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Match report for Sutton United 0 Forest Green Rovers 1

2 September 2023

Sutton United  0 Forest Green Rovers 1(Bunker 63)

Sutton were unable to translate Tuesday's Carabao Cup form in to league success as a goal by Harvey Bunker just after the hour condemned U's to a fifth consecutive league defeat and maintained Forest Green's unbeaten away record. It was disappointing for U's, who had gone in to the game in confident mood but failed to match Tuesday's performance and until the later stages of the game, when there were a few skirmishes in the Forest Green area, struggled to create chances while the visitors were thwarted on several occasions by several fine saves from Jack Rose.

U's made two changes from the side that won at Wycombe, Joe Kizzi and Harry Beautyman returning in place of Ryan Jackson and Christian N'Guessan, but it was Forest Green's recent recruit as player-coach Troy Deeney who was involved in the first noteworthy incident as he was booked in only the third minute for kicking the ball away after he had been penalised for a foul. A scrappy first half saw Rose called in to action as he beat away a shot from Matty Taylor, while U's best moment, when Omari Patrick's ferocious volley was tipped on to the bar by Luke Daniels, counted for nothing as Aiden O'Brien was flagged offside as he nodded the ball in to Patrick's path. O'Brien shot just wide after Harry Smith had flicked on a long clearance, and Craig Clay was off target from outside the penalty area, but it was Forest Green who finished the half strongly as a neat passing movement saw Charlie McCann skip away from Harry Beautyman's challenge and run through before firing in a low shot which was well saved by Rose, who also produced a good stop from Taylor's volley when McCann kept the attack going with a right wing cross.

Rose continued to be the busier goalkeeper in the second half, saving from Deeney after McCann had dispossessed Louis John, and while Sutton produced one fine move of quick passing Joe Kizzi was unable to hit the target from 25 yards after Josh Coley had laid the ball in to his path. Rose made another good save to deny Kyle McAllister, but he was eventually beaten when McAllister set up Bunker on the edge of the penalty area and he shot low in to the corner of the net.

Sutton rang the changes in an attempt to salvage a point, and Patrick's low shot was saved by Daniels, and substitute Scott Kashket and Kizzi both has shots blocked in goalmouth scrambles. When Daniels did have to react sharply, again it was academic as Lee Angol had attempted to turn Coley's cross in with his hand, picking up Sutton's only yellow card, and a frustrating afternoon for U's might have been worse had Matty Stevens not shot narrowly wide in stoppage time after cutting in from the left as Forest Green took advantage of Sutton pushing players forward.

Sutton: J Rose, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Clay, B Goodliffe, L John, J Coley(sub O Sowunmi 90+2), A O'Brien(sub S Kashket 75), H Smith(sub L Angol 75), H Beautyman(sub C N'Guessan 75), O Patrick(sub D Mellor 85). Subs n/u D Bouzanis, R Jackson. Booked: Angol.

Forest Green: L Daniels, R Welch, D Barnard, H Bunker, R Inniss, J Robson, K McAllister, C McCann (sub D Johnson 89), T Deeney(sub T Jenks 76), M Taylor(sub M Stevens 76), N Holland (sub T Omotoye 42). Subs n/u J Searle, A Bendell, R Brown. Booked: Deeney, Bunker

Referee: Scott Simpson

Attendance: 2,546 (180 away)

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