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Match Reports

Match report for Accrington Stanley 4 Sutton United 1

16 September 2023

Match Reports

Match report for Accrington Stanley 4 Sutton United 1

16 September 2023

Accrington Stanley 4 (Leigh 45+1 pen, 57, Longelo 63, Pritchard 90+5) Sutton United 1 (Patrick 64)

Sutton's run of consecutive Sky Bet League Two defeats extended to seven in frustrating circumstances at the Wham Stadium as, having had the better of the first half and finished the period strongly, U's conceded a penalty in first half stoppage time and two more goals in the first eighteen minutes of the second half. Despite a brilliant goal from Omari Patrick within a minute of U's going 3-0 down the damage had been done, and Joe Pritchard's goal with virtually the last kick of the game was merely salt in the wounds.

There was a return in goal for Dean Bouzanis and a first league start for Ryan Jackson as U's tried to shore up the defence that had conceded goals rather too freely in recent weeks, and, in a gusting wind that didn't help the game as a spectacle and in temperatures considerably lower than U's supporters would have left London in, for virtually the entire first half Bouzanis was untroubled. Brad Hills and Tommy Leigh sent shots off target, but it was Sutton, with the benefot of the wind in the first half, who looked likelier to score, Harry Smith miscuing a shot wide, Josh Coley denied by a good block after a fine move had ended with Aiden O'Brien putting him through, and O'Brien himself having a shot deflected wide.

With Christian N'Guessan also going close with a dipping volley just before the break U's could feel satisfied with the first half, until, as at Swindon, they were cut open by a swift counter attack on the left, with Josh Andrews flicking a clearance on to Shaun Whalley, who raced clear and then checked inside, going over under Craig Clay's challenge. To the Sutton player's horror referee Darren Drysdale pointed to the penalty spot, and after Bouzanis had been booked he dived the wrong way from Leigh's penalty.

The goal changed the complexion of the game, and Accrington came out strongly at the start of the second half and it took a fine block by Ben Goodliffe to deny Leigh a second. It was only a brief respite, though, as Andrews showed persistence to keep the ball in on the by-line as Goodliffe tried to see it out for a goal kick, and when Andrews' cross was diverted to Leigh the striker this time made no mistake with a low curling shot from the edge of the penalty area which took a slight deflection off Rob Milsom on its way in.

Goodliffe had a chance to atone when a Milsom free kick landed at his feet, but his volley was high and wide and worse followed for U's as Jackson's pass forward was cut out by Rosaire Longelo, who played the ball up to Andrews and continued his run to receive a pass from substitute Pritchard and go on to comfortably beat Bouzanis.

U's response was immediate, Patrick and Coley carving through the defence with a superb exchange before Patrick sent an unstoppable shot in to the top far corner, and for the next twenty minutes U's had the look of a side that still thought a point was there for the taking. O'Brien sent Coley clear of the defence, but having rounded goalkeeper Toby Savin he couldn't get a shot away and eventually found Patrick, whose effort was blocked, and Smith missed badly with a free header from a Milsom free kick. The home side withstood the pressure, though, and deep in stoppage time with U's pushing up Whalley broke clear on the right and at the second attempt crossed low for Pritchard, who had earlier missed a golden chance when he shot wide from twelve yards, this time to turn the ball past Bouzanis and complete another harrowing afternoon for U's and the 145 travelling supporters.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson(sub J Kizzi 81), R Milsom, C Clay (sub H Beautyman 71), B Goodliffe, L John, J Coley(sub D Pereira 72) C N'Guessan, H Smith, A O'Brien(sub S Kashket 81), O Patrick. Subs n/u J Rose, O Sowunmi, L Angol. Booked: Bouzanis

Accrington: T Savin, L Shipley(sub J Pritchard H-T), J Rich-Baghuelou, K Mellor(sub S Quirk 79), B Hills, L Coyle, S Whalley, S Conneely, J Andrews, T Leigh, R Longelo. Subs n/u J McIntyre, B Woods, M Lowe, J Gubbins, J Nolan. Booked: Andrews, Longelo, Savin

Referee: Darren Drysdale

Attendance: 2,036(145 away)

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