Article by Johnnie Lowery
Another potential banana skin was avoided at the weekend as Sutton United, taking advantage of the fact Macclesfield had no game, went top of the table.
Straight from the off the difference in class between the two sides was evident as U’s dominated, and it only took until the 12th minute before the deadlock was broken, a low Tommy Wright cross falling to Harry Beautyman, who’s shot deflected into the bottom left corner of the net. Before this Wright had already been denied by an excellent close range Andy Firth save. Not long after his goal Beautyman had to go off with a broken nose but his replacement Ross Stearn gave the visitor’s defence just as much trouble. Byron Harrison had what would have been a second Sutton goal disallowed for offside, with Wright also going close. The lead was doubled going into the break though, Wright doing excellently to time his run into the box to meet an excellent Stearn corner, the ball eventually deflecting in off Harrison who looked almost embarrassed with the ultimate ease of the goal.
Chester started the second half better but it was still United doing the pressing, Kenny Davis volleying just over the bar and Stearn wasting a good chance when being put in by a delightful Jamie Collins dink, the option to square the ball not taken when perhaps it should have been. However around the hour mark the game took a turn, a soft free kick from a deep position met by James Akintunde to bring the score back to 2-1. Substitute Craig Dundas was causing the away side’s defence all kinds of problems and nearly squared for Harrison to score, but the cutback was just blocked by a defender. The third goal did come soon after though, Stearn having a go from the edge of the box, a slight deflection helping the ball into the top corner. This wasn’t the end of it though, a penalty equally as soft as the earlier freekick awarded, with Harry White making no mistake from the spot. Sutton had to hang on, Jamie Butler making a good save from White again, the whistle bringing a huge sense of relief to the majority of the 2195 crowd at Gander Green Lane