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Match Reports

Match report for Salford City 1 Sutton United 2

29 March 2024

Match Reports

Match report for Salford City 1 Sutton United 2

29 March 2024

Salford City 1 (Watson 50) Sutton United 2(Sanderson 45+2, 63)

Sutton made it three Sky Bet League Two wins in a row and recorded a first ever win, and first ever goal, at Salford thanks to two goals from Olly Sanderson. The first came in first half stoppage time and gave U's the edge after a tight first half, and the second came just after the hour mark and halted a good start to the second half from the home side, who had made three substitutions at half time and equalised within five minutes of the restart.

Sutton fielded an unchanged starting eleven after last week's win over Accrington, and started brightly but there was little to separate the sides in the first half and few moments of threat for either goalkeeper. Salford's best effort came from Conor McAleny, who shot wide after a fine solo run, while at the other end Nino Adom-Malaki's cross found Sanderson arriving at the near post but Adrian Mariappa diverting the ball for a corner. The half seemed set to end goalless, but then Omar Sowunmi found space to meet a Charlie Lakin free kick with a downward header, and Snderson hooked a shot past Alex Cairns in to the corner of the net.

Salford manager Karl Robinson's views on the first half were reflected with three substitutions at the break and they had an immediate effect, Connor McLellan setting up Matt Smith for a shot which went just past the post, but they only had to wait five minutes for an equaliser, which followed a Sutton counter attack which had seen Josh Coley's cross scrambled away. Salford broke back upfield to win a free kick despite Kelly Nmai being in a position to play on, but the quick free kick allowed himto resume his attack, and when the ball was played through to Callum Hendry his shot was beaten away by Steve Arnold but the rebound was returned on the half volley by Ryan Watson with Arnold helpless.

This was Salford's best spell of the game, but Sutton had the perfect response when a cross from Adom-Malaki was cleared as far as Ryan Jackson, who gave Coley the chance to send in another low cross and this one was miskicked by McLellan straight to Sanderson, whose crisp first time volley found the net. 

Salford almost replied immediately when McAleny's low shot rolled just wide, but other than that Arnold was relatively untroubled once U's were back in front, and Sutton might have extended the lead when substitute Omari Patrick fired in a shot from the right that was turned away by Cairns at his near post. Only in the closing stages did Salford put any concerted pressure on U's goal, but Harry Beautyman produced one superb intervention as he took the ball off Matt Smith's foot after Nmai had headed back a cross from the right, and Joe Kizzi dived in to divert a dangerous cross from Dan Chesters out for a corner, but after U's had cleared that referee Paul Howard blew the final whistle to leave U's to celebrate a win which seemed set to earn a place outside the relegation zone until Colchester's stoppage time winner against Newport.

Sutton: S Arnold, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki, O Sowunmi, J Kizzi, S Hart, J Coley(sub O Patrick 82), O Sanderson (sub C N'Guessan 82), H Smith, H Beautyman, C Lakin. Subs n/u M Kerbey, L John, C Clay, D Moore, J Williams. Booked: Smith, Sanderson, N'Guessan, Beautyman.

Salford: A Cairns, C Tilt, D John(sub C McLellan H-T), T Vassell, A Mariappa (sub L Garbutt 72), E Watt, R Watson(sub D Chesters 73), J Luamba(sub K Nmai H-T), M Smith, C Morton(sub C Hendry H-T), C McAleny. Subs n/u M Lund, J Torrance.

Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 2,983(137 away)


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