Sutton put the disappointment of Bromley's last gasp winner on Monday behind them to claim a convincing victory in the New Year's Day return fixture at Gander Green Lane. Whereas the Boxing Day meeting was a tight affair that could have gone either way, this was a far more conclusive game and after Maxime Biamou had provided the breakthrough with the last action of the first half, there was little sign that Bromley would bring themselves back in to the game particularly after Bradley Hudson-Odoi, who had an eventful afternoon as substitute, had doubled the lead just after the hour mark.
After Craig McAllister and Matt Tubbs had toiled hard for no reward at Hayes Lane, U's went for an alternative front pairing of Biamou and Dan Fitchett, while Dean Beckwith returned after his suspension, allowing Simon Downer to fill in at right back in place of Kevin Amankwaah, but they soon had to reshuffle as Ben Jefford suffered what looked like a hamstring injury. Hudson-Odoi was the chosen substitute with Nicky Bailey, who had deputised at right back at Bromley, now showing his value by slotting in at left back and producing a performance that earned him the sponsors' man of the match award.
Despite the early disruption, though, Sutton soon made the early running. Fitchett sent a shot across goal after creating space on the right of the penalty area, and Bedsente Gomis met a low cross from the right with a shot on the turn that was well saved by Alan Julian. Both Roarie Deacon and Craig Eastmond might have done better with shooting opportunities around the edge of the penalty area, and it wasn't until near half time that Bromley called Ross Worner in to action, although when he was required U's keeper made a fine reflex save to keep out Jack Holland's glancing header from a corner before gratefully grabbing Biamou's miscued clearance in the ensuing scramble.
After conceding teh decisive goal on Monday in the sixth minute of stoppage time when a minimum of five had been shown, there was some symmetry when U's took the lead, the reserve official having indicated a minimum two minutes which had already been exceeded when Hudson-Odoi was fouled midway inside the Bromley half, and the fourth extra minute having just started when Biamou met Deacon's free kick with a firm downward header in to the corner of the net.
With the boost of the late goal U's continued to boss the game after the break and Eastmond was desperately unlucky not to extend the lead, and throw his hat in to the goal of the season ring, when he met a cleared corner thirty yards out with a superb volley which curved away from Julian but thudded back off the inside of the post, Jordan Higgs clearing the rebound off Fitchett's toes. For U's, though, it was only a short-lived frustration, as when another set piece produced a goalmouth scramble the ball eventually ran to Hudson-Odoi, who whipped a shot high past Julian.
U's felt in sufficient control to remove Craig Eastmond, who had been booked by an unpredictable referee moments earlier, but even so their domination remained and might have produced more goals as Biamou flashed a header over the bar from a Deacon free kick, and Fitchett just failed to convert at the near post from another cross by Deacon, who was giving the Bromley defence an increasingly hard time and showing the form that had seen him voted Player of the Month for December.
The introduction of Bradley Goldberg, who had been waiting to come on as Hudson-Odoi scored his goal, and Louis Dennis failed to have the same impact as at Hayes Lane as U's defence comfortably held the Bromley attack at bay, and the more notable substitution was for U's as Jeffrey Monakana came on for his debut in place of Hudson-Odoi, who picked up the season's most bizarre booking so far as the referee decided he had deliberately delayed the change by moving towards the far touchline. Monakana had to wait a while for a significant touch, but it was worth waiting for as a dash down the left and a low cross might have created a goal for Adam May, and two more incisive bursts drew appreciation from U's supporters as they saw their side comfortably play out the closing stages, with May also going close with a low shot pushed away by Julian.
Bromley: A Julian, D Johnson(sub J Wynter 86), J Anderson, C Dymond, R Swaine, J Holland, D Martin(sub L Dennis 68), J Higgs, G Porter(sub B Goldberg 62), A Cunnington, B Turgott. Subs n/u R Prestedge, B Chorley. Booked: Martin, Anderson, Cunnington.