09.09.09 vs Droitwich Spa

10-men Sutton snatch huge win

Andrew Delaney

Against all the odds the ten men of Sutton dug deep to pull off an amazing victory away at Droitwich Spa.

This was United’s first trip to Droitwich’s impressive new stadium, where the home side had been undefeated for eleven months, and when Tion Pearce-Copeland was shown a straight red card in the 9th minute, for retaliation against Spa’s captain James Lemon, the odds became overwhelmingly stacked against Sutton.

However, in what was to be the hottest day of the year, Sutton pulled together as a team to produce a superb defensive display and when their chance came, it was Sam Price who converted a set-piece that gave them a truly impressive victory.

The home side had begum the match brightly with Alex Dugmore firing into the side netting in the third minute. But as Sutton were growing into the game, the sending off so early in the match, was pivotal. There was no question about the red card, but the referee should probably have dealt with the Spa captain for his initial off-the-ball incident that sparked the retaliation, however, the officiating throughout the match was to prove frustrating for both teams.

Jake Murrell and Jonny Grigg dropped back for Sutton and alongside the impressive duo Matt Bishop and Mark Moore, they dealt with all Droitwich had to throw at them. And then in the 13th minute, Sutton had the woodwork to thank when Lemon headed onto the post before Charlie Tilley volleyed the rebound wide.

Spa continued to press their advantage and when Roland Krol found himself free in the box, he fired his header straight at keeper Reiss Wagstaff. Lemon squandered two more good chances for Droitwich when his shot from left of goal was easy for Wagstaff and just before the break, his effort at the near post went wide of the target.

It was a huge boost for Sutton to go into the break at 0-0 and they then had Tom Massey and Joe Gildea to bring on early in the second half providing some energy and strength to the side. Both were involved in Sutton’s goal in the 51st minute, when Gildea slipped his free kick to Massey in the box, who turned to set up Price on the left to fire home across the keeper with precision.

No longer just a point, United now had a lead to defend and they were not letting it go easily, and as the hosts were becoming more frustrated, Dugmore got himself sent off in the 71st minute for a late challenge on Murrell.

For most of the match Sutton had defended in numbers to prevent too much getting through to Wagstaff, but in the 78th minute he was called into action with a superb save to deny Tilley from six yards.

Every United player put in a shift for the win, though it was a day for the defenders, and anyone could easily have been chosen for man-of-the-match, though Suttons very own Terry Butcher may have edged it!

With back-to-back away victories under their belt, Sutton now head back to Coleshill Road to host Bilston Town on Saturday 16th September.

Team: Droitwich Spa
1. Joel Chadwick
2. Jack Brighton
3. Lewis Phillips
4. Cory Rudd
5. Scott Braiden-Smith
6. Alex Dugmore
7. Sam Hurdman
8. Charlie Tilley
9. James Lemon (c)
10. Roland Krol
11. Luke Molloy

Andy Crowther
Joe Mayo-Braiden
Matthew Hunt
Chris Hunt
Matt Oliver

Team: Sutton United
1. Reiss Wagstaff (c)
2. Jonny Grigg
3. Mark Moore
4. Matt Bishop
5. Tion Pearce-Copeland
6. Sam Simmonds – 45’ Tom Massey
7. Kye Billingham-Belle
8. Sef Semlali – 50’ Joe Gildea
9. Kieron McConville – Ethan Hanks
10. Sam Price – 89’ Harrison Coe
11. Jake Murrell

Richard Heath
Liam Burke
Matt Gough
Chris Bratt-Rose
Derek Culling

Match Officials: James Hosie, Clive Wilkins, Jonathan Moreby

Droitwich SpaStatisticsSutton United
5Attempts on Target1
11Fouls Committed9
1Yellow Cards2
1Red Cards1
Opp Man of the MatchReiss Wagstaff
PlayerAppearancesGoalsAssistsOpp MOTM
Joe Gildea8512
Leyton Hines5411
Sam Price4210
Tom Massey8131
Yousef Semlali9120
Joe Delaney3121
Jon Grigg9110
Brad Gregory5100
Thomas Cullen5100
Kaine Donald4010
Lewan Tobin3010
Will Buchanan2010
Kye Billingham-Belle9000
Reiss Wagstaff9003
Tion Pearce-Copeland9000
Lewis James8000
Harrison Coe6000
Jake Murrell5000
Will Jones5000
Kieran McConville4000
Mark Moore4000
Matt Bishop3000
Remi Bell3000
Ryan Delport3000
Ethan Hanks2000
Sam Simmonds2000
Daniel Cooper1000
Matt Hurrell1000

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