PITCHING IN ISTHMIAN LEAGUE
SOUTH CENTRAL DIVISION
SATURDAY 11th FEBRUARY 2023
UXBRIDGE 0 SUTTON COMMON ROVERS 0 (HT 0-0)
The Reds failed to take advantage of playing against ten men for the majority of the second half, following the sending off of Matthew Tanton for a late challenge. The Commoners had lost twelve of their previous thirteen league matches but arrived at Honeycroft buoyed by their recent victory over Hanworth Villa. Manager, Danny Edwards made a couple of changes to the side that had lost narrowly at Binfield in midweek, after conceding two late goals in a 2-1 defeat. Jordan Ireland and Harry Seabrook made way for Luke Paris and the returning Josh Andrew.
In truth Uxbridge failed to really “get going” in this encounter. Sloppy passing and a lack of quality in the final third were the order of the day, as once again Edwards was left scratching his head at the lack of consistency in The Reds performances this season. Alex Witham broke well in the 15th minute and played young Eitel Goueth through on goal. “Tel’s” first touch was of the heavy variety and James Dillon in the SCR goal was able to race from his line, forcing a hurried shot, which dribbled wide of the mark. In the 27th minute the ball was flying around the penalty area and Anthony Mendy was able to swivel and hook a shot towards goal. Unfortunately, it lacked power and looped into the grateful arms of the keeper. The visitors came close to breaking the deadlock minutes before the break. A well struck corner clipping the top of the crossbar, although Tyler Tobin appeared to have it covered. Half-time 0-0.
The major talking point of the game came in the 48th minute. Mendy laid the ball back to Mark Bitmead, who nipped the ball away from Tanton as the defender lunged to make a tackle. After consulting his assistant, referee Ivaylo Kyosev felt the challenge was high and dangerous and showed the distraught Commoner a straight red card. Despite now holding the numerical advantage Uxbridge failed to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Dillon did well to deny Mendy in the 63rd minute, saving with an outstretched boot after Alan Hedley had headed the ball into the path of the striker. Goueth shot over twelve minutes from time, following Uxbridge’s best move of the afternoon. A break from well inside their own half, involving several passes and players, found the lively midfielder on the edge of the box. However, leaning back, his shot was more of a danger to the vehicles in the car park than the SCR goal. Full-time 0-0.
A frustrating afternoon for The Reds, whose chances of making a late challenge for a top five spot, will not be helped by the dropping of two points against ten men. There are still forty-two points to fight for before the final league places are decided, and you can rest assured Uxbridge will be looking to add as many as possible to their tally. COYR….
Uxbridge Line-up: Tobin, Andrew, Sota, Paris, O’Brien, Witham, Jackson, Hedley, Bitmead, Mendy, Goueth. Subs Used: Seabrook for Paris, Evans for Bitmead, Ireland for Sota. Not Used: Patrick & Jarra.