Paulton Rovers
Sutton United

Ford 17, Sims 76

Cadogan 10, 49, John 54

14 October 2017
Emirates FA Cup 4th Qualifying Round
Simon Barrow (Staffordshire)
26 Jamie Butler
16 Nicky Bailey
3 Aswad Thomas
22 Simon Walton
5 Louis John
6 Jamie Collins
23 Josh Taylor 66 Jeffrey
15 Craig Eastmond 59 Davis
14 Craig Dundas
20 Tommy Wright 75 Emmanuel
11 Kieron Cadogan
8 Kenny Davis
10 Adam Coombes
17 Dan Spence
21 Moses Emmanuel
24 Anthony Jeffrey
27 Simon Downer
29 Seb Brown

Not without a few moments of tension and anxiety, Sutton avoided the banana skin that was waiting for them at Winterfield Road to take their place in the first round draw of the Emirates FA Cup. In a game that would have provided a neutral with most of what they would want from such a tie, except maybe the result, U’s seemed to have put things to bed with a two-goal salvo in the first nine minutes of the second half, but a scrambled goal by substitute Dave Sims with his first touch after coming on ensured that a few fingernails would be chewed inside the final fifteen minutes, although Sutton did see out the closing stages with fewer alarms than might have been feared.

Paulton chose to play down the slope in the first half and predictably came out of the blocks quickly, with Nicky Bailey required to make a superb clearing header inside the first three minutes after Josh Morgan Williams, a nuisance all afternoon, fired in a dangerous cross from the right that Jack Ball was well placed to head in. After surviving that early scare Sutton began to take charge, Craig Eastmond volleying in to the side netting and Kieron Cadogan volleying just wide, and when the same two players combined for the first goal, Eastmond’s pass sending Cadogan through a big gap in the home defence to lift the ball neatly past goalkeeper Andrew Hannah, Paulton might have feared a long afternoon.

Seven minutes later, though, the home side won the first corner of the game and from Dale Evans’ delivery the ball fell to captain Josh Ford, who hammered a shot past the helpless Jamie Butler to tie things up. U’s found playing up the slope tough against a defence well marshalled by the imposing Ford, but apart from an Evans free kick which was just over the bar Paulton were unable to make the advantage count and Sutton should have been ahead before the break, Tommy Wright heading straight at Hannah from Cadogan’s cross, and then seeing another more difficult glancing header grabbed by the goalkeeper above his head.

The decisive spell of the game came at the start of the second half, with Paulton squandering a good chance early on when Morgan Williams’ low cross found Ball in space inside the penalty area, but his control let him down and Butler was able to dive on the ball at the striker’s feet. Moments later a poor clearance from Hannah allowed Wright to attack down the left, and from his low cross there was no such hesitation from Cadogan, who swept his shot first time in to the net. Almost immediately U’s had to scramble the ball off the line following a left wing corner, but then Aswad Thomas swung in a fine deep cross from the left that was met by Louis John’s firm downward header, and Sutton appeared to have breathing space.

U’s replaced Eastmond, whose fuse was shortening after a first half booking for a foul on Morgan Williams, but they could still have been further ahead as Cadogan, who seemed a class apart all afternoon, smacked the post with a shot from the edge of the penalty area, and Dundas shot at Hannah’s legs after the ball had diverted to him from an excellent tackle that halted Wright’s run through the middle.

What should have been a comfortable path to the final whistle became more awkward with just under quarter of an hour to go when Butler came to collect a cross from Camen Harvey under pressure from Morgan Williams and Sims and appeared to have gathered it well, only for the ball to spill out as he hit the ground. Sims, who had only just been brought on,  poked it goalwards with just enough force for it to beat Jamie Collins to the line, and Paulton had renewed hope. That rose when Kenny Davis was penalised for a foul just over 25 yards out, but although on target Evans’ free kick was straight at Butler and hopes of a late rescue act for the home side subsided as they failed to keep the ball long enough to put U’s under pressure. Cadogan saw another crisp shot deflected just wide, and referee Simon Barrow finally lost patience with Morgan Williams in stoppage time,booking him, and then Anthony Jeffrey for time wasting before signalling U’s safe passage through.

Paulton: A Hannah, J Byrne, J Chandler, S Hedges, J Ford, J Guest, M Mateus(sub T Tucker Dixon 75), D Evans, J Ball(sub C Harvey 65), J Morgan Williams, J Hillard(sub D Sims 75). Subs n/u J Cann, A Elcock, S Taylor, J Rendell. Booked: Morgan Williams.