Sutton finished the pre-season campaign in good heart at Farnborough, recovering immediately from going behind to Barnet just before half time before a Rob Milsom penalty midway through the second half gave U’s a success that ended the friendlies on an upbeat note after two defeats earlier in the week.
Barnet began the game with Sutton’s Brad House in goal after their goalkeeper had suffered an injury in the warm-up, and he was scrambling early on when a deflected shot by Omar Bugiel came back off the post. Barnet went close to taking the lead when Serhat Tasdemir shot across Dean Bouzanis but just wide, but the best chance fell to U’s as Ben Goodliffe sent an unmarked header off target from Milsom’s cross. As it was it was Barnet who went ahead a minute before half time when a quick attack saw Adam Marriott release Ephrom Mason-Clark and make ground in to the penalty area to meet the return cross with a finish that gave Bouzanis no chance.
Before referee Adrian Quelch could blow his half time whistle, though, U’s levelled as House spilled a shot from Milsom and Bugiel, who was a menace to the Barnet defence all afternoon, squeezed the loose ball home from a tight angle. House redeemed himself early in the second half with two smart stops from Bugiel, who also missed a good chance when he headed over from David Ajiboye’s cross and had a shot blocked by a defender from another ball in by Ajiboye.
The decisive moment came as the game entered its last quarter, Ajiboye’s cross headed clear and Ricky Korboafouled by Mitch Brundle as he challenged for the ball. With Harry Beautyman absent after his wife went in to labour earlier in the day, Milsom assumed penalty duties and calmly sent House the wrong way from the spot.
Ajiboye almost extended the lead after a good run with a shot that went just wide of the far post, but it took a fine tackle by Ben Wyatt to deny Marriott in the last five minutes, while Bouzanis saved Brundle’s 20-yard volley to make sure U’s ended the pre-season schedule on a high note.
Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Barden, R Milsom(sub B Wyatt 75), C Eastmond, B Goodliffe, L John(sub C Rowe H-T), D Ajiboye, A Smith(sub K Davis 69), O Bugiel(sub K Kouassi 86), R Bennett(sub R Korboa 60), E Boldewijn.