Working on a Semi

Yes, it’s April. And yes, we’re bloody still in the cup. And I know that’s rarer than seeing Angela Rayner pay her taxes or seeing me on an away day these days but it’s all true. We’re somehow hanging on in Surrey’s top pot. The Senior one no less. So while our League 2 campaign is still hanging on by a thread, it’s time to turn our focus briefly to somewhere else.

Corinthian Casuals are our opponents in the Quarter-finals of this once illustrious, but now ridiculed by the new age supporter, competition. They’ve had a tough as a season as we’ve had. Not only were they relegated from the Ryman Prem the year before, but it looks like they’re double dipping straight into the Combined Counties. Things have somewhat changed since Bracken was in charge. Although, judging by some of the games we’ve played this season ourselves. We could very well double dip as well. Ryman Prem in three years anyone?

Not even top billing! How the mighty SSC has fallen…

There is no doubt things have changed down the club and always some will see the positives and others the negative. Life is always moving and it’s down to what you want to get out of it. Me? I just want to shout abuse from The Shoebox, have the choice to smoke and see a SSC trophy once in while! It’s the Easter holidays for me, so there is no rush to get ready for the match. Obviously I’m knee deep in shitty nappies these days – like father, like daughter – instead of trying neck a few jars pre-match. But I manage to negotiate a better deal than a News of the World phone hacker and leave my daughters to play with their new alopecia Barbie doll.

The streets are rather barren as I make my way to the ground. The first fans I see are a couple of Casuals supporters as they are making their way displaying the distinct colours in their hats & scarves. I don’t even need to use the Executive Gandermonium Parking Space as there is plenty of options local and find a suitable place to dump the old girl for the duration. My motor that is, not the missus.

There is a queue to get into the ground and I’m treated for the rare opportunity to pay at the gate. £5 for the privilege of being let in without a match ticket. It’s just like the old days! There are a few supporters milling around and I clock Dr Bell. He summarily hand over to me some money that I didn’t ask for nor demand. Of course being us it’s a £40 note, yes, you read correctly, a genuine £40 note. Isle of Man issue 1977 but still, money is money. Might have to use it in the club shop. Rax & Frakey are also in attendance as we discuss our chances and the line-up. We are also interrupted when another known face asks: “Looking forward to a semi tonight?”. Well, you can read that two ways I reckon…

Cup fever in SM1

The team news is that there is going some first-teamers that need the match time in the line up tonight. “first-teamers” is a stretch I reckon as they are on the fringes of the team and would need to impress to be considered, one noticeable absent name is the legend that is Dundas. Can’t think when he last featured in the team and I would hate for what could once again be his last season playing go out this way. At least give him a run out for fuck sake!

There was a shit attempt to needlessly close off half the ground for this one but for a rare opportunity we had the option of switching ends as the Curve was out of bounds tonight. Shooting towards the Rec End, we took up our spots behind the goal in what these days is the away end at the Lane to see what would unfold tonight. But there was at one eye on the games that were kicking off later as all the teams around us in the league were playing as well to use up some of their games in hand.

Kerbey, Williams, Reeves, Clay, Khinda, Ogudenga, Eccleston, Patrick, Duke-McKenna, Moore, Tume. Bench Warmers: Jones, Urpens, Edwards, Trickett, Moore.

Sutton started the match with some purpose as it seemed to us that the first-teamers had something to prove. With Moore & Patrick attacking the wings, it was clear that there was a gulf in the quality. Both of them were able to get down the wings and put in some quality crosses. Something that has been rare to see this season. With Duke-McKenna spreading the play from the middle, it seemed only a matter of time before the goals came calling. Patrick was the first to have a real go as he took the ball down the left wing to only cut in and leather off a 30 yard screamer that smashed off the post leaving LeBlond who wasn’t even blonde, stranded in the Casuals in goal. Moore would also see a shot that was scrambled off the line as the front line caused no end of trouble for this young – minus the fridge-like number 9 up top – Casual side to deal with.

“Whaddya mean you can’t break a 40?”

Sutton finally go the break as a short Omari/Dukey one two corner actually worked and the ball was met by the head of Moore in the middle. 1-0! Wow! This is definitely different from the usual. For the next five minutes things still went Sutton’s way as they chased the second. Then Sutton committed the origami of Hari Kari as a weak headed clearance is over hit back for a cluster fuck of non-communication between Kerbey and academy boy Bernie Eccleston. He headed the ball past him without any danger from a Casuals player. All that hard work down the drain as the scores are now level. It’s like a League 2 game all of a sudden!

But unlike the first team, this side continue to go for the throat and play the ball around with some confidence and panache. Moore would once again bag his second goal for the club as he took Omari’s pass through and turn-in and create some space before pinning the ball left-footed past LeBlond. 2-1! In true Sutton fashion, Casuals were next up to try their luck as lax defending had Kerbey be called to stop a one on one and then Bernie Eccleston had the chance to redeem himself as he prevented the following tap in chance but blocking it wide for a corner. Something are like the first team. Our bloody defending for one thing.

There of course was still time for Moore to get his hat-trick or shall we say ‘perfect hat-trick’ as this time it was on his right-foot had him slotting the ball passed LeBlond. 3-1! Now of course that got us thinking when this last happened in the SSC, and an argument ensure about was Billy Medlock later than Kyle Vassell’s hat-trick. Turns out Billy Medlock’s four against South Park, Ollie Stich four assists, was in 2014, Kyle Vassell’s four goals against Godalming Town was a couple of years before fact fans.

Packing them in…

Half-time had us having a butchers seeing what the away features are like these days. A few fag butts and much cleaner toilets, plus a nice little astro turf drinking area is the answer it seems. Fuckin’ lucky old League 2! We also got to see Gateshead’s attempt to get their match on against Aldershot, called off 20 minutes before kick-off, by trying to use the sand out of the long jump pit at the International but almost tipping over a digger in the process. The things you try to get a game on these days.

We walk around to the Securicor terrace to take our spots with some of the other supporters for the second half. Some who remain nameless as we don’t want to enrage Haydon Bird about something someone said. You had to be there I’m afraid. The team are then out and we see that there are no changes. We think that the first-teamers won’t get the full 90 minutes. So expect changes soon. If the first half was like Ronnie Barker, then the second half was definitely the Ronnie Corbett. A complete Jekyll and Hyde performance. Fuck knows what was said in the changing rooms at half-time but it didn’t work. Unless it was to completely do the opposite of what we were doing in the first. Because that was what it was. I know the man in charge, Ross White I think, may have a hand in this team and is also involved with Our Lord Dos at Sholing Town, a tough season for them to this year, must’ve been under some sort of direction from somewhere.

From the moment the ref blew the whistle, the Sutton players seemed to be like ghosts to each other. Like Virgins at a Orgy, they did not know what to do with the ball or who to pass to. We had at least six of the first-team on the pitch and no one covered themselves in glory over the full 90 minutes. Where as in the first I would say that Moore/Dukey/Omari played like they were after contracts, it was a complete 180 in the second 45. Things got a bit worrying as just over the hour mark, Casuals were given a break as our defensive frailties were on display as no one could read a football and watched as a free kick was played down our left, sound familiar?, and crossed in for a sub to slot it home. Casuals then continued the pressure and nearly got their equaliser but for a good save by Kerbey.

League 2 away end luxuries!

Going forward, Sutton offered very little as Omari & Moore failed to beat their opponents and when they rarely did, it was some wayward passing that let us down. Surprisingly the only sub from Sutton was between two academy lads and a second would’ve happened were it not for the final whistle. There were some positives to take out of the match. The first half saw Sutton attack with some gusto and try to create chances and punish mistakes. Defensively we have more issues than we need and with the injuries we have will probably be our downfall. But if we can attack like that every match, we will always have a chance.

So Sutton are in the semis of the Surrey Senior Cup. The draw has already been made and we will face either AFC Croydon Athletic – some fella called Stormzy is involved there – who won 5-1 tonight in their hunt for a play-off spot in the Combined Counties Prem. Or Farnham Town, 5-0 winners tonight as they’ve wrapped up the CCL already. Undefeated in the league this season and have only lost to Chesham & Rayners Lane in cup competitions! Might need some more first teamers in for that one.

A welcomed distraction from the league, but we’re back on the road this as we head up to Yorkshire and Harrogate away. They won tonight as well – unlike Forest Green, Colchester & Grimsby who all lost – So are still in the hunt for a play-off spot. Results depending, we need to equal or better everyone else this weekend, preferably the latter. This is the crunch period, some things are out of our hands. Still, there is the Semi-finals to look forward to. Break out the Dundo!

No Entry. Stop. Denied. Verboten. Fuck off.


Att. 235

One thought on “Working on a Semi

  1. Great read. I’m a relatively new Sutton supporters, been going for 4 years. I’m originally from the North West and a lifelong fan of a very big club there.
    My only beef with your great story is the Angela Rayner reference when you could have used a thousand incidents of tory corruption.
    Anyway onwards and hopefully staying up wards.

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