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Match Reports

Match report for Rotherham United 4 Sutton United 2

3 April 2022

Match Reports

Match report for Rotherham United 4 Sutton United 2

3 April 2022

As had happened 41 years previously, Sutton suffered last minute agony at Wembley as, within seconds of what would have been a thoroughly deserved victory against the Sky Bet League One leaders, an equaliser by Rotherham substitute Jordi Osei-Tutu in the sixth minute of stoppage time sent the game in to extra time, in which The Millers scored twice to lift the Papa Johns Trophy.

It was a heartbreaking end for U's, who would have been good value for the victory that the 15,000 or so supporters had begun celebrating when Osei-Tutu shot high in to the net in the sixth of seven added minutes, but who found their opposition taking the game away from them in the extra period, even though Harry Beautyman and Isaac Olaofe both missed good chances either side of Cheidozie Ogbene's goal six minutes in to the extra period.

After a first ten minutes in which both sides had taken time  in to their stride, U's created the first real chance when afine tackle by Beautyman in midfield gave David Ajiboye the chance to slice through the Rotherham defence before laying the ball off to Will Randall, who appeared to do everything right as he beat one defender, but then pulled his shot in to the side netting. It was a sign that U's were growing in to the game the quicker, and just before the half hour reward came when, after Rob Milsom's corner had been cleared, Ajiboye's cross bounced off Micheal Smith and was laid back by Randall for Donovan Wilson, who steadied himself before firing low in to the net.

Rotherham had barely troubled Sutton, their one chance falling to Ogbene, who shot high over the bar, but just when their supporters were beginning to sound restless they produced an equaliser out of nothing four minutes before half time as Joshua Kayode battled to hold the ball up on the edge of the penalty area and laid it back to Ben Wiles, who created space and sent a fine shot that grazed the underside of the crossbar on its way in, Dean Bouzanis having no chance.

It was the League One leaders who finished the half with their tails up, Bouzanis down to hold a low shot from Oliver Rathbone and then holding a near post Smith volley, which may have hit Louis John's hand on its way to the keeper, and the trend threatened to continue right at the start of the second half as Bouzanis saved again from Wiles. However U's broke immediately, Ajiboye was put through by some superb work from Randall, and pulled the ball back for Craig Eastmond, whose first shot was blocked by Michael Ihiekwe but whose second found the net.

Rotherham made a double substitution on the hour, Freddie Ladapo and Wes Harding replacing Kayode and Rathbone, and they might have levelled soon afterwards when a poor clearance by Eastmond allowed Ogbene to cross for Smith, whose header went over, and then Bouzanis had to scramble to save a deflected low shot by Wiles, but it was the introduction of Isaac Olaofe six minutes later that almost bore more immediate results as within a minute he raced clear on the right and shot in to the side netting. 

Ladapo did test Bouzanis with a looping header just before U's lost Ben Goodliffe with a calf injury, Coby Rowe his replacement, and then had a golden chance when he was put clear through the middle by a glorious pass from Wiles, but couldn't beat Bouzanis. Both sides then made wholesale changes for the last ten minutes, and it seemed as though U's had done enough, even in seven minutes of stoppage time, with Ben Wyatt's outstanding block diverting a Smith shot wide midway through the stoppage period. However just after Eastmond had been named Man of the Match, Ladapo sent the ball in to the area one last time and, with Kizzi unable to do more than touch it on it fell for one of the late replacements, Osei-Tutu, who found the top corner of the net.

Unsurprisingly given that body blow it was Rotherham who were on the front foot early in extra time, and Shane Ferguson's free kick was deflected just wide after Joe Kizzi had been booked for a foul on Ladapo. However U's then went close themselves as Kizzi returned a corner to the edge of the area and Beautyman shot just over, but within a minute Ogbene collected Ladapo's lay off and lashed a right foot shot past Bouzanis from twenty yards. It was the first time in the entire tournament U's had trailed in a game, and Ihiekwe almost added to the misery when his header bounced off a post and Ladapo was denied well by Bouzanis after the resulting scramble. 

U's had one clear chance, when Olaofe wriggled clear of Ferguson but shot over, but were finished off when Ihiekwe headed in Ferguson's corner soon after the start of the second period.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, R Milsom (sub B Wyatt 82), C Eastmond(sub K Davis 81)B Goodliffe(sub C Rowe 73), L John, D Ajiboye, D Wilson(sub I Olaofe 66), O Bugiel(sub R Bennett 81) H Beautyman, W Randall. Subs n/u S Nelson, E Boldewijn. Booked: John, Kizzi

Rotherham: V Johansson, M Ihiekwe, J Mattock(sub S Ferguson 80), D Barlaser(sub J Lindsay 90+4), O Rathbone (sub W Harding 60), R Wood, M Miller(sub J Osei-Tutu 80), B Wiles, M Smith, J Kayode(sub F Ladapo 60), C Ogbene. Subs n/u J Chapman, R Edmonds-Green. Booked: Wiles

Referee: S Stockbridge

Attendance: 30,688

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