Article by Johnnie Lowery
A confident performance in front of the cameras saw Sutton United take victory against promotion rivals Dagenham & Redbridge, the scoreline of 2-1 not really doing the U’s justice.
Paul Doswell’s men took control from the early exchanges, Tommy Wright early on unlucky not to bring the ball under control after he beat goalkeeper Mark Cousins to a backpass, the visitors’ keeper able to force him wide enough to prevent an opportunity. Harry Beautyman had an effort deflected just wide minutes later, with the resulting corner nearly fired in after the first of many goalmouth scrambles in the game. Sutton survived one themselves when young keeper Owen Evans spilt a long throw, several efforts blocked off the line before U’s finally got it away. Arguably the best chance of the first half came when a Kieron Cadogan knock down was met by Craig Eastmond but on the stretch he was unable to hit the target from 6 yards out. Louis John came close when his cross was deflected and hit the underside of the bar before bouncing away, and the same player hit the post after another scramble from a corner later on. Jamie Collins was the other player to hit the woodwork in the first half, a volley from a corner smashing the bar.
The first chance of the second half actually came to the visitors, Michael Cheek finding himself through on goal but firing straight at Owen Evans under pressure. Despite this scare it was Sutton who continued to dominate, with Harry Beautyman seeing one header cleared off the line with another going inches wide of the near post. Eventually the deadlock was broken, and it was the in-form Tommy Wright who scored the all important first goal, seizing on a short header back to round the keeper and finish calmly. Just four minutes later the lead was doubled, Tom Bolarinwa rising highest to meet a Harry Beautyman corner and head home. There was something of a slowdown in the tempo of the game after this, though Wright came close after running from inside his own half, Cousins equal to his shot though. However the game was brought back to life with five minutes to go when a defensive switch off allowed Fejiri Okenabirhie a tap in, and U’s were left hanging on for the last minutes to secure their win.