Att : 427
SUTTON UNITED – 3 [Watkins 35. McBean 65. 82]
BRENTFORD – 1 [Ide 68]
With the weather remaining somewhat shit and the quite ridiculous decision made at lunchtime to switch the Windsor game from their Stag Meadow ground to some field the other side of town, your less than intrepid reporter changed his mind with regards to attending and instead decided to avoid said match like the fucking plague.
As it turns out, it wasn’t a bad move. Whilst the rain stayed away, the 7pm ko caused some problems with half the side still not present at the ground at quarter past and no linesmen.
A large mouse, resident in Florida springs to mind.
Still, no such worries today. We’re at home and it looks like the weather might actually be half decent for the visit of League 2 (that’s Division 4 in old money) Brentford. The side who’d kindly lent us Charlie Ide last season and then took him back just as he was getting warmed up. Selfish bastards. Still, it was all in vain as the Bees slipped to relegation anyway and are suffering a somewhat tough pre-season, having lost to a couple of NL sides already.
Along with Charlie, other U’s-Bees links today are the ex-Sutton centre-back John Mackie in the visitors line up and the manager Brentford sacked last summer in a similar position in our line up! Or not as the case proves, with Mr Fitzgerald swerving the match as thoroughly as I’d done with the Windsor game a couple of days before.
Guess I’d better cut to the chase and get down to the action. Usual drill, can’t be arsed with the full on reportage of the regular season, so it’s edited highlights. A bit like Match of the Day, but not as funny. And there’s no pictures….
20mins – SUB – Bray (Off) Palmer (On) – A dull opening few minutes is only punctuated by the withdrawal of AJ, recieving a knock on the dead leg he got at Whyteleafe on tuesday and is replaced by Ryan Palmer.
22mins – A deep free-kick from the left temps the keeper off his line, only to be beaten in the air for the ball by Scooby. But his looping header drops wide of the target.
23mins – A U’s free-kick is blocked and Palmer’s attempt to play the ball back upfield on the right is also blocked, giving the no11 a free run on goal. He gets as far as the box before the defence recovers and the attentions of Scooby and Gonsalves block his shot at the expense of a corner.
27mins – Corner swung in by Green from the left. McBean fails to connect with a free header in the centre. Good chance missed there.
32mins – McBean intercepts a poor pass across midfield and advances on goal, but his shot from the edge of the box is blocked ans presents an easy save for the ‘keeper.
33mins – A deep ball from the left by Tanner causes hesitation in the Brentford defence and especially the ‘keeper. Oroka takes advantage and nips in, but can’t quite lift his effort over the fast advancing stopper, who smothers it.
35mins – GOAL 1-0 – Some decent build up on the left and some persistence from Oroka pays off. He rescues a seemingly lost cause on the byeline and pulls it back to the edge of the area where McBeans mishit effort runs to Watkins in the centre. He feints and sends his marker the wrong way, sending his touch the other and rattling a shot high into the net from 8 yards.
40mins – McBean races onto a ball over the top and is eventually hauled down in the box from behind by the desperate no6. The ref points to the spot and the U’s man grabs the ball, keen to make up for his miss against Walton a couple of weeks back. And fails. Hitting a very weak spot-kick to the ‘keepers right that he blocks with ease. But the ref takes pity and signals a re-take thanks to the stopper moving off his line a little too early. McBean refuses an offer from Nick Green to have a go and this time sends the ‘keeper the wrong way, but his effort crashes back from high on the opposite post. Fucks sake.
42mins – SUB – Oroka (Off) Graham (On)
44mins – SUB – Watkins (Off) Henry (On)
The break comes with us pretty much well on top of things and we head round to the tea bar for some half time munchies before getting roped into breaking out more supplies for the busy staff within. With the 2 enforeced changes shortly before the break, Haze holds off with more subs and sends out the same side to start the second half.
47mins – A surging run by McBean ends with him cutting along the byeline and flashing a shot across the face of goal and just a tad too high for Zak supporting at the far post.
48mins – A rare threat from the visitors, with a low free-kick from the right causing Williams a few problems and he gathers the effort at the second go with attackers lurking.
59mins – SUB – Honey, Hudson (Off) Pestle, Taiwo (On)
63mins – Williams is called into rare action when a ball over the top sends a Brentford man in on goal down the left, but the U’s stopper is off his line quickly to save with his legs.
65mins – GOAL 2-0 – Another McBean surge down the left causes hesitation in the visitors defence. His weaving run past some indecisive defending takes him to the heart of the box and as it seems his chance has gone, he clips an effort with the outside of his left foot neatly inside the far post.
68mins – GOAL 2-1 – The visitors pull one back and surprise surprise, it’s none other than Charlie Ide with the goal. Nipping in behind the U’s defence to pick up a pass and finish low off the upright. Seems he’s still quite good.
71mins – The goal fires up the visitors and they have their best spell of the game. Ide again goes close, this time flashing a snap volley just over the target after the Sutton defence fails to clear it’s lines after an attack down the left.
72mins – A free-kick from the right completely deceives the ‘keeper and comes back off the face of the crossbar. Henry can’t turn the ball in and hits it back across the face of goal and it’s cleared before McBean can pounce. A quick throw in in the aftermath ends with the ball finding Zak out on the right corner of the box, but his fierce effort is blocked.
75mins – SUB – Tanner (Off) White (On)
82mins – GOAL 3-1 – Another McBean run down the left and another super solo goal from the U’s striker. Again he causes the full back all sorts of problems and just as it seems the supporting centre-back has denied him the shooting chance, he curls an almost lazy effort out of the reach of the diving ‘keeper and into the far corner.
85mins – White gets through down the right and with the visitors defence a bit ragged, crosses for Henry, but his firm header flashes just wide of the far post.
All in all a good morale boosting win, but against pretty poor opposition. But a win nonetheless! And after cashing up at Roses we head to the bar for a much needed pint or five. Christ, only 2 friendlies left and then it starts for real again.
TEAM: Gareth Williams, Alan Bray, Lewis Gonsalves, Craig Tanner, Asha Hudson, John Scarborough, Paul Honey, Nick Green, Craig Watkins, Warren McBean, Stephen Oroka. SUBS: Ryan Palmer, Bashiru Alimi, Zak Graham, Jason Henry, Ross White, Liam Pestle, Solomon Taiwo.