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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Bradford City 4

30 April 2022

Sutton will go in to the last game of the season at Harrogate needing a victory, and other favourable results, to qualify for the playoffs after Bradford City inflicted U's first home league defeat for exactly six months, scoring three times in the last thirteen minutes after Sutton had recovered from trailing at half time to level through Ali Smith.

After Will Randall, making his 100th Sutton appearance, hit the post in the first minute with a curling right foot shot, Bradford were in charge for the remainder of the first half and deservedly led when Charles Vernam headed home a cross from Luke Hendrie. Dean Bouzanis had already been called in to action on several occasions, saving from Vernam, Dion Pereira, Liam Ridehalgh and Jamie Walker, and was the busier keeper as Sutton struggled to get a foothold in the game, Walker just over with a dipping 20 yard shot that landed on the top of the net as the visitors threatened a second goal.

U's had to make a change just before half time as Richie Bennett came off with a calf injury, and between coming on and the half time whistle Omar Bugiel was booked for an aerial challenge, but U's came out with much more intensity after the break and equalised when Bugiel headed on Jon Barden's throw and Ali Smith drove a shot high in to the net after the ball had been laid in to his path by Donovan Wilson.

For the next twenty minutes U's looked the more likely winners, but they were unable to turn that in to a lead, Wilson and David Ajiboye having shots blocked in one goalmouth scramble, and were caught on the break with thirteen minutes left as Ridehalgh's cross was met at the far post by Vernam for a second goal.

Substitute Andy Cook had a header from a free kick ruled out for offside but then helped a low right wing corner on for Yann Songo'o to score from close range.  Ben Goodliffe, who had before the game been awarded with the Supporters' Club Player of the Year award, was injured in trying to prevent the goal, forced off leaving U's, who had already used all three substitutions, to finish the game with ten players. Vernam was denied his hat trick by another offside flag, but Cook did add a fourth deep in stoppage time, shooting across Bouzanis after being set up by Elliot Watt.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Barden(sub E Boldewijn 78), R Milsom, A Smith, B Goodliffe, L John, D Ajiboye, D Wilson(sub I Olaofe 78), R Bennett(sub O Bugiel 45+1), H Beautyman, W Randall. Subs n/u S Nelson, B Wyatt, C Rowe, K Davis. Booked: Bugiel, Goodliffe

Bradford: A Bass, L Hendrie, L Ridehalgh, P O'Connor, E Watt, Y Songo'o, D Pereira(sub F Kelleher 70), C Vernam, L Angol(sub A Cook 67), J Walker, A Gilliead(sub L Sutton 81). Subs n/u R O'Donnell, M Foulds, C Cooke, G Evans. Booked: Angol, Songo'o, Walker.

Referee: Declan Bourne

Attendance: 4,014(460 away)

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