Article by Johnnie Lowery
With the fixtures piling up the festive period is never an easy time for any side, and both games United played in this weekend had the feeling of fatigue with the excitement not on the level of many other games this season.
First up was the 1st vs 2nd clash away at Macclesfield, a game that did not start well as an extremely cheap penalty was awarded to the hosts within the opening 10 minutes, duly tucked away by Danny Whittaker who was initially fouled for the award of the penalty. This turned out to be the last shot on target Macclesfield had, though they defended very well and gave U’s little to play with. Craig Eastmond did come close halfway through the first half though as his ambitious 30 yard volley bounced off the crossbar and away from goal, the Silkmen keeper beaten. Macclesfield continued to frustrate Paul Doswell’s men after the break, few real chances being created though the hosts’ keeper Shwan Jalal was forced into action to save from a Ross Lafayette header. Not long after this Jalal was sent off after bringing Lafayette down on the edge of the box, Jamie Collins not too far away with the resulting freekick. However there was little threat to the replacement goalkeeper for the remainder of the game as the Silkmen saw out the win to go 6 points clear at the top of table.
Just two days later U’s were back in action again, this time at home to Boreham Wood who had been beaten 4-0 on Boxing Day. Again the effect of playing just 48 hours earlier was clear with the game lacking any real intensity in the early stages, Eastmond coming closest for U’s with a volley dipping well over, while Kenny Davis fired just over when allowed to shoot from the edge of the box. Wood threatened predominantly on the break, Blair Turgott nearly breaking through the entire Sutton defence before eventually being denied halfway through the first half. Ten minutes into the second half a foul on Adam Coombes meant United were awarded yet another penalty against Boreham Wood, Jamie Collins stepping up to score and put his side ahead. As U’s pushed for a second goal Josh Taylor went close but in the last ten minutes the away side ramped up the pressure, Butler making one excellent save, but it wasn't to be as a stoppage time corner was headed in by substitute Angelo Balanta to secure his side a point.