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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 4 Walsall 0

7 October 2023

Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 4 Walsall 0

7 October 2023

Sutton United 4 (Patrick 6, Smith 12, 37, Riley og 27) Walsall 0

Sutton ended miserable run of ten league games without a win with a blistering first half performance that set up a first ever win over Walsall and moved U's off the bottom of the League Two table. From the moment Omari Patrick found the bottom corner of the net with a well placed free kick Sutton were in control of the game, quickly added a second through Harry Smith and by half time had the game as good as sewn up.

After Tuesday's defeat against Salford U's fans could have been forgiven for anxiety in the first five minutes as Jamille Matt and Liam Gordon both had a sight of goal and Gordon, allowed time to line up a shot from the edge of the area, was only inches wide. However within two minutes Aiden O'Brien, paired with Smith up front, was fouled just outside the penalty area and Patrick drove his free kick past the defensive wall and in to the far corner of the net.

Backed by a raucous VBS Community Stadium crowd, U's had soon doubled the lead as Walsall failed to clear a Sam Hart long throw and Smith took advantage to hammer a volley past Owen Evans in to the roof of the net, and with Sutton's confidence soaring, the move of the match two minutes later almost produced a third as Patrick, O'Brien, Smith and Craig Clay all combined to find Josh Coley on the right, but having turned inside Coley sent his shot just over the angle of post and bar.

Walsall had the potential to cause the Sutton defence problems, with Tom Knowles sending one shot wide and seeing another blocked by O'Brien in the six yard box, but U's soon regained the initiative and, after a Christian N'Guessan free kick was cleared back to him just inside the Walsall half, he came forward on the right before chipping in a delicious cross that Omar Sowunmi, possibly impeded, and Smith couldn't quite reach but which went in off defender Joe Riley.

Initially credited with the goal in the ground, Smith did have his second of the game ten minutes later, though, climbing at the far post to meet Joe Kizzi's cross with a classic centre forward's header which thundered past Evans, and U's were able to return to the dressing room to a deserved ovation and with the points almost wrapped up.

A lively start to the second half from Walsall might have set up a more anxious second half, but Hart scrambled away Ryan Stirk's cross shot in the six yard box, and when Gordon kept the attack going his cross flashed across goal. Knowles then broke through but shot straight at Dean Bouzanis, but Walsall couldn't keep the momentum going and there were few moments after that when Sutton's dominance was threatened. Patrick produced one exhilarating burst on the left that ended with his shot being diverted wide by Harry Williams, while Smith might have completed a hat trick when he met N'Guessan's corner with another powerful header which was beaten out by Evans, and Kizzi headed in another N'Guessan corner only for referee Ed Duckworth to spot some pushing. O'Brien also went close after creating space for a right foot shot that was pushed wide by Evans, but having done the hard work in the first half Sutton cruised through the closing stages and for the first time since the opening day of the season were able to enjoy celebrating a home victory with the supporters at the end.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, S Hart(sub R Jackson 86), O Sowunmi, B Goodliffe, C Clay, J Coley(sub H Beautyman 86), C N'Guessan, H Smith(sub H Kasimu 88), A O'Brien(sub L Angol 75), O Patrick(sub D Pereira 88). Subs n/u S Arnold

Walsall: O Evans, R Stirk, L Gordon, O McEntee, D Daniels(sub H Griffiths 77),  H Williams, J Riley, A Oteh, J Matt(sub I Hutchinson H-T), T Knowles (sub D James-Taylor 63), D Johnson(sub R Tierney 77). Subs n/u J Foulkes, F Draper, J Smith.

Referee: Ed Duckworth

Attendance: 3,009(275 away)

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