Sunday, 31 October 2010

Sutton United blog: Bradley Woods-Garness, Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, Croydon Arena and Amber Rambler - the Twitter twit

Phew! Thank crikey for that. I need not have worried that I had jinxed Sutton United's FA Trophy ambitions by blogging about Halloween horrors from seasons past. Step up, the loveable BWG, Bradley Woods-Garness.

With a name like that you'd expect to see him quaffing champagne at All Bar One in Sutton with the likes of Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen, Rachael Hayhoe Flint...you know, her of England womens' cricket fame, and Forbes Phillipson-Masters, the former Yeovil Town defender.

But no, our double-barrelled hot-shot would rather be grafting with the rest of the boys in amber and brown and in the process netting the winner against Evesham United.

By all accounts the performance at St Geroge's Lane today wasn't one to remember but, a win is a win, and we got a clean sheet too. So now we can look forward to going into the hat for the Third Qualifying Round where we could meet Blue Square South opposition. Woohoo. Yes, we could have a mouth-watering clash with Thurrock to look forward to.

I don't know about you but after today's little diversion I am keen to see the Us get back to Ryman Premier League (RPL) action. So, it's just as well we're playing the much-troubled Croydon Athletic this coming week.

When I was a lad, a trip to Croydon for a football match usually meant watching the Us take on Croydon FC at one of the most soul destroying venues I have ever been to, Croydon Arena. Forget scarves, hats and replica shirts, the first thing I used to bung in the car for a trip to that place was a pair of binoculars. You were miles away from the action. The last time I heard, there were plans for a major housing development on the acres of land which seperate the main stand from the pitch.

Anyhow, time has marched on and, while Croydon FC have sinced dropped in to some kind of football abyss, Croydon Athletic have risen to the dizzy heights of the RPL. They are scrapping for their lives at the moment and Wednesday's match will be a tough one. The boys need to keep rolling up their sleeves to grind out the points. I'll accept a 1-0 win with a Nani-esque goal like the one he scored today against Spurs... afterall, that'll be three points in the bag thank you very much.

Amber Rambler on Twitter - click here!
Ok, I've done something which I never thought I would do...join Twitter. I am no techno-bod and therefore I have no idea what I am doing. For instance, I have just worked out what RT means. I guess the biggest mistake I made so far was to follow AFC Wimbledon before my beloved Sutton United. Well, I shan't be making that mistake again, you never know who is watching you.

Your views and comments are most welcome. Leave a comment so that others can see it or email me. My scribble about Croydon FC has got me thinking. What are the worst grounds you have seen the Us play at?

Anyway, I am off to sunnier climbs this week for a much-needed break but will try to post some nonsense or other.

Adios amigos

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Evesham United, Hednesford 9 Weymouth 0, Delia Smith and Amber Rambler on Twitter

Well, here it is. Game day. Yes, I know it's still the wee small hours but the day of reckoning has arrived.

Have I tempted fate with my post about Sutton United Halloween horrors, or will the boys in amber and brown exorcise the demons of bygone years with a victory at Evesham United in the FA Trophy Second Qualifying Round? Lets hope it's the latter.

I don't really know much about Evesham, I must admit, apart from the fact they share Worcester City's ground. But, I do know from bitter experience that St George's Lane holds some disturbing memories for the Us... however, there is a shaft of light for us optimistic souls to cling to.

The last time we played there was against Worcester City, and yes, we may have conceeded a last minute equaliser...but this is Evesham. Nice, friendly Evesham. Surely they couldn't do the dirty on us, could they?

They lost 1-0 at Banbury in their last outing...but, hold on....what's this? An amazing result from last weekend which seemed to escape my notice... Hednesford 9 Weymouth 0. Crikey. If it's anything like that time the Terras lost 9-0 at home to Rushden and Diamonds then I reckon they must have put out their under 11s. Want to know what in the blue blazes I'm on about? Click here.

Anyhow, while I'm writing this, many a Sutton fan will be catching some shut-eye before waking up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and heading off in good time to Worcester for the big match. A thread on the fans' forum entitled Beer in Worcester certainly caught my eye. Beer and football has to be a winning combination.

A trip to Worcester represents a great opportunity to sample some proper pubs and lubricate those vocal cords in time for the big game. All the talk on this particular thread may be about a Wetherspoons pub called the Postal Order, but if it's anything like my trip to the Moon on the Hill in Sutton earlier in the week then that boozer will be chavtastic.Wetherspoons has its place, I'll admit, especially if it's so close to the railway station.

This leads me on to something I was thinking about the other day. So, what if the boot was on the other foot, and let's say you are an Evesham fan coming to Sutton for the first time. Where would you go for a pre-match beer?

- The Old Bank. Close to Sutton station, just like the Postal Order might be in Worcester, except not a Wetherspoons pub, thankfully.
- The Sydney Arms. Close to our beloved Gander Green Lane home, but never really a favourite with Sutton fans over the years.
- The Plough. Seems to have gone downhill over time, but a stone's throw from West Sutton station
- The Club Bar. If you ask me, seems to be the sensible choice at the moment.

I've picked the above four pubs because of their proximity to transport and the ground.
However, you lot are well versed in such matters, so, in true Delia Smith style...where are you? Let's be 'avin you! What I'm really trying to say is, where do you guys think the best/worst place is to go for pre or post-match drinks?

Amber Rambler on Twitter!
Anyway, before I go to the Land of Nod, I should point you in the direction of the Amber Rambler Twitter page. Yep, I've got no idea how Twitter works, but I'm giving it a go. So, please drop by here.

Night, night.

Thursday, 28 October 2010

Sutton United blog: Sutton United Halloween Nightmares, Kingstonian, Wycombe Wanderers and the Boom Boom Club

With Halloween rapidly approaching I thought I'd raid my memory banks to recall some of Sutton United horror shows. Hopefully this post wont be a bad Omen for this weekend's clash with Evesham.

Of course everyone has their own best and worst moments of following their team whether it's Manchester United, Crystal Palace, AFC Wimbledon or Paul Doswell's amber and brown army. I haven't prepared for this in the slightest, but these are just a selection of matches that spring to mind. They're in no particular order, apart from the first one, perhaps.

Kingstonian 6 Sutton United 0 This was the FA Trophy semi-final second leg in 2000, it was nicely set up at 1-1 after the first match and Us supporters across the land had high hopes of a Wembley return. However, we submitted without so much as a whimper. I followed this match from the comfort of my living via BBC Teletext as, thankfully, I couldn't make the game. It could've been worse, I might have followed the game on Clubcall.

Sutton United 0 Wycombe Wanderers 4 Another FA Trophy semi-final second leg (1994), another submission without a whimper. Having won the first leg at Adams Park 3-2 Us' supporters across the land had high hopes of a Wembley return...you get the picture...

Runcorn 5 Sutton United 1 This classic away day to forget was from 1990, I think. Canal Street was not a happy hunting ground for Sutton. If only I had remembered this when my so-called pals talked me into driving up to Merseyside that day. Can't remember much about it, although I think we celebrated Paul McKinnon's late penalty with a sarcastic showing of jubilation. I remember having a swift pint in a pub called The Masonic before the long drive back south...we got in at midnight or thereabouts. Shame the Linnets went by the wayside, they were a decent old lot.

Yeading 4 Sutton United 1 We got absolutely spanked by the then London Spartan League side in an FA Cup Second Qualifying Round tie. It was truly awful, especially as Sutton were taking their first tentative steps into the big bad world of the GM Vauxhall Conference at the time. The mere mention of Yeading's name sent Sutton fans running for the hills in the years that followed.

Bishop Auckland 2 Sutton United 1 Crikey, this was a bad one. It was an FA Trophy replay, I think in the Second Round. We were riding on a crest of a wave having done the dirty on Coventry and, despite drawing with Bishop Auckland in the first match at Gander Green Lane, thanks to a late Paul McKinnon strike, we had high hopes of making it through to the next round. The thing is about having high hopes is that they exist just so that you can feel thoroughly hacked off when they don't come to fruition. I seem to recall a cracking atmosphere with 1,700 attending the replay. Anway, the upshot of it all was that we lost, it was a flippin' long coach journey back to Sutton which ended when I shut the door behind me roughly around 4.30am.

Anway, that's enough misery for the time being. If you want to contact me email amberramblerblog@gmail.com

Crikey, do you notice that just from that selection of matches four of the five are from FA competitions...what do we have coming up on Saturday? Come on boys, let's have a result this time, please.

With Sutton United taking to the road to play Evesham United in the FA Trophy this weekend, the biggest event happening at Gander Green Lane is of the musical variety.  There's a Halloween tribute in memory of George McFall, one of the co-founders of the Boom Boom Club. The big gig takes place this Sunday.

To check out the action from Sutton's last home match with Tonbridge Angels then click here.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Sutton United Blog: AFC Wimbledon, Paul Fishenden, Alan Cork, Efan Ekoku and Sutton United v Tonbridge Angels

Click here to visit the new Amber Rambler blog


I've just been perusing the BBC Football website, especially the Blue Square Premier league table of which top place is currently occupied by Wimbledon.

I'm really pleased for our near neighbours and have my fingers crossed that they might go all the way and retake their rightful place back in the Football League.

What a story their's is. To have climbed all the way out of non-league football to the top flight, to win the FA Cup along the way and then to have their club ripped from the fans' grasp is truly amazing. It says a lot about the Dons that they're fighting back in style.

Every now and again I will have a chat with pals down the pub about which team we'd support should our own go to the dreaded wall. It's a tricky subject, especially as so many club have gone by the wayside in recent years. But, should that terrible fate befall my beloved Sutton United then I would have no hesitation about following Wimbledon.

I remember being taken by my dad to Plough Lane for the first time in 1982. We saw some great games there, with the Dons embarking on their dramatic rise up the divisions. I seem to recall title tussles with Walsall and Oxford with the latter about to enjoy a golden spell in their history.

I really enjoyed watching Wimbledon back then with the likes of Alan Cork, Wally Downes, Steve Galliers, John Leslie (footballer), Glyn Hodges and Paul Fishenden wreaking havoc on the defences of Division Three and Four as they were back then.


Venue of legends: Plough Lane, the home of Wimbledon FC. A proper football ground. Mind you, I wouldn't want to watch the match through those fences.

There are Sutton United links, of course. We played them at Gander Green Lane to kick-start their new era in 2002. We also played Wimbledon at Wembley in the 1963 FA Amateur Cup Final. The Dons won 4-2 with Eddie Reynolds famously scoring all four of his side's goals that day with his head. But if you look to more recent times then you discover that the likes of Aiden Newhouse, Peter Fear, Ian Hazel, Jamie Mackie and, of course, Efan Ekoku, played for both side. Efan Ekoku, what a player he was...

The last time I saw the old Wimbledon club play was in the FA Cup against Selhurst Park against Manchester United when Eric Cantona trapped the ball on his thigh before volleying it over Hans Seegers and into the net. I went to see the new Dons play a couple of early home games in the Combined Counties League back in 2002 and really felt that they were getting back to the club it once was after the Norwegian debacle which blighted their Selhurst Park days.

Any rate, good luck to them. What happened to them was criminal. One can only assume a few bungs took place for that dreadful decision to be made back in 2002.

Email me: amberramblerblog@gmail.com

So, on to last night's action. A 2-2 draw with Tonbridge Angels left me feeling a bit miffed, if I am honest. I should be happy enough I suppose as it's a point against a rapidly improving side. I followed the match on Twitter and the NonLeague24 Vidiprinter and was gutted when news of their late penalty popped up. Bugger. Richard Jolly and Karl Murray got on Sutton's scoresheet.

Since our excellent display at Kingstonian we certainly seem to have gone off the boil, with some of our performances not living up to the talent you'd expect from the names on the teamsheet.

Still, one of the big positives from the night was the crowd of 561. Gander Green Lane can be a bleak place at times, especially on a cold and wet night in late October, so we can't complain at support like that. We just need the guys to deliver the goods on the pitch to encourage those off it to keep turning up.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Sutton United Hall of Fame: Super Charlie Vaughan and Mickey Stephens - Sutton United's Glenn Hoddle, without the Diamond Lights

Here are the last two entrants for my own Sutton United FC Hall of Fame:

Charlie Vaughan
Having represented Sutton in the 1940s, Vaughan moved on to Charlton Athletic where he scored 91 goals in 227 appearances, which is great going in anyone's book. I bet he would have fancied having a go at the Feyenoord defence yesterday. Crikey, he'd have heaped even further woe on the poor Dutch giants. It was while he was at The Valley that Vaughan represented the England B side in a match against the Netherlands. In the England side that day was future England senior side manager, Ron Greenwood. Vaughan went on to score 14 goals in 26 goals for Portsmouth. I seem to remember reading about him when I was a kid and realising then that this guy is a Sutton United legend. Charlie, you're in.

Mickey 'Able' Stephens
As his nickname suggests, Stephens was a great player for Sutton United in the 1980s. He was a creative midfielder, something which many modern day sides seem to lack. Stephens was instrumental in bringing about the downfall of Coventry City in 1989, check it out for yourselves on YouTube. His delivery of a corner to the near post which was flicked on by Nigel Golley for Tony Rains to head home our first goal, was superb and demonstrated what an intelligent footballer he was. He was a favourite player of mine from that wonderful era when Barrie Williams was at the Gander Green Lane helm. As I have eluded to in the title of this post, if you want to know what type of player Able was, then just recall the abilities of Glenn Hoddle.  Stephens was Sutton's version of Hoddle, without having to appear with Chris Waddle and his mullet on Top of the Pops. I seem to remember a Tottenham Hotspur team, which I think, included Kevin Keegan for some reason, play down at Gander Green Lane for Able's friendly.

Email me: amberramblerblog@gmail.com

So, that's it. Amber Rambler's Sutton United FC Hall of Fame, in no particular order, is as follows:

Mickey Joyce
Barrie Williams
John Rains
Charlie Vaughan
Paul McKinnon
Dave Hermitage
Larry Pritchard
Sid Cann
Mickey Stephens
Tony Rains


All these guys are Sutton United, through and through. This is just my own ideas for a Sutton United Hall of Fame. No doubt other folk will have their own ideas and I have based my choices on those who have represented the club on the field of play. Anyway, fingers crossed the current crop of Sutton boys have got their shooting boots on for tomorrow nights clash with Tonbridge Angels. Over to you chaps...

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Strange, but true: PSV Eindhoven 10 Feyenoord 0

Bournemouth Poppies' 6-0 win at Alton Town was impressive enough and Stranraer's 9-0 Scottish Cup demolition of St Cuthberts was a great result in anyone's book.

But imagine if Sutton got thumped, thrashed and thwacked by, let's say Carshalton, by a score of 10-0, now that would be bloody awful.

Well, thankfully I'm talking hypothetically. However, you've got to feel sorry a tad for the fans of Dutch giants Feyenoord who were spanked out of sight 10-0 by fierce rivals PSV Eindhoven in the Eredivisie this weekend. It was only two-nil at half-time, too.

Nice place: Rotterdam is not only famous for having these cube houses, but also for having a team which lost 10-0 to it's bitter rivals.

Jonathan Reis led the way with a hat-trick, and he was joined on the scoresheet by Jeremain Lens, Balazs Dzsudzsak, Ibrahim Afellay, Ola Toivonen and Orlando Engelaar. Crikey, that really was a bad day at the office.

Richard Jolly, Bradley Wood-Garness, Craig Dundas, Andy Forbes and Fola Orilinoshe, please take note and start finding the net...

Sutton United's FA Cup campaign - What A Load of Cobblers

After Sutton United crashed out of the FA Cup in atrocious fashion at the hands of Alton Town, the Road to Wembley would have taken you to Cinderford and Maidenhead before currently stopping off at Forest Green Rovers.

The Blue Square Premier side have landed a decent home draw at home to Northampton Town, otherwise known as the Cobblers. The tie will be played on November 6/7.

There are some intrugiuing matches in the First Round of the Cup. Wimbledon (we can do without the AFC, thank you) are at home to Ebbsfleet United, which offers them a great chance to make it through to the next round. FC United have got a local derby with League Two side Rochdale. If Dover Athletic overcome Farnborough Town, then they'll earn a trip to Kent neighbours Gillingham.

How can we forget our pals from down the road, Carshalton, who were apparently hard done by on Saturday against Chelmsford City. They will play Hendon or Met Police if they win their replay. There's no reason why the Robins can't make it through to the Second Round.

Southport have landed one of the ties they all wanted, at home to Sheffield Wednesday. That's as good as making it to the Third Round in old money.

However, Sutton needn't worry themselves with all that. We will be renewing hostilities with Maidstone United... bugger, bugger, bugger.

Email me: amberramblerblog@gmail.com

Oh, before I go, I mentioned former boss John Rains the other day. Well, I found this link in which he sings the praises of former Sutton United striker Jamie Mackie who has been drafted up by Scotland. It seems very strange to think of Mackie pulling on the amber and brown of our club while he's banging in the goals for Queens Park Rangers. Anyway, enjoy this.

Sutton United v Cray Wanderers, Simon De'Ath, Ross Lover and Bournemouth Poppies

Aside from Sutton United's 1-1 draw with Cray Wanderers, another result caught my eye yesterday.

No, it wasn't Newcastle's away success at West Ham or Stranraer's 9-0 thumping of St Cuthbert's in the Scottish Cup. It came in the Sydenhams Wessex League and involved a team whose name sends a shudder down the spine of Sutton United supporters across the land. Yes, our old pals at Alton Town got hammered at home 6-0 by that powerhouse of world football, Bournemouth Poppies.

Crikey, we must have had an off day when we played Alton in the Cup. As if taking a hammering yesterday wasn't bad enough for them, their next game is against Romsey Town on Tuesday who have Death leading their attack. Well, actually it's Simon De'Ath. His name alone should strike fear into Alton's defence.


Look out Alton: No, it's not Death from Swedish director Ingmar Bergman's classic film The Seventh Seal (1957), it's much worse than that, it's Romsey Town stirker Simon De'Ath.

So, on to yesterday's offering from Paul Doswell's troops. Although we are third in the table, I am starting to get a little worried. I have not been wholly convinced by our performances so far this season.

Apparently the performance at Gander Green Lane yesterday was uninspiring with the ball spending a lot of time in the air, much to the obvious frustrations of striker Richard Jolly.

I like Mr Jolly Esquire. Given the right service he would have surely scored more goals so far this season. There's no doubting his work rate. He was getting in the right positions when I last saw the Us at Kingstonian, but his team-mates chose either to shoot or make the wrong pass.

Check out his Twitter comments: http://twitter.com/MrJollyEsquire

Karl Murray made amends for conceeding a fifth minute penalty - which was netted by Cray's Ross Lover - by scoring Sutton's first-half leveller.

Another concern of mine is that every time I read a Sutton match report in the Non-League Paper it seems the man-of-the-match is Kevin Scriven. Apparently he was in top form again yesterday and prevented us from slipping to a sloppy defeat. We need to buck our ideas up against Tonbridge Angels on  Tuesday. I really don't want us to have to battle through the play-offs again this season.

Email me: amberrambler@gmail.com That's enough for now.

Friday, 22 October 2010

FC København, Razak Pimpong, Paul McKinnon in Sweden and Jason Donovan

FC Barcelona 2 FC Copenhagen 0 is not normally a result you would associate with Sutton United FC and nor should you associate it with them on this occasion.
I am allowing myself to digress from events at Gander Green Lane as I take myself on a trip down memory lane today, although I will get onto to matters regarding Paul Doswell’s boys later.
FC Copenhagen, or as I should say to those of you from Denmark FC København, is one of those teams I look out for every once in a while. Ever since I made my first visit to that wonderful city in 2008 and visited their stadium, known as Parken, I tend to look out for their results, especially in European competition.
And so it was, as I glanced down the list of results from Wednesday night, that I noticed that Byens Hold – as sometimes Copenhagen are referred, had been undone by two goals from none other than Argentine hot-shot Lionel Messi.
Crikey, fancy rubbing shoulders with Lionel Messi, of all people. It’s a far cry from when I turned up, somewhat hungover, at Parken with a dear old pal of mine on a Saturday afternoon a couple of years ago. The visitors for a bread and butter game in the SAS Ligaen were Viborg FF who were followed by a very small band of travelling supporters. Copenhagen were overwhelming favourites that day and triumphed 3-1 in front of 17,000.

Three and easy: Wonderful, wonderful, FC Copenhagen make it 3-1 in the last minute against Viborg FF in 2008

While doing a small bit of research for this post, I notice that the current Viborg FF squad includes the wonderfully named Razak Pimpong.
I took the opportunity while in Copenhagen to get the train across the Oresund Bridge to sample the delights of Malmo, Paul McKinnon’s old stomping ground. Macca played for Himmelsblått – Sky Blues – in the early 1980s before spells with Trelleborgs FF, Tegs SK and Orebro SK.
 A quick search on Google tells me that McKinnon netted seven goals in 17 games for Malmo and played in the European Cup Winners Cup. My search also points me in the direction of this article which shows a picture of McKinnon in action for Tegs. Crikey, it looks flippin’ cold. Click here
It seems Macca had a debut to remember for the Swedish side and went on to score 16 goals in 18 matches. That guy was lethal.
If you're interested in knowing more about football in the Nordic region then check this site out Nordic Football
Anyway, sadly I must leave Scandinavia behind for now and briefly concentrate on Ryman Premier League (RPL) matters. Before I move on, if you want to email me then give this a shot amberramblerblog@gmail.com
Cray Wanderers are the visitors to Gander Green Lane tomorrow as the Us return to league duty. Having suffered a defeat and then earned a draw from our last two RPL matches it’s important we get back to winning ways as soon as possible. It won’t be easy, the squad has been tinkered with since our game at Lowestoft with captain Jason Goodliffe leaving the club.
It’s a big week for Paul Doswell, who sees his side take on Tonbridge Angels and Evesham United as well as the league’s second top scorers, Cray.  My only concern is that, despite boasting Andy Forbes, Richard Jolly, Bradley Woods-Garness and Fola Orilinoshe in our attack, we have yet to really play to our full potential and hit the goal trail, good and proper.  Still, if we win 1-0 tomorrow, I shan’t complain.
Finally, before I go, I must mention this. I’ve noticed a few old has-beens from the world of music are partaking in a bit of straw clutching. While I have been jotting down these musings an advert has come on the television for a new album being released by Ali Campbell, the lead singer of UB40. The album consists of cover versions which include He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother, You Really Got Me and Hard Day’s Night.
I have noticed too, that Jason Donovan and Phil Collins have both brought out similar albums. Donovan gives us his woeful take on 80s classic such as Don’t Leave Me This Way and Only You, while Collins offers us rehashed versions of Jimmy Mack and Pappa Was A Rolling Stone.
Crikey, I’d rather watch a Carshalton Athletic youth team match on a cold Tuesday night in January rather than listen to a second of any of that nonsense.
What is it with these washed-up performers who feel the need to unleash this drivel? Just like former Sutton striker Ollie Morah, they are yesterday’s men.  Mind you, the Great British Public are a strange old bunch. If they’ll sit and watch endless screenings of X Factor every weekend, then they’re bound to buy into this...it’s sad, but true.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Sutton United Hall of Fame - John Rains and Tony Rains

The big news at Gander Green Lane over the last few days up has to be the draw for the next round of the cup. Sadly for Sutton fans the FA Cup is a distant memory, so the fact we've been paired with Molesey in the Surrey Senior Cup bearly registers on most of our radars. I stopped caring about that tin-pot thing many years ago.

Oh, and we've been drawn away to Evesham United in the next round of the FA Trophy. Most beer-swilling Sutton fans will be licking their lips at the prospect of this trip to Worcester which, I have on good authoirty, has some pretty decent boozers.

Anyway, just a quick post today. As my dear old dad would say: 'I can't hang around, I've got a lot to do'. So, on to my next two entries to my own little Sutton United Hall of Fame...

John and Tony Rains

The Rains brothers are integral to Sutton's succes is the 1980s and 90s. I haven't got time to check the facts, but I think these guys played something like 1,400 matches for the Us. Not content with that, they took Sutton to the Isthmian League title back in 1999/2000.

John had the honour of leading Sutton out at Wembley back in 1981, while Tony famously scored the first goal on that never-to-be-forgotten day when Coventry were knocked out of the FA Cup. They were part of the golden era under Barrie Williams which saw Sutton win the Isthmian League title a couple of times in the mid-80s before the club took the plunge and joined the GM Vauxhall Conference.

Aside from Tony's goal, I will always remember John scoring a last minute equaliser in the FA Trophy at Scarborough and celebrated right in front the small band of travelling Sutton supporters. These days Tony can quite often be seen in his taxi, waiting outside Sutton Station. I've got no idea what John's up to now, anyone out there got a clue? There's no doubt about it, John and Tony Rains are Sutton United through and through.

Email me: amberramblerblog@gmail.com

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Catwoman, Bjorge Lillelien and Kennedy Adjei hits a cracker in the FA Trophy

Forget Batman, move aside Catwoman, stand back Postman Pat, Sutton United has three new superheroes of their own – step forward Andy Forbes, Sam Page and Kennedy Adjei.
Ok, so that introduction might be a little over the top – it could have been written by Norwegian football commentator Bjorge Lillelien , he of that famous bit of commentary following his country’s World Cup Qualifying win over England from 1981 - but who cares? At the third time of asking, the Us tasted success in a cup competition this season beating Tooting and Mitcham 3-1
News reached Amber Rambler that Forbes joined Sutton on Friday. Fast forward 24 hours and ZONK!, he’s found the back of the net for the Us on his debut.
Following Rob Haworth’s leveller for Tooting...KAPOW! Sam Page put United ahead with five minutes left.
Then, in the last moments of the match, THWAAAP! Kennedy Adjei hits a cracker from 30 yards to seal Sutton’s passage through to the next round.
ZONK, KAPOW and THWAAAP? Crikey, I really must cut-out those Batman references.
The prospect of Forbes linking up with Richard Jolly, Bradley Wood-Garness and Fola Orilinoshe is mouth-watering. There’s no doubting we need to be more prolific in front of goal. But even those guys will have to go some to top the exploits of Matlock Town’s Ross Hannah who gave Mickey Joyce a good run for his money yesterday. Hannah hit SEVEN goals for Matlock as they swept aside Bedworth United 10-0 in the FA Trophy. As good as that may be, it is still two short of Joyce’s nine for Sutton against Leatherhead in 1982, as mentioned in one of my previous posts.
Anyway, Forbes arrival at Gander Green Lane is just Paul Doswell’s latest bit of tinkering. He will have to do more to the squad in the next week or so what with club captain Jason Goodliffe retiring after an injury-blighted spell with Sutton and Andre Costa’s departure. The revolving door at Sutton United is well and truly greased and ready for more action, so watch this space...
Email me: amberramblerblog@gmail.com

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Batman, Walton Casuals, not so smooth Jazz Gold and Sutton United v Tooting and Mitcham

With a script as bizarre as an episode of Batman, there was plenty of KAPOOOOW!, ZONK! and WHAP! at Waterside Stadium as Sutton United tasted cup defeat for the second time this season, on this occasion at the hands of Walton Casuals.

Crikey, Sutton haven’t been this naughty since Francis Awaritefe clocked Andy Pape against Enfield in the late eighties.

The Us had three players sent off on Monday night, not to mention the fact our goalie had to go off late in extra time, meaning we finished the game with seven, yes, SEVEN men. If you include Paul Doswell’s dismisal at Lowestoft last Saturday then the Us have had five men sent off in their last two matches. Ok lads, that’s enough red cards for now, lets try and be as prolific infront of goal for the next few matches.

Of course, the side put out by team manager for the night, Steve Griffin, was something of a second rate Us line-up. Andre Costa, Chris Beard and Jazz Gold were the offenders. Jazz Gold, now there's a name. It sounds more befitting to a quiet night in drinking whiskey, listening to a compliation CD or a night out at Ronnie Scott's, not an bruising football match.

However, judging by the reaction of the Sutton supporters who bravely attended the Monday night madness then the decision making from the referee left a lot to be desired.

Anyhow, we’re out of the Cup, and that’s what matters. I shan’t be sheading any tears of this one. I got my wish, that the Us are out of the Championshp Manager ZX Spectrum Commodore 64 Trophy for meerkats aged 11 and under, so now we can concentrate on the only other competition, aside from the league, still worth playing for this season, the FA Trophy.

I’ve been lucky enough to see Sutton play at Wembley but the memories of that day back in 1981 are vanishing fast.I live in hope I will one day see the boys in amber and brown march out at that famous old venue once again, however, for the time being at least I will be happy with a decent run in the competition. Afterall, we need it following our disasterous FA Cup foray this year.

On to other news and the short-lived reign of the King at Sutton is over. Yes, it appears that Elvis Hammond has left for pastures new. Woking, to be exact. The exchange deal with the Cards sees former Eastleigh hot-shot Andy Forbes come to Gander Green Lane.

Doswell has been a long-term admirer of Forbes since their days together at Eastleigh, so it should come as no surprise to Sutton fans that, for the next three months at least, Forbes will be hoping to bang in the goals in our colours.

Whoever turns out in Sutton United's colours tomorrow, we could do with a result. It'd be nice to have that Wembley dream for a few more rounds...

Feel free to email me: amberramblerblog@gmail.com

Monday, 11 October 2010

Amber Rambler's Sutton United Hall of Fame, continued...

Yes, I know, it's a bit late, but here are the next three entrants into my very own version of Sutton United's
Hall of Fame and I make no apologies for turning the clock back to include some key figure from the 1960s...

Larry Pritchard
A quick look at the club info page of http://www.suttonunited.net/ not only tells me that Larry Pritchard made a tremendous 781 appearances for the Us, but it also reminds me that Clubcall is still going. Seriously, does anyone still call Clubcall? What about a little thing called the Internet? - Surely that renders such an outdated mode of relaying information useless...well, perhaps I'm wrong. Anyhow, Pritchard made his appearances for United from 1965 to1984, and also played for Wycombe Wanderers and the England amateur side.  He also had a spell back at Sutton in a variety of coaching/management roles. I stumbled on this link in which he gets an honourable mention. It is obviously from a time when we used to make it beyond the First Qualifying Round of the FA Cup... http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/football--fa-cup-countdown-gane-seeks-upper-hand-with-purist-look-sutton-are-looking-for-another-league-scalp-rupert-metcalf-reports-1465106.html

Dave Hermitage
Crikey, this thread is turning into Link Central. As is the modern way of doing research, I typed Dave Hermitage into Google and came across this. http://www.mightyleeds.co.uk/matches/19700124.htm
Hermitage played not only a big part in Sutton United's progress on the pitch in th 1960s, but was thrust into
the media spotlight in the late 1980s when, under his chairmanship, the club went on those two fantastic FA Cup runs which culminated in victory over Coventry City. I can't believe it's taken me 19 posts before I've mentioned Sutton United 2 Coventry City 1. Ok, that's it. That's enough talk of Coventry losing to Sutton for the time being... yep, you shan't find me saying any more about Sutton causing one of the greatest FA Cup shocks of all time by beating Coventry City at Gander Green Lane in 1989...well, for the time being at least.

Sid Cann
Thankfully, Sid Cann has his own Wikipedia page. Check it out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sid_Cann It says it all really. In a nutshell, He played for Manchester City in the 1933 FA Cup Final, had various managerial roles before landing up at Sutton where we enjoyed a magical spell under his guidance which included visits to Wembley Stadium in 1963 and 1969 for FA Amateur Cup Finals. Sutton also made it to the FA Cup Fourth Round where Cann's boys took on the might of Leeds United who were managed by Don Revie. Oh, and Cann also led Sutton to the 1967 Isthmian League title.


Anyway, that's enough sepia-tinted memories for the moment. Back to 2010. While I've been writing this Paul Doswell's boys (or in tonight's case, Steve Griffin, he's in charge, apparently) have been slugging it out with Walton Casuals in the Championship Manager Cup.

I really do mean slugging it out, too. I dread those kind of matches. In my opinion League Cups across the land should be banned, they're a complete waste of time. I've just heard the match has gone to extra time and Walton have taken the lead.

I am mightily glad I'm at home, in the comfortable surrounds of my living room, rather than watching the match with 116 other folk with seemingly nothing better to do with their time I am all for supporting the team through thick and thin, but I game up on League Cups a long time ago and I think we could do with being knocked out of the competition as early as possible. Our priorities should be the league, the FA Cup and the FA Trophy...that's it.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

In pictures: Kingstonian v Sutton United as it happened

Ok, admittedly this is a rather paltry offering of piccies, but this is litterally what happend at on Monday night...we attacked for the best part of 90 minutes and didn't score. Ks attacked for the best part of one minute and did.

Big Ears looks on in amazement as the final whistle approaches at Kingsmeadow. Sutton United are beaten by their bogey side, Kingstonian.

The poor chap is knackered having just led the Sutton fans in a rendition of that old favourite song of the terraces 'U-NI-TED (clap, clap, clap), U-NI-TED (clap, clap, clap and repeat until hoarse)...'

Horsham YMCA 0 Leatherhead 11

Yes, I know...Amber Rambler is a Sutton United blog. However, in the interests of fairness I feel I must begin with Leatherhead’s result today, from Ryman League South.
It’s not every day you win 11-0 away from home, so, having mentioned Sutton’s 11-1 victory over the Tanners in 1982 just a few weeks ago, I feel duty bound to congratulate them on their fine victory at Horsham YMCA yesterday. And they had NINE different scorers too. I have a soft spot for Leatherhead, and hope they get promoted at the end of the season.
Ok, I’ve got that out of the way...so, now on to matters amber and brown...
Well, it make not have been a classic away day, but a 0-0 draw at league leaders Lowestoft Town represents a good result, especially as Craig Dundas was given a red card midway through the second half. Not only that, but Paul Doswell was sent to the stands too, just for good measure.
With both teams flying so high, it was always going to be a fiery encounter. But, there’s plenty of mileage left in this season’s campaign, so the Us should take heart from gaining a point.
I was envious of many of the Sutton United fans heading up to the big game who cracked open the beers as early as 9am. There’s no harm in lubricating those vocal chords for an important game like this at such an early hour. I only wished I could have joined them.
Instead, I was following the Twitter version of Sky Sports’ Super Saturday. Let’s face it, with Premiership and Championship matches being postponed due to international commitments, there was no bigger game in all of the United Kingdom than Lowestoft Town v Sutton United today. Ok, so Montrose against Stranraer would have pushed us pretty close, and despite the thrilling 3-3 draw from that game, it couldn’t dislodge our 0-0 from being the day’s talking point.
We must respect what the Suffolk side have achieved in the last few seasons. And there’s no doubting it, they’re riding on the crest of a wave at the moment. Good luck to them, I say. Lowestoft strike me as a good family club and I am sure they’re going to be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.
I get the feeling, judging from the obvious  love-in developing on both side’s forums, that the Sutton fans really enjoyed their good old fashion away day today and that Lowestoft were great hosts. The crowd of 1,265 was a season’s best so far, eclipsing our previous best crowd (against Margate) by 12.
Anyway, I know what you’re thinking: ‘where the hell are Amber Rambler’s latest entries into the Sutton United Hall of Fame’. Well, I’ll tell you this for nothing, it’s way past my bed time, but I will hit you with a Hall of Famer triple-whammy later on today...

Feel free to email me amberramblerblog@gmail.com

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Super Saturday - Lowestoft Town v Sutton United

I feel a bit better now. I’ve had a few days to let the result sink in and now I’m over it. I have taken heart from our fine display on Monday night and, in true Worzel Gummidge style, I have my optimistic head on today.
Come to think of it, I always seem to have my optimistic head on when the weekend comes around... and what a weekend we’ve got in store. It’s Lowestoft next for Sutton United. If Sky Sports were to cover the match they would bill it as Super Saturday - it doesn't get much bigger than this is the realms of Ryman League football.
I mentioned in previous posts about the allure of away days, and this Saturday offers up a chance for Sutton supporters to eat, drink and be merry on the coach or train up to Suffolk.
Oh yes, the memories come flooding back: Drinking cider on the way to Wycombe for the FA Trophy semi-final in 1994, six post-match pints in the Star and Garter in Stafford in 1990 and beer before and after the Aylesbury title clash in 1999. These are just a few of some great away days following the boys in amber and brown over the years. Don’t worry, the memory banks are jam-packed full of this kind of unimportant nonsense, so expect plenty more where they came from...
There’s no doubting that the Sutton supporters will be in fine voice come three o’clock on Saturday, I hope for those making the trip that this will rank up there in day out to remember.
Sadly, I can’t make the game so I will, once again, have to make do with following Sutton’s progress via the wonder that is Twitter.
Judging by Richard Jolly’s frequent outbursts of frustrations on Monday he will be keen to fire the Us back to the top of the league as much as anyone. He certainly found himself in some good positions at Kingsmeadow but it was just a shame his team-mates lacked the vision to find him.
My guess is that Elvis Hammond woke up this morning a little bit worse for wear having celebrated his 30th birthday yesterday. Both he and Bradley Woods-Garness – AKA the BWG - looked lively and should be more than a handful for Lowestoft on Saturday.
Thankfully, Kingstonian have got bugger-all to do with our next match, so we should have a much better chance of getting a result.

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

I'm A Sutton Fan...Get Me Out of Here

Well, I’m glad we’ve got that out of way. Despite dominating the big match, we sustained our first defeat of the season at Kingstonian on Monday night.
I should have seen this coming. Kingstonian. Flippin’ Kingstonian. Not only have they got a strange name but they seem to have the ability to beat us at will.
Just when I was finally getting over our 6-0 FA Trophy semi-final drubbing of ten years ago, the Ks go and beat us in three important matches in the last five months.
They dumped us out of the play-offs last season and knocked us off our perch this time around.  We have to face facts ‑ the Ks are officially our number one bogey side.
We played really well and looked for all the world like we are certain title material. But...and there’s a big but... we failed to convert one of our ten or so chances and paid the price when the Ks popped one in our net with three minutes left. I had a funny feeling that was going to happen.
Note to self: Avoid watching games with Kingstonian in the future. Stay in and watch television instead, even if it is X Factor, I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here or the BBC Parliament channel.
Thank crikey then for the news that club mascot, Jenny the Giraffe, finished fifth out of 41 in Sunday’s Mascot Grand National at Huntingon racecourse. Apparently the race was won by Barnet’s bee mascot, but there’s no doubting that Jenny did Sutton United proud with her debut performance.
 Visit Jenny on Twitter for post-race reaction. 

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Elvis is alive and well...and playing for Sutton United

Yes, it is true. Elvis was seen wearing the amber and brown of Sutton United yesterday as the boys brushed Margate aside to remain top of the league.

Paul Doswell’s revolving door continues to see players come and go at Gander Green Lane so fast that I have just about enough time to type their name before they’ve moved on and been replaced. It’s easy to see why Dos does it, with the squad already beset by injury doubts over certain key players it’s vital he keeps the momentum going, which is precisely what happened yesterday.
New recruits Darren Ebsworth and Elvis Hammond fitted nicely into the side to help us gain another victory, this time in front of a fantastic Community Fun Day (CFD) crowd of 1,253. That's an increase almost 800 fans on the last home game, when the Us played Harrow Borough.
I liked one of the comments on the Fans’ Forum which said that a third of those in attendance were either kicking a ball around themselves or playing tag. That may have been the case, but some of those youngsters who went along to Gander Green Lane yesterday afternoon just might have caught the bug for local football and, with any luck, will return again soon.
Those who were actually watching the action would have witnessed Hammond hitting the target on his debut to open the scoring. Although Margate equalised, Tom Davis netted the winner with eleven minutes left to send the kids and their folks back home with a smile on their faces, even if the rain had started to lash down.
There’s no doubt about it, this week is going to be a stern test of our Ryman Premier League title credentials. Kingsmeadow has never been a happy hunting ground for Sutton, so I’d be happy with a point from the clash with Kingstonian tomorrow night.
We certainly have a score to settle with the Ks after they dashed our promotion dream in the play-offs last season. I remember only too well leaving that match with ten minutes still remaining and heading off to the Robin Hood where I drowned my sorrows with a beer or two.
Incidentally, after Sutton played at Kingsmeadow back in April I went for a post-match beer with some pals in one of the worst pubs I have ever been in, the Prince of Wales in New Malden.
Let me see, I think it had something to do with the dodgy dealings which took place through the window of the gents toilet which meant I couldn’t drink my pint of tepid ale fast enough. Come to think of it, it may have been the huge rip in the green baize of the pool table, or even the goggle-eyed punters with skin like leather who were transfixed by the horse racing on the television which made me want to down my drink and get the hell out of there. Needless to say, I shall be drinking elsewhere tomorrow evening.   
Finally, back to footballing matters. A quick look at Elvis Hammond’s Wikipedia page tells me that he has played for the likes of Fulham, Leicester City, Cheltenham Town and Dutch Eredivisie side RBC Roosendaal. Apparently, tomorrow is his 30th birthday, so here’s hoping he’s still in the mood to celebrate having left the Ks All Shook Up.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

The big match, Sutton United v Margate...

Well, it’s here. Yes, after a lengthy spell without a game, us Sutton United supporters finally have some on-field action to get our teeth into.
The sun is doing its best to shine on Sutton United’s Community Fun Day (CFD) and thank crikey for that. The weather in Sutton over the last few days has been atrocious – I should know, I am the berk who left his waterproof coat at work yesterday and then ventured out into the big, bad world where the rain was torrential and a gale blowing. I managed to find sanctuary in a pub on Sutton High Street.
There seems to be a good buzz about Gander Green Lane at the moment. Not only is the team top of the league, but we have some really positive initiatives taking place off the field.
It’s particularly important to our club that the weather holds off for today as a larger than normal crowd is expected at the big match with Margate today.
Some folk on the Fans Forum estimate the attendance might even be more than double the average of 500. My fingers are well and truly crossed that the team do their bit to make it a memorable day for all the youngsters who will be there. I am certain the players must be straining at the leash to get on that field and three weeks of virtual inactivity.
Want to know more about the Community Fun Day? Well, hit this link and check out the Community News: http://www.suttonunited.net/

Radio Marsden at Sutton United v Margate
If you fancy listening to coverage of this afternoon’s events then click on this link, too: http://www.radiomarsden.co.uk/index.php?section=1