Sutton United 4 Met Police 3 (H/T 1-2)
STUNNING COMEBACK GIVES U’S THREE POINTS IN OPENER
The Youth Team showed great resilience coming back from two goals down in their opening Ryman Youth League Central Division game to secure three points despite going down to ten men late on when keeper Antonio Dulgheru was harshly sent off.
Neither side seemed to start well with few goalscoring chances at either end, Brandon Johnson going closest for U’s with two long range efforts that both drifted over the bar. Sutton began to find their feet though and Arran Nurse was unlucky to see his header from Ryan Petruzziollo’s cross go straight at the keeper, whilst Nurse then put Dan Wanyoni through but he could only lob the ball over the bar. The visiting side went in front in bizarre circumstances when Alec Pasick’s free-kick from all of 40 yards seemed to catch Dulgheru stranded and under pressure from an onrushing striker, with the ball flicking off the keeper into the net. Sutton threatened to respond instantly, Wanyoni reacting first to Johnson’s low free kick and turning neatly on the edge of the box but could only fire straight at the keeper. A huge clearance from the Police defence then caught Sutton’s back four square, allowing Bobby Bennett the chance to race clear and lob the ball over the advancing Dulgheru into the goal to give the visitors a two goal cushion. Jake Tyson saw a header from Johnson’s corner cleared off the line before Dulgheru did well to gather Michael Eldridge’s stinging effort at the second attempt. In the closing stages of the half Sutton really began to pile the pressure on, with Harry Middleton volleying straight at the keeper from the edge of the box before Wanyoni flicked Shervin Mohajeri’s throw inside to Johnson, who’s rasping effort from 18 yards flew in off the inside of the keeper’s near post to give the hosts hope of a recovery.
If Sutton ended the first half strongly, they began the second half in devastating style. After 47 minutes Middleton’s strength and determination deep inside his own half ensured the ball made its way inside to Tyson who drove forward and released Josh Olufemi down the left hand side and he wrestle his way clear and allow himself space to blast the ball past the keeper. Substitute Dayo Akinbaje then latched on to Wanyoni’s through ball down the right hand side and put in an inch perfect cross for the onrushing Tyson, who powered a headed past the helpless keeper to put Sutton in front. At the other end, Sutton restricted Met Police to long range efforts, the closest of which saw Dulgheru cling on to Eldrige’s drive from outside the box, but it was Sutton who were by far the stronger of the two teams and they nearly extended the lead when Johnson’s delicate chip put Olufemi clear on the left whose cross was touched on by Wantoni to Akinbaje, but his shot agonisingly flew across goal and just past the far post. The crucial fourth goal came in the 66th minute though when Sutton broke quickly from a corner at the other end, and despite the chance seemingly being thwarted by a covering defender, his loose back pass was intercepted by Wanyoni and he chipped the ball beautifully over the keeper from 20 yards. With ten minutes to go though, Dulgheru seemed to get to the ball first as he rushed out to clear the ball but the referee bizarrely adjudged him to have fouled a Met Police forward, and proceeded to send the Sutton keeper off. To make matters worse, the referee also awarded the visitors a penalty which Matt Cornish duly despatched past sub keeper Elliott Orris to give the visitors a chance in the last ten minutes. It was Sutton who went closest to adding to the scores though, as Petruziello’s lofted past was raced onto by Wanyoni but his shot from range was tipped over.
Arran Nurse (Akinbaje, 49)
Harry Middleton (Orris, 80)
Subs: Cyrille Sahi, Elliott Orris, Harry Mills, Dayo Akinbaje
Goals: Johnson (42), Olufemi (47), Tyson (51), Wanyoni (66)