We could have had it all.
When Adele was rolling in the deep, she roared ‘we could have had it all’. Sutton United could have had all three points but we came away with one following a two all draw with Bradford City. Going into this game the offer of a draw away to Bradford City, a team associated with the big time we would have said yes please and asked for the receipt. Despite that I left the ground with that nagging thought that Bradford down to ten men, us leading taking the lead two one but as the second half wore on we didn’t put a bit of daylight between us and Bradford, this could have turned out to be a memorable win. Instead, it was a memorable draw for both good and bad reasons.
1. Milsom penalty was a master class in how to take a penalty.
2. Sutton players in particular those coming back from injury. We saw the game out to draw rather than a defeat to a ten-man Bradford team who deserve credit for how they played with ten men for a sizable portion of the game.
3. This is Bradford City just thinking we should have come away with a win shows how far we have come as a club. I still must get used to going to grounds like Bradford’s thinking is this real, Sutton are playing here. If someone was being unkind our Gander Green Lane ground is like an allotment shed compared to Bradford Valley Parade. But as we know size doesn’t matter it's how you use it. AB’s update on the continued development of our ground is exciting.
4. Hands, ball, face. Paul O’Loughlin’s picture shows clearly that a Bradford player does an impression of beach volleyball player using his hands to push the ball of the line. If only the referee could have gone over to look at the picture Paul took, he would have realised that it was a blatant handball. This incident captures what VAR is designed for, the EFL does not yet use it. VAR is used elsewhere but like the future it's not evenly distributed.
Neither were men’s trousers evenly distributed. Gandermonium tweeted this heart-breaking appeal.
The person in question had not done a Gary Lineker but damaged his trousers in a moment excitement during the game. Happily, a new pair was procured in time for the train home nor were the replacement trousers a mustard yellow colour.
Having left the flat at five thirty in the morning it all caught up on me after the game. Luckily, I had a Travelodge to retire to post game. Pre game was good with a visit to the Record Store for some strange sounding light to zero beers. Others included Mikkeller’s Weird Weather which sums up the last week or so.
Following a nap at the Lodge I went to Bradford’s little Germany. Darkness and drizzle were my friends walking around empty streets with dark imposing gothic buildings on either side. These were built at the height if the industrial revolution by Germans who came to Bradford as Munro Price, Professor of International History at Bradford says
“As the wool business thrived in Bradford, a lot of the businessmen-built warehouses in the area that would become Little Germany. University said: Without the German influence, Bradford wouldn’t have been so affluent. The German merchants saw a huge opportunity and made it into a global city."
But the German influence in Bradford wasn’t limited to just the wool industry, the merchants had a huge cultural impact too through acts of philanthropy.” (Source: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-48352524 )
This helps answer the question, what have the Germans ever done for us? Bradford architecture, football managers and the sale in Britain of Fritz Kola.
The evening ended with a visit to Jinnah named after the man who founded Pakistan as a nation. The food was great and washed down with a bottle of Harrogate sparkling mineral water. A reminder that good times are coming to Sutton United when we play Harrogate on Saturday 18th December. Though I suspect it won’t be Harrogate spring water that will be drunk after that game which I hope will be a win.