Article by Johnnie Lowery
After a fairly even first half hour Sutton ran away with victory at Boreham Wood, helped by the dismissal of Kieron Murtagh just before the break allowing a dominant second half performance to add the two first half penalties.
In fairness it was the home side who probably shaded the first 45 minutes, Angelo Balanta coming the closest with a header glanced just wide. On two occasions the offside flag denied Wood an opportunity to get ahead, with Kane Smith also having something of an opportunity though he fired well wide from range. On the whole U’s defensive stood up well to the crosses Boreham Wood put in and on 32 minutes a foul on Tom Bolarinwa gave Jamie Collins the chance to score from the spot. The captain made no mistake, sending keeper Grant Smith the wrong way to put Sutton ahead. Right from the resulting centre the hosts won a freekick on the edge of the box which was well saved by Jamie Butler, but right at the end of the long period of stoppage time at the end of the half was the point at which the game really changed. While there seemed to be nothing really on Craig Eastmond burst through three players at the same time to get one on one with Smith. However as he was about to shoot Murtagh caught up with him though the referee judged his challenge from behind to be illegal, awarding another penalty and showing the defender a straight red card. Nicky Bailey stood up this time and his effort straight down the middle doubled the lead right before the break.
With their man advantage the emphasis was to press on for Paul Doswell’s men early in the second half, Bolarinwa having a header cleared off the line by Kane Smith early on. On the hour mark Boreham Wood were nearly back in the game when Jamie Turley won a header from a set piece but a combination of defender and Jamie Butler kept it out. This was particularly significant in the course of the game as within minutes United had killed the game, Bolarinwa slipping in Eastmond who finished calmly past Smith. Six minutes later it was 4-0, a defensive mix-up allowing Eastmond to steal in and round Smith before passing into the empty net. The rest of the game passed off largely without incident with no further chances to extend the lead or for the hosts to get a consolation. Rather unnecessarily Kane Smith lunged in on the returning Aswad Thomas in stoppage time and was lucky to escape a sending off for a challenge that could have caused serious harm, though fortunately the full back was alright and U’s were able to celebrate their victory without any major negatives.