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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Harrogate Town 2

30 January 2024

Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Harrogate Town 2

30 January 2024

Sutton United 1 (Jackson 87) Harrogate Town 2 (Muldoon 58,75)

Sutton suffered a first defeat under Steve Morison's management, and a first ever home defeat against Harrogate, as the visitors scored twice in the second half through Jack Muldoon and withstood a late comeback from Sutton who could only manage Ryan Jackson's first Sutton goal in reply.

There were six changes made from the 1-1 draw with Walsall at the weekend. Louis John made way at centre-back for a return to the starting line-up for Omar Sowunmi, Nino Adom-Malaki made his home debut at left back in place of Sam Hart, Christian N’Guessan replaced Charlie Lakin in the heart of the midfield, while in the attacking areas there were changes with Ollie Sanderson, Josh Coley, and Omari Patrick coming in for Lee Angol, Stephen Duke-McKenna, and Deon Moore, Sanderson also making his home debut

It was a strong start to the first half by Sutton, whose first opportunity of the game came from the a long throw delivered by Adom-Malaki. Eventually finding the feet of Patrick on the left, his cross found the head of Sanderson, who headed the ball over the bar.

Sutton had been the better of the two sides as it approached the quarter-hour mark and when another Adom-Malaki cross found its way into the box after the full back had collected a superb pass from goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, Patrick's header took a deflection on the way through and James Belshaw showed brilliant reflexes to tip the ball narrowly over.

Continuing Sutton's strong start, Sowunmi rose above his marker at the back post and headed Harry Beautyman's corner just wide from a tight angle, but Harrogate became more of a threat and their first chance came when Matt Daly's first time half-volley from the edge of the penalty area was comfortably saved by Bouzanis down to his right. As the half draw to a close, the Yorkshire side fashioned a couple of dangerous opportunities through George Thomson and Matty Daly. The first came when Daly laid the ball back in the box for Thomson to strike straight at a Sutton defender and then Daly cut inside and had a shot blocked. The best chance, though, fell to Muldoon, who was put through by Thomson but shot wide as Bouzanis came out.

Sutton made two changes at the break, Charlie Lakin and another home debutant, Stephen Duke-McKenna, replacing Coley and Craig Eastmond, and started the second half similarly to the first, with Duke-McKenna immediately involved as Sanderson slipped the QPR loanee through to deliver a dangerous cross that was turned away for a corner. Moments later, the U’s came so close to taking the lead when Omari Patrick turned away from his marker to collect a bouncing ball and drove in to the area, only for his goalbound shot to deflect off Stephen Dooley and go wide via the post.

Despite Sutton’s strong start, Harrogate opened the scoring when Abraham Odoh skilfully guided Thomson's crossfield pass in to the path of Daly, whose low cross was turned in by Muldoon. As U's searched for an equaliser, Adom-Malaki provided a deep cross to the back post, with Beautyman's header deflected for a corner and Sanderson had a great chance when Sowunmi headed down a Lakin corner but miscued his effort wide.

For all Sutton's pressure, Harrogate took a firmer grip on the game with fifteen minutes left when Muldoon claimed his second of the night, slipping the ball past the oncoming Bouzanis following a perfectly weighted through ball from Kayne Ramsey. 

Again U's could have replied immediately as Patrick's low cross was turned against the bar and over by substitute Lee Angol, and having now hit both the post and the crossbar in the second half it seemed to be one of those nights. Eventually, U’s did have the ball in the back of the net as Jackson's low effort  found its way through a crowded penalty area and past Belshaw, but despite Sutton’s best efforts, an equaliser wouldn't come and Harrogate left Sutton with points for the first time in their history.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki, O Sowunmi, J Kizzi, C Eastmond (sub C Lakin H-T), J Coley(sub S Duke-McKenna H-T), C N'Guessan (sub L Angol 64), O Sanderson, H Beautyman, O Patrick. Subs n/u L John, S Arnold, D Moore, S Hart. Booked: Kizzi

Harrogate: J Belshaw, K Ramsey, L Gibson, T Sims, S Dooley (sub L Sutton 55), W Burrell, G Thomson, D Cornelius, A Odoh, M Daly, J Muldoon(sub J March 83). Subs n/u J Mattock, J Falkingham, J Daly, J Sivi, J Mitchell. Booked: Dooley, Burrell, Sutton

Referee: Stephen Parkinson

Attendance:2,482(68 away)

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