Sunday, 28 November 2010

Sutton United blog: George Best, Bayern Munich and the great escape against Wealdstone

What is all this hullabaloo about, did I miss something?
Well, actually yes I did.
George Best famously left the 1999 Champions League Final early with Manchester United losing 1-0 to Bayern Munich only for United to score twice in the dying embers of the match to conquer Europe. That must have been gutting. I would have hated to have missed that.
So, imagine my dismay when, having left Gander Green Lane at 4.50pm yesterday afternoon with Sutton losing 3-2 and looking uninspired, I got home and glanced at Twitter only to discover we’d won 4-3.
My jaw dropped.
My dejection at what I thought was a defeat soon turned to delight at an amazing victory and in years to come I will be able to say to people ‘I wasn’t there’, even though for 85 minutes of it I was.
In the car on the way home I was mulling over what to write about for the blog and was fully prepared to harp on about how poor we looked compared to our much hungrier opponents.
I thought Wealdstone looked a very good side. They were lively, showed good width and movement and a greater desire to have a go at goal, the latter to such an extent that they even scored one for us.
That was the key. The own goal scored by James Hammond gave us hope. Wealdstone should have put Sutton out of sight by the time I left but they paid the price for not killing us off, just as I paid a hefty toll for perhaps giving up on my team.  Sorry about that folks, serves me right.
But yesterday I just wasn’t feeling it. I couldn’t see where a Sutton revival was coming from and my dejection got the better of me as I decided to swap the cold and bleak surroundings of Gander Green Lane for the warmth and welcoming confines of my living room.
Despite missing the main action I am mightily glad the Us did turn it around. I thought we looked very fragile and sloppy in defence in the first half. The Stones took full advantage of that to surge into a commanding 2-0 lead with two goals from Alex Dyer within the first half-hour.
However, following Wealdstone’s obvious frustration at quite possibly the latest offside flag I have seen since the controversial winner-takes-all title showdown between National Nippers and Tremain Terriers in the Premier Division of West Sutton Little League back in 1983, Andy Forbes gave Sutton some hope with a header right on half-time.
My newly found optimism was buoyed further by a half-time pint before being tested early in the second half when that most tricky of customers Danny Spendlove hit a belter from 20 yards make it 3-1 as the Stones threatened to crush the Us.
Fearing he might not see us again until after Christmas, James Hammond was in a generous mood and handed us an early present which came in the form of a Get Out Of Jail Free card in the 62nd minute. Lovely stuff. Unexpectedly, Sutton were back in it once again.

Received with thanks: What a nice chap that James Hammond is. 

However, I just couldn’t see where Sutton’s inspiration was going to come from. So, with the cold biting into my hands and feet, I called it a day with a few minutes remaining. Tut, tut.
As a result of my poor decision I never saw those two late goals from Simon Downer and Sam Page. However, thanks to Hughes Video and the modern wonder that is YouTube I can watch what I missed yesterday from the comfort of my armchair, over and over again. Click here for the action.
As for the nonsense which greeted the final whistle, well call me Arsene Wenger, but I never saw it so I will leave the judgement on that to those who did.
It could have been worse for the Wealdstone supporters, at least they saw their team play. The Yeovil fans who made the long trip up to Hartlepool yesterday didn’t.
After Manchester United grabbed victory from the jaws of defeat in Barcelona in 1999 Sir Alex Ferguson famously remarked ‘Football, bloody hell’, and that kind of sums up yesterday for me, despite the fact I ‘did a George Best’. Please form an orderly queue to slap my wrists...
Feel free to email me: amberramblerblog@gmail.com

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