Friday, 5 November 2010

Sutton United blog: Roald Dahl, Maidstone United and goalscoring goalkeepers Pat Jennings and Iain Hesford

Sun, sea, sand and a super Sutton United success to celebrate, this holiday just gets better and better, although l'm feeling slightly groggy this morning having over done the celebrating side of things.
While I was watching AC Milan take on Real Madrid at the San Siro on the tele the other night, my mind was at the Keith Tuckey Stadium in Croydon, wondering how the boys in amber and brown were getting on.
I didn't find out about the result until last night and was pleased to see that goals from Craig Dundas, Roald Dahl's the BWG and Andy Forbes meant the points took us back to top spot. I thought Croydon Athletic might prove to be a banana skin so, like Sutton supporters across the globe, was more than happy with the end result.
With internet access at my hotel a bit limited I thought I'd just scribble a few quick lines ahead of this weekend's action.
Maidstone are next for Paul Doswell and his troops. I have got a lot of time for the Stones. Not only have the Us enjoyed some great tussles with them over the years but in 1991 a pal of mine moved there and started following them, so I used to keep an eye out for their results before the club's sad demise.
When I think of Maidstone United I immediately think of Mark Golley, the robust midfielder who Sutton sold to the Kent Club in, I think it was, 1988. Golley had made a name for himself by scoring a late equaliser in Sutton's FA Cup Third Round clash with Middlesbrough in January of that year, a goal which is often forgotten about after the Us went on to beat Coventry the following year.
Other names which spring to mind are Mickey Joyce, Steve Galloway and Iain Hesford. Joyce and Galloway both swapped Sutton's amber and brown for Maidstone's amber and black in the mid-1980s, but Hesford, who has no Sutton connection at all as far as I know, sticks in my mind for one very good reason.
One day, I thought I'd surprise my pal by turning up out of the blue at the Maidstone v Hereford Fourth Division clash at Watling Street in Dartford where the Stones played at that time. I seem to remember the home side won that day 3-2 but it was a memorable match because goalkeeper Hesford scored with a long punt downfield. Crikey, I'd always wanted to see a goalkeeper score like that ever since I watched footage of Pat Jennings scoring for Spurs with a long kick from his own penalty area, and there it was, happening right in front of my eyes.
But on to current matters. Once again Sutton prepare to do battle with the Stones, who are in the lower reaches of the table. It's a big game for Dos and the boys, a victory would keep the momentum going and set the Us up nicely for another crack at Kingstonian on Tuesday night. I'm debating whether to go to that one as I am sick of the sight of the Ks. But, if I am to put my positive head on, then we've got to beat them sooner or later. But first things first, we need to roll the Stones over.
Finally, as some of the country's footballing minnows dream of FA Cup glory this weekend I thought I had the perfect opportunity to gloat about Sutton's Cup glories of bygone years last night. I got chatting with the DJ in a bar I was in when he told me he was from Coventry, so I rubbed my hands together and prepared to give him the old spiel about our famous Cup triumph of 1989, but he threw a spanner in the works by declaring he was a Chelsea supporter. Bugger, bugger, bugger...

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