Tuesday 10th December 2019 | 19:45
Mill Farm | Attendance: 1,054
Address: Coronation Way, Wesham, PR4 3JZ
After being unable to travel to Fylde in October due to train disruption, Sutton make the long trip north this evening to face the Lancashire side who reached the play-off final last season but who have been struggling at the wrong end of the table for much of this campaign. That poor start led to Dave Challinor losing the manager’s post on the day that U’s were supposed to be playing at Mill Farm in October, and he has recently been replaced by former long-serving Morecambe manager Jim Bentley. He has supervised an upturn in form, with consecutive league victories against Dagenham and Wrexham, and FA Cup wins at Nantwich and Kingstonian which have resulted in a trip to Bramall Lane to face Sheffield United next month.
On Saturday Fylde lost to a last minute goal at Barnet while U’s were continuing a good run which has seen three wins and a draw in the last five games, Harry Beautyman’s 10th league and cup goal of the season earning a point at Notts County, and victory tonight would put U’s up to 18th, above their opponents tonight as well as Aldershot and Wrexham, U’s next league opponents after tonight.
Last season’s game almost exactly a year ago finished 2-2, U’s twice coming from behind and Bradley Pearce marking his fill league debut with a goal before Kieron Cadogan’s late equaliser (above). Kenny Davis may be fit to return to the squad tonight having missed out at Notts County due to injury.
We will have commentary on out Mixlr site for those that aren’t travelling north – those that are can buy tickets online before travelling or on the night, although tickets must be bought at the ticket office before entering the ground – there is no cash admission on the turnstiles. Further details are here
The U’s long Tuesday night trip saw them fight out a hard earned draw as both sides failed to capitalise on their chances to see the game finish 0-0.
The game got off to a flying start with both sides creating goal scoring opportunities in the opening five minutes. Sutton were the first two minutes in, with David Ajiboye gathering the ball on the edge of the box and dribbling past the Fylde defence, only to have keeper Sam Hornby save his shot from a tight angle and then scramble away the subsequent rebound. Three minutes later it was Fylde’s turn when Danny Rowe whipped in a ball from the left hand side which found Mark Yeates on the edge of the area whose thunderous effort smashed off the crossbar before Louis John cleared.
After such a frantic opening few minutes, the 1,054 fans at Mill Farm, including 28 who had made the long trip north from Sutton, were rubbing their hands with anticipation for the rest of the half to follow. However, the game slowed down quite a bit from then on. The Coasters often passing the ball along the back line trying to draw the U’s higher up the pitch, and when any attacking passes were made, the U’s defence snuffed them out.
The same can be said for Sutton who saw their attacks cancelled out by The Coasters defence. The fans on the cold Tuesday night had to wait almost until half time to see another chance on goal. Striker Rowe slipped in a ball to Ryan Croasdale in the box, who saw his low across goal effort slip just past the far post. Not long after that the half time whistle went, and on a wet and windy night everyone in the stands hurriedly ran to warm themselves up with a tea and coffee, ready for the second half.
As the teams came out after half time, it was clear that Fylde boss Jim Bentley’s team talk was effective as The Coasters were at it straight away. Jordan Williams almost immediately put the home side ahead, when a long diagonal ball from Yeates found the midfielder in the box whose shot was well kept out by the U’s keeper Nik Tzanev. Then only 2 minutes later Fylde were in again, this time it was Luke Burke who created some space for himself in the box, and from a tight angle saw his first effort blocked by John, and his second well saved by Tzanev. The Fylde pressure wasn’t letting up, and only moments later The Coasters had the ball in the back of the net, Jordan Williams bundling the ball in after his short-range header had been saved, but he was adjudged to be offside. This would turn out to be the midfielder’s last contribution to the game however, as in the 53rd minute Williams was sent off for a late tackle on Ben Wyatt, much to the dismay of the home crowd.
After this the game changed, Fylde who were freely attacking in the opening minutes of the half then went to two banks of four with one up front, which slowed the game back down, and apart from Rowe heading just over, and one superb interception from Ben Goodliffe near the end which prevented Bradley from going clear, U’s created the better chances, with Ajiboye fizzing a low ball across the keeper in the 59th minute which narrowly missed U’s top scorer Harry Beautyman coming in at the far post. Shortly after that, Ajiboye was at it again, with the striker seeing his effort from just outside of the area held by Hornby. Sutton were in the ascendancy, and in the 74th minute Will Randall cut in from the left hand side and fired a shot at goal which went just over the crossbar.
The last 15 minutes were a cagey affair, with both sides knowing conceding a goal at this point could mean leaving with nothing. As such, both sides saw out the final minutes of the game to take away a much needed point.
S Hornby, L Montrose, N Byrne, J Williams, R Croasdale, A Whitmore, D Rowe, L Burke, D Bradley, A Taylor (sub K Jameson 73) M Yeates (sub M Kosylo 84)
Subs n/u D Philliskirk, D Lavercombe, N Haughton.
Referee Joe Hull