Deprived of their first choice centre-back partnership, and with two potential stand-ins joining them on the injured list on Thursday, Sutton made light of the adversity to produce possibly their best performance under Paul Doswell and take their place in the 1st round proper of the FA Cup, sponsored by E.ON, for the second season running. The better side in the first half and arguably worth more than their single goal lead at half time, Uís could have wobbled when former Gander Green Lane favourite Craig Dundas equalised on the hour, but within a minute Sam Gargan, one of a number of outstanding performers, had restored Uís lead and an Alan Pouton penalty five minutes later gave them a two goal cushion that was rarely threatened by the Blue Square South side.
With Jason Goodliffe joined on the injured list by Steve Perkins and John Cartledge, and Karim El-Salahi suspended, manager Paul Doswellís central defensive problems eased when Bradley Thomas, originally unavailable due to his motherís wedding, organised his arrangements to allow him to play, and his performance until limping off ten minutes from time belied his lack of action this season and complemented a superb performance from Alan Bray, named captain in Goodliffeís absence.
Garganís threat, and how much he had been missed against Tonbridge last week, was shown in the first five minutes when he was only just beaten to the ball on the edge of the penalty area by goalkeeper Matt Lovett, but Hampton had a chance of their own soon afterwards as Bray diverted a cross in to the path of Barrie Matthews, but he couldnít keep his shot down, and it was Sutton who almost went ahead after quarter of an hour when James Hawes, filling the left back position normally occupied by Bray, combined well with Billy Dunn and crossed to the far post when the ball fell for Hann, whose shot was blocked by a challenging defender, Uís appealing loudly but unavailingly for handball.
Six minutes later, though, they were in front and while it was Hannís name against the goal there was a huge assist from goalkeeper Kevin Scriven, who saved superbly at close range from Dundas as Uís failed to clear a free kick from the left. The rebound was hacked away, and having launched the counter attack by bringing the ball away from danger, Hann then finished it as he ran on to a well timed pass from Sonny Cobbs and lifted the ball over the advancing Lovett. Dundas for once shook off the attentions of Bray to fire a shot across the face of goal just after the half hour mark, but it was a rare moment of threat as Uís worked hard to maintain their lead and often looked capable of extending it, James Hawes again doing well on the left but putting his low cross just too close to Lovett.
A calf strain saw Dunn replaced at half time by Anthony Joseph, whose pace was soon evident in one dash down the left wing to turn defence in to attack, but on the hour Uís were rocked back out of nothing when Dundas turned past Thomas on to a quick throw in down the right, rather as Hann had done in the first half, the powerful striker, by some distance Hamptonís best player on the day, tucked the ball past Scriven as the keeper came out.
If Uís supporters were worried as to how events might unfold from there, though, the fears were short lived. Within a minute Pouton collected a throw in on the right edge of the penalty area and played a low pass in to Gargan, who turned and shot low and accurately in to the far corner of the net from fifteen yards. It was a perfect response from Uís impressive centre forward, both to the Hampton equaliser and to a harsh booking five minutes earlier, and he was involved again as the third goal soon followed, this time battling in from the left and seeing his shot hit the hand of John Scarborough as the former Sutton skipper slid in with Matthews to try and avert the danger. It looked a similar shout to the one Uís had had in the first half, but this time referee Ryan Atkin pointed immediately to the spot, and Pouton hammered the penalty in to the roof of the net. Hamptonís response was to bring on Jon McDonald to launch throw-ins from just about anywhere in the Sutton half, and from one Ian Hodges, also on as a substitute as they tried to find a way back, backheaded the ball over Scriven and against the bar, but it was Uís only serious scare as they comfortably closed the game out and, with the pace of Joseph and substitute Stefan Payne ensuring that the ball could quickly find its way deep in to the opposing half, always looked capable of adding to their lead.
Hampton: M Lovett, A Smith, C Tanner, O Jeffrey, J Scarborough, D Wells (sub G Harper 42), J Collins, M Fernandes (sub J McDonald 68), C Dundas, M Charles(sub I Hodges 65), B Matthews. Subs n/u L Yaku, E Brathwaite, N Collier, S Lake. Booked: Harper(55-unsporting behaviour), Collins(88-dissent).