Claret & Brew

You know, you wait ages for a bus to arrive and then two come along at once. Blogs are very much the same and you lucky devils are in for a real old treat as there is not one but two entries on here to get your teeth into this week. And not only that, but one of the buggers will actually contain a positive part about football as well!

Saturday saw a good day’s drinkin’ be once more interrupted by 90 minutes of gash football and a further example of our time in division 4 League 2 coming to an end with a whimper as the first team continue to show how not scoring goals one end and failing to keep clean sheets at the other is probably not the best game plan long term. If you’re a glutton for punishment, or just a Japanese businessman, then have a butchers’ at Taz’s missives HERE about all that carry on.

No wonder he was late, fannying about outside taking pics!

It’s Wednesday night and there is a football match afoot. Only twenty-four hours previously, the match had been postponed as the remnants of the recent rains had left the pitch at ours and also Horley still unplayable. Damn, those Horley boys wanted to get the match out of the way fast. Of course, this meant for me there was going to be a rush to the match as Wednesday is a busy day for yours truly. Not many fuckers are making this trip, so it will be a solo one for me. What do you mean Surrey Senior Cup doesn’t count? Bloody does lads!

I leave with plenty of time to burn, or so I thought at the bleedin’ time, but soon realise that I’m definitely running late. Not only was it due to be a half seven kick-off, but the post work traffic continues to slow me down the whole way. Luckily Horley’s drum is only a stone’s throw from Gatwick airport, so it’s a trip down the A217 till you get to the Black Horse pub if memory serves me right. Which it rarely does.

All of the action…

It’s not the first time we’ve made this trip, we last were there for what was practically the opening match when the ground was opened and Mr X is convinced we came here under Our Lord Dos, but I’ll have to have a look at the bible that is From The Lane to see what the record books say on that one. But my memory is still groggy as to if I’ve ever been here myself. I definitely don’t remember the full clear view of middle age women having a gym aerobic class though. Dr Bell wet dream there. And Wreck It Beckett.

I arrive with the match in full swing and rush to the turnstiles whilst huffing and puffing on a last cigarette. As I do, there is a cheer from inside the ground. A goal has been scored but by who I haven’t a Scooby. The cheers weren’t the loudest, so could’ve been either side on a night like tonight! I look through a gap in the fence, I see the shirts in Claret & Blue kick-off. Get the fuck in! Sutton are winning a match! It’s £8 for entry. Which is a bit less get the fuck in really.


According to the post match comments on Saturday, Moro was going to let some of the fringe first team players get a run out. I’m a bit long in the tooth to believe a manager who says that, or even “there was no issue with who was taking the penalty”. Whilst my head was saying that no first teamers play in this great competition anymore because football is not about winning cups, my heart wants us to go for it like the days of old. I know that there are plenty of fringe players that can do with the minutes and confidence is not at its best. But the main man has a plan apparently. Ryman League in three years I reckon. Which would be nice as I quite fancy title number five in the Alan Turvey Trophy!

Kerbey, Marquis, Sullivan, Moore, Eccleston, Urpens, Edwards, Lambourne, Trickett, Tume, Vorster. Bench Warmers: Roberts, Jamieson, Reeves, Lee, Traore.

Sutton started the match on the front foot. Well, that was what I was told as already mentioned above, I was late to the match. So much so that I missed the first goal. Mr X said that it was a crisp cross from the right that saw Vorster smash the ball into the back of the net. 1-0! Even before that, Sutton should’ve taken the lead as there was a shot and a scramble that set out Sutton’s intent to take this game by the balls early doors.

Middle aged women aerobics class just out of shot…

Walking my way round to the far end of the ground to join the hardy boys and Sutton are once again on point as this time it is a cross in from the left sees Tume knock the ball into the back of the net. 2-0! Anyone from the first team watching this? While I get done saying hello to the rest of the rabble behind the goal, Sutton continue to show some dominance. For me, it’s trying to work out who is who on the pitch. An exercise I fail miserably at. Mainly as I don’t watch the Academy.

There are still chances that fall Sutton’s way as they play with a belief not seen in a Sutton side in a while. The Old Man in the Horley goal had no time to discuss his preference for Tequila Rose as he is called into action to stop several shots and collect a few loose balls. He even manged to make some time to argue with the ref as on of his kids went down with cramp and the ref wanted to bring the trainer on despite the misgivings of the man in between the sticks.

Can’t beat a tea bar with a decent pun in the name…

There was a sprinkling of First team ethos as the defence decided to take a leaf out of the professionals book and switch off and looked stagnant as Horley cut through us like butter with a couple of chances that troubled Kerbey in goal. However it was a shot from outside of the box, remember them, that had Kerbey scramble towards his bottom left and see the ball ripple the back of the net with ten to go in the half.

Just before the whistle is blown for half time, Me & Mr X decide to grab a cuppa, and begin the walk round towards the tea bar. Shouts of those we leave behind “You’ll miss something!” had to be replied with “I’ll read it in the blog!”. It took a few moments before the realisation that “wait, you’re doing the blog!” is heard as we walk off. Mr X had already sampled the delights of a non-league burger shack that is the kitchens for the sports ground before kick off and are apparently bigger than anything round these parts. There is only two girls working the runs and we hope to be served in good time as Mr X remarks that they were not the quickest in the league.

Reasonable prices, if you actually fucking pay…

We join the queue, and it isn’t long before the order of two cheeseburgers & teas are ordered. I offer to pay and Mr X wires me some readies. It seems that he orders are coming thick and fast as there is a separate queue for those that have ordered. We join this and are still waiting as the players begin to emerge from the changing rooms. Eventually they arrive and to be fair were nicer than our own burgers and they use grated cheddar cheese instead of that plastic stuff. We walk off round to the other side of the ground. Mr X remarked, “Did you actually pay?”. I think to myself that they didn’t ask for anything. Oh well, you gotta love the Non-League!

Taking our space behind the goal, we amaze ourselves with recollections of yesteryear. Billy fuckin’ Medlock at South Park, that’s the one. The match out on the pitch is nothing to look at as both teams cancel each other out and it is more of a slog as Sutton are trying to walk the ball in the box. Several of the young lads are trying their best but it is clear that with Dacky sitting in the stand that their chances of making it in serious football are very slim. More likely to be pushing trollies at Safeway or playing for the first team I’m afraid.

He’s still using a Nokia, what do you expect?

I’m still reliving my happy days as I am allowed to smoke in the ground whilst watching a Sutton team wining. The game goes from one end to the other without any action and the only highlight is when out of nothing when Tume latches onto a spilled save from Tequila Rose in goal to put the game to bed. 3-1! Thank fuck for that. Think it’s casuals next round?

The final whistle is blown and its three claps for the Yoot and on our way home for the travelling faithful. There is not much to say except that it other than the goal that was conceded just before half-time, it was a comfortable performance. Shame there were not some first teamers that could’ve got the experience of seeing what it as like to win a match and build up some confidence though.

Still on course for number 16!

The trip home is of course quicker than the one down here and it’s twenty minutes later when I’m rushing into Tesco’s on the by pass to buy some emergency dummies. Not for me I should add. Then I’m home with the Duchess wanting to know what it was like to see Sutton win away. Been a while for me! Hopefully we can carry on with the confidence. The fans that is, first team are near dead of course.

Grimsby at home on Saturday and it’s another “six-pointer” that we’ve got to come out on top in whilst time and matches are running out. And if we do have any desire to stay in the league, we’ve got to start pulling our weight. As always, you can be assured that Gandermonium will be there to shout abuse at the ref and get behind the team. Let’s see if we can actually score more goals than we can concede. Novel concept that it is.


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