Sutton United

Gomis 10

Wright 73

13 February 2018
Vanarama National League
Marc Edwards (Tyne & Wear)
26 Jamie Butler
16 Nicky Bailey 17 Downer
6 Jamie Collins
22 Simon Walton
5 Louis John
19 Terell Thomas
30 Tom Bolarinwa
8 Kenny Davis 62 Hudson-Odoi
20 Tommy Wright
14 Craig Dundas 53 Coombes
11 Kieron Cadogan
3 Aswad Thomas
7 Bradley Hudson-Odoi
10 Adam Coombes
18 Owen Evans
27 Simon Downer

Sutton came back from the long midweek trip north with a well earned point after recovering from conceding a goal to ex-U Bedsente Gomis in the first ten minutes, and having to make an early substitution when Nicky Bailey was forced off just seven minutes after the goal. With Simon Downer able to slot in to the centre of defence and Louis John switching to right back, where he went on to have an outstanding game, the injury to Bailey wasn’t as much of a blow as it might have been, and by the time the latest example of clinical finishing from Tommy Wright had drawn U’s level it was no more than they deserved.

With Harry Beautyman joining Craig Eastmond on the list of suspended absentees it was Craig Dundas who came in to the side in the only change from Saturday’s win at Dover, and it was Dundas who had the evening’s first shot, albeit a tame effort that was comfortable dealt with by debutant goalkeeper Steve Arnold, but soon after the home side, playing at Holker Street for the first time in five and a half weeks, had the lead following one of several prodigious long throws from Dan Jones. U’s knew all about the threat, and generally dealt with the aerial missiles well, even getting the first header on this one, but the ball fell to Gomis on the edge of the penalty area and his volley found the net with a slight deflection off Bailey ruining any chance Jamie Butler might have had of stopping it.

The goal boosted the home side’s confidence and they might have had a second when experienced former Norwich striker Grant Holt broke down the right and crossed low, but Luke James, making his debut after signing on loan from Forest Green, was unable to turn the ball in at the near post. Sutton worked their way back in to the game and should have had a penalty when Tom Bolarinwa’s header was blocked by the upraised arm of Jack Barthram, who may have been close to the Sutton player but whose arm was in such a position that he seemed very lucky to get the benefit of referee Marc Edwards’ decision. U’s humour might have been even worse as Barrow went straight to the other end and a Jones cross flashed across goal needing only a touch to turn it in. As U’s finished the half well, though, Terell Thomas headed wide from a Kieron Cadogan corner when he should have done better, and on the stroke of half time Cadogan himself went close when a defensive slip left him clear to drive in a fierce shot that was turned round the post by Arnold.

Early in the second half it was Barrow’s turn to have the upper hand, and Butler was booked for a foul on James that, fortunately for U’s keeper, was so close to the touchline that there was no possibility of it denying a clear goalscoring opportunity. Soon afterwards U’s had an escape when Jamie Collins’ misdirected header from a left wing free kick had to be clawed away by Butler, and when the ball ran to the edge of the area Jones revealed more to his game than a long throw with a thumping shot that crashed down off the underside of the bar before being cleared.

U’s made the most of their reprieve and regained a foothold in the game as Bradley Hudson-Odoi came on for his first appearance of the season to join Adam Coombes and Wright in an attacking line-up, although the imposing Moussa Diarra and impressive left back Calum McDonald proved a difficult barrier to break down. Thomas saw a looping header drift just wide, but with seventeen minutes to go John did well to make something out of an awkward pass from Thomas and released Cadogan, who burst through the middle before slipping a pass through to Wright who slotted the ball coolly beyond Arnold in to the far corner.

Not only did U’s have the boost of the equaliser but before the kick off they also saw the back of Jones, replaced by Bradley Bauress, which meant that they could safely concede throw-ins in their own half, and in the last fifteen minutes either side might have snatched a winner, James blasting high and wide for Barrow and then crossing low for Diarra, who couldn’t quite direct his shot. At the other end Coombes just couldn’t reach a cross from the left, and the game ended with U’s awarded a free kick 25 yards out for a foul on Bolarinwa, but Coombes’s effort drifted wide before the referee’s final whistle, with general agreement that the result was about right and U’s players going to thank personally the ten supporters who had made the long trip north to stand on the visitors’ terrace.

Barrow: S Arnold, J Barthram, C MacDonald, A Hall, O Cook, M Diarra, J White(sub H Panayiotou 87), B Gomis, G Holt(sub B Harrison 79), L James, D Jones(sub B Bauress 73). Subs n/u T Audel, C Humphrey. Booked: White.