Article by Johnnie Lowery
In an entertaining game to which both sides contributed down in Kent it was United who came out the victors, despite playing the last half an hour a man short.
The game was only 20 seconds old when Jamie Butler was first called into action, saving comfortably down to his right from a long range Dover effort. Only minutes later an aerial ball misjudged by the Dover backline put Harry Beautyman in, but his effort was saved one-on-one by the outstanding Mitch Walker who frustrated U’s on many occasions over the course of the afternoon. Dover had a chance of a similar level when Ryan Bird beat the offside trap but the Sutton defence recovered enough to put him off and the finish was unconvincing. Tommy Wright gave the home side’s defence nightmares all game and nearly gave Sutton the lead when his effort from inside the box was deflected, though Walker recovered well to save. Good saves also followed from a Terrell Thomas header and a long range Simon Walton effort with it beginning to look like a goal just would not come. However on 26 minutes U’s finally got the goal they deserved, Tommy Wright spinning off out wide to receive a Jamie Collins pass, sumptuously crossing for Kieron Cadogan to squeeze home. Not long after Jamie Butler had to be alert to tip wide after a deep free kick got a flick on, though it was Paul Doswell’s men who were still on top with Walker making another great save to deny Tommy Wright after a delicate first touch had put him in, the referee not spotting the keeper’s touch and giving a goal kick.
The second half picked up where the first had left off, Louis John inches away with a header from a Tom Bolarinwa cross, with Bolarinwa close to scoring himself minutes later when Wright squared for him 6 yards out, though a stunning defensive block prevented him. Walker made one more stunning save, denying Thomas from a corner, before the game took a turn on the hour mark. After taking a heavy touch Beautyman dived in with excessive force and was shown a straight red card, leaving Sutton to defend their lead resolutely for the remainder of the game. The pressure was indeed cranked up and on 66 minutes Butler and John both made great blocks to keeper U’s ahead. For much of the remainder of the game Sutton soaked up the pressure well with the defence and Butler dealing with crosses well. As the game neared added time a ball fell for a white shirt in the box but once again Butler was on hand to block. The U’s keeper was required to make one more save, tipping wide from a Mitch Brundle header, before Dover left back Kadell Daniel hit the bar with one final effort. Paul Doswell’s men held on though, and deservedly, to keep themselves within 4 points of top spot ahead of Tuesday’s trip to Barrow.