08.08.23 vs Nuneaton Griff

Sutton earn point with incredible comeback

Andrew Delaney

Sutton came from 2-0 down to earn a thrilling draw in a classic game of two halves against Nuneaton Griff at Coleshill Road.

After a disappointing first half and an unfortunate own-goal, Sutton produced a storming second half performance resulting in a Joe Gildea penalty and a dramatic late equaliser by Tom Cullen on his club debut.

Both teams came into this match on the back of opening day victories, but it was the visitors who started on the front foot as United struggled to find any rhythm in the early stages.

Nuneaton were dictating play as Nathan McGarrity forced Reiss Wagstaff into an early save, and it wasn’t long before they took the lead, converting one of their numerous set pieces, with Archie Gallagher tucking away a Liam Kennedy corner.

Sutton were getting frustrated and had very little to show going forward in the first half, their only really chance falling to Tom Massey, whose shot on the spin went wide of the post.

Then right on the brink of half-time, a misunderstanding at the back between Kaine Donald and keeper Wagstaff saw the ball trickle into their own net and give the visitors what looked to be a comfortable two-goal lead heading into the break.

Sutton made three changes for the start of the second half, with Tom Cullen, Tion Pearce-Copeland and Joe Delaney taking to the field, together with a change in formation that had the team straight on the offensive; Massey had an effort from the left that just needed a touch in front of goal and Joe Gildea had a great chance with a shot at the back post that keeper Dale O’Donnell did well to save.

The breakthrough for Sutton came in the 72nd minute when Gildea was brought down just inside the penalty box, and he stepped up to calmly convert the resultant spot kick for his second goal of the season.

With confidence now spreading throughout the team, United continued to look a threat and Delaney’s balls into the box were causing all sorts of problems for the visitors. O’Donnell was kept busy and made a critical block at his near post to deny striker Leyton Hines.

Sutton kept up the pressure as the game reached its final stages. Massey showed his strength when he rode two challenges to power into the penalty area before firing his shot over the crossbar.

The equaliser came in the 90th minute and involved two players on their debut for Sutton: Harrison Coe and Tom Cullen. Coe did well to get the ball through to Delaney, who then threaded a perfect cross towards the back post where Cullen fired home his first goal for the club. And there was only one team who looked like snatching the win at this stage but with time running out, the match finished with a well-earned point for each team.

Next up for Sutton is their first away match of the season as they travel to Heather St. Johns for a 3pm kick off on Saturday 12th August.

Team: Sutton United
1. Reiss Wagstaff (c)
2. Lewis James
3. Jake Murrell
4. Kaine Donald – 45’ Tom Cullen
5. Brad Gregory – 45’ Tion Pearce-Copeland
6. Kye Billingham-Belle – 75’ Harrison Coe
7. Jonny Grigg – 45’ Joe Delaney
8. Sef Semlali – 65’ Lewan Tobin
9. Joe Gildea
10. Tom Massey
11. Leyton Hines

Richard Heath
Liam Burke
Chris Bratt-Rose
Derek Culling

Team: Nuneaton Griff
1. Dale O’Donnell
2. Jude Barnett
3. Ash Gray
4. Lucinee Donzo
5. Ryan Aston (c)
6. Nathan Haines
7. Dan Edmunds
8. Archie Gallagher
9. Nathan McGarrity
10. Joe Miles
11. Liam Kennedy
Substitutes: Lewis Commins, Blaine Angel, Ethan Looker, Jevon Fraser-Walters

Mitch Thomson, Alex Naughton,
Andy Needham, Will Daniel

Match Officials: Jake Richards, Simon Lane, Robert Harper

Sutton UnitedStatisticsNuneaton Griff
6Attempts on Target8
11Fouls Committed9
5Yellow Cards1
0Red Cards0
Joe DelaneyMan of the MatchRyan Aston
PlayerGoalAssistGrand Total
Leyton Hines314
Joe Gildea22
Joe Delaney123
Tom Massey112
Jon Grigg112
Thomas Cullen11
Kaine Donald11
Lewan Tobin11
Grand Total9716

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