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Sunday, 29 January 2017

Sutton Utd v Leeds Utd. FA Cup 4th Round 29th Jan 2017.

The only time we have played Sutton Utd before was in a different century when the FA Cup was in it's pomp. Don Revie sent 11 full internationals onto the field that day to squash the would be giantkillers 6-0. Bizarrely we then signed their centre half, Faulkner, after his heroics in trying to stem the white tide. Fast forward to today and the FA Cup has long lost it's glamour and appeal to clubs, managers and younger fans alike. It's seen in some quarters as an inconvenience in the desperate race for League titles and subsequent financial rewards for whoever happens to be owning their club at the time. Not for this dyed in the wool old school fan though. The words " nil" still brings tears to my eyes as does the mention of that Montgomery save in the 73 final. Garry Monk might be shuffling his team for today's game along with the majority of other managers in the top two tiers but there was no way I was shuffling my attendance schedule. I was up at the crack of dawn on a frosty Sunday morning heading for the train to Sutton. Bring it on!

The first sign that today was going to be remembered for all the wrong reasons was as the team news filtered through as we were taking refreshments in the aptly named Cock and Bull pub in Sutton. 10 changes to the team with names even some of the diehard fans had not really heard of making their debuts. "Jesus H Christ if this goes Pear shaped Monk will have a lot to answer for" I mused as I finished my pint. The team selection was expected to include a few changes but not 10. Still we should be good enough to beat a non league team shouldn't we I tried to convince myself as I took my place in the snug stand behind the goals with the rest of the 750 travelling support.

The game got underway with the home side grabbing the initiative from the off. Their bustling style coupled with no little skill rattled the disjointed Leeds side as they played with passion and pride something sadly lacking in the men in white. Sutton soon had the ball in the net but the goal was chalked off for offside with me screaming at Silvestri to close the oncoming forward down. McKay and Whitehouse were on debut and they were struggling. In the centre of the pitch Grimes and Phillips looked as if they'd never played together whilst Antonsson looked very light weight up front against the archetypal non league centre half. "This has got Histon written all over it" commented a fan behind me as another dangerous ball whizzed into the Leeds box with the Leeds defenders giving a good impression of Rabbits in headlights. Somehow we managed a couple of chances as Dallas nearly scored from a through ball and then Phillips rattled a free kick into the goalies midriff. The half time whistle went with the scores still level but god only knows how.

The Leeds fans were stunned into a silence that before this season was all too familiar. The first 45 minutes was shocking and embarrassing but with the 10 changes in the Leeds team what did Monk expect? Still he will make changes at half time won't he? Well the answer to that was no. Mmmm do we want to win this game I wondered? The next 45 minutes were purgatory. I stood in deepening gloom as the match progressed. Grimes showed why he's not had much game time this season as he struggled to get the better of an experienced non league midfielder. Antonsson shunned the chance to show why he should get more starts as he was totally ineffective in the lone striker role. The debutant's were like fish out of water at this level. It was just f****** awful. Sutton got their deserved goal when a period of pure slapstick of the highest order by Silvestri and his "defence" gave the home side a penalty. Sutton tucked away the penalty to give them a lead they thoroughly deserved.

From there on in it just got worse. Cooper got a 2nd yellow and departed for an early bath as the game meandered to the inevitable cup shock the TV company were salivating for. The only bright spot was Wilks coming on and showing some good touches just days after the murder of his brother. The final whistle was greeted with anger in the away end. "What the f****** hell was that" screamed the loyal fans who have followed them all over the country this season. It was quite simply a disgrace and showed total disrespect to the FA Cup, Sutton and most of all the fans. Without fans there wouldn't be any football so why do we continually get shafted by clubs, owners and most of all the TV gods? Credit to Sutton though they deserved their win and good luck in the next round.

For all the good things that have happened this season this could be a watershed. Was Monk making a point to the owners to show how threadbare his squad is? I mean there are better development squad players than Whitehouse and McKay so why did they get a game? Monk made the point on Friday that Mowatt leaving is acceptable if the two targets we have for the transfer window come in. Are we about to implode again just when things are looking rosy? I do hope not but the next two games against Blackburn and Town suddenly look massive pressure games. A worrying week ahead me thinks.

Blackburn away on Wednesday night. Not for the faint hearted!

Can't wait.



Garrett K said...

Really enjoy your match descriptions as well as all the experiences that come with them. I'm writing from California and have just recently began following the club. Bad result and hopefully can get back on track this week. Thanks for this site and keep up the good good times and bad.

Andrew Butterwick said...

Thanks for thanks for the comments. Keep spreading the LUFC word in California!

Leeds watcher since 65 said...

I watched on TV and it was cringeworthy I even had a Bristol Rovers fan taking the piss, The sale of Mowatt is insane as we keep Grimes, I cannot see to many of those fringe players ever breaking through Wilks excepted

Andrew Butterwick said...

Leeds watcher since 65,
Cringeworthy is a king description! With regards Mowatt it does depend who, if anybody, they bring in. If they are better than Mowatt then it's a good deal. If not it's not.

Leeds watcher since 65 said...

Alex sent off in his first match, oh dear. What do you think of our 2 deals

Andrew Butterwick said...

Proof of the pudding and all that but certainly better than the usual transfer deadline day rubbish. C Taylor not sold neither. Looking good to me.

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