Sleeping Or Laughing?


Att: 149

SUTTON UNITED – 3   [R.Hughes p103. Ottaway 114. 119]


After Extra-Time

It’s another brief break from the horrors of Conference South life tonight, as the excitement and fervour of the Surrey Senior Cup returns to enlighten our lives.

Oh who am I kidding? The county cup has provided little relief from the bread & butter of the league over the last couple of years, with dreadful crowds and a couple of even more dreadful results in the losses to CCL oppo in Chipstead and Egham. Still, at least we’re over that hump with the win over RPV in the previous round, tonight’s oppo will prove a slightly sterner test.

Unfortunately, I’m unable to liven this report up with silly diversionary tales about journeys to exotic locations, so you’ll have to put up with the usual boring nonsense on that front as well.

With the Hood sponsoring tonight’s match ball, I feel it’s only polite to ensure one of us at least makes it down beforehand for a bevvy. Thankfully an early enough finish from work ensures I’m parked at the bar just after half 6 with a pint. Not long after, a Pete of the Irish variety wanders in and joins me for one.

But, before too long, the big hand departs the 6 and it’s time to take a stroll down to the ground. Tagging along with landlord Ken are a few interested locals, who no doubt fancied checking out just what those divs in the strange coloured shirts watch every weekend.

Wish they’d chosen a time when we’re a little less shit.

Arrival at the ground confirms my fears about the crowd. Thanks to our less than stunning form in this campaign coupled with the general apathy towards these lesser competitions these days (lets be honest, 10 quid to watch us against Met fucking Police is a bit of a piss take), there looks to be less than a 100 in the ground. I just hope there’s a couple hundred more hiding in the warmth of the bar!

It’s pretty silly that the FA won’t let clubs charge less for these fixtures. If it was a fiver to get in, it’d probably put another 100 on the gate (not all of us are interested in Sperz-Arse on the telly after all). But I guess that would involve common sense…..still, hosting oppo who have virtually no fans doesn’t help either.

Probably trying to get the side going more consistently as a unit, Ernie has thrown out pretty much our full strength side, but using the 4-5-1 line up as recently. McBean is the only regular missing, dropping to the bench.

Despite the strong line up, we really don’t get going very well from the off and the visitors, who are currently having a decent season in Ryman 1 South, look by far the livlier in the opening stages. And after 10 minutes, they finally fashion the first chance. A quick break forward and a ball out right is swiftly delivered into the box where a strong diving header is straight at Wilson.

After not showing a great deal, we really should go a goal up a couple of minutes later. A simple ball through in the centre leads to a 1-2 between Bash & Dundas. The midfielder manages to bundle his way through and finds himself past ex-U’s reserve keeper Mo Maan and the goal gaping. But, rather than prod out a foot and surely score, he tries to get the ball properly under control first, fails and allows a defender to recover and make a last ditch challenge and the chance is gone.

The plod continue to control things though and should have a pen shortly after when a blues shirt cuts in along the byeline from the right only to have his run rather clumsily ended, but amazingly, the ref sees nothing wrong with the challenge and waves play on! Er…..

It ‘s pretty dire stuff from our point of view as we lumber about and fail to really put any kind of coherent play together for much of the half. It’s only thanks to some last ditch defending and some good work from Phil Wilson that we manage to reach the half time break level. First on 27 minutes a left sided free-kick is nodded on into the box and then headed on goal, but Haverson is on the line to head away. And shortly before the interval, the rozzers take almost take advantage of some poor defending when we fail to clear our lines. A ball is eventually worked across the edge of the box and a fierce shot through the crowd is seen late by Wilson, but he pushes away the effort at full stretch.

Well, that was interesting.

Rather bored with proceedings, I head round to get a cuppa and a pie to warm up with. It’s certainly far more exciting that the first half was. Despite the game needing a lift, Ern keeps his powder dry and sends out the same 11 for the second half. Much to our joy. Not.

Fortunately though, we seem to have had a bit of a rocket at the break and we start the half much much brighter. In fact, almost immediately, we should be in front. A corner from the left by Honey picks out Jack at the far post and he heads right back across the face of goal. But there is no-one waiting to finish and the ball runs harmlessly across the 6 yard box and to safety.

After 48 minutes, another good chance and again it’s Honey providing the ball with a good cross from the left. This time it picks out Jason Henry at the far post, but his first time effort is well wide and too high. And as the half wears on, it seems the visitors have pretty much run out of ideas as we start to control proceedings without really threatening too much. It’s not until the 64th minute that the next opportunity comes.

Once more, it’s Honey whipping the ball in from a set piece that causes the problems, Haverson getting up highest to flash a header just over at the near post. It’s all really rather dull and uninspiring stuff with chances at a premium. Dundas finally springs into life after 75th minutes, squirming his way through on the right before aiming a cheeky chip on goal from a tight angle, but the ‘keeper just claims the effort under his bar.

We’re by now really quite bored of this match and quite frankly aren’t particularly bothered who scores, just so long as they do it bloody quick and spare us an extra 30 minutes of dull shite. Met Police have a great chance to snatch the win with 10 minutes to play, but their man bursting in down the left panics and blasts his shot well over the bar from about 10 yards out.

The mood darkens when the 4th official picks up the board and displays that there is a rather unbelieveable 4 minutes of added time to be played. You utter utter utter bastard. I’m fucking freezing here! Can’t we just call it a draw and toss a coin? Or maybe get the skippers to have a best of three match of rock-paper-scissors??  No? Fuck it. Half hour extra time it is then.

I just hope someone scores during that period, ‘cos the way we’re going if it goes to pens, we’ll be here all frigging week!

Ern makes a change and introduces Liam Wright for the once again rather anonymous Maskell and depressingly, extra-time gets underway. The sub is soon in action, blazing horribly horribly wide after a decent build up on the right and the low cross picks him out on the overlap. A couple of minutes later, a weak Ottaway effort is deflected into the path of Dundas, but he can’t get the shot off and the defence smothers the chance.

Then just as it seems we’re damned for all eternity to stand here freezing not quite to death in Surrey Cup 4th round hell we find ourselves in, a light appears at the end of the tunnel! A poor ball towards the box is deflected into the channel on the left and Bash darts in after it, but for some reason the tracking defender gets a big handful of his shirt and pulls him to the ground. The ref is right there and thankfully points to the spot.

The pigs are a bit upset at this, but the decision stands. Strangely though, Rob Hughes assumes penalty taking duties ahead of Dundas. Which we’re a little bit worried by! But, fortunately, he sends Mo the wrong way and rolls the spot kick in.

Right, we win, can we go home now? Eh? It’s not golden goal? Awww crap….

Hughes almost turns provider on half time, clipping a ball over the top that that no2 helps on and Ottaway darts in. But Mo is off his line quickly to block the touch and then smothers the ball at the second attempt.

Annoyingly, the second extra period is the most entertaining of the night. Where was this an hour ago to keep us vaguely interested in this dullest of clashes? First Ottaway runs onto Wrights ball across after the midfielder breaks from his own half, but his shot across goal is begging for a touch in that never comes. A minute later, another chance comes his way, chesting down and with a sight of goal, he turns in instead of shooting and the defender gets a touch in allowing the keeper to smother.

But it’s several minutes in that the real entertainment starts. A blatant backpass is ignored at the far end when Scooby stretches to touch a ball back to Wilson. The bizzies aren’t happy about it and their skipper in particular goes absolutely apeshit. Bizarrely, at the linesman in THEIR half of the pitch. Who was about as far from the incident as us! The lino understandably isn’t amused and starts flagging. Already booked, Mr Angry can only go one way and that’s off. He walks a few yards before deciding that he fancies a word and comes charging back, seemingly looking to get at the lino. Only a team mate stops him and gets a swing for his trouble.

Eventually, he’s dragged off by two others before he can carry on. Quite how he avoids a second red for the reaction is beyond me! Still, it certainly livens up the evening…..

This seems to knock the remaining life out of the visitors and a couple of minutes later, it’s game over. Pushing up, the law get caught on the break and Honey charges forward from halfway unchallenged on the left. Unselfishly, he slips a ball across the box to Ottaway and the young striker rifles into the empty net from several yards out to make it 2-0.

Dundas then has a shot cleared off the line after another breakaway on the right, his effort beating Maan, but being hacked away by a covering defender. Then with time almost up, the win is completed. Another break from our half, this time by Rob Hughes down the right. He plays in Dundas and the big man clips the ball to the centre of the box for Ottaway to bring down and thrash high into the net.

At the final whistle, it’s a quick dash to shut up shop at Roses and then back into the bar to try & squeeze a beer in before closing time.

Woking away is our reward for tonights victory. My god they’re going to murder us.

MoM : Phil Wilson. Kept us in it during that crap first half.

TEAM : Wilson, Scarborough, T.Hughes, Haverson, Bray, Alimi, Honey, Maskell, Henry, Dundas, Ottaway.   SUBS : Wright, R.Hughes, McBean, Sammut, Goodchild.

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