Sutton United 1 (John 28) Crewe Alexandra 1(Baker-Richardson 17)
Sutton battled to a fourth consecutive 1-1 EFL draw, deserving the point for a committed performance against one of League Two's in form teams. As in the previous three draws, U's went behind but this time had replied within ten minutes, and although an injury to Louis John early in the second half, added to Ben Goodliffe's absence, led to a defensive line-up that saw Christian N'Guessan filling in at left back Sutton withstood any Crewe pressure with some fine blocks and clearances, and came closest to a winner when Aiden O'Brien hit the post ten minutes from time.
As well as Goodliffe's absence, U's also had to make a change in goal with Dean Bouzanis failing to recover from his injury sustained at Grimsby and Steve Arnold continuing to deputise. He was soon in action when a cross from Rio Adebisi, a threat all evening on the left for Crewe, deflected off Omar Sowunmi and fell to Elliott Nevitt, but his shot was straight at U's keeper. However in the 17th minute the visitors did go ahead when Courtney Baker-Richardson escaped from the attentions of John and N'Guessan and curled a superb shot beyond Arnold and inside the far post.
Sutton were level ten minutes later when N'Guessan's corner was met with a header by Sowunmi that goalkeeper Harvey Davies saved to his left. Lee Angol, starting in place of O'Brien, saw his follow up effort hit the post but John tidied things up from close range. In an entertaining game Crewe were almost ahead again before half time when Adebisi again escaped the defensive cover to pull a cross back for Shilow Tracey, whose shot was saved by Arnold's outstretched leg, and whose second effort crashed back off the crossbar.
John was forced off early in the second half, leaving Christian N'Guessan to play left back with Joe Kizzi coming in to the middle and Aiden O'Brien coming on in midfield, but although Crewe threatened on both flanks they were thwarted by some fine defending as both Kizzi and Sowunmi threw themselves in the way of shots from Nevitt and Connor O'Riordan, and several more timely interceptions cut out crosses before they could cause a problem, so Arnold was relatively untroubled apart from punching away several corners under pressure.
Sutton had chances as well, though, with Harry Smith's low shot saved by Davies, but the best moment came with ten minutes to go as O'Brien intercepted a pass deep in his own half and allowed another substitute, Dion Pereira, to break away on the left. O'Brien continued his run to receive the return pass in the Crewe penalty area, but his shot rattled back off the post, and although U's kept the pressure up the second goal wouldn't come.
It was Crewe who provided a strong finish to the game, Connor Roberts shooting wide after a free kick had been headed back, but again U's defence stood firm in several penalty box scrambles and emerged with an extremely worthy point.
Sutton: S Arnold, R Jackson, J Kizzi, O Sowunmi, C Clay, L John(sub A O'Brien 48), J Coley, C N'Guessan, H Smith, H Beautyman, L Angol(sub D Pereira 63). Subs n/u B House, O Patrick, C Dundas, T Fadahunsi, Booked: Coley, Pereira
Crewe: H Davies, R Cooney, R Adebisi, C O'Riordan, M Demetriou, L Offord, J White, C Thomas, C Baker-Richardson, S Tracey, E Nevitt(sub A Rowe 90+2). Subs n/u T Booth, C Colkett, L Billington, Z Kempster-Down, C Agius, N Robinson. Booked: Cooney
Referee: John Busby
Attendance: 2,233 (192 away)