Article by Johnnie Lowery
In a tight game in the North East it was super sub Tommy Wright who made the difference for Sutton, netting twice within 15 minutes of coming on to make the long journey home a happy one.
The strong wind didn’t make for a pretty game of football and the first 45 minutes were scrappy at best with the clearest opportunities early on falling to the home side. Luke Hannant went close but was denied by United’s debutant keeper Owen Evans, and minutes later Jordan Burrow should perhaps have done better when he could only drag wide through on goal. Sutton did have chances too though, the returning Harry Beautyman looking lively with more than one defender often required to prevent him getting away. One quick break saw Craig Dundas get away but his shot from a tight angle was well held, whilst Tom Bolarinwa also saw a shot saved.
The second half was better as a spectacle, Scott Barrow early on firing an excellent effort into the side netting from distance, many of the locals at first thinking he’d scored. Adam Coombes, who had been distant in the first half, sprung to life and first saw a shot inside the area blocked before minutes later having a low drive pushed around the post by the home side’s keeper. Heed came closest when a Richard Peniket header, that may or may not have been creeping inside the post, was blocked by Jamie Collins with Evans able to pounce on the ball before anyone in a white shirt could. Paul Doswell made substitutes around the hour mark, and it was Tommy Wright who had the immediate impact, putting Sutton ahead when he beat Hanford in the home side’s goal to a Louis John cross, heading home with ease. 5 minutes later the lead was doubled after some neat build up play eventually saw Tommy Wright with a shooting opportunity on the edge of the box, his half volley beautifully struck into the bottom corner. It was Sutton that looked the more likely to score as Gateshead left themselves vulnerable on the counter, Ross Lafayette screwing best chance when he might have done better. Nevertheless United saw out the game to secure 3 points on the road