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Match Reports

Match report for Grimsby Town 1 Sutton United 1

25 November 2023

Match Reports

Match report for Grimsby Town 1 Sutton United 1

25 November 2023

Grimsby Town 1 (Pyke 19) Sutton United 1(Smith 45+5)

Sutton remain at the foot of Sky Bet League Two but unbeaten now in four league games after earning a point at Grimsby, Harry Smith's fine strike deep in to first half injury time cancelling out Rekeil Pyke's opener which came just after Sutton had had to replace injured goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis with Steve Arnold, who was picking the ball out of his net just three minutes after coming on. While an away draw is never to be turned down, Sutton may feel disappointed that the result wasn't better, the best second half chances falling to U's and Smith denied a second by a reflex point blank range save by Grimsby goalkeeper Harvey Cartwright.

With Dominic Gape and Rob Milsom failing to shake off their injuries from the Charlton game in midweek, Louis John started at left back with Ryan Jackson moving up to the right of the midfield and Josh Coley to the left, with Harry Beautyman in the middle. 

Grimsby had the better of the early stages and Bouzanis had to save from Arthur Gnahoua's low shot before Donovan Wilson, facing his former club, met one of several dangerous crosses from Toby Mullarkey with a volley that struck Omar Sowunmi and dribbled through to Bouzanis. Soon afterwards, though, the goalkeeper was struggling after coming out to dive at Pyke's feet, and although he tried to carry on he was soon replaced by Arnold. 

The substitute was beaten within four minutes of coming on, Pyke arriving at the far post to meet Mullarkey's cross and after failing to make proper contact the first time stabbing the ball home at the second attempt. The home side failed to build on the advantage, though, and as the half wore on Sutton began to see chances come their way. Coley curled a shot wide, but the best effort came from Aiden O'Brien, whose volley on the turn dipped just over the bar with Hargreaves beaten.

There were six minutes added on, mainly due to the injury to Bouzanis, and Wilson again failed to take a good chance, shooting at Arnold from close range after Jamie Andrews had headed another Mullarkey cross back across goal, but in the fifth of those extra minutes Sutton were rewarded for their first half improvement with O'Brien again prominent. First he was back helping his defence to clear after a Gavin Holohan shot had been blocked, and then when the ball was played downfield he ran on to Smith's flick in to space before playing his strike partner through to score with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area and become the first player since U's joined the Football League to reach double figures in league and cup goals.

The second half saw both sides have spells of pressure, but Arnold was relatively untroubled as his defence dealt well with several set pieces and crosses. Only once did he have to make a save, diving at the feet of Pyke as he tried to score from a narrrow angle, but referee Matt Corlett's whistle ended the danger in any case.

The clear chances came at the other end, with Ben Goodliffe volleying wide from a good position after more fine work by O'Brien, who turned inside and crossed in to the penalty area, and then with twenty minutes left two glorious openings in quick succession. First Ryan Jackson chased a pass down the right and pulled a cross back for Coley, who turned inside his marker and went for placement, but curled his shot just wide of the post. His head stayed up, though, and seconds later he raced down the left and produced a superb cross which landed on Smith's head six yards out and looked a certain goal, only for Hargreaves to manage to get his body in the way.

U's lost Goodliffe to injury near the end, and in stoppage time both teams wasted good set piece opportunities, Christian N'Guessan planting a free kick straight in to the arms of Hargreaves, and in the game's last action Anthony Glennon's corner claimed unchallenged by Arnold.

Sutton: D Bouzanis (sub S Arnold 15) R Jackson, J Kizzi, O Sowunmi, B Goodliffe(sub C Clay 80), L John, J Coley, C N'Guessan, H Smith, H Beautyman, A O'Brien(sub L Angol 69). Subs n/u o O Patrick, C Dundas, D Pereira, T Fadahunsi.

Grimsby: H Cartwright, T Mullarkey, A Glennon, K Conteh, N Maher, L Waterfall, A Gnahoua, G Holohan (sub O Khan 73), R Pyke, D Wilson, J Andrews(sub H Clifton 62). Subs n/u J Eastwood, H Rodgers, K Green, A Hunt, A Eisa.

Referee: Matt Corlett

Attendance: 5,456 (75 away)

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