Saturday, November 26, 2011
Four days after picking up their first ever league victory at Canvey Island, the U's repeated the trick by breaking a similar duck against Tooting & Mitcham United this afternoon.
Imperial Fields was of course the scene of United's glorious Division One South play-off final triumph in May 2007, but first half goals from Lee Carey and Zac Attwood earned them a debut three point haul away to the Terrors today, although the U's had to survive with ten men for more than half an hour, following Jordan Woodley's dismissal for two bookable offences.
Already cautioned for dissent after conceding a soft free kick midway through the opening period, the Brighton loanee was adjudged, by a referee who did not even seem to be watching the incident, to have deliberately prevented Tooting keeper Jack Giddens from effecting a downfield clearance in the fifty-seventh minute, resulting in a red card, and a one match ban when Lowestoft Town visit the Pilot Field in a fortnight, assuming United are successful in extending the striker's now concluded one month stay at the Club.
Up until that point, the U's had experienced a pretty comfortable afternoon against a side without a victory since beating Lowestoft at the end of October, a winless run of five games that included a 2-1 League Cup reverse at the Pilot Field.
Lee Carey's third goal of the season put United in front inside thirteen minutes. Teenage forward Joe Barham won his side a free kick just outside the home penalty area, giving Carey the opportunity to beat the helpless Giddens.
Tooting went close to an equaliser when a shot grazed Lloyd Anderson's left hand post, but United soon doubled their advantage, Woodley's astute chip setting up Attwood for a stunning finish just before the half hour mark, his seventh goal in twelve matches since rejoining the Club from Welling.
Anderson and Giddens pulled off one smart save apiece in the closing stages of the half, with Attwood only denied another goal by the Tooting keeper's athleticism. But the visitors were well worth their lead at the interval, and were threatening to stretch further away at the point of Woodley's premature departure, which probably affected them more than it should have done.
Josh Jirbandey was carded for dissent, and he was later joined by the otherwise impressive Carey, as United's discipline wavered. Their tendency to drop deeper in protecting their lead was perhaps forgiveable, but it invited a lot more pressure than Tooting had previously appeared capable of creating under their own steam. The U's buckled only once however, Jirbandey penalised for a foul in the area that presented the hosts with a penalty, twice converted by Ashley-Paul Robinson, the referee ordering a retake after accusing the journeyman striker of dummying on his first attempt, although there was little discernable difference with his second effort.
Recent signing Nick Gonsalves and the fit again Kenny Pogue replaced Ryan Thomson and Joe Barham, as manager Sean Ray tried to get his side back on the front foot, and United made it through to full time without too many more alarms, shrugging off the absence of suspended midfielder Jamie Crellin, and moving up to twelfth place in the table as a result.
After a midweek friendly against Bexhil, the U's are back on their travels again next Saturday, facing a trip to Imber Court and a game against fourth placed Metropolitan Police, last season's Division One South champions.
|Tooting & Mitcham United||(0) 1||-||2 (2)||Hastings United|
|Robinson pen 67||Carey 13|
|Match facts||Efforts on target||Efforts off target||Free kicks conceded||Corners|
|Tooting & Mitcham Utd||3||5||17||4||7|
|Tooting & Mitcham United||Hastings United (4-3-3)|
|1 Jack Giddens||1 Lloyd Anderson|
|2 Matt Drage||2 Matt Whitehead|
|3 Michael Noone||3 Ross Sutton|
|4 Mark Briggs (c)||4 Lee Carey|
|5 Osa Obamwonyi||5 Scott Manning|
|6 Joe O'Cearuill||6 Josh Jirbandey (c)|
|7 Jordan Wilson||7 Jack Dixon|
|8 Charlie Hunter||8 Ryan Thomson|
|9 Kyle Vassell||9 Jordan Woodley|
|10 Charlie Stimson||10 Zac Attwood|
|11 Reece Hall||11 Joe Barham|
|12 Luke Wanadio (for Stimson 59)||12 Sean Ray|
|14 Ashley-Paul Robinson (for Wilson 59)||14 Kenny Pogue (for Barham 74)|
|15 Yafeu Downes||15 Nick Gonsalves (for Thomson 62)|
|16 Mike Daley||GK Harry Stapley|
|17 Christian Taverner (for Briggs 65)|
Referee: Michael Smith
Assistants: Kirk English & Robert Smith