Groundhopping

Playmakers, tricky wingers and possession, how to win a game in the ninth tier…. Molesey FC v Sutton Common Rovers

Hello!

Thanks for coming back to another one of my weekend groundhopping adventures!

This week I was backing ticking the Combined Counties Premier Division (just 11 more to go before I complete it!), and my destination was Molesey FC.

If you are up to date with my blog then you will know that it has been around 18 months since my last 0-0 draw, and today I was not expecting this to be broken as Molesey were hosting Sutton Common Rovers, who were top and unbeaten in the league.

Molesey on the other hand sat bottom prior to kick off, so surely there would be goals!! You’re about to find out.

This week I had a change of groundhopping partner, I was joined by my father (who happens to live pretty locally to Molesey).

I made the short drive through Walton and arrived at the ground with about 15 minutes to spare. We went in after having our temperature taken (very Covid secure I love it!) and made our way to the side of the pitch to discuss what we reckoned was going to happen.

Sutton were obviously strong favourites, but the Combined Counties is a very unpredictable division and there was nothing to say they couldn’t pull off an upset.

This weeks venue

The game started in a rather predictable fashion, with the away side having most of the possession and looking probing in attack. Sutton clearly had quality laced throughout their side, but Molesey were sitting deep and holding tight to deny the away side who had a lot of possession.

The Moles actually grew into the game as the half wore on and Sutton’s rhythm was slightly skewed by the home sides dogged work. They never really carved out any clear cut opportunities, but it looked as if they were going to make it to half time at 0-0.

Much of the first half was contested nnin the middle of the field

But in the dying seconds of the first half Sutton carved the home defence open with a goal of such precise quality.

It was a goal made on the wings, with right winger Lyle outmuscling his man and swinging in a low cross straight onto the head of Ollie Twum. From right winger to left winger, this was a gift for Twum who duly accepted it by scoring a lovey header.

Sutton probably deserved the lead, but Molesey will feel hard done by considering how close they came to making it to half time level.

And unfortunately for the home side it wasn’t going to get any better as Sutton then came out and bossed the second half completely.

At times it was like watching Manchester City play, Sutton kept the ball relentlessly and they made sure Molesey couldn’t counter attack on them.

The game was being run by Brendan Murphy-McVey, the number 10 must’ve created about five or six chances for his attackers, maybe Arsenal should take a look at him to replace Mesut Ozil! I’m sure Brendan would accept the £350k a week…

Predictably it was Murphy-McVey who doubled Sutton’s lead with a piece of brilliance. The away side were awarded a free kick just on the edge of the box, the angle made it seem as if a cross was the only option, but the number 10 shot and the ball rifled right into the top corner.

Celebrating their second…

Molesey’s keeper was left stretching but he was powerless to stop the shot from finding its way into the top corner.

Sutton really had their swagger now, and it seemed like they were hungry for more, but Molesey’s keeper actually had a really good performance and kept out a lot Sutton’s advances.

He was brave, quick and claimed the ball well, considering the amount of possession Sutton had in the second half, he should feel proud that he only conceded two in the game.

As Sutton were pinging the ball around it seemed like the game would end without incident, but I was wrong, we were still going to see some action.

In pretty much the last minute of the game, one of Sutton’s substitutes flew into a challenge and caught his man quite badly, and after some deliberation he was shown a straight red card. This must’ve but a minor blip on the game for those connected with Sutton, but it was far too late to alter the result.

Molesey pushed forward but it was far too late to make any inroads on the away sides goal, and so it finished 0-2 after they completely bossed the game.

Suttons stand out players were Murphy-McVey and Twum, they both caused havoc among Molesey’s back line and were far too hot to handle. It is rare to see someone with the pace and directness of Ollie Twum in the ninth tier, but I think it’s even rarer to find a creative talent such as Murphy-McVey down there.

Molesey’s keeper also deserves a mention as I thought he put in an excellent display, saving his side from what could have been a devastating scoreline.

This was a throughly enjoyable game to watch at a very nice ground. Walton Road is surrounded by houses, and they have a really impressive stand on the near side which was very nice to look at indeed!

Molesey still sit bottom of the Combined Counties Premier Division, but with the spirit they showed on Saturday, I’m sure they will have enough in them to stay up, and it would be nice to go back there and watch another CC Premier Division game next year…

As for Sutton, they are the best team I’ve seen play at this level, so I do expect them to mount a serious challenge at the top of the table, alongside Spelthorne who also really impressed me a few weeks ago. They are yet to lose still so maybe we’ll see some invincibles 👀 no pressure Sutton!!

Anyway, that’s all for this weeks groundhopping adventure!

Make sure you follow us on Twitter @GroundhoppersG1 and find us on Facebook @GroundhoppersGuide

See you next week!

  • GROUND: Walton Road
  • GAME: Molesey FC 0-2 Sutton Common Rovers
  • COMPETITION: Combined Counties Premier Division
  • GROUND NUMBER: 86
  • WOULD I GO BACK: Yep
  • TICKET PRICE: £5
  • HOPPER: George
  • DAYS SINCE LAST 0-0: 610

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