Sometimes a goalless draw is just fine.
Scarcity can in some instances add value. Bitcoin is limited to twenty-one million coins. Gold to “is “scarce” in the sense that it is hard to find, and available in incredibly low concentrations, which means that you have to process a large amount of rock to get it.” (Forbes). Compared with other sports in football, goals are scarce and that is what gives the game its value. So, a goalless draw has value but today for Sutton drawing nil nil with Northampton was to gain a point but lose a captain. Down to ten men after seventy-four minutes with Craig Eastmond getting sent off. Sutton clung on to gain a point getting us close to the forty-seven-point mark that almost guarantees our place in next seasons EFL2. As Matt the Manager says once that goal is achieved, we can build on the next one to get seventy-five points to get into a play-off position. To do that we need our talismanic captain Craig Eastmond to play regularly to get us into such a position. I am not getting into the rights and wrongs of the sending off, but I echo what Sutton’s Harry Beautyman says.
I had a long settling in period before the magic hour that is a three pm kick off. I sat down to a pre-match lunch which is always an opportunity to hear from a cross section of football supporters. On the table I sat on where two chaps on a journey to tick off a visit to all ninety-two English league football grounds. They are on I think thirty-two grounds. They had questions about our club, and as a relatively new supporter I left it to others to answer those who are hugely knowledgeable about the club. When asked about Sutton supporters, the atmosphere at the ground I was happy to give what is only my observation. That the atmosphere at the ground is good from where I stand. Supporters get behind their team, chant, and sing. Credit for this must go to what is known as our Yoof section who led the band when it comes to vocal support for Sutton United. Of course, the away supporters are usually much livelier than the home supporters for sections of the game. The travel, a bit of drinking and the packed into the away end makes the bond tighter and the support louder. A club’s future cannot always be predicted in pounds and pence, but another yardstick is the number of young supporters there are at the ground. In no time at all I will be joining O’Leary and I am not talking about footballer David O’Leary.
I will spare you my attempt to analyse the game in the style of The Coaching Philosophies of Louis Van Gaal and the Ajax Coaches by Henny Kormelink. The first half was standard fayre, its third placed Sutton versus fourth placed Northampton. The promise of a great game is present but both teams cancelled each other out, Northampton were slightly better than Sutton in the first half. In the second half there was more urgency to the game, the game went forward not so much a midfield battle. Sutton were looking better placed to score, a last-minute goal. The sending off Eastmond after seventy-five should have spurred Northampton to wrench a win but Sutton were solid and sometimes adventurous going forward. The referee blew up with five minutes of additional time. This was a point gained and a demonstration of the Sutton teams resolve to win, draw, and not lose very often.
Game over, time for some cherry wine. The player's bar was the scene for Strikers Are Key draw which AB oversees in the style of southern of a southern preacher. The congregation are whipped into a frenzy chanting “Matty Gray’s Amber Army” then it's onto the draw. This is where the audience participation kicks in, nothing too difficult, just pulling a ball out of a cloth bag. The challenging part is you must stand on a chair to do it. A daunting prospect for those on the cherry wine. I have not yet seen anyone yet fall from a standing position on the chair. But accidents happen at Sutton United like getting promoted to the EFL.
Today’s result was down to the team spirit, a strong defence, some decent goalkeeping from both sides. Not a game to send the blood pressure racing but Oloafe can cause a spike with his runs that today did not have a great deal of product on the end of them. Another point in the bag against tough opposition keeps us in third position in the league.