football-1A late goal not enough for Sutton Common Rovers as they slumped to a disappointing 2-1 defeat against a strong CB Hounslow Utd side on Saturday, writes Gary Brigden
We made a bright start, and after only two minutes had a decent penalty shout when Francois Gabbidon went down under pressure from CB’s Chiedozie, who had a good handful of shirt, but nothing was given. The visitors then broke quickly, forcing a corner, and we were grateful to two blocks from Nemo Adams to prevent us from falling behind.

A Liam Holden corner on six minutes was well cleared by Stuart Bamford, and as we returned the ball into the box, a shot on the turn by Michael Campbell was well blocked by Harry Driver.

CB went close on 12 minutes, when a superb ball by Gavin Bamford found Simon Murr, from his cross Adams just did enough to prevent the ball reaching Jack Watts, and from the loose ball Terence Cariba saw his shot again blocked by Adams.

Murr and Stef Nor then linked up well, and Owen Davies had to be at full stretch to turn the ball behind for a corner. On the quarter hour Cariba broke our backline, but with time to pick his spot, he could only fire over the crossbar.

CB were dominating play, and we were at full stretch much of the time to keep them at bay. The game then witnessed a bout of handbags on 20 minutes. Gabbidon was on the end of a poor challenge by S Bamford, and then Richie Monan hit G Bamford with an equally poor challenge, and after the referee had calmed things down, Monan saw his way into the book.

S Bamford found his way into the book on 22 minutes, hauling back Campbell who had spun away from him and was about to race goalwards. From the free kick we hung up a loopy cross which was meat and drink to CB’s giant keeper Alex Wines.

Campbell fired a shot against the post on 25 minutes, and two minutes later a superb curled effort by Watts crashed against our bar, with Adams effecting a last ditch clearance. Cariba fired wide of the right hand post, before the visitors took the lead on the half hour. A near post corner saw several heads rise and one get a flick on the ball, from where I was I couldn’t tell the scorer but sources behind the goal indicated it was an own goal, but again not sure who.

We responded positively and a low cross by Anson Cousins was well defended by Chiedozie. Both sides could have scored within a minute of each other on the 37th minute, when a weak back header by the otherwise solid Adams forced Ollie Ellaway into a brave save at the feet of Watts. From the break a low Gabbidon cross found debutant Elton Gjoni, but he was unable to force the ball home from close range.

Shortly before half time, and CB increased their lead. Cariba was bought down by Davies on the edge of the area and Watts curled the free kick beyond Ellaway for 2-0, and the whistle blew for the break almost immediately.

We started brightly in the second half, and a dangerous Gjoni cross went begging as no-one was on hand to turn the ball home. Adams did well on ten minutes, intercepting a through ball headed for Watts, but then proceeded to give the ball back to G Bamford, who in turn played the ball straight out for a goal kick.

G Bamford found Watts on the hour, only for a great challenge by Davies to prevent the forward getting through on goal. We then made a double change, introducing Miguel Anderson and Davis Cofie for Liam Holden and Elton Gjoni.

Two minutes later and Jordan Ireland found Cariba but he could only chip the ball straight at Ellaway. Gabbidon dragged an effort wide on 65 minutes, as we still searched for that lifeline in the game.

With twenty to go, and neat play between Monan and Anderson ended with a cross to the back post, but Sean Bradley could only head over the bar. We made our final change almost immediately, with Bradley being replaced by Danny Fernandez.

With just over fifteen minutes remaining we were back in the game a long throw wasn’t cleared, and Anderson showed tremendous feet to wriggle through several challenges before poking the ball through Driver’s legs and into the goal for 2-1.

Fernandez was booked on 77 minutes for delaying the game, on our free kick, when we were losing – go figure!

Aaron Bogle saw a shot deflected behind on 80 minutes, as we finished strongly, but were unable to force an equaliser and slipped to another defeat.

To be honest, couldn’t really grumble about the result  CB were much the better side in the first half, and although we improved in the second half, it was too little too late.

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