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Match Reports

Match report for Wrexham 2 Sutton United 1

24 October 2023

Wrexham 2 (Mullin 14, Lee 89) Sutton United 1(O'Brien 59)

The points may have ended up where the league table suggested they would, but Sutton made Wrexham battle all the way for victory and were beaten only by two superb strikes from Paul Mullin and Elliott Lee, the second two minutes from time a crushing blow for U's who had deservedly levelled early in the second half and defended well as Wrexham increased the pressure in the last ten minutes. However when a cleared corner fell to substitute Lee he struck a volley that flew through a crowded penalty area and unstoppably past Dean Bouzanis.

Ryan Jackson and Harry Beautyman were preferred to Josh Coley and Omari Patrick, while Rob Milsom replaced the unlucky Sam Hart, who suffered a broken wrist. With Jackson in the starting line up U's had the weapon of a long throw and after only two minutes one throw in bounced awkwardly around the Wrexham six yard box before ending up in the hands of Arthur Okonkwo. Wrexham's first threat came when a James McLean corner was headed over by Paul Mullin after Jackson had unluckily seen a charged down clearance rebound off him. However Mullin is among the league's top strikers, and when minutes later Sutton gave him a fraction of space just outside the penalty area his effort flew in to the far corner of the net.

Sutton's first corner of the game, after Omar Sowunmi's long range effort had been deflected wide, saw Ben Goodliffe head just wide and apart from Mullin's fine strike U's coped with Wrexham's threat well in the first half hour, and even came close to an equaliser seven minutes before half time when Aiden O'Brien's low volley from the edge of the penalty area skimmed just wide. There was a scare moments later, though, when Mullin broke free on the right but Ollie Palmer was unable to direct his shot from the resulting low cross, and Dean Bouzanis then made two good saves, keeping out Ryan Barnett's low shot and, when the ball was crossed back in, a Palmer header. The half had a disappointing end for U's when a free kick in a good position was delivered low by N'Guessan and easily cleared.

James Jones sent a shot wide early in the second half after a mix-up between Jackson and Joe Kizzi had allowed Wrexham to break quickly, but Sowunmi then had a chance at the other end as a half cleared free kick fell to him but he volleyed wide from twenty yards.  U's were an increasing threat, though, and just before the hour mark the equaliser came when Smith was put in by Craig Clay on the right and his cross was superbly converted by O'Brien on the volley.

Sutton enjoyed the better of things after the goal, and after a patient build up Clay volleyed wide after O'Brien had laid back Jackson's cross, but moments after Josh Coley and Omari Patrick had come on one of Wrexham's substitutes, Jacob Mendy, clipped the top of the crossbar with a dipping long range shot.  That heralded a spell of pressure from the home side, backed by a home support that had become noticeably edgy earlier in the half while the 276 who had made the  with Ben Tozer hurling throw-ins in to the penalty area and a succession of corners from James McClean, but U's defended superbly, blocking shots and getting headess to crosses. However when Patrick cleared one as far as Lee just outside the penalty area there was no getting in the way of a thumping volley that flew through a crowded penalty area and past Bouzanis, condemning Sutton to a seventh away defeat in the league this season, although one of the least deserved.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, R Milsom(sub L John 90+2), O Sowunmi, B Goodliffe, C Clay, R Jackson(sub J Coley 78), C N'Guessan, H Smith, H Beautyman (sub O Patrick 78), A O'Brien(sub D Pereira 90+2). Subs n/u S Arnold, T Fadahunsi, D Mellor.

Wrexham: A Okwonko, J Jones(sub E Lee 72), T O'Connor(sub S Dalby 72) E O'Connell(sub B Tozer 30), G Evans, J Tunnicliffe, J Davies, R Barnett(sub J Mendy 69), O Palmer(sub S Fletcher 73) P Mullin, C McClean. Subs n/u M Howard, L Young.  Booked: Tunnicliffe, Mullin, McClean

Referee: Seb Stockbridge

Attendance: 10,190 (276 away)

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