Blimey, this weather. It’s been a bit of a struggle if I’m honest. Being both British and of the red headed persuasion, this means I most definitely am not buit for these kind of conditions. Sure, we can put up with on our holidays as we’re not at home, have nice food and unusual beer to drink, but sweating one’s cods off in your own home is most definitely not what we’re used to. Still, good job I’ve not been out in it most of the day for three days this week eh? Ah, bollocks.
There was of course all the hiking about in Bletchley on Tuesday but the hardest episode to endure was Thursday when we all gathered in the middle of nowhere Hampshire for Dukey’s wedding. The venue was a lovely old barn a good 20 minutes from Farnham and this of course meant that the ceremony was held outside. Lovely for the bride and groom as they get perfect blue skies and perfect weather for the photos after. Not so for us poor sods all suited and booted and being baked alive looking on. Still, we all survived this harrowing ordeal for our mate and swiftly retaliated with an en masse ‘fuck this’ loosening of ties and undoing of top buttons before the grub was dished. Yeah, that’ll show ’em!
Seriously though, it was a truly lovely occasion and Juan and Dukey delivered speeches that both made sense and made people laugh, so they represented the club and more importantly, Gandermonium well and as such disciplinary proceedings are unrequired. The rest of the assembled Sutton mob also failed to make absolute tits of themselves, which was a genuine surprise to all assembled, including ourselves. No 3 bottles of red at dinner and dancing with ties on heads or almost asphyxiating themselves with cupcakes this time around, oh no. It was probably down to the fact that everyone was necking soft drink\water chasers with every beer, but still. Good work everyone, even the ones who constantly enquired “Are you doing a blog for today?” throughout the event. You dicks.
Thanks to Aldershot Travelodge being hotter than an oven Thursday night and meaning any kip was nigh on impossible post-wedding, I and Mrs Taz were glad of a chilled out Friday at home doing nowt so we could catch up on missed sleep and just bum around as we headed into the weekend. Most civilised. This at least meant that I was fairly well rested Saturday and meant I could be up before things got to warm and I awoke in a puddle of my own making. After this, it’s the usual routine of heading out for the bus into town and heading for GGL. Having bagged my Greggs munch, which took longer than it should thanks to a couple in front of me trying to pay for their stuff with Amex IN TWO ENTIRELY SEPARATE TRANSACTIONS. Fucks sake. Almost no one takes Amex guys, let alone fucking Greggs, so get the fuck out of here with your “We pay for our credit card” sausage roll buying flexing. It’s already a pretty warm day as I start my stroll to the Republic, so I take a minute in the shade of St Nic’s churchyard to munch some of my baguette and take respite from the sun before the last leg of the walk.
The second part is hot, sweaty and comes with the added annoyance of what I’ll call ‘sweaty back pocket arse shuffle’, which is where having your smartphone in your back pocket on a hot day with the screen facing in towards the perspiring buttock causes it to activate the display and either skip to the next track or jump back to the start of the song you were listening too. It’s quickly remedied by flipping the phone display out of course, but it’s bloody annoying. No one thinks of the little things in this weather, it’s all about staying hydrated, wear sunscreen and a hat and so on. No one considers the music lovers amongst us and our sweaty arses messing with our tunes.
With my audio issues sorted, I’m soon in the fan zone and find Greek and the newly wed Dukey supping on a pint with Podcast Mike. I grab one myself to take advantage of the ‘Hoppy hour’ before 1pm just as they polish theirs off and head for the sanctuary of the air con in the MBA. Pussies. I sit and chat with Mike, who plays me an excruciatingly shit, but also quite funny jingle he’s knocked up for the pod, before SLO Loffers appears and shows concern at the lack of a queue at the ice cream van parked nearby, mainly as that was her idea apparently. Despite the shade of the brolly I’m sat under, I eventually accept that I’m far too ginger for this and with 90 minutes of ultra violet punishment on the terraces no doubt awaiting I polish off my pint and I too scuttle indoors to cool off before the match.
Greek and Dukey are propping up the end of the bar and I get a round in as our host from Thursday reveals his good lady wife had commented on just how well behaved we’d all been. “I’ve worked it out” states Greek “He’s been chucking us under the bus for years with the missus. Probably giving it large about debauched trips away. Coke and hookers, the works”. You know, he might be onto something there! “Well, he did always hope it would be a bit more Green Street than Pigeon Street” I muse. Dukey remains as straight faced and innocent looking as he can, but we’re onto you sunshine. 4Days & Lil’ Chris are soon in the house, the former complaining about a 15 quid Uber ride where the geezer didn’t air con in the car, followed by Indy and an old mate from work. The usual natter fills time as we slowly sup through our drinks, the heat clearly weighing on people’s minds despite the much cooler atmosphere in here. Still, before too long it’s time to face up to reality and head outside, slap on some Ambre Solaire and see what League 2 football looks like with Mediterranean weather.
Rose, Barden, Kizzi, John, Milsom, Neufville, Beautyman, Eastmond, Boldewijn, Bugiel, Wilson. SUBS: House, Smith, Ridley, Fadahunsi, Gambin, Kouassi, Thomas
Outside, the terraces are way quieter than normal. No doubt the heat and people being off on holidays will be hitting todays attendance a touch. Still, it means there might be a breeze up on the Curva. Yeah, an pigs might fly an’all. We settle in for the game and Magnum appears from Car Park duty with an ice cream on the go, the utter bastard. Despite us all being cooked alive, the first half actually ticks along at a decent pace considering. The U’s are lively from the off and set about trying to get ahead. Neufville is the man causing the early issues. First Wilson tees him up in space on the overlap, but he delays his shot and the defender gets back to nick it off his toe. Then he has a strong run down the line before cutting in and forcing the keeper to make a decent stop, spreading himself to save with his legs. The lino in front of us Rec side is soon impressing with some busy flagging for them but ignoring practically everything else. His best moment comes when a long throw far side is flicked on by Omar and finds Harry back post. He hits it first time from the angle and whilst it doesn’t look to be going in, the keeps definitely gives it a flick with his gloves to help it into the side netting. Goal kick apparently. Sakes.
Barrow largely sit in and try to play out from the back, but it appears to be as much performative bullshit than an actual tactic as their lack of urgency means that it puts them under way more pressure than they really need to be. Despite this, they’re almost level when Rose whacks a slightly under hit back pass into a closing forward and the ball trundles comfortably wide of the goal. This, unlike earlier, is a corner apparently. Rose is getting plaudits not long before the break when he touches a decent hit from 20 onto his near post. For us, there’s more bad news on the injury front as Omar pulls up and despite stretching up and trying to continue, he joins the ever growing list of players who’ve had to come off before half time this season already. It’s starting to get a bit of a worry now if I’m honest. Goalless at the break, a few of us decide to head around to the new Tardis terrace in the far corner for a look and also in the hope there might be more shade over there.
Sadly for us, the new concrete is reflecting the heat beautifully and if anything it’s even hotter round here. Fucking idiots. Understandably, having put a fair bit in for the first 45, our second half performance is a touch more subdued and as a result, the oppo have a bit more of the ball, noticeably largely abandoning the play out from the back stuff and being a bit more direct and trying to impose their play in our final 3rd more. We defend well, with Rose and Kizzi combining to keep out one close range effort after a decent run and pull back from the bye line. Naturally, this comes moments after I’ve declared that we’re looking at a ‘nailed on 0-0’. Call me Sky, I’m open to offers lads. To be honest though, it is looking the most likely score line as the half wears on, they look a bit short of ideas and us likewise. The only real event of note as we head into the last 20 is that I get stung on the finger by a fucking wasp. There I am, minding my own business sweating to death, arms folded and this little shite crawls between my fingers. Still, it just reinforces the fact that wasps are cunts and no one can convince me differently.
Going into the last 10, a stalemate looks likely when suddenly we make the breakthrough. Rose launches one long, it bounces on 18 and with the keeper a little caught under the bounce he concentrates more on trying to draw a foul from colliding with Fadahunsi more than, well, being a goalkeeper. This goes badly as he weakly bounces off the striker and leaves Tope with the simple task of Dave Nugent-ing it from less than a yard out. “Bastard! If he’d left that it would have been the keeper’s goal!” moans 4Days, still waiting to tick that little one off the Sutton bucket list. Yeah, bloody strikers, leeching off the poor old keepers. Who do they think the are!
The goal sparks us into life for a couple minutes, first Enzio is in over the top out wide, but his touch is awful and it allows the keeper to close off the angle, his second touch being even worse and the ball going out for a goal kick. Then Neufville pinned out on the touchline in front of us spins between two players and bursts into the box. He tees up Harry in the box but he either scuffs or lays it off to Kwame, but his shot on the turn is well blocked by the keeper. Still a goal up and with time running down, we make our last round of subs, with Enzio coming off for Smith and Rose surprisingly being replaced in goal by Brad House after the stopper has been down briefly for treatment. It later transpires that he was feeling the heat a fair bit and had yacked up on the 18 yard line. Nice! Despite his protests that he’s ok to continue, Matt’s taking no chances and insists he comes off.
Brad’s soon in action however, as a ball to the edge is held up and despite the attentions of Jon Barden the lad gets a scuffed effort off through the crowd that the keeper sees late down to his left and just touches it wide for a corner. Of course though, this is Sutton United and we have to extract the maximum amount of ‘for fucks sake’ from the game of football whenever possible. So naturally, with barely seconds of 6 added minutes left, we switch the fuck off and basically toss 2 points. Sort of. Tope is flagged off just inside their half and their lad plops the ball and lumps it forward for what surely must be the last attack of the game. We’ve utterly switched off at the back, no one’s marking and Brad comes racing out to claim it, only to get caught under the bounce and his desperate attempt to keep it out with his fingertips fails and the ball plops into the net. It’s all limbs on the away terrace and all really really bad fucking language here on the Tardis. But there’s a twist. Before the “Fucks sakes” and “What the fuck”‘s have barely died down amongst the home fans, the ref’s over talking to the 4th official. What’s going on here then?
No one has a clue why the conflab is taking place as the indirect free kick was just pinged forward and no one but Brad has touched it. All we can think of is that this is the point in question. Has the keeper got a hand on it or not? Now I’m no grass, but, well, of course he fucking has. I’m stood 80 yards away and I could see it plain as day. But it seems none of the officials have and after asking both linos, including Mr useless bollocks from earlier, the ref can’t say for sure and to Barrow’s disgust and our great amusement, he disallows the goal. Goal kick. Naturally, the kick is taken and seconds later the whistle goes and we have our first win of the season. “That makes up for Doncaster” someone nearby comments. “Trust me, it fucking doesn’t!” remarks 4Days. He has a point to be fair. As we walk back to the air conditioned beauty of the MBA, we bump into Vaggy, about as fully paid up a member of the Sutton United goalkeeping union as you can get round here and even he’s happy to confirm Brad’s got his hand to the ball as it looped over him! Chuckling the whole way round to the bar, we get some pints in to celebrate the first 3 points of the season. “Wins a fucking win” declares Dr Bell supping his Dark Fruits. Again, point well made. Sorry Barrow.
Pints come a little quicker than earlier and we take in Dorking’s game at Oldham on the box. AB does Strikers are Key and we of course stitch up Dukey for the solemn duty of sticking his hand into Ade’s velvet bag of balls. And to think, he’s only been married 48hrs. Disgusting behaviour. Of course, the flat capped wearing dickhead pulls out #44 and not #45 for my syndicate. Useless twat. What’s the point of trying to fit it up if the fellow conspirators aren’t up to the job? Ridiculous. Kiddo is the lucky recipient of £300 after opening the safe and we go back to pints. I catch up with Porn Star, THS and also have a chat with Kev for further updates on his bro’s progress. But eventually time catches up with me and I have to do the off and head home for dinner with Mrs Taz. I down my pint, say my goodbyes and join Magnum and Paul, who are heading back to their cricket club for a pint, on the walk round to West Sutton international. Of course, our train is cancelled for some reason, as is the next one for the hilariously bullshit reason of “More trains than usual”. Seriously?? Never change Thameslink you useless fucksticks, never change. So with our first option knackered, we decide to head down dogshit alley to the bottom end of the High Street for buses instead.
About this time I get a text from her ladyship demanding that I get olives and capers to go with the other items I’m due to obtain for making dinner today. Sakes! So I decide to break off my mission for a 407, say my goodbyes to Magnum and Paul and head for ASDAs instead as I’ve more chance of getting everything in one go there. Even capers, whatever the fuck they are. A few minutes whirlwind shopping later, I’ve got what I need, I’m all paid up and bagged. Lovely. But just as I leave, my expensive ASDA ‘bag for life’ splits along the top. Oh come on!! Now when it says ‘bag for life’ lads, I don’t expect it to be my lifespan, I’m not that daft. But you’d think it would last at least the lifespan of say a small pet like a hamster or a gerbil at the very least.
Annoyed, I show the lady on duty and she’s happy to let me have a second one for free. Next stop, somewhere I can order an Uber to! I’m in luck as a lad just a minute away takes the gig and he’s soon rocking up outside the Sally Army to whisk me to HQ. As I lift my bag to board my taxi, the new carrier I just got splits as well in exactly the same place as the first one. Bag for life my arse. There’s house flies lived longer than these fucking things. Grumbling about shit carrier bags, I hop in and begin the journey back to HQ. Once at home, there’s no rest for the wicked as I’m on chef duty and Mrs Taz is having none of my carrier bag quality related whinging or my “What the fuck are capers?” questioning and shoos me off into the kitchen to rustle up a Tuna salad for dinner.
Yeah, that’s right, I said salad. Big whoop, wanna fight about it?