Monday, 14 February 2011

Sutton United blog: Timmy Mallet, Trumpton and the Trawlerboys

Stick with me here. I’ll get to the main event eventually...
According to Sunday's Non-League Paper (NLP) it was a clash of the titans. A quick glance at the league table and it’s easy to see why. A team top of the table against another which lay dangerously in the chasing pack. There was a large crowd, good atmosphere, late drama and plenty of other talking points.
Yes, you’ve guessed it, there would have been a few hazy heads in the Somerset town of Larkhall on Sunday morning after Gary Banks scored a last minute leveller for the Toolstation Western League leaders at high-flying Gloucestershire battlers, Bitton.

Larkhall looked as if they had Bitton off more than they could chew until Banks saved them with seconds remaining to send their fans in the league's second biggest crowd of the day, 135, off to the pub to sink six or seven celebratory ciders.
Read all about it: Forget the Manchester derby, or even Crawley v Wrexham, The Non-League Paper focuses on the other big match from last weekend.

Meanwhile, the Welsh version of the NLP, the Non-Lleague Paper, features Merthyr Town’s hammering of Shepton Mallet in the First Division of the Toolstation League.

The Martyrs brushed Timmy’s boys aside 4-0 to maintain their push for promotion at top of the table infront of the league’s biggest attendance of the day 244 – not at all bad for, I think I'm right in saying, the tenth tier of English football.

I remember Sutton having to travel to the Welsh valleys three times in about as many weeks back in the 1990/91 season to play the Martyrs. Not only did we face them in a Conference clash but we drew them out of the hat in the FA Cup and Bob Lord Trophy too.

Any rate, they’re a funny old bunch aren’t they, those West Country folk with their wacky teams name such as Oldland Abbotonians, Roman Glass St George, Odd Down and Bristol Manor Farm.
Personally, I keep an eye on Bishop Sutton’s results. For those who are interested, they walloped Welton Rovers on Saturday 3-0 to stay hot on the heels of Merthyr.

Stick with it... I didn't call the blog Amber Rambler without good reason...
If you go further down the football pyramid then, with the aid of a magnifying glass, you'll be able to read the results from the Devon and Exeter League. It's one step below West Sutton Little League’s Reserve Pool, and where you'll currently find Beer Albion occupying seventh spot. 
Beer are now the new entry into my list of teams I tend to look out for, purely because they satisfy my curiosity for all things beer and football. However, they lose brownie points for the blue writing on the blue background on the club’s website.
Colourful character: Merthyr Town hammered Timmy Mallet's men last Saturday 4-0. Good.



Beer play some oddly named opponents too. Budleigh Salterton could be the name of a washed-up blues guitarist gigging at the Boom Boom Club. Topsham Town, meanwhile, might represent the good folk of a neighbouring village to Trumpton, Camberwick Green or Chigley.
Talking of beer, I’ve kind of had enough of it for now. The weekend’s hangovers came courtesy of the Battersea Beer Festival and, of course, Sutton United’s excellent win over those tricky Trawlerboys from Lowestoft.
There’s a new craze in British football whereby teams are throwing away seemingly unassailable leads.
Arsenal are the chief culprits after tossing their 4-0 advantage into the Tyne, West Bromwich Albion handed the Hammers a point having had a 3-0 lead on Saturday and down by the Riverside Middlesbrough fed all three points to the Swans after going 3-1 up with 35 minutes to go.

Newport County deserve a mention too for going 3-0 up in 28 minutes at Mansfield at the weekend only to be all square by half-time. Now that's impressive. And Wrexham threw away a 2-0 lead at Crawley to leave the Broadfield Stadium empty handed after a Matt Tubbs hat-trick secured the points for the Red Devils.

For a moment on Saturday, I thought we might add our name to that sorry selection too.
When Andy Forbes scored his and Sutton’s second goal in the 53rd minute the Trawlerboys found themselves adrift in choppy waters while Paul Doswell’s buoys looked home and dry.
However, when Forbes got ridiculously sent-off for over celebrating seconds later, Lowestoft were handed a lifeline and the Us were forced to face what seemed to be wave after wave of attacks.
Thankfully, despite Lowestoft pulling a goal back, Sutton held on to secure three crucial points allowing Captain Doswell to tilt our own particular tiller towards the title. Well, here's hoping.

As you'd expect from a game where there's plenty at stake, passions were running high. With Valentine's Day rapidly approaching, a  rather desperate Jenny the Giraffe didn't help matters by flirting with a linesmen. Was I the only one who thought Wayne Shaw showed a jealous streak by getting involved?

Any rate, I think there's potential there to let Jenny loose on the officials at future matches. Not many men, or women if you include Sian Massey, would argue with a 9ft giraffe.

For those who haven't seen it yet, there's plenty of good words and pictures here about Saturday afternoon's events.

In other news, the goal machine that is Richard Jolly only managed two at the weekend for Wealdstone. I knew he'd go off the boil sooner or later.

That's 10 in four games now and the loan move seems to reignited his season. Am really pleased for the guy who worked flippin' hard for Sutton without much reward to show for his efforts.

Finally, thanks to Caroline Barker at The Non-League Show for the mention 26 minutes into Monday night's show. I knew the Valentine's Day card from my mum would come in handy for something...

EMAIL ME: amberrambler@gmail.com. FOLLOW ME ON TWITTER here.

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