Sutton United 5 (Kizzi 2, Patrick 23,50, Beautyman 63, Smith 78) Notts County 1 (McGoldrick 69)
Sutton made a sensational start to the new Sky Bet League Two campaign as Notts County suffered a chastening return to the EFL. Ahead inside the first two minutes as Joe Kizzi scored the first goal of the season in League Two, Sutton made the most of the dismissal of Notts County goalkeeper Aidan Stone after quarter of an hour and coasted to a spectacular first ever victory over County, with Omari Patrick marking his competitve debut with two superb goals and Harry Smith also opening his account with the fifth goal that settled any unease after David McGoldrick had pulled a goal back with just over twenty minutes left.
The tone was set after only a minute as Scott Kashket outpaced Connell Rawlinson to a ball over the top and the defender needed to make a last ditch tackle at the expense of a corner. Former Magpie Rob Milsom swung the flag kick over to the far post where Kizzi lost his markers to head home.
In an eventful start to the game referee Sam Purkiss booked three players inside the first six minutes, Macaulay Langstaff shown a yellow card for his protests about a foul for which Craig Eastmond was booked, and Milsom also punished for a foul on the edge of the penalty area.
The next time the official reached for his pocket the card was red, as Kashket ran on to a poor back pass from Kyle Cameron and Stone brought him down on the edge of the penalty area. The referee decided it was a clear enough goalscoring opportunity to produce the red card, with Jim O'Brien sacrificed for substitute keeper Sam Slocombe. Milsom just failed to find the target with the resulting free kick, and Patrick also sent a shot just wide after cutting in from the left, but he had better luck when Kizzi punished some more hesitancy from County to win possession and find Josh Coley, and Patrick met his low cross with a first time shot that flew in to the roof of the net.
Kashket almost had the goal his efforts deserved when his glancing header from Patrick's cross came back off the bar, while efforts just off target from McGoldrick and Macaulay Langstaff reminded U's that County still posed a threat, and early in the second half Aaron Nemane cut in before blazing a shot over. Hopes of a comeback for the visitors were soon dashed, though, as Harry Beautyman battled to send Coley away on the right, and his terrific cross was met by Patrick at the far post with a crunching header.
U's threatened now to run away with things as a cleared corner fell to Craig Eastmond, whose volley hit the foot of the far post, and although Jack Rose made one smart save from Langstaff U's had soon extended the lead as substitute Aiden O'Brien, who had replaced Kashket three minutes earlier while Craig Clay came on for Coley, collected a knock down from Smith and laid a pass wide to Beautyman, now on the left of midfield, who slotted past the advancing Slocombe.
County supporters did finally have something to cheer when McGoldrick flicked a long clearance on to Langstaff and then made ground to meet the return pass to fire home after Langstaff had beaten Ben Goodliffe to the ball. Despite U's superiority the goal might have sparked a few nerves, but the visitors couldn't produce a second goal to set up an exciting finish and U's made the game safe when Beautyman played a neat pass inside to Kizzi, whose chipped cross was headed in by Smith (above) under pressure from the defence.
Supporters received an idea of the new timekeeping policies, with nine added minutes in the first half and ten in the second, but the additional time was insufficient for County to make any impact on the scoreline.
Sutton: Rose, J Kizzi, R Milsom, O Sowunmi, B Goodliffe(sub L John 81) C Eastmond, J Coley(sub C Clay 57), S Kashket (sub A O'Brien 57), H Smith (sub L Angol 81), H Beautyman, O Patrick(sub T Fadahunsi 68). Booked: Eastmond, Milsom, Goodliffe
Notts County: A Stone, R Brindley, M Palmer, K Campbell, C Rawlinson(sub A Baldwin 60), J O'Brien(sub S Slocombe 18), J Bostock, D McGoldrick, M Langstaff(sub C Scott 72), J Jones(sub D Crowley 72), A Nemane(sub A Chicksen 60). Booked: Langstaff, Bostock, Baldwin. Sent Off: Stone
Referee: Sam Purkiss
Attendance: 4,010 (1,266 away)