again points at the spot, ordering a re-take. Presumably for some minor infringement like someone had their shirt untucked.
Naturally, matey doesn’t miss the second time round and sends Wilson the wrong way to give the hosts the lead.
In amongst all the mutterings, Windy starts asking silly questions about if we recognise the number he’s just received a text from. Apparently it says “How can you wear those awful green & white shirts?”. After a couple of minutes searching, PC and I give up and leave him to it.
On 14 mins, a low Gray free-kick from the left is deflected back out to the edge of the box where Honey tries his luck. The ball clearly hits a defenders outstretched arm and deflects out of play. Naturally, we only get the corner from our myopic mate in black.
Sutton continue to have the better of the play and after 21 minutes, a corner from the right is headed on at the near post by Scarbourough and McBean stoops to nod the ball goal wards, only for the ‘keeper to make a super 1 handed stop and turn the ball round his near post for another corner.
We keep going though and after a spell of rather scruffy disjointed football, we create another good opening. A ball in from the left picks out Gaynor lurking on the edge of the box, but instead of shooting he plays a delightful little chip over the defence perfectly into the path of McBean. He manages to drag the ball round the ‘keeper but with the goal at his mercy, he can’t quite dig it out from between his feet and the angle gets narrower and narrower before he eventually runs out of pitch.
After much muttering, Windy finally announces he’s established the identity of his mystery texter. It turns out that Matty from Weymouth is working locally this week and is lurking somewhere on the premises.
Fuck me, shouldn’t be too hard to find. There’s about 5 other people here other than us, he’s not the smallest lad in the world and he’ll be dressed like a West Ham fan!
Of course, having had by far the better of proceedings, we then go and gift the home side a second goal. 37 minutes played and a ball out to our left is whipped in at pace from near the corner flag to the centre, where a Yeading man takes full advantage of some non-existant marking to power a diving header past Wilson from 6 yards out.
Oh arse. Now we’re in trouble!
Our response is immediate. A silly free-kick is given away on the right and Gray whips it in low towards the near post. Scooby steps over it and behind him, the ‘keeper dives out to gather the ball. But he makes a complete mess of things and fumbles, allowing McBean to get in and prod the ball under him into the corner of the net.
And suddenly, things don’t look quite so bad!
The closest we come to an equaliser before the break is on 45 minutes. Gaynor whipping an 18 yard free-kick from the right just over the target. Then as soon as the whistle blows, we head off for the warmth of the bar and play hunt the’Muff fan.
Our visit to the bar is fruitless and we fail to find our man. But, as it’s farking freezing outside, we decide to leave a full outdoor search a few minutes while we warm up.
In the end, we find the Dorset bloke huddled in the little stand as we walk round before the second half. And he looks quite cold! A quick catch up later and the teams are out for the second half, so we take our leave and find our spots on the terrace behind the goal.
Unfortunately, the U’s don’t start the second half as well as the first and 10 minutes in, the first opportunity falls to the home side. A deep ball in from the left is headed on in the box and drops towards the far post for an unmarked attacker. Thankfully, his touch is about as good as mine on a Sunday morning after a trip to Bedford and the ball trundles harmlessly out of play, much to our amusement.
From here on, the game becomes a very scrappy, disjointed and frustrating affair. With the home side creating little, but more that doing enough to frustrate our own efforts. The ref isn’t exactly doing us any favours either, proceeding to turn in one of the most one sided displays we’ve seen in bloody ages.
With a quarter of an hour left, an equaliser almost comes in the most unlikely manner. A rare bit of football moves the ball from the left into the centre, where it’s slipped through the defence for Henry. His path is blocked, but the ball runs toward McBean and he manages to give the ball a rather weak looking prod towards goal.
The pace must be somewhat deceptive as the ‘keeper scrambles across his goal and only just manages to smother the ball right at the foot of the post, with it looking like it was just going to creep past him. To add to his mild embarrassment, he crashes into the post in his desperate attempt to stop the ball crossing the line.
Another ten minutes of scrappy play later and seemingly our best chance of levelling the scores is spurned. A ball over the top finally gives McBean a chance to stretch his legs and run on goal. He gets ahead of his marker and with a good sight of goal from the left, manages to weakly bobble the ball straight to the ‘keeper.
But, with injury time upon us, the lino on the right does us a favour and flags for a foul on Henry out on the touchline. Green & White shirts pack the box and Gaynor whips the free-kick to the near post. Scooby gets across his man and his header goes high into the air. The ‘keeper tries to take the ball under his bar as it drops in the centre, but under pressure from McBean, he flaps and only succeeds in palming it onto the head of Craig Tanner and he nods it into the roof of the net to level the scores and trigger the sort of jumpy about celebrations behind the goal you’d expect from a 92nd minute equaliser.
Yeading try to snatch an even later winner thanks to a really quite soft free-kick from the ref, but thankfully it’s swung wide of the near post and soon after, the erratic offical blows for time and we applaud the lads for sticking at their task and getting a well deserved point.
Then it’s back to the cars and we bid a sad farewell to the delightful sights & sounds of Yeading and head on back to the Hood for a couple of pre-closing time bevvies before off home to bed.
MAN OF THE MATCH : Jason Henry. Ran & ran all night.
ENTERTAINMENT : 6. Not pretty at all, but a point here is one well earned.
TEAM : Wilson, Scarborough, Gonsalves, Palmer, Tanner, Gray, Honey, Quinton, McBean, Henry, Gaynor SUBS : Bray, Alimi, Naughton, Akuamouah
THE REFEREE’S………shocking. Probably one of the worst homers we’ve seen in years. So bad he may as well have put on a red & black striped shirt on. One can only hope it was simply a case of the bloke being out of his depth, but I fucking doubt it.