Morecambe 1(Garner 4) Sutton United 0
Sutton fell to defeat at Morecambe when Ged Garner's goal inside the first five minutes was enough to give Morecambe victory. Garner turned the ball in from Joel Senior's low cross after a quick Morecambe attack on the right. While Sutton played some pleasant football at times U's rarely threatened home goalkeeper Archie Mair, despite a triple substitution at half time which saw the first half attacking duo of Lee Angol and Olly Sanderson replaced by Harry Smith and Omari Patrick, with Harry Beautyman also coming on for Nino Adom-Malaki. Mair did have to field long range shots from Patrick and Charlie Lakin, while Craig Eastmond sent U's best chance over the bar midway through the second half.
U's were up against it from just the fourth minute as Joel Senior, whose attacking run had decided the game at the VBS in October, broke out from defence after dispossessing Nino Adom-Malaki and the counter attack saw him exchange passes with Charlie Brown and get behind the U's defence all too easily before crossing low and giving Garner a tap in.
It took a good save from Dean Bouzanis to deny Brown a second as Morecambe again cut through, Joe Adams supplying the pass, while for all the pleasant football Sutton produced little end product. One free kick from Stephen Duke-McKenna produced a goalmouth scramble which saw Morecambe clear in the six yard box, and right at the end of the half Sam Hart and Lakin both had shots blocked, the latter by a Morecambe hand right on the edge of the penalty area. Despite U's appeals that the handball had been inside the box, referee Peter Wright gave a free kick and Hart's shot was again blocked before the half time whistle blew.
U's changed things at the break and made a lively start, but Morecambe responded with two substitutions of their own, with Gwion Edwards and Jordan Slew introduced, and it was the home changes that carried the greater threat. Edwards had the ball in the net after more good work by Adams, only to be denied by an offside flag, and both Slew and Edwards had shots saved by Bouzanis.
Sutton's best chance came when Beautyman headed back a deep cross from Duke-McKenna but Eastmond couldn't quite get his balance sorted out and blazed his half volley high over the bar. Both Patrick and Lakin tested Mair from outside the area with low shots that were saved, but Morecambe should have put the game beyond reach when Senior again broke free on the right and produced a perfectly timed pass that left Garner with just Bouzanis to beat, but caught in two minds as to whether to go round the keeper or shoot, he ended up tapping the ball in to the arms of Bouzanis. It was Garner's last action as he was then replaced by Max Melbourne, but it wasn't a costly miss as Morecambe saw the game out comfortably.
Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki(sub H Beautyman H-T), J Kizzi, B Goodliffe, S Hart, S Duke-McKenna (sub D Moore 90+1) Eastmond, L Angol(sub H Smith H-T), O Sanderson(sub O Patrick H-T), C Lakin. Subs n/u S Arnold, O Sowunmi, L John. Booked: Adom-Malaki, Angol, Jackson, Hart.
Morecambe: A Mair, J Senior, D Tutonda, J Bedeau, C Stokes, N Khumbeni (sub Y Songo'o 79), C Brown (sub J Slew 53), J Adams, G Garner(sub M Melbourne 88), J Taylor, J Larsson(sub G Edwards 53). Subs n/u A Smith, C Smith, K Harrack. Booked: Garner, Stokes, Senior, Edwards.
Referee: Peter Wright
Attendance: 4,045 (175 away)