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Match Reports

Match report for Crawley Town 1 Sutton United 2

26 December 2022

Crawley Town1 (Oteh 90+5) Sutton United 2 (Kizzi 61, Milsom 70 pen)

Sutton picked up a second away League Two win of the season as second half goals from Joe Kizzi and Rob Milsom gave U's a lead that wasn't threatened until Aramide Oteh's strike in the last of the five additional minutes at the end denied U's a clean sheet but not the three points.

It wasn't an afternoon that began well for U's, with Donovan Wilson's hopes of returning from the injury that had kept him out of the defeat at Leyton Orient dashed as he felt discomfort in the warm-up, with Josh Neufville promoted from a bench that also included Ben Goodliffe and Aaron Pierre, but until Oteh's late goal there wasn't a great deal else with which U's could be dissatisfied once Kizzi had opened his account for the season on the hour.

The first half had been a familiar tale for Sutton, who had the majority of possession and territorial advantage, but struggled to create clear chances. After a first half hour with little of note, Neufville, playing up front alongside Omar Bugiel, became an increasing threat as he grew in to a role he hadn't filled at Sutton before, and had U's best chance when he collected a chipped pass forward from Ali Smith and turned past a defender before pulling his shot wide of the post. Smith himself had sent a shot high and wide moments earlier, and just before half time Harry Beautyman, playing on the right of the midfield four, met a Milsom cross with a header which was plucked out of the air by goalkeeper Ellery Balcombe.

Crawley gave Jack Rose similarly little trouble in the early stages, and although Bugiel had to show his defensive qualities with two fine headers to clear Jack Powell corners, the biggest threat came when some hesitation in U's defence allowed a long ball to reach Dom Telford, but last season's leading scorer in League Two failed to get any power on his header and Rose saved easily.

Within a minute of the start of the second half U's came very close to taking the lead as Will Randall turned on to a throw in inside the penalty area and sent a shot inches wide of the far post, but Crawley also came out with more threat and Kizzi produced timely interceptions to clear crosses from Powell and Telford, while another low cross from Powell just evaded Telford at the near post. 

With an hour gone, though, battling work by Smith gave Bugiel the chance to send in a cross which was cleared for a corner by Ludwig Francillette under pressure from Beautyman. Milsom's corner fell for Bugiel, whose fine overhead kick was well saved by Balcombe but Kizzi was on hand to hammer the ball in to the roof of the net.

As Crawley looked for an equaliser Rose did very well to save and hold a low skidding free kick from Powell that skidded through a crowded penalty area and may also have taken a touch off Nick Tsaroulla, and it proved a crucial save as U's doubled the lead moments later. Neufville was the creator, outpacing Francillette and sending in a cross which was cleared high in to the air by George Francomb, leading to confusion as Balcombe, Francomb and Tony Craig all seemed to think someone else was dealing with the ball as it came back down. Bugiel capitalised on the hesitancy and was tripped by Craig as he was about to shoot. Craig was booked as referee Neil Hair decided it was an attempt to play the ball, but Milsom made sure the chance wasn't wasted with a powerful penalty.

Balcombe made a good save down to his right to prevent a shot from substitute Tope Fadahunsi creeping in at the near post, but U's seemed in little danger until substitute James Balagizi and Telford combined to set up Oteh, whose shot went through the legs of John and Rose to find the net, but by then all but thirty seconds of the additional five minutes had been played and it was too little too late for the home side and couldn't prevent U's taking the points.

Sutton: J Rose, E Boldewijn, R Milsom, J KIzzi, C Eastmond, L John, J Neufville, A Smith, O Bugiel(sub K Kouassi 82), H Beautyman(sub T Fadahunsi 75) W Randall Subs n/u L Ward, S Hart, B Goodliffe, A Pierre, C Dundas. Booked: Randall, Boldewijn.

Crawley: E Balcombe, L Francillette, N Tsaroulla, G Francomb, T Craig, B Wells(sub B Mason 71), T Fellows(sub J Balagizi 61), J Powell, D Telford, J Hessenthaler, M Ogungbo(sub A Oteh 61). Subs n/u C Addai, H Ransom, J Davis. Booked: Craig

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance; 2,926 (404 away)


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