05.09.23 vs Coventry Copswood

Semlali goal gives Sutton the win

Andrew Delaney

Sef Semlali’s first half header was enough for Sutton to claim an important victory away at Coventry Copsewood.

Semlali’s first goal of the season was a terrific header in the 16th minute from Will Buchanan’s delivery, and it was the highlight of an energetic first half performance from Sutton which should have seen them going into the break two or three goals to the good.

The midfielder was playing in a more attacking role and could have had a hat-trick as he was denied by both the woodwork and keeper Olly Manuel. Kieron McConville and Sam Price looked lively up front for Sutton, and both had opportunities blocked by some strong defending from Copsewood.

The home side had a couple of good chances on the counterattack, with Eden Mukenge striking the crossbar early in the half and Jean Gomes curling an effort that had Reiss Wagstaff diving to keep out of the top corner of his net.

Sam Simmonds returned to the first team for Sutton and worked hard in the centre of midfield, alongside the impressive Will Jones who, in the 42nd minute, found himself on the end of an off-the-ball altercation with Mukenge that saw the Copsewood striker shown a straight red card.

Now down to ten men, the hosts made two changes for the start of the second half, bringing on Husana Noma and Sam Hewitt and they began to push hard for an equaliser. Sean Kavanagh had a great chance early on with a back post header that went over the target.

United continued to pose a threat going forward, hitting the woodwork again when McConville’s shot across the keeper clipped the upright, with Price sprinting in at the back post but unable to find a finish. And late in the half, substitute Matt Bishop’s effort drew a fine save from Manuel.

Copsewood pressed in the final stages, but Sutton worked hard to earn their first clean sheet since their opening match of the season. Indeed, United have been guilty of letting leads slip in recent matches, so tensions were running high as the game drew to a close, and when the hosts won a corner in the eleventh minute of added time, it was captain, Wagstaff, who saved the day for Sutton with a superb save to deny Joe Anthony.

The win sees Sutton climb out of the relegation zone and up to fourteenth in the table, providing a much-needed confidence boost for their next match on Saturday 9th September when they travel to Droitwich Spa.

Team: Coventry Copsewood
1. Olly Manuel
2. Sam Anthony Ellis
3. Joe Anthony
4. Jake Upton – 45’ Husama Noma
5. Ben Atkins
6. Brandon Patterson – 45’ Sam Hewitt
7. Charlie Gordon – 62’ Harvey Billing
8. Harvey Wells
9. Sean Kavanagh (c)
10. Eden Mukenge
11. Jean Patrick Gomes

PJ Gordon
Paul Tierney
Dave Levick
Steve Shaw

Team: Sutton United
1. Reiss Wagstaff (c)
2. Jonny Grigg
3. Mark Moore
4. Lewis James – 80’ Matt Bishop
5. Tion Pearce-Copeland
6. Sam Simmonds
7. Will Jones – 70’ Kye Billingham-Belle
8. Sef Semlali – 90+1’ Matt Hurrell
9. Kieron McConville – 88’ Harrison Coe
10. Sam Price
11. Will Buchanan – 82’ Ryan Delport

Richard Heath
Liam Burke
Matt Gough
Chris Bratt-Rose
Amelia Small

Match Officials: Jamie Howe, Callum Chantler, Orkan Bedre

Coventry CopsewoodStatisticsSutton United
5Attempts on Target8
11Fouls Committed11
1Yellow Cards3
1Red Cards0
Man of the MatchReiss Wagstaff
PlayerAppearancesGoalsAssistsOpp MOTM
Joe Gildea7512
Leyton Hines5411
Yousef Semlali8120
Tom Massey7121
Joe Delaney3121
Jon Grigg8110
Sam Price3110
Brad Gregory5100
Thomas Cullen5100
Kaine Donald4010
Lewan Tobin3010
Will Buchanan2010
Kye Billingham-Belle8000
Lewis James8000
Reiss Wagstaff8002
Tion Pearce-Copeland8000
Harrison Coe5000
Will Jones5000
Jake Murrell4000
Kieran McConville3000
Mark Moore3000
Remi Bell3000
Ryan Delport3000
Matt Bishop2000
Daniel Cooper1000
Ethan Hanks1000
Matt Hurrell1000
Sam Simmonds1000

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