Stockport County 3(Wootton 19, Madden 57, Collar 72) Sutton United 0
Sutton were unable to overcome the handicap of a third minute red card for Omar Bugiel as Stockport completed a comfortable victory, their third in a row in the league. Bugiel was dismissed for a high challenge which referee Simon Mather decided warranted the maximum punishment, but having fallen behind in the 19th minute U's frustrated the home side until midway through the second half, when Paddy Madden and Will Collar added the goals that eased Stockport to victory.
The referee had gone to his pocket after only eleven seconds, Stockport's James Brown booked for a heavy challenge on Will Randall, but two minutes later it was the red card that came out as Bugiel caught Collar on the knee in his follow through after contesting a bouncing ball, a decision that seemed harsh so early in the game.
It punctured the optimism that Tuesday night's comeback at Northampton, and the return of Craig Eastmond and Louis John, and in the 19th minute Stockport made the extra man count as Brown's cross from the right was headed in by Kyle Wootton. For much of the rest of the half, though, U's kept the home side at bay, the only threat being an awkwardly bouncing volley from Madden which Ward parried, the keeper doing well to deny Miles Hippolyte from the rebound. There were sounds of disquiet from the home supporters towards the end of the half at Stockport's slow build-up play, and with Josh Neufville and Will Randall threatening on the break U's might even have equalised just before half time when Donovan Wilson controlled Randall's pass well and hit a low shot that was scrambled untidily wide by Ben Hinchcliffe.
The second half started in similar fashion, but just as U's were harbouring hopes of being able to put the home side under pressure Wilson was penalised for a foul on Brown, another decision that frustrated U's players, and Calum McDonald's excellent inswinging free kick was met by Madden, who forced the ball in at the second attempt after Ward had superbly saved his first header.
U's made changes in formation and personnel in a bid to change the momentum, switching to a back three with Randall and substitute Enzio Boldewijn as wing backs and Rob Milsom in midfield, but before the changes could have any effect Stockport broke after a poor throw in by Randall, and Madden and Hippolyte combined to set up the overlapping Collar on the right and his shot crashed in to the roof of the net from an angle to put the game beyond U's reach.
Sutton: L Ward, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Rowe, C Eastmond, L John, J Neufville(sub T Fadahunsi 66), A Lovatt(sub E Boldewijn 66), O Bugiel, D Wilson (sub K Kouassi 75), W Randall (sub S Hart 75) Booked: John, Hart Sent Off: Bugiel (serious foul play). Subs n/u C Kendall, B House, L Gambin.
Stockport: B Hinchcliffe, J Brown(sub C Evans 76), C Hussey, A Wright, R Croasdale, F Horsfall, W Collar, M Hippolyte(sub C Jennings 82), P Madden(sub O Crankshaw 76), K Wootton(sub A Sarcevic 82), C MacDonald(sub R Johnson 76) Subs n/u B Jones, A Palmer. Booked: Brown
Referee: Simon Mather
Attendance: 8,091(129 away)