Battle Of Gander Green Lane Sees Sutton Beat Physical Halifax

Article by Johnnie Lowery

A spirited Halifax side gave Sutton a tough ride at the weekend, but the superior U’s ended up deserved winners despite hanging on for the last 10 minutes.

In a game of attrition the first chance actually came after a wonderful team move from Sutton, the ball eventually worked to Josh Taylor who was unlucky to see his shot cannon off the outside of the post. Halifax responded with a freekick right on the edge of the box which Jamie Butler had to get down low to save, the resulting corner also saved by the U’s stopper with Tom Denton getting his head on the set piece, the tall striker a permanent threat. Half an hour in Sutton hit the woodwork for the second time of the game, Kieron Cadogan running with the ball from deep before seeing a ferocious shot cannon off the crossbar, similar to Deacon’s effort against Arsenal last season. Cadogan had one decent chance of 45 minutes, heading over from a tight angle, but United were to get ahead before the break. A quick break from a Halifax corner saw Cadogan get away, and he was able to slip in Lafayette. The big striker still had plenty to do, firing his shot against the post and in brilliantly with the keeper beaten.

Fifteen minutes into the second half Sutton grabbed a second goal that their play deserved, excellent work from Kenny Davis beating two visiting defenders before crossing allowing Lafayette a shot at goal. His effort was blocked and looped up onto the crossbar, but fell kindly for Craig Dundas to score, nearly 10 years to the day after his first effort for the club. U’s looked to stay on top with Cadogan hitting a freekick from the edge of the box into the wall, but before long the Yorkshire side found a way back into the game. A ball only half cleared from the edge of the Sutton box was crossed back in for Denton to climb and head in. With the away side pushing forward Paul Doswell’s men were able to break effectively, Bolarinwa seeing a powerful volley well saved on one such occasion. There’s no doubt Halifax were looking to employ a combative physical game but they paid the price for their high foul count on 72 minutes, a freekick from a wide position headed in by Lafayette for 3-1. Far from giving up the Shaymen continued to push and won a penalty after a foul by John, but Matt Brown – perhaps lucky to still be on the pitch at this point – fired against the bar. There was still time for a goal from a long throw in courtesy of Scott Garner to set up a nervous finish, but U’s saw it out well with Lafayette actually having a good chance to complete his hattrick at the death.