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Match Reports

Match report for Swindon Town 5 Sutton United 3

9 September 2023

Match Reports

Match report for Swindon Town 5 Sutton United 3

9 September 2023

Swindon Town 5 (Young 5,23, Cain 16, Kemp 65, Hepburn-Murphy 87)Sutton United 3 (Clay 34, Goodliffe 39, Smith 77)

Sutton were unable to reverse the run of form that has now seen six consecutive defeats since the opening day thrashing of Notts County, but what after a quarter of the game looked set to be a gruesome afternoon for U's as Swindon raced in to a three goal lead ended up a much closer affair than at that stage seemed likely, with Sutton still in the game right up to just before the final whistle.

U's made one change from the side beaten by Forest Green, Christian N'Guessan starting a league game for the first time in place of Harry Beautyman, and on a sweltering hot afternoon it seemed early on as though the pace of the game would reflect the conditions. Swindon seemed happy to keep the ball at the back and build slowly, and it nearly cost them when goalkeeper Murphy Mahoney was almost dispossessed by Josh Coley, but moments later they had the lead as a Sutton attack broke down and a long clearance was flicked by Charlie Austin in to the path of Jake Young, who ran from the halfway line, taking on Ben Goodliffe on the outside, and then fired in a shot that Jack Rose took some of the power off but not enough to prevent the goal.

The next twenty minutes were a horror show for U's, as Jake Cain made it 2-0 with a low shot from the edge of the penalty area after U's had failed to clear a left wing cross and Dan Kemp had laid the ball back, and almost scored again immediately when his near post effort deflected wide off Young. It was only a brief reprieve for Sutton, though, as Romeao Hutton's cross from the right found Austin in behind the defence, and although the experienced striker's predatory instincts deserted him on this occasion the ensuing scramble saw Young score his second of the game and his ninth of the season.

The drinks break that came before the restart was well timed for U's, whose performance improved markedly afterwards. Craig Clay began the comeback as he won a tackle in midfield and then, as Omari Patrick and Coley combined well before finding Aiden O'Brien on the left, continued his run to meet O'Brien's pass with a shot that went in despite Mahoney getting both hands to it. Five minutes later Ben Goodliffe drilled home a crisp left foot shot after Louis John and Harry Smith had got touches on a Joe Kizzi throw, and U's could easily have even gone in level at the break as Coley, who appeared to be being held back, crossed just in front of the onrushing Patrick.

Sutton started the second half in similar vein and Coley thought he had equalised when he slotted home from Smith's pass only to be denied by a very close offside decision. It was the first of four occasions in the next ten minutes where goals would be disallowed for offside, Austin twice frustrated for Swindon and, a minute after the second of those, Smith heading in Patrick's cross but the flag again going up. It was now a much more entertaining game than anyone had a right to expect in the heat, but Swindon seemed to be back in control when Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, who had been on the pitch little more than a minute, turned superbly in midfield before putting in Kemp, who had earlier been denied by a good Rose save but who this time found the net of Rose and the crossbar.

Another substitute also nearly had an immediate impact as Tyrese Shade rippled the side netting from the outside with a low shot, but Sutton were soon back in the game as Smith's volley from Patrick's cross found the net with the help of a hefty deflection off Frazer Blake-Tracy. They were unable to find parity, though, before Hepburn-Murphy's superb solo goal, as he left three defenders in his wake before beating Rose, seemed to have settled things and gave Swindon five goals for the thirs time in four league games. Even then, though, U's had the chances to make the eight minutes of injury time awkward for the home side, Smith blazing over when well placed after fine work from Scott Kashket, and Beautyman's shot deflected wide, but ultimately U's paid the price for the performance in the first quarter of the game.

Sutton: J Rose, J Kizzi(sub R Jackson 77), R Milsom, C Clay(sub H Beautyman 77), B Goodliffe, L John, J Coley(sub D Pereira 62), C N'Guessan, H Smith, A O'Brien(sub L Angol 62), O Patrick(sub S Kashket 88). Subs n/u D Bouzanis, O Sowunmi. Booked: Milsom, Goodliffe

Swindon: M Mahoney, R Hutton, T Brewitt, U Godwin-Malife, F Blake-Tracy, G McEachran(sub H Mintern 85), J Young, J Cain(sub T Shade 63), C Austin(sub R Hepburn-Murphy 64), D Kemp, T Uwakwe. Subs n/u L Ward, B Genesini, B Ward, J Keyes. Booked: Godwin-Malife

Referee: Ben Atkinson

Attendance: 8,389(213 away)

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