Sutton Common Rovers (1) 3, Guildford City (1) 1
by Barry Underwood
In-form Sutton Common (SCR) claimed what in the end was a comfortable three points against a largely lack lustre City side. SCR dominated possession for much of the game and for long periods pushed and probed against the visitor’s hard working defence. There was no doubting the effort expended by the City players but too often they were out enthused. In the opening minutes City did look to break forward, and on six minutes they took the lead after a neat move. Jordan Gallagher found space on the right and his superb cross was met in the middle by Dan Stewart who headed home his 15th goal of the season. The lead didn’t last long as four minutes later the home side equalised and it was a poor goal to concede. There were several chances to clear the ball in the penalty area. All were spurned and Craig Nelson was able to casually pass the loose ball into the net. Almost immediately SCR smashed a long range effort against the crossbar and the rebound was cleared. Jamil Okai shot over at the near post and late on Luke Badiali bravely smothered another chance. City were having some joy down the right and a fine run off the ball by Robbie Mundow gave him a chance to cross low to Dan Stewart whose goal bound effort was blocked. Seconds later the ball was recycled and Gallagher’s cross was headed inches over by Stewart.
Guildford were less of an attacking threat in the second period and for long periods it was backs to the wall. Within three minutes of the restart SCR had the ball in the net only to see it disallowed for an infringement. On 55 minutes a tough task for Guildford was made doubly difficult. City skipper Nemo Adams misplaced a clearance and angry with himself he launched into an unwise challenge that saw him shown a straight red card. To his credit Nathaniel Williams repeatedly tried to create an opening on the left, and from one such run the ball fell to Dan Stewart but Asa Rixon-Nicholls made a fantastic tackle on the edge of the box. With City down to 10, and the scores still level SCR threw everything forward. Several times there were frantic scrambles in the City box, and on 74 minutes Jordan Gallagher was well placed to clear the ball off the line. On 77 minutes SCR’s almost inevitable second goal was headed in by Asa Rixon-Nicholls at the far post. With seconds left on the clock SCR scored a third shooting into the corner, and truthfully nobody could begrudge them their win. City move on next week to face the team currently sitting in second and will have to raise their performance level if they are to avoid a repeat score line.
Team: Luke Badiali, Chris Tancock, Shaun Johnson, Luke Beale, Nemo Adams, David Opoku (Francois Gabbidon 67), Robbie Mundow (David Burton 60), Kiye Martin, Dan Stewart, Jordan Gallagher (Louie Downey 80), Nathaniel Williams. Unused subs: Josh Burrowes, Miguel Anderson.
Referee: Stephen Matthews