Thursday, 3 February 2011

Sutton United Blog: Fernando Torres, Leroy Griffiths and AFC Wimbledon hit the road

I don’t know about you, but I was getting a bit concerned when Aveley went in at half-time on Saturday a goal ahead.
I could see all our hard work against Croydon Athletic being undone by a cocky crowd of Essex boys who had barely recovered from the previous nights escapades at Southend’s Mayhem nightclub.
I need not have worried. Not for the first time, the boys rolled up their sleeves, dug deep and, to use a term from the Ian Dowie coaching manual, showed great bouncebackability to win 2-1 thanks largely to goals from Craig Dundas and Sam Page.
I had a feeling my spell check would have something to say about bouncebackability.
Any rate, once again the performance wasn’t inspired but if we keep winning then it’s hard to argue the toss.
The big news to have come out of a hectic end to the transfer window was obviously Chelsea’s capture of Fernando Torres from Liverpool for £50million, Andy Carroll’s switch from Newcastle to Liverpool for £35million and the transfer of Leroy Griffiths from Staines to Sutton for next to nothing.
The latter, of course, went under the radar of Sky Sports News, but Paul Doswell’s move for the 34-year-old striker shows that the Us/Ewes/Raffs/Gooseys/Ganders/Yellows/Ambers (delete as appropriate) are gearing up for the final push for the league title.

Money talks: Chelsea paid £50million for Fernando Torres while Sutton got Leroy Griffiths on the cheap. I kid you not, there's a woman who gets on my bus in Sutton every morning who is the spitting image of Torres.

Young, he may not be, but Griffiths signed off his time at the Staines Massive in style last weekend with a goal at Chelmsford City and he could be the experienced striker we need to see us to the finishing line.
It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do for a player. Richard Jolly, despite working his little socks off for Sutton, couldn’t even buy himself a goal. His temporary move back to Wealdstone seems to have worked a treat, he bagged FOUR for the Stones last Saturday against Concord and I, for one, am looking forward to seeing him revitalised and back in our colours soon.
That means we’ll have Andy Forbes, Griffiths and Jolly in our ranks for the last few months, a mouth-watering prospect indeed.
Billericay’s Phil Anderson did us a favour on Tuesday night by denying Lowestoft an important victory with a last-gasp equaliser. The Trawlerboys – there you see, that’s a good nickname – are eight points behind with four games in hand at present but I am from the school of thought which says it’s better to have points in the bag than games in hand.
Harrow Borough helped us out on Tuesday too by burying Bury 5-2 in their own back yard and they didn’t need the help of Brookside's Beth and Mandy Jordache to do it either.
For years and years I have been putting up with cheap jibes from school 'friends' and colleagues about Sutton United being a joke club. There was a brief declaration of peace agreed after we beat Coventry in the FA Cup in 1989, but this was soon forgotten once Norwich City beat us 8-0 in the next round. The fact that Trevor Putney scored for the Canaries didn’t help my cause.
However, it appears that, after all the mickey taking, we ARE a Joke Klub. From late March a comedy club is being hosted at our beloved Gander Green Lane home and long may it continue. Perhaps, along with the Boom Boom Club, this is just the tip of the iceberg of our facilities being used for more than just football. I am sure it will go some way to fill the void being left by West Sutton’s other favourite venues, The Plough and The Sydney Arms.
Football, music, gentlemens’ evenings, whatever next, the British Gurning Championships? We’d have to let Big Wayne Shaw have a crack at that.
Before I go, I must mention two groups of fine footballing fellows who have gone above and beyond the call of duty over the last week or so.
Firstly, the Wimbledon fans who went to Bath (last Tuesday 2-2), Gateshead (last Friday 2-0) and York (Tuesday 1-4). Crikey, it’s hardly surprising they got hammered at York. Three away games in a week is a tall order and having them so spread so far apart can’t have helped.
I remember in 1987 the Us/Ewes/Raffs/Gooseys/Ganders/Yellows/Ambers played away at Weymouth on a Monday and then Cheltenham on a Wednesday, but I think that was as bad as it got. I am sure our club historian, Frakey, might be able to tell me otherwise.
I have a feeling the Crawley juggernaut will pip them to the post this time around but I have my fingers crossed for that the Dons/Wombles/Crazy Gang might reward their fans' hard work and make it to League Two via the play-offs.
Secondly, to Gateshead, who had to endure the Tuesday night trek to Eastbourne Borough and came away with a 3-0 victory to show for their efforts.
I have always had a soft spot for the Tynesiders. They invented the term bouncebackability. Not only did they come back from 3-0 down to draw with Sutton at Gander Green Lane in 1990 but they did so just weeks after we won 9-0 at their place. Now, that’s bouncebackability in anyone’s coaching manuel.

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