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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 3 Horsham 0

2 December 2023

Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 3 Horsham 0

2 December 2023

Sutton United 3 (Pereira 64, 74, Patrick 89) Horsham 0

Sutton reached the third round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 2016-17 run to the fifth round, and the first time under Matt Gray's management, making light of what could have been disruptive injuries to Omar Sowunmi and Ryan Jackson to score three goals in the last half hour and secure an ultimately comfortable win. Isthmian League Horsham made life difficult in the first half, but rarely looked like continuing their run once Dion Pereira had scored his first Sutton goal just after the hour mark.

With Louis John failing to recover from Tuesday's injury Christian N'Guessan continued at left back, with Pereira and Josh Coley on the flanks, while Dean Bouzanis returned in goal, but that line up lasted less than a quarter of an hour before Omar Sowunmi joined his centre back partners John and Ben Goodliffe on the casualty list, with N'Guessan now deployed at centre back and Tope Fadahunsi, who began his career as a full back, the new left back.

It could have been unsettling, with Horsham captain Jack Brivio already having had a header saved by Bouzanis, but apart from a Charlie Hester-Cook run and shot which went wide it was Horsham keeper Lewis Carey who was the busier as he saved at his near post from Pereira and then flapped away a free kick from the same player, and before half time Carey had also saved from Harry Smith, and Joe Kizzi had a header from N'Guessan's corner cleared off the line.

Just as U's had lost Sowunmi early in the first half, so another change was needed at the start of the second as Jackson failed to shake off a knock and was replaced by Omari Patrick, with Coley dropping to right back. However Horsham couldn't take advantage of a defence with now only one recognised defender, the only threat to Bouzanis being a low free kick from James Hammond which he pushed away, and the frustration for U's supporters was the failure to take some good chances. Smith's flick on from a Bouzanis clearance sent Aiden O'Brien clear through the middle but he shot wide with just Carey to beat, and then when O'Brien returned the compliment by rolling the ball in to Smith's path the striker's horribly miscued shot went out for a throw in.

The next time U's found themselves in the Horsham penalty area, though, there was no mistake as Smith's pass gave Pereira the chance to shrug off a challenge from Harvey Sparks and stab the ball past the advancing Carey. Having opened his U's account Pereira, who had also scored his first goal for Antigua & Barbuda in the recent international break, took just ten minutes to score a second, as Patrick produced a superb run on the left, skipping past the challenges of former U's players Tom Kavanagh and Jack Strange before sending in a cross that Brivio could only head to Pereira, who took a touch past Sparks and drilled a shot in to the net.

That seemed certain to be enough for U's to progress, but with two minutes left there was a third goal as Patrick took centre stage again, turning between two defenders to attack the Horsham penalty area, exchange passes with O'Brien and coolly place his shot beyond Carey and inside the far post to round off Sutton's satisfying afternoon.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson(sub O Patrick 49), J Kizzi, O Sowunmi(sub T Fadahunsi 14), C Clay, D Pereira(sub D Mellor 90+3), J Coley, C N'Guessan, H Smith(sub L Angol 90+2), H Beautyman, A O'Brien(sub C Dundas 90+3). Subs n/u B House, S Arnold, T Ogundega. Booked : Clay, Kizzi

Horsham: L Carey, B Price (sub K Daniel 78), H Sparks, C Hester-Cook(sub L Rodrigues 67), J Strange, J Brivio, L Harding, T Kavanagh (sub J Mazzone 79), S Fenelon(sub T Richards 78), D Ajakaiye, J Hammond(sub D Barker 87). Subs n/u A Malins, A Lelliott, D Tuck, S El-Abd

Referee: Scott Tallis

Attendance: 4,283(1,265 away)

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