Sutton United 0 Tranmere Rovers 2 (Hemmings 19 pen, Lewis 45+4)
Sutton endured another difficult afternoon, suffering a fourth consecutive league defeat after seeing two centre backs limp off inside the first twenty minutes before conceding a penalty which produced Tranmere's first goal on their way to a fourth consecutive league win and clean sheet.
In a game where there wasn't much between the sides Tranmere struck again with the last kick of the first half, and hard though Sutton battled, U's were further hampered just after the hour when Will Randall, who had been fit to start after missing Tuesday's game at Stevenage, suffered a recurrence of his injury and, with two substitutions already made, Matt Gray had to make any replacements he was going to make at the same time, and Omar Bugiel and Charley Kendall, who had both kept the Tranmere defence fully occupied, had to depart earlier than intended.
As well as Randall returning there was a first start of the season for Adam Lovatt in midfield, but it wasn't long before U's were having to adjust again, Louis John feeling his hamstring and limping off to be replaced by Aaron Pierre. Worse followed as Pierre, making a superb tackle to prevent Kane Hemmings breaking through, injured his leg and although he tried to carry on he was forced to give way and Joe Kizzi became Coby Rowe's third centre back partner in the first 18 minutes, Enzio Boldewijn coming on at right back. To compound U's problems, from the drop ball restart, Josh Dacres-Cogley's cross was headed down by Dynel Simeu, and as Paul Lewis tried to pounce on the loose ball he was brought down by Kizzi. Hemmings blasted the penalty to Ward's right to put Tranmere in front.
Sutton recovered well, and just before half time some battling work by Bugiel gave Kendall a chance on the left of the penalty area but, under pressure from Chris Merrie, Kendall sliced his shot wide. However in the last of the four extra minutes at the end of the half Tranmere struck a devastating blow as Keiron Morris and Hemmings combined to send Lewis away to beat the advancing Ward.
The second half saw little goalmouth action, with U's forced in to all the remaining substitutions just after the hour when Randall went down, and the best chance of setting up an exciting finish came with ten minutes to go when Rob Milsom's quick free kick found Kizzi coming in at the far post but he volleyed high over the bar. Tranmere substitute Elliott Nevitt miskicked when in a good position, and Rhys Hughes hit the side netting late on, but the two first half goals were enough to continue Tranmere's recent fine form.
Sutton: L Ward, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Rowe, C Eastmond, L John(sub A Pierre 7)(sub E Boldewijn 18), J Neufville, A Lovatt, O Bugiel(sub K Thomas 63), C Kendall(sub T Fadahunsi 63), W Randall(sub L Gambin 62). Subs n/u B House, K Kouassi. Booked: Eastmond
Tranmere: R Doohan, J Dacres-Cogley, E Bristow, L O'Connor, J Turnbull, C Merrie, K Morris(sub R Hughes 82), D Simeu, P Lewis(sub E Nevitt 73) K Hemmings, J Hawkes. Subs n/u M Hewelt, R McAlear, J Nolan, N Byrne, J Burton. Booked: Merrie, Hawkes.
Referee: Darren Drysdale
Attendance: 3,007 (356 away)