Sutton's recent run of five consecutive league and cup wins was ended by an impressive Swindon side who maintained their own unbeaten away record and moved in to the League Two automatic promotion places, taking a two goal lead with two superb strikes in the first half hour and then resisting a spirited Sutton effort to equalise in the second half after a penalty six minutes before the interval from Harry Beautyman, who would later suffer a serious looking shoulder injury, had brought U's back in to the game.
For the first 45 minutes of an entertaining game there was a marked similarity to the events of U's previous home game against Port Vale, as the visitors enjoyed much the better of the first half hour and put themselves in a commanding position before conceding just before half time, but sadly for Sutton fans the second half did not follow the same pattern, and while U's had chances to equalise, the best falling to defender Joe Kizzi in stoppage time, had it not been for Dean Bouzanis in the Sutton goal Swindon might not have needed to be so relieved when Kizzi sent his header from a Will Randall free kick straight at goalkeeper Joseph Wollacott.
The tone for the game was set in the first five minutes as Bouzanis made a fine save to keep out a volley from the lively Harry McKirdy before Ben Goodliffe, restored to the starting line-up after injury, made a fine block to deny Jack Payne, while at the other end a brilliant run from David Ajiboye sliced through the Swindon defence before his cross was cut out by Wollacott. Generally, though, it was Swindon who had the better of things, with some lively attacking movement testing the Sutton defence and Welsh international Jonny Williams in particular catching the eye, and it was a run from Williams that produced the first goal as he ran at the U's defence, exchanged passes with Payne and went over under Beautyman's challenge. The free kick was in a central position just outside the penalty area, and despatched brilliantly in to the top corner of the net by Louis Reed,
Swindon almost had a second soon afterwards, Tyreece Simpson, whose muscular presence was a handful for U's all evening, cut in from the left and although the ball ran loose, a complete miskick from Ben Wyatt saw it run to McKirdy, who may have been surprised to have the chance and could only stab the ball against the post, much to the relief of the Sutton defender making his second start of the season due to Rob Milsom's injury.
A second goal did come, though, as Simpson and Reed both had shots blocked, but U's could only clear as far as Romoney Crichlow, who found Williams in space midway inside the Sutton half, and having cut in across the penalty area the former Crystal Palace midfielder unleashed a shot that found the top corner with Bouzanis having no chance.
As always, though, Sutton had a response and after a penalty appeal for handball had been turned down, Goodliffe adjudged to have been the player whose hand the ball hit, a second moments later was upheld as Mathieu Baudry seemed to palm the ball off the head of Omar Bugiel as they contested a Bouzanis free kick. Referee Chris Sarginson at first appeared unmoved but assistant Justin Amey, as he had in the first incident, alerted him to the offence and, after a delay as Reed was booked for his protests, Beautyman opened his league account for the season from the spot.
Bugiel might have equalised when another free kick was headed on by Louis John and Goodliffe before Bugiel headed wide, and Isaac Oloafe had the ball in the net only to be adjudged harshly to have fouled Baudry. At the other end McKirdy also thought he had scored, an offside flag denying him what would otherwise have been a fine goal, and Bouzanis made a good stop to turn away Ellis Iandolo's shot.
Sutton came out for the second half on the front foot and Ajiboye was bundled over by Crichlow just outside the area., Beautyman's free kick narrowly wide. The Sutton captain, though, would have his night ended painfully after an awkward fall left him clutching his shoulder and helped off in considerable pain, Jon Barden returning to action in the midfield role that he originally filled when joining Sutton in 2019.
McKirdy's continuing duel with Bouzanis continued to go the goalkeeper's way as he produced a superbly judged tackle outside the penalty area after McKirdy had been sent clear, and then blocked a shot from the same player with his legs, recovering to save from substitute Ben Gladwin, whose astute pass had given McKirdy the original chance.
Still in the game, though, Sutton gave everything for the equaliser, Ajiboye's low shot from twenty yards saved by Woollacott, and the chance came just in to stoppage time when Crichlow ended another threatening Ajiboye run with a crude challenge that brought a yellow card, and from Randall's free kick Kizzi dived in and made good contact but could only send his header sraight at Woollacott. There was one more chance, a storming run from Barden ending with a cross that just ran away from Ajiboye, but U's ran out of time and Swindon were able to celebrate the three points.
Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, B Wyatt, A Smith, B Goodliffe, L John, D Ajiboye, I Olaofe(sub D Wilson 65), O Bugiel(sub R Bennett 76), H Beautyman(sub J Barden 70), W Randall. Subs n/u C Rowe, R Korboa, E Boldewijn, H Palmer. Booked: John, Bugiel, Barden.
Swindon: J Woollacott, A Odimayo, E Iandolo, R Hunt, R Crichlow, M Baudry, L Reed(sub R East 71), J Williams(sub B Gladwin 72), T Simpson, J Payne, H McKirdy(sub J Mitchell-Lawson 88). Subs n/u A Gilbert, K Kesler-Hayden, A Grant, L Ward. Booked: Reed, McKirdy, Crichlow.
Referee: Chris Sarginson
Attendance:3,443 (574 away)