Golden Shot

How do! We’re not gonna lie, getting last weekend off was both annoying and also very very welcome. Sure, it was a major pisser to have to get out in the cold at 9am to help get the covers off the GGL bowling green only to have the ref take one look at the shaded bit in front of the stand, kybosh it and then bugger off whence he came with his fee in his pocket, but it did mean that my good self and others were able to put their feet up at home, tuck into a relaxed bacon sarnie in front of the telly and generally do other grown up adulting stuff instead of chucking beer down our necks and cursing some poor linesmans entire lineage.

The fact that the pitch was covered and the shaded area was still rock hard at half 2 did little to prevent the usual raft of bollocks on the socials from fucking knobbers wishing death on the club and all sorts of other carry on. Give it a rest lads, you’re only 40 minutes away and yes, we’d have preferred if the ref had given it a bit longer as well before making his shout, but them’s the breaks and we can’t control nature no matter what your weird tinfoil hat lads on the internet might think. We of course had a load of gubbins all lined up for that now abandoned Crawley entry too. Nassim Arkour still playing in the Coupe de France at the sprightly age of 48 for example, a feat so fine it even made the pages of the Beeb’s website. Also the return of a familiar face to GGL in the shape of Jimmy Dack, who’s the new gaffer of the U’s academy. An appointment that one unnamed regular who got to sit in on the interview process confessed to having them a little star struck. But as that blog will never happen, you’ll never ever ever get to read about any of it, yeah sorry about that. Oh wait.

Green and pleasant land…

Elsewhere we’ve advanced in the Surrey Cup, handily without playing a game, as oppo Walton & Hersham decided they had better things to be getting on with than getting battered by our academy. Fair do’s. This no doubt makes Dukey both happy and sad at the same time. Happy that we’ve progressed to the quarters of course, but sad that he doesn’t get to spend an evening boring the fucking tits off anyone that’ll listen about how we’re still historically one win behind Dulwich’s tally of 16. Swings and roundabouts, I think you’ll agree. The gaffer’s also been busy squad wise as the January window slowly slides shut with Tope off out on loan to somewhere in Turkey to get minutes, something I’m sure he’s delighted by as we’re sure that warm sunshine and experiencing a different culture will…eh, what? Oooooh, Torquay. Gotcha. Another one out the door on some loanage action was Kwame Thomas, who ended up going to… checks notes …Dundee in the Scots Championship. Er, yeah, alright. If you say so. I’d have said Tope and Turkey was more likely if I’m honest. And no, I shan’t be using this as an opportunity to make a cheap jibe about the quality of Scottish football thank you very much. We’re not that lazy and predictable. No, you fuck off!

With these departures making a bit of room in the squad and Lee Angol already added from Bradford, we were a little surprised to find that the spots were subsequently filled this week with a couple more incoming. And both attacking options to boot. The first new face is Hisham Kasimu who we last saw being a nuisance for Farnborough at GGL in their FA Cup GIANTKILLING earlier this season and joins permanently from the Hampshire mob, hopefully turning out to be a proper little Non-League gem plucked from obscurity. Then there’s Matt Dennis from some mob in League 1 out near Bletchley who joins on loan. Clearly us somehow sitting less than 2 wins off the play offs has got the boss man all excited and we’re maybe going to have a poke at it again this season. Yes, that’s right. Us eyeing up League One. Again. The world’s gone fucking barmy, we know. Right, what are we up to this week? Harrogate away you say? Of course it is. Oh well, at least it’s not Euston for a change and having to piss about with the latest Avanti Weekend ‘take your money cancel your train’ circus.

Howdy York!
Memories of Frickley…

A 6am start is required for this one as we’re off Cross of Kings at 8am sharp, so I tumble out of my pit, shower and am out the door by half past. With buses looking a bit ropey on the app, I decide not to risk it and grab a fortunately very nearby Uber to whisk me to East Croydon. Walking down the slope a Thameslink to St Pancs rolls in meaning I don’t even have to break my stride to continue my journey into the smoke. As I walk through the carriages, I spot a confused looking elderly chap. “Morning Magnum!”. We catch up on the incomings and other bollocks as we head into town and barely half an hour later, we’re emerging back into the cold morning air to cross the road to Kings Cross. With no other bellends about on the concourse, the PI and I head to McDonalds for some grotty breakfast and here are treated to some monged out clubber arguing with the lass behind the jump about his order. Seems he doesn’t have his receipt but insists he’s number 58. The lass is having none of it and him not being able to tell her even what he’d ordered doesn’t help his case.

Filthy food obtained, we’re back on the concourse and soon joined by Robbo and Greek. Here our main concern is that Mr X has train troubles getting into town and this is an issue as he has the train tickets as well as several of the group’s match tickets for today. This could be interesting! He requests a cuppa via Whatsapp and we all briefly debate going to get him one each from whatever outlets we can find. Greek volunteers in the end and soon comes back with this and Dr Bell in tow. “I’ve even bought him a bacon roll to go with his tea” informs the big man. Christ, he must have had a bang on the head or summat to be that charitable. That or he owes the man of mystery money. Possibly both. Fortunately Mr X is soon spotted outside furiously puffing away on a ciggy and having got our tickets, head for the train North. On board, we find that our reserved seats are being occupied by some Spanish students and after a brief discussion with their tutor, we point out that the block booking has been made with us fat League 2 wankers slap bang in the middle of it. Sorry senorita, we’re already funding most of the EU’s national rail firms as it is. The least you can do is respect our booking! Yes yes, ‘puto’, we know.

Expensive Cider.
Damn you Greek!

With international relations smoothed over, we park up and depart bang on time. Here Greek is dismayed to find that the bacon rolls he’s obtained for himself and Mr X are a little on the disappointing side, mainly as they’re stone cold and haven’t been heated up at the kiosk. Nice! “I’d normally be delighted his was cold” mumbles Greek about he who cannot be named’s disappointing sarnie “But I’ve got fucking two of them!”. Life on the road in League 2 can came at you fast and no mistake. The journey is largely uneventful with only Mr X’s ‘odd auntie’ that lives in Knaresborough being mentioned as we pulled through the town. Never noticed it before, but it looked a rather nice little spot by the river. “Have they got a side?” Little did we know the answer would soon be provided! We jump off at York and with a few minutes changeover, the smokers go to smoke and the rest of us clutter up the platform waiting for the next hop to Harrogate. Another U’s awayday traveller Deano is about with his missus and he’s unimpressed with LNER’s service today. “It’s disgraceful, they not only ran the train, but it was bang on time. If that was Avanti, I’d have my refund by now!”. Not sure that’s how it should work really mate.

Half hour later and after a trundle through some places we’ve never heard of, we’re jumping off at our destination. Right, time for some pints in the Tap! Here the overnight party head off to dump bags at their digs whilst us day trippers get our drink on. Mr X, Myself, 4Days and Dr Bell all get settled in what is probably one of our favourite awayday pubs. As we get halfway into our first pint, the tourists return to join us and are soon followed in by a load of other lads who have a flag, clearly off to football as well. “Frickley? I remember them!” comments Dr Bell as their identity is revealed. Aye, so do Magnum and my good self! It seems they’re in the NWCFL these days and are away to none other than Knaresborough. Well, that answers that then! We do a second round in the tap and then head off as last year towards the Chin, however it’s closed and so we head into the North Tap opposite. Here Greek convenes another West Sutton Cider Club meeting and dips into a pint of some blackcurrant stuff that comes in at a choppy 9 quid a pint, forcing him to lob up a fiver fine into the whip. Did he like it I hear you ask? What do you think?

Ah yes, the football…
Der der der der der der der, David Ajiboye! 1-0 Sutton

A quick on here then we acquiesce to Greek’s request that we head into Trotters over the road, a little downstairs single room gaff that as you can probably guess, is distinctly Only Fools and Horses themed. Yes, we came all the way to Harrogate to do a theme bar. Still, Accy v Leeds is on the box and we find several members of the B Team lurking here as they’d got the earlier train up than us. Sod that. With the selection here limited and Greek’s tourist urges sated, he suggests we hit a pub over the road as “It’s one of them Timothy Taylor ones. You like their beer!” 4Days and I roll our eyes as he’s clearly referring to the odd pint of Landlord us ale lads will have now and then. We decide to just go with it rather than put up with his complaints and ditching Magnum here to head towards the ground and meet some clients for a pint, we once more cross the road and wander into a pub that is indeed owned and stocked by Timmy Taylors. “Don’t think I’ve ever been on one before!” I comment to the Welsh separatist as we enter. “Ah bollocks, he’s hit it out of the park” replies 4Days as we spot the selection of beers on the bar. Yes folks, Greek has many faults, but being utterly insufferable after being proven right on something is probably the worst of the lot.

We neck one here and get chatting to a couple of lads from Rotherham who with their lot not in action today due to FA Cup ties have chosen this one for a tick on their 92 list and a few pints. They commiserate with us over the Pizza Cup thingy from last season and having yammered all things shit football over a pint, they realise we have a pub plan heading towards the ground whereas they do not. “Can we tag on with you lads?” they ask. More the merrier gents. Right, next!! A quick wander through the back streets later and we hit the Devonshire for more refreshments. Here we talk more bollocks with our new friends and the subject of terrible old TV games shows comes up. “Any of you lot remember ‘Golden Shot’??” asks one of the Rotherham faction. Blank looks all round from us. “Wait ’til Belly gets back from the bar, he’s old so he’ll know” is all we can suggest. Naturally, our veteran does recall said show to everyone’s delight “Bob Monkhouse presented it” and even offers some critique. “Wasn’t bad I s’pose, but Bullseye was far better”. Sadly the next option a door or two down, the Swan, is shut so we instead have a second here before making the traditional dart for the ground a few mins before kick off.

3points. Clean sheet. Nuff said.
Pre-departure refreshments.

Rose, Kizzi, Milsom, John, Goodliffe, Eastmond, Smith, Ajiboye, Randall, Bugiel, Wilson SUBS: Ward, Hart, Kouassi, Dennis, Angol, Boldewijn, Beautyman

Bidding farewell to our new friends from the New York Stadium outside the home turnstiles, we head for the away end. Delightfully, the recent northern pie drought appears at an end and the tea bar is doing a vast range. Even better, it’s pretty quiet pre-match so I snag up some pre-match sustenance and pick a spot on the terrace behind the goal. From the off, the lads are properly at the hosts and in the first minute, Dave’s flattened in the box for what looked like, even to us at the far end, a solid pen shout. But the ref’s having none of it and waves play on. Wilson then stings the keepers hands with a shot and before 10 minutes have passed, the returning Ajiboye puts us ahead. A throw from the right causes problems, Wilson has an attempt blocked but the ball runs to Dave, he makes himself a yard of space and guides a low one beyond the keeper into the far corner. Lovely stuff.

From here, it’s basically all us. The keeper has to beat out another shot and Dave hits the bar from a similar spot as he’d scored from. But as is the way with watching Sutton United, chances aren’t taken despite a properly dominant half and we go in only 1 up at the break. During the interval, Indy provides odd entertainment by eating his half time pie with a knife and fork whilst balancing the cardboard dish it’s come in on the front terrace barrier. Despite a couple of hairy moments, he tucks it all away without any loss. Having got in fortunate to be only 1 behind, the hosts make 4 changes at the break to try & switch things up. And to be honest, it’s stuff like that which shows up these masses of subs we get nowadays. If you’re making 4 changes after 45 minutes, you’ve picked the wrong fucking team. End of story. Being able to replace almost a third of the line up is a bit of a cop out in my book. Naturally, from the restart they’re bang at it and a first minute corner gets the crowd woken up and we settle in for a long old half.

There’s something slightly melancholy about a discarded match ticket.
Farewell Leeds…

Despite having loads of the ball though, they don’t do too much with it. Rose shovels one ugly dipper wide before really earning his corn with about 20 to go as a shot from a fairly central position about 20 yards out flicks off the back of Smith. Going the wrong way, the U’s stopper adjusts and flings out a hand to divert what looks a certain goal over the bar. Top drawer that Rosey, top drawer. This seems to take a little of the steam out of Harrogate and with reinforcements off the bench for us changing things up, we start to make more of a contest of the half. The best chance comes to debut boy Angol who tries his luck from about 20 yards, but the shot clips a defender taking it out of the keeper’s reach but means that it clips the outside of the far post. The only other item of note during the half is the 4 stewards who suddenly appear to stand right in front of us staring. 4Days admirably ignores the cheap jibes from the rest of us and concentrates on the game. However, I will add for the record that since Tranmere away, we’ve not seen a single copper in our end at games. Funny that. I digress however and the boys dig in proper obstinate style and the final whistle is warmly greeted by the PROWS faithful behind the goal. 3 points, clean sheet away from home. That’ll do pig.

Team applauded off, we head out and wishing farewell to the overnight gang, get our stroll on for the town centre and a couple more pre-departure scoops in the Tap. Here we once more run into our friends from Rotherham and join them for a couple more before they have to head off homewards, but with contact details exchanged, there’s a possibility that they’ll be paying GGL a visit at some point. You know it makes sense lads! Here we then make our own plans and with a reasonable stop over in Leeds to come, we elect to make use of the facilities there for cans and grub. Right, can someone get a round in please? Nicely loaded with a days ale and with 3 points in our back pockets, we stumble onto the train to Leeds and are soon tipping out there before scattering to get supplies. Mr X is on cans duty whilst I go and secure a bargain bucket from the handily placed KFC on the concourse. Sorted. Everyone reconvenes shortly after on the train and is dead pleased to find not a Spanish tourist in sight. Gracias!

Yeah, bought too many again…

Having put in a shift last week with the usual massive over purchase of G&T, Mr X soon once again goes missing by nodding off after the one can. Bastard! It seems the Z’s are catching as even 4Days soon nods off leaving Dr Bell and I to put the world to rights whilst burping fried chicken fumes and sinking cans. Sadly for Mr X, the tank is pretty full on my part and I soon give up after just 4 G&T, leaving him several to transport home later. I did my best! It’s a quiet journey back anyway and we land in Kings Cross a little behind schedule, but with plenty of time to grab a Thameslink home. Here the others decide to sack off the wait for a train back to the Republic and instead invade my personal time on the one back to East Croydon, figuring a cab back from there to Sutton will be quicker. I wave them off outside the station and dart over the road to pick up a 410, which handily pauses at some traffic lights allowing me to hurl some final farewell abuse at the other idiots.

Jesus, 18 hours and counting. I need my bed!


One thought on “Golden Shot

  1. I love to read these Gandermonium blogs and the antics of the fans day out. One pub that you missed, probably through lack of time, is the Empress, which is the closest to the ground and had plenty of Sutton fans in.
    You totally dominated and bullied us first half and could have been 3 or 4 up by half time. You were 100% correct in saying the manager picked the wrong team, which he admitted after the game. We made a game of it second half and probably deserved a point out of it but your keeper made a fantastic save from a deflected shot and if you can’t get the ball in the net, you don’t win
    Good luck for the season and hope you can grab that promotion place
    Both clubs have come a long way from the days of our 3G pitches

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *