Sutton United 0 Tooting & Mitcham United 1 (H/T 0-1)
WINNING RUN COMES TO AN END AS YOUTHS SLIP UP
A hatful of missed chances cost Sutton dear tonight at a windswept Merland Rise as an 18th minute goal from the visitors proved decisive.
Sutton could have got off to a perfect start when Jake Tyson won the ball 25 yards out and touched it through to Arran Nurse, who beat the onrushing keeper but was unfortunate to see the ball crash off the post. Both teams struggled to get to grips with the wind for much of the early stages though, and it was Elliott Orris in the Sutton goal who pulled off a superb save from a swirling effort from outside the box to keep the scores level, but shortly afterwards a long-range free-kick seemed to move from left to right and back left again as Orris could only parry it out to Michael Tia 6 yards out, who had the simple job of nodding into the back of the net to give Tooting a surprise lead. Nurse nearly equalised straight from kick-off, but the unconventional Tyler Wootton in the visitors’ goal did well to push the ball around the post. A great run from inside his own half by Dayo Akinbeje down the right gave him space to square the ball to Dan Wanyoni, but Wootton again saved well. Declan Ryan was next to come close, jinking past three challenges on the goal-line before blasting an effort off the keeper which flew back to Akinbeje, but he could only fire over the bar. Nurse then toughted the ball inside on the edge of the box and fired at goal but Wootton eventually gathered the ball at the second attempt as Wanyoni looked to pounce.
Tia had the first chance of the second half as Tooting threatened, but his shot from 25 yards flashed wide of the post. Brandon Johnson’s left-footed set pieces became a feature of the second half, the first beating the keeper but also just going beyond the despairing lunge of Harry Mills at the far post. Wanyoni then created his own space and outmuscled the final defender before shooting powerfully towards the top corner, but the keeper did well to pluck it out of the air. Wanyoni’s cross from the left then found Akinbeje at the far post, but his shot was well smothered by the onrushing Wootton. In the final stages as the home side desperately searched for an equaliser, Lewis Taylor’s goal-bound header from Ryan Petruzziello’s cross was deflected out for a corner, and finally Wanyoni’s effort was saved after Nurse had flicked the ball through to him, but in the end it was a frustrating result as Sutton were left to rue missed chances.
Ryan Petruzziello (Partington, 84)
Declan Ryan (Middleton, 46) (Howard, 78)
Subs: Harry Middleton, Emet Jaffe-Pearce, Ted Howard, Jack Partington, Antonio Dulgheru