Neither Sutton or St Albans were able to produce a goal at Clarence Park, with U’s remaining unbeaten in the pre-season programme as St Albans, albeit making several changes, failed to find the form that had seen them beat Wealdstone 4-0 on Tuesday. U’s added Will Randall and Jon Barden to the list of absentees, but were able to include Rob Milsom for the first time in pre-season as he came on at half time in place of former Clarence Park favourite Ben Wyatt.
It was Sutton who started the brighter and a cross from the lively David Ajiboye was scrambled off the line by the home defence, but it was a half of few chances, U’s defending well and Dean Bouzanis comfortably dealing with anything that got past them. At the other end Callum Kealy twice shot across goal, but U’s were similarly unable to get past the home defence and Kealy ended the first half being booked for a late challenge, and was replaced by a triallist at half time.
With the wind on their backs St Albans threatened more after the break but there was still little for either keeper to do. Ajiboye caused the Saints’ defence further problems, and after being neatly set up by Craig Eastmond he sent a shot just too high, while at the other end a Tom Bender free kick was just to high to trouble Bouzanis. The Australian keeper was more troubled by a shot from the edge of the penalty area soon afterwards, though, grabbing the ball under the bar and seeming to injure himself before being able to continue.
Inside the last fifteen minutes both sides went close to breaking through, with Louis John meeting a corner with a powerful downward header which was saved on the line by goalkeeper Michael Johnson, and a superb run from a triallist substitute from the halfway line ending as he couldn’t get a shot in. John showed his prowess at the other end with one fine interception, but the best chance fell to the home side eight minutes from time when a left wing corner dropped in the six yard box and was scooped over the bar when it seemed easier to score.
Sutton: D Bouzanis, Triallist(Sub J Hoosang-Robinson 75), B Wyatt (sub R Milsom H-T), C Eastmond(sub triallist 75), C Rowe(sub J Mason 75), L John, D Ajiboye(sub triallist 75), K Davis(Sub triallist 75), C Kealy(sub triallist H-T), T Sho-Silva(sub C Dundas 65), Triallist(sub W Brown 75).