Yes, I know the title of this post is obvious, but let's rejoice, that wasn’t too bad a start, was it?
Despite some supporters’ optimistic pre-match predictions, Sutton’s season opener at Concord was always going to be tricky. At least a 0-0 draw presented us with our first point, which thankfully, was soon followed by a thoroughly deserved 2-0 home success against Horsham.
We’ve certainly got off to a tidy start, with two clean sheets and two goals – one from Craig Dundas and one for Richard Jolly ‑ and most importantly four points from a possible six.
The home game against Horsham was played in front of a decent sized crowd of 503, and although I wasn’t there, by all accounts the vocal support was very good. In my opinion, that’s something which sadly lacks at Gander Green Lane, and it’s important that the fans work hard at creating what atmosphere we can from what is, after all, an old converted athletics stadium. I use the term stadium loosely.
Perhaps the much talked about dugouts may have played their part in the volume being cranked up a notch, with many of those unfortunate supporters who have had to move from their usual spot right in front of the main stand opting to use the covered terrace near Collingwood Rec.
Anyway, whatever the reason, well done to all those who did their bit last Tuesday, it must have helped the players. Paul Doswell has worked hard at engineering exciting possibilities for our club, both on and off the pitch. He’s undoubtedly got an infectious personality and knows what he wants. He’s built up an excellent squad with players who not only want to play for him, but for our club as well, so it’s encouraging to hear that the supporters are really getting behind the boys.
We were lucky to get our Tuesday night clash with the Hornets on, considering all the bad weather of late. I think had it been played a day later then there would have been no chance. Although we managed to beat Horsham, and the weather, one of the beneficieries of the downpours were Carshalton who gained a reprieve when their game at Cray Wanderers was abandoned after 54 minutes with the Robins trailing 2-0.
It’s been good to hear of this new initiative which has been set-up, National Non-League Football Day, which takes place on September 4. It will be interesting to see what effect this has on attendances at non-league clubs across the country. Thankfully, we are at home to Billericay Town that day, so we’ll wait and see if fans of the big boys come and watch us.
I’m guessing there are a lot of unhappy supporters of Premiership and Championship clubs who want to get back to basics and enjoy football once again. Certainly, in the conversations I’ve had with friends and colleagues who follow teams such as Chelsea and Arsenal, they feel they’re losing touch with their clubs, so this might be an important chance for the likes of Sutton United to gain a few new supporters, you never know. If you want to know more then, try this for size - http://www.nonleagueday.co.uk/
The Bank Holiday weekend fixtures offer a chance for us to build some momentum. Folkestone Invicta visit Gander Green Lane tomorrow and we, in turn, make the short trip to Tooting and Mitcham on Monday. The Terrors find themselves up there with Hastings United at the top of the table having just defeated Cray tonight. Both of these matches are winnable and, perhaps this is something of an optimistic thought (whatever next?), but wouldn’t it be nice if it rained goals for Mr Jolly and co this weekend...