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Match report for Sutton United 1 Barrow 0

13 August 2022

Sutton United 1 (Fadahunsi 79) Barrow 0

Sutton picked up a first Sky Bet League Two win of the season in bizarre and controversial circumstances as a goal by Tope Fadahunsi with just his second touch in the Football League, following in after goalkeeper Paul Farman had misjudged Jack Rose's long clearance, was enough to beat a Barrow side who went in to the game having won both previous league games, and who thought they had escaped with a point here when a John Rooney free kick from inside his own half found the back of the net six minutes in to injury time. However referee Andy Davies decided after lengthy conversation with his colleagues that the goal should not stand as the free kick for offside had been indirect and had gone in to the net untouched, although the post match video footage suggested that Brad House, on for heatstroke victim Rose, had diverted the ball in.

In the intense heat it was a credit to both teams that spectators were able to watch a competitive, if at times scrappy game, with Sutton starting brightly but Barrow coming closest to a first half goal when Sam Foley's 30 yard volley was superbly touched on to the post by Rose. Before that Josh Neufville, a lively presence throughout, had produced one sparkling run on the left that ended with a shot blocked by Farman, while the goalkeeper also turned a shot from Harry Beautyman, preferred to Ali Smith in the starting line up, in to the side netting although the officials failed to spot the heavy deflection and awarded a goal kick. 

There was a scare for Rose when, sold slightly short by Joe Kizzi's back pass, his clearance was charged down by Josh Gordon and rolled just past the post, although again the officials seemed to err, awarding a corner when the ball seemed to cross the line before either Rose or Gordon reached it. If he was fortunate then, Rose soon redeemed himself with his brilliant stop from Foley, but U's luck as a team was out as, for the third time in four games, they had to make a change before half time as Omar Bugiel limped off to be replaced by Kwame Thomas.

Barrow were more in the game in the second half and it took another fine stop from Rose, with help from Kizzi, to deny Billy Waters after Patrick Brough had been put through on the left and pulled the ball back, but as the game went on the heat began to take its toll and for long periods a goalless draw seemed the most likely outcome. The second half drinks break saw Barrow make a triple substitution, while U's brought on Fadahunsi for Donovan Wilson, and it was the U's replacement who would have the bigger impact. His first touch was to win a good challenge in midfield that allowed Enzio Boldewijn to race down the left but then push the ball too far ahead of him, but his second was a tap-in after his pressure had caused confusion between Farman and Niall Canavan, the ball bouncing over the keeper and Fadahunsi's touch downgrading Rose's contribution from a goal to an assist.

It was Rose's last involvement as he went down shortly afterwards feeling the effects of the heat, and with no risks being taken, Brad House was brought on. Sutton might have put the game beyond reach when Neufville's brilliant run on the right ended with a cross which was diverted by Beautyman in to the pasth of Boldewijn, but Farman was off his line quickly to save, but House was called in to action soon afterwards, scrambling to push Josh Kay's deflected effort wide four minutes in to injury time. Two minutes later House was at the centre of things again as it seemed that for the second Saturday in a row Sutton would suffer stoppage time misery, but the officials smiled on him and U's were able to celebrate the valuable first league win. 

Sutton: J Rose(sub B House 84), J Barden, R Milsom, J Kizzi, C Eastmond, L John, E Boldewijn(sub A Smith 84), D Wilson(sub T Fadahunsi 72) O Bugiel(sub K Thomas 42), H Beautyman, J Neufville. Subs n/u M Ridley, L Gambin, K Kouassi.

Barrow: P Farman, T Warren, P Brough, H Neal, (sub T White 72), S McClelland, N Canavan, R Gotts(sub J Rooney 72), S Foley, B Waters(sub J Kay 72), J Gordon, B Whitfield(sub J Stevens 81). Subs n/u J Lillis, S Nwabuokei, M Kenlock. Booked: Stevens

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 2,276 (126 away)

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