Thursday, 31 March 2011

Sutton United blog: Asamoah Gyan, Paul Dipre and Sutton v Essex

It’s official: I am losing touch with football’s higher echelons.

I momentarily switched channels during the second half of England's game with Ghana. When I turned back to ITV1 Clive Tyldesley was going on about a chap wearing an England shirt called Matt Jarvis. I must confess, I’d never heard of him (and neither had the interviewer in this clip who refers to him as Mark).
Before I go on, don’t tell me, Ron Greenwood isn’t the England manager anymore. I flippin’ knew the press would hound him out sooner or later.

Any rate, more shockingly, late in the first half, just before Andy Carroll put Fabio Capello’s side ahead, Tyldesley mentioned the up-and-coming coverage of the Champions League Quarter-Finals featuring the tie between Chelsea and Manchester United. I must confess once again, I had no idea those two had even been paired together.

I can’t say I’m too bothered about it, though. My focus this season has been well and truly on the dear old Ryman Premier League where life is good, the Non-League Paper says so.

Sutton United are top of the league and we’ve hit April, well within sight of the winning post, and no, I don’t mean that dodgy pub down the bottom of Sutton High Street.

In fact, life is so good, I spent the majority of Sunday afternoon sat in the sun, supping pint after pint and poring over the Ryman Premier League table after we truimphed 2-0 in a rare encounter with a team from overseas, Canvey Island.

Craig Dundas and Leroy Griffiths brought the Gulls down to earth with second half goals.

We’re top. Seven points clear. Six games to go. It’s looking good.

I don’t want to appear smug though.

I can be accused of many things, but not smug. It's just that the last time we had a shot at league glory like this was 12 years ago. I am not used to seeing the Amber and Chocolates flying so high at this late stage of a season. Keep it under your hat, but I am starting to get a little bit excited.

By the time I polished off my third beer I’d got as much out of the league table as I could hope for. It was time to cast my eye across the other leagues.

The one thing which struck me with the power of an Andy Carroll left-foot piledriver was this; I should thank my lucky stars.

The lower echelons play host to plenty of teams who have hit hard times either on or off the field.

It wasn’t that long ago that the likes of Leek, Leigh, Northwich, Scarborough, Slough, Weymouth and even last week's visitors Canvey Island were exchanging blows with the heavyweights of the non-league game.

And what about Enfield? Look what happened to them.

Two or three of those clubs, especially those who have been woefully mismanaged, are on the verge of disappearing into the non-league wilderness for the forseeable future. Carshalton Athletic take heed.

We've had some rough times ourselves in recent years. I remember only too well when, on New Year’s Day 2008, some of the Sutton players fell to their knees and looked to the heavens after beating Hampton & Richmond 2-1 at Gander Green Lane. It was Sutton's second league win of the season and they would only managed three more by the end of April.

They were awful times for the Amber and Chocolates, so I'm just enjoying the good times once again.

Any rate, another thing which stood out like an Asamoah Gyan last minute leveller was one West Yorkshire town’s footballing plight.

According to Wikipedia, the official population of Ossett is 21,076. According to me, that’s not big enough to support two teams.

Making his point: Asamoah Gyan's late strike against England at Wembley highlighted the plight of football in Ossett to millions across the globe. Well, maybe not.

It’s appropriate then, that Ossett Town and Ossett Ablion are both finding the Evo-Stick League, well, rather sticky. Town occupy 21st place in the Premier Division, while worse is to follow, Albion sit 22nd in Division One North.

I never want to see clubs go by the wayside, but this is a desperate state of affairs. There’s only one thing for it, close them both down and start up a new super club. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ossett United.

It’s never too late. If Sutton Guild Rovers and Sutton Association FC came to the conclusion that Sutton wasn’t big enough for the both of them in 1898, then the townsfolk of Ossett could launch a club to help get them out of this sticky situation.

Any rate, what do I know? The good folk of Ossett might be very happy with the current arrangement. Unlike Carshalton owner/boss Paul Dipre, I'll stop meddling in other peoples' affairs.

These days, it seems the only way is Sutton versus Essex. Having conquered Canvey and been held by Hornchurch, Paul Doswell must now plot the downfall of struggling Aveley who contrived to lose at home to Maidstone United last Saturday.

It won't be easy mind (ok, ok, I'm just covering myself in case we lose), Aveley are down there scrapping for their lives, but have lost five out of their last six matches.

Before I go, The FA sent out a Tweet after the England game which read: Andy Carroll says he's ready to score more goals for #England after his first senior goal against Ghana.

In other words: man who is paid vast sums of money to score goals for club and country is ready to score more goals.

Wonderful. Well done that man.

That’s like me Tweeting: Amber Rambler says he’s ready to do more blogging after his latest blog post.

Now, if only I was paid vast sums for doing that...

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