Had Wednesday nightís friendly at Gander Green Lane been a competitive game, Sutton would have been far less relaxed about a defeat that saw the end of their unbeaten pre-season record, but as it was they were able to concentrate on the positives from a good performance which deserved better than the two goals that went past Wayne Shaw inside the last two minutes to tip an entertaining game Barnetís way after Uís had missed chances inside the last ten minutes to win the game themselves.
Uís were away to a fine start when for the second game running Anthony Riviere produced a fine finish from the edge of the penalty area after being set up by Craig Dundas and Leroy Griffiths, although Barnet should have been level almost immediately when Ricky Holmes was put through and took the ball round Wayne Shaw only to then fire in to the side netting. Given a second chance minutes later by a misplaced pass from Tony Taggart, Holmes was this time denied by a fine low save from Shaw, who was in the starting line-up after Kevin Scriven sustained a thumb injury on Saturday.
Sutton were more than holding their own against the League Two side, though, and on the half hour a typically barn-storming run from Dundas should have produced a second goal but having done all the hard work he sliced his shot wide. Alan Bray also went close on the stroke of half time, his back-heeled effort following a corner cleared off the line by Jordan Parkes, while Holmes again had a sight of goal for Barnet but hit the outside of the post from a narrow angle.
Having replaced Simon Downer with Jay Conroy ten minutes before half time, Uís made the bulk of their other changes early in the second half but maintained their form and were unlucky not to be two ahead when Griffiths ran on to a through ball and lifted it over goalkeeper Liam OíBrien, who then checked the striker as he tried to follow in. In a competitive game controversy would have followed, as the contact looked to be inside the penalty area but a free kick was awarded just outside, while OíBrien would probably have been heading for the changing rooms, but he escaped with a warning and Tommy Kavanagh sent the free kick just too high.
It was the next substitution that seemed to have most impact, as the experienced, much-travelled and easily recognisable Jason Price came on for his Barnet debut and immediately provided more of a target for the impressive former Carshalton winger Mark Marshall. Within two minutes Price had headed back a Marshall cross, and Sam Deering steered the ball inside the post. With quarter of an hour left Barnet had turned the game round as Uís failed to clear a low shot and Clovis Kamdjo netted with a spectacular overhead kick, but four minutes later Taggartís corner to the near post was cleared as far as Kavanagh, who ignored the obvious option of playing it back to Taggart and instead crossed for Griffiths, who had escaped the defence and scored with a powerful volley despite a valiant attempt by OíBrien to keep the effort out.
Charlie Taylor, the striker sold by Uís to Barnet last year, made his appearance with ten minutes to go and almost saw Marshall give his team the lead with a low free kick which was seen late by Shaw, who did brilliantly to get down and save, but it was Uís who looked the likelier winners as Craig Watkins headed just wide from a Taggart cross and then met Fola Orilonisheís low ball in with a clean contact ten yards out which seemed certain to give Uís the lead until OíBrien somehow got his body in the way. Watkins also sent a low shot just past the post after cutting in from the left, but Barnet had their own clear chance to win when Deering stole in unnoticed to met a Parkes cross but shot wastefully wide. As the game entered stoppage time and with a draw looking the probable outcome, a result that would have been the least Sutton deserved, Barnet struck decisively on the counter attack as Price was sent through to shoot low past Shaw, and salt was rubbed in the Sutton wounds when Price knocked back another Marshall cross and Deering volleyed smartly home to register his second of the night.
Sutton: W Shaw, S Downer (sub J Conroy 35), A Bray (sub F Orilonishe 54), K Murray, K El-Salahi, S Page, A Riviere (sub T Kavanagh 54), T Davis (sub R McCrae 65), L Griffiths, C Dundas (sub C Watkins 54), T Taggart.
Barnet: L OíBrien, D Senda, J Parkes, M Hughes, A Uddin, C Kamdjo, M Byrne, I McLeod (sub J Price 58), R Holmes (sub C Taylor 80), S Deering, M Marshall.