Role Reversal

Well hello there! Thank you for joining us on this rather miserable Sunday whilst I stick on my big boy trousers and once more rake over the coals of another less than inspiring Sutton United effort. Now, this is doubly annoying this time out as earlier this week I stumbled upon a fun, light hearted theme for the visit of old Non-League muckers Farnborough to GGL in the FA Cup, one that would no doubt have delighted you endlessly and filled your little hearts with joy heading into another working week. Sadly however that theme largely relied on us not being shit, which we resoundingly were and as such it’s gone right in the fucking bin. Instead you’re gonna get me w(h)inging it with whatever old bollocks currently springs to mind.

Also, apologies about the massive spoilers in the opening para there folks, I know we usually like to tell the tale as it pans out chronologically and build the excitement and anticipation for you before revealing the outcome later on, but on occasions like this I’ve long since decided it’s best to just cut to the chase and call a spade a spade. If it’s shit, it’s shit and you’re getting it in whatever the written version of Technicolour and Dolby surround is early doors. Don’t worry though, there should be a couple of filler sections coming up to pad this out so you can prepare yourselves for the disappointment to come.

Turned out nice again…

When the first round draw was made and we pulled familiar faces, we of course checked out league positions and so forth and seeing Farnborough in the lower reaches of Connie South figured that even our stuttering bunch should be able to see that one off. Yeah, I know. Fucking proper idiots we are. Still, they’re back at that level for the first time since we last met back in that utterly forgettable 14/15 season, where we did the double over them with only the away game memorable for Nick Bignall notching his one and only goal for us, to the surprise and amazement of all there present, probably including himself. They went down that year and we then decided we were done with Non-League and began our meteoric rise to the rarefied levels we currently find ourselves. We did go back to their gaff 2 summers ago as we rather oddly used it as our base for home games in pre-season whilst we replaced our magic Fred Gee carpet with some more environmentally friendly stuff, but as I flat out sacked all that off as I largely blank friendlies at home these days, let alone at fucking Farnborough, I cannot comment on any of it.

Still, the game’s a big deal to them. I think being the first time they’ve made the 1st round since they last reformed in 2007, so that probably explained the commemorative shirts for sale in their club shop. Which gave us another thing to add to our “This being Football League is fucking weird” list. Despite this though, we refrained from any ‘cup final’ type banter on the socials, mainly as we’re not setting the world alight and fully remembering our roots we know full well what could await us. With a quiet week ensuing football wise, there was not much of note occurring worthy of mention, outside of the fact that the much loved and lauded England Band were revealed to be paid agents of a foreign government. And not only that, paid grasses as well. They’re not the only ones though, with many competing nations providing 50 soulless shills prepared to grass up their countrymen for stuff said online about the hosts and their tenuous grasp of human rights. Still, we will freely admit we’ll all find it proper funny if 4Days gets deported for an ill advised Twitter rant during the tournament. Top banter that and no mistake.

Here we are again..

Work’s been a chore this week, so much so that the hunt for alternative employ is now stepping up a gear and as such a regular home game lie in was much welcomed. There’s something most satisfying about being all snugged up in your pit as the rain outside hammers on the window. Although in my case this is tempered somewhat the knowledge that I’ll have to eventually head out into that to watch uninspiring football. All the usual personal chores undertaken, I pull on my big coat for the first time this season and head out just around one to find no buses for a good while. Now normally here I’d head for a train to the Republic instead, but they’re buggered today too, so instead I stick the headphones in, fire up some soothing Australian folk music (AckDuk I think they’re called?) and stroll to Wallington Green in the hope of catching the X26 into town instead. My timing is good thankfully and one rocks up a couple of minutes after I get to the stop. Has today peaked too early?? Only time will tell.

In Sutton, the usual Greggs stop provides fuel and I set out for GGL hoping it doesn’t lash it down before I get there. Getting wet watching football in the cold is one thing, already being wet and getting wetter whilst watching football in the cold is another entirely. Thankfully it holds off and I wander up the drive to find the Fan zone shuttered and deserted. I guess the promised covering that was expected for this one has not arrived then? I wander into the MBA, find no familiar faces so continue into the sparsely populated Players bar to find Greek and Magnum propping up an old spot at the bar by the Jukebox. “Just like the old days this!” chuckles Greek “No fucker here, no waiting at the bar, loads of space”. Quite! He seems remarkably jolly for someone who’s flown back into the UK at 6 this morning from a work trip to the US. Which leads me to wonder how many espresso’s he’s had before coming out? All of them probably. Magnum’s tucking into his first and only pint of the day, seeing as he’s driving straight after as he’s off to a gig in Brixton. One beer? For one of our games? Not advisable mate.

Engage Banana skin

Greek then takes to persuading me to help fix Mrs Greek’s car. It seems a minor repair is required and as I don’t mind the odd bit of tinkering, it’s a simple job and most of all I’m fucking cheap, he’s decided to request my assistance. Prices for the work are discussed and we soon settle on a large bag of Almond M&M’s he’s brought back from his aforementioned US trip. Now, I know what you’re thinking here, I’ve undersold myself and ordinarily, you’d probably be right. However, Mrs Taz absolutely fucking loves Almond M&M’s and they’re completely unobtainable here in the UK, even if you go to that shit ugly tourist trap store of theirs up in Leicester Square. So bagging these rare treats for about 30 minutes tinkering is a no brainer for me, as the brownie points acquired will far outweigh the effort involved on my part. Up here for thinking, down there for dancing as my old man says. Negotiations concluded, Indy wanders in, complete with his wide brimmed hat in place and we watch the death throes of South Shields v FGR on the telly, seeing Connor Whickham pinging one over the home keeper from the halfway line in injury time to seal a 2-0 win.

Around 2, Dr Bell joins the throng a touch hungover from a darts match that had got out of hand the night before. There’s no sympathy from us however, firstly as we’re absolute wankers and secondly as it seems his mob had chucked a 9-5 lead to lose 11-10 at Sutton Conservative Club. “You lost at darts, a working mans game, to a bunch of fucking Tories?” I scold. Hopeless, no wonder this country’s in the state it is with that sort of carry on. Still, with the way that lot are going lately, I fully expect that result to be trumpeted by Rishi at PMQ’s this coming week, not like the cunt will have else to crow about. With kick off approaching, Dukey and his father in law rock up with the flat capped one’s face lighting up when Greek hands him 200 Camel Menthols duty free he’s brought him back from the States. It’s the small pleasures in life with that lad. Right, I suppose we best get this over with?

Ward, Kizzi, John, Rowe, Hart, Boldewijn, Randall, Milsom, Eastmond, Wilson, Kouassi SUBS: House, Rose, Dundas, Gambin, Kendall, Fadahunsi, Charles-Cook

“That bloke’s gonna ask if we can eject him again, just ignore him….”

The team today is once more chopped and changed as Josh has picked up an injury in training (What the fuck do we do down there exactly? Spend all day tackling Transit Vans for fucks sake?? It seems you’re statistically safer from coming to harm on the West Bank of the Dnipro river at the moment than our training pitches) and Adam Lovatt is cup tied from his loan at Dartford. Sam Hart gets the start as Milsom slots into midfield and Enzio starts wide. The game underway and a few seconds in, one of their lads tries his luck from range but it’s straight at Ward. What follows however is largely what you’d expect from FT pros against PT players. We press, create the chances and they tear about trying to pressure us on the ball as much as possible, living a little on the edge with blocks and ‘anywhere will do’ defensive clearances and trying to stay in the game. Our first attack almost leads to a goal as we get in out wide, the ball in isn’t cleared and Randall’s shot from 20 is spilled by the keeper and trickles agonisingly towards the line before being hacked clear at the last moment. He’s in action again several times in the half, with two more efforts clawed off the goal line from headers off set pieces. He also makes a smart save from Eastmond who’s sent clear in the middle after a quick break involving Wilson. Their one serious effort is a ball in from wide that their lad in the middle loops over onto the roof of the net with his nut. So not for the first time this season, us not being able to finish a wank means we go in level and goalless at the break instead of 3 up and job done. Standard.

We wander down to the Tardis for the second half and hope that we’ll be able to pick up where we left off and slowly wear them down with that Full time fitness to see us through. Yeah, right. Sadly, the second half from us can only be politely termed as anonymous. It’s the same old pedestrian play, aimless hoofs, poor passing and even worse first touch. We create pretty much sod all barring one header that the keeper scrambles away low down and to be honest, we’re all fully expecting a replay as whist they’re sticking to their task, they’re not creating much. The best they manage is a mazy little dart up the middle that ends with a shot from a decent sight of goal, but Coby throws himself in to defect it over for a corner. This inevitably leads to our downfall as he injures himself, tries to play on and instead is eventually withdrawn with about 10 to go as we make our first subs. Which most around us on the Tardis thinks are a good 10 minutes too late. Of course, having made this change and finally got fresh legs on, we fuck it up. Long throw from the stand side is allowed to carry all the way to the back post where a white shirt (unmarked of course) nips in and pokes home. The away end goes wild and we once more are left to ask “What the fuck is your problem with the last ten minutes of games eh lads?”.

Waiting for the fail…

Seriously though. All joking aside, fucking sort it out. Either we’re not fit enough or we’re switching off, both of which are frankly not fucking on, especially given that this is two of the things that we prided ourselves on and are huge reasons why we’re fucking here in the first place. “But injuries Taz!” I hear you say. And yes, we definitely have those. But this then brings us to the point of the depth of the squad. It’s not about just 11 lads who are your first choice, it’s about all 23 who’ve got a squad number. Everyone needs to bring their fucking dinners when called upon during the season and so far from what we’ve seen up to now, there’s a good few who are apparently on a diet. Our subs make little impact, including Dundo who’s thrown on at the death as the board goes up for added time. But our second half performance is summed up at the death as we win a corner, make nothing of it and Enzio fannies about with the ball 25 yards out, loses it and suddenly there’s 3 white shirts away with just Ward to beat. He comes out, but the fella skips him and rolls it in for 2-0. At this point, I head through the magic door to the bar to get a pint in whilst muttering a lot of bad words, a lot of bad words indeed. Don’t get me wrong, we’d all expected this day to come at some point where the Non-League scuffers done good and renowned giantkillers would get a taste of their own medicine, but I think we’d all hoped it would take a bit longer than 2 fucking years.

The muttering continues as I sup, joined by Greek, Indy and 4Days with Lil’ Chris. The post mortem is much as expected, no one’s hugely surprised by the result given our form this season and no one really begrudges Farnborough their win. Whilst, no offence intended, they weren’t much to write home about, they did what all Non-League sides have to in contests like this. Work hard, compete, stay in the game and take chances when they come your way. No arguments here. Unsurprisingly, the bar is pretty empty post match with most people giving it bollocks and heading straight off. Can’t say I blame ’em either. I down my pint fairly quickly and decide that heading for home and getting the grub on for her ladyship is by far a better use of my time than hanging around here grumbling to pretty much no one, so I neck the dregs and head out into the rain for the walk back to Sutton and a bus home. The lack of Thameslink services despite the industrial action being called off the final fuck you cherry on top of the day. Arriving up by the nick for the bus, I find one due in a couple of minutes and suddenly think things are looking up. Nope. It’s Carshalton fireworks tonight, so half of Sutton is getting on the 407 as well. Yeah cheers lads. The packed bus crawls down towards the Windsor Castle boozer as the people who couldn’t be arsed to get the bus also clog the roads with their stupid fucking SUVS.

C’mon c’mon…

Matters almost get heated when at the first stop, some people looking to board ask “Is there room for a pram?” and before anyone can reply “No, are you blind, it’s packed” they barge on anyway, ramming said child transport into mine and other people’s shins. The husband goes to scold me for my inability to magically levitate out of the way, but my “Do. Not. Fucking. Start” stare makes him think otherwise. Good choice mate. Of course, because of the traffic the bus takes 20 minutes to go one more stop at which point these wankers promptly get off again. Yeah, nice one. Made everyone else’s day just that bit shitter because you’re too fucking lazy to walk 5 minutes. So, some 45 minutes after I boarded, I’m finally alighting by HQ and back to mumbling bad bad words. Indoors and dried off, I get the scoff on the go and join Mrs Taz on the sofa whilst the oven does its work. “So, how was your game?” she enquires innocently.

“Don’t even go there love”.


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