Sutton United 5 Molesey 4 AET (H/T 1-0, F/T 3-3)
YOUTHS EMERGE VICTORIOUS IN 9-GOAL THRILLER
Sutton eventually won through to the 3rd Qualifying Round of the FA Youth Cup after a 9-goal thriller at Gander Green Lane.
There was no hint of what was to come in a first half that Sutton controlled to a large extent, with Andrius Lucauskas looking dangerous down the left in the opening stages as first his cut-back was cleared with Darnell Austin looking to pounce, then a long range effort drifting wide of the post before a further shot was saved. Rommel Hunte-Christie then saw his shot deflect wide after good work from Josh Danquah down the right, but in the 20th minute Danquah found Crossley Lema overlapping on the right and his square ball across the six-yard box left the keeper stranded and allowed Hunte-Christie to touch home from close range. Kieron Rhule then saw a powerful drive saved at the second attempt whilst Darnell Austin was unlucky to see his curling effort bounce wide of the far post.
Aaron Afriyie’s searching crossfield ball in the opening moments of the second half set Lucauskas on his way and he checked in and curled an effort that was superbly pushed wide by the keeper, then Austin had the ball nicked off his toe as he was pulling the trigger from 15 yards out after Danquah had found him in space. The game turned on 55 minutes though when Sam Whatley’s corner from the right made his way back to him 35 yards out on the touchline and his cross-shot dipped out of Tom Day’s reach and underneath the crossbar. Moments later, Molesey had turned the game around when Arun Astley found himself in space 20 yards out and he arrowed a shot into the top corner. Lucauskas and Seyi Aka-Bashorun both failed to trouble the keeper as Sutton searched for an equaliser and as they pushed forward, it allowed the visitors several chances to break and add to the scoreline. Stefan Ilic fizzed a free-kick inches wide of the post for Sutton, but Molesey looked the more likely to score and Whatley was denied a second by Tom Mallett’s goal-line clearance but in the 86th minute, the game looked to be settled as Jamie Howard’s cross from their left was turned into the net at the near post by Loreaz Manolias. Sutton were given a lifeline through when Lema’s cross from the right in the 88th minute was handled inside the area, Mallett stepping up to fire the penalty home, and with the game in injury time, Lema leapt highest to head Austin’s corner past the keeper for an unlikely equaliser.
Austin had the opening chance of extra time seeing his low drive turned away for a corner, but a couple of minutes later Austin found Danquah in acres of space in the area and he fired past the keeper into the bottom corner. Rhule and Ilic both had chances to extend the lead in the first half but were denied by good saves.
Callum Castling came within inches of levelling the scores again as his half-volley dipped over the bar, whilst Howard also came close firing across goal, but in the 117th minute, Jean-Luc Kinsaba raced onto the ball down the left and crossed low to Ilic who this time made no mistake firing past the keeper. There was still time for a nervy last few seconds as Lewis claimed his second of the match, but Sutton held on to secure the win.
Jamie Blanco (Afriyie, 3)
Rommel Hunte-Christie (Kugathas, 64)
Andrius Lucauskas (Ilic, 77)
Subs: Aaron Afriyie, Lamar Fowlkes, Ayran Kugathas, Stefan Ilic, Archie Harland-Goddard
Goals: Hunte-Christie (20), Mallett (88p), Lema (90), Danquah (93), Ilic (117)