Sutton United 1 Leeds United 0
I always thought this particular banana skin would prove more slippery than the average yellow fruit; sending our second XI against an experienced group of players used to playing together on their own synthetic pitch in front of the TV cameras would have been hard enough, but to send what amounted to our 3rd XI that has probably never played together as a team before was ridiculous and was only ever going to end one way. We simply didn’t have enough quality on the pitch to start with and then with the little experience we did have not playing to their full potential, the hiding we got was understandable if not acceptable.
I travelled three and a half hours down and three and a half hours back in atrocious weather on crowded motorways and spent around £70 into the bargain to watch our 3rd XI today, and that simply is not good enough. I understand how important the Blackburn and Huddersfield games are to the main objective for the season but still find it hard to accept that was the best team we could sensibly field.
As a secondary issue it did serve one purpose, it told us yet again that our squad is wafer thin in terms of quality and very few of the players who started today will provide any ammunition for Monk in that bigger challenge for promotion. If we didn’t know it already we have to accept that if we don’t get the two quality players Monk has referred to signed, sealed and delivered in the next two days than that will mean any injuries or suspensions between now and May will probably be too much to absorb. I also guess that Garry Monk will have been let down by “the club” he keeps referring to should that be the case and who knows what the knock on effect of that will be in the weeks and months to come.
The other thing that happened today was that the relationship between that team on display today and the Leeds fans was soured. The Leeds fans expected far more from this group of players than they managed to give us and at the end of the game many Leeds fans were hurling abuse at them. I refused to get drawn into that because for me, those players did their best; the issue was that they should never have been sent out there in the first place ill-equipped as they were to deal with that Sutton side. The sight of those Leeds fans then abusing Luke Ayling who was presumably trying to appease the fans with the gift of a shirt was totally unacceptable but was another sad outcome of the whole situation.
So, in every respect today was a disaster and the only thing that will now heal the damage done will be a decent win on Wednesday when the First XI turns out again and then another win at Huddersfield next Sunday. My guess is, that if we can do that then everything will be forgiven but surely we still can’t achieve promotion without those reinforcements can we?
Sutton Utd L eeds United
Possession 32% 68%
Shots 11 7
On Target 5 3
Corners 4 4
Fouls 14 12