Sutton United 1 AFC Phoenix 2 23/8/2018
The Sutton United Ladies team made their debut in the FA Cup last week. Having not played in the competition before, they were required to go into the preliminary round and were seeded low, resulting in a tough draw against AFC Phoenix who are 3 divisions higher.
Despite the league gap, the Ladies were confident going into the game having worked hard in training all week. We were delighted to see so many fans come out to support and it certainly helped encourage the team.
The game was open to start with. Phoenix came close early on with a quick counter attack, but new Sutton goalkeeper Paige Hersey was equal to the task and made a fantastic save. Sutton caused plenty of problems on the break with Shanae Newton and Faye Butler linking well. Another good break saw Newton brought down 30 yards from goal giving Sutton a useful set piece. Susannah Wells stepped up to take what Phoenix thought would be a floated cross in to the penalty area. Instead, she shocked us all with a wonder strike straight into the top corner - a fitting way to open our FA Cup account.
After the goal, Newton continued to be the main threat on the break for Sutton, but Phoenix were causing plenty of problems too. A break 5 minutes before half time, completed a well worked move and levelled the scoring.
The 2nd half started with a high tempo but Sutton were dealt a big blow with the loss of midfield anchor Wells after 50 minutes. Shortly after Phoenix took the lead with another well worked break. Sutton struggled to cope with the pace of their attack but kept working hard and forced a few half chances. Hersey was on top form in goal and Captain Emily Stanley organised her defence really well. Phoenix sat deeper as Sutton pressed late on but held out for the victory.
The Sutton Ladies were disappointed to go out at this stage but can hold their heads high knowing there was little between the teams. Manager Duncan Muller said “The team can be very proud of themselves, they worked really hard and that's all you can ask as a manager.” He went on to add “We pressed high tonight and tried to play some fluid football which is how we like to play. AFC Phoenix are a very good team and I think they respected how well we competed. It's a shame to go out of the competition at this stage, but we are still learning and building as a club. I am sure this will spur the team on to another good season.”
Team: Hersey (GK), Stuart, Stanley (Captain) Colliver, Bartholomeusz, Newton, Green, Wells, Howell, Pazos Perez, Butler. Subs: Neves, Reader, Warren
Wells opens the scoring
No Saving that! The U's celebrateThe next home game for the Ladies 1st team will be on Sunday 9th September when they take on Luton Town in the league. Kick-off is 2:30pm.