Friday, 16 September 2011

Sutton United blog: Nicky Forster, Guernsey FC and Fola Orilonishe

Call me sad, call me what you like, but I spent a large part of last Saturday afternoon stuck at the back of a coffee shop in Banstead glued to Twitter.

I blame Tony Taggart for that.

He scored Sutton's first goal after 51 minutes at Havant and Waterlooville last week which laid the foundations for our fightback from 0-2 down at half-time. So, I headed off to find somewhere to sit and send positive thoughts to Paul Doswell and the boys for the remainder of the match...and, it worked.

There I was, nervously sipping my latte, when news came through on the wires that Sam Page levelled the scores in the 80th minute. I instinctively shouted out 'GET IN!' and banged my fist on the table when I read the Tweet announcing the good news from Westleigh Park.

Such was the impact of my jubilation that the two old dears on the table next to me even stopped comparing their blue rinses for a few seconds. Well, one of them was a purple rinse actually.

Had they been even the slightest bit interested in football, then the two old timers would have been proud of Sutton's own golden oldie, Paul Telfer, who lasted 73 minutes of last Saturday's match before being helped off the pitch by assistant boss Alan Payne and goalkeeper extraordinaire Wayne Shaw.

I had to wait for what seemd like ages for that all-important Tweet though.

Twitter is a frenzy of activity at the best of times and, on Saturday afternoons when the football is on, it goes into overdrive.

Tweets come from far and wide, from Cumbria to the Channel Islands.

I had to put up with lots of updates from other clubs, such as Northwich Victoria's see-saw encounter at Stocksbridge Park Steels (4-3), Barrow's win over Blue Square Premier table-toppers Wrexham (3-1) and Combined Counties League Division One leaders Guernsey’s triumph over CB Hounslow United (4-0). Just these three matches alone produced 15 goals and countless excited Tweets.

Guernsey, under the leadership of manager Tony Vance, have made an instant impact in their first season in that league. There may have only been 90 hardy souls at last week’s match, but the previous week 1,604 turned up to see their 5-0 thrashing of one of our neighbours and reigning Division One champions, Worcester Park.

The Green Lions are three points clear of Bedfont Sports and five clear of Hartley Wintney, the latter I always felt, sounded like an author of history books.

I can imagine Hartley Wintney sharing a whiskey with Eric Hobsbawm, Niall Ferguson and Dr David Starkey while discussing the demise of  the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Any rate, there were also some enthusiastic Twitter updates last Saturday from Kingsmeadow, where Richard Jolly and his Wealdstone chums enjoyed the generosity of their hosts, Kingstonian, who let the Stones roll all over them on their way to a 3-0 victory.

As fascinating as all that was, I was only interested in one match and despite having what would have been a late Craig Watkins winner ruled out, the Amber and Chocolates must be proud of the way they battled back.

I'd have bitten your hand off if you'd said at half-time we'd take a point. It keeps us ticking along and sitting pretty in seventh spot in the league heading into our much-anticipated clash at Truro.

Ah, Truro. It was the one away day we all looked out for when the fixture list was released.

Some lucky swines are going to this match by plane. I'm not going at all. Bugger. I hope you have a very nice time.

Instead, it'll be another misspent Saturday afternoon looking at Twitter and sending positivity to Paul Doswell.

I might change my venue for this act of mindpower and head to the pub instead of the coffee shop. Beer puts me in a happy place, whereas coffee does not, it’s as simple as that.

While some Fancy Dans will be letting the plane take the strain to Cornwall, a few hardy souls will face a test of endurance by taking the supporters coach from the ground at 6.30am.

I will allow myself a little chuckle tomorrow morning when I turn over in bed for another two or three hours kip while dreaming of Wayne Shaw coming off the bench to head the winner from a last-minute corner to secure another Sutton success.

Apparently, the Green Lions of Guernsey had to set off to for last week’s clash with CB Hounslow at 5.30am. So, if you are going to Truro on the coach, then just be thankful it’s a 6.30am start and enjoy the lay-in.  

Of course, while Sutton do battle with Truro many clubs will be competing in the FA Cup First Qualifying Round. Thank crikey we got promoted last season, it means that we’ve already gone further in this year’s competition than our last appearance. In that sense, our Cup campaign can be seen as a qualified success.

So, who have our conquerers from last season, Alton Town, got in tomorrow’s Cup tie? Er, well, actually they’re already out. They lost to Fleet Town in the Preliminary Round.

While I was looking for the Alton Cup score on the FA website I came across this interesting interview with Nicky Forster who last season led Brentford out at Wembley in the final of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.

These days Forster plays for Surrey-based Sussex League side Lingfield as does another former Blackburn and West Ham defender Ian Pearce.

Any rate, I had best be off. As sad as it may be, I've got a life to live, you know. 

Before I go, you have to feel for Sutton's Fola Orilonishe who, facing a seven hour coach journey with his team-mates, loaded up his iPhone with banging tunes but forgot to charge it up. There's always one, isn't there...

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