Article by Johnnie Lowery
A strong performance in all areas of the pitch at Ebbsfleet saw Sutton United gain their first win since the 24th March, confirming their spot in the playoffs this season.
It was Paul Doswell’s men who started by far the stronger of the two sides, the in-form hosts struggling to deal with United’s attacking threat whilst also struggling to break a well organised defence down. Just 7 minutes in Tommy Wright had the first clear opportunity, with Nathan Ashmore doing just about enough to deny him. Josh Taylor, who was excellent throughout, was next to warm the keeper’s hands, a long range effort just about palmed away with the rebound also blocked. Most of the visitor's efforts came from Corey Whitely, though Jamie Butler only had to make one routine save from the lot. Craig Eastmond was next to have an opportunity, again denied by Ashmore however. It was from the home side’s best chance that U’s got their own best chance – Butler saving from a corner and immediately picking out Tom Bolarinwa who couldn’t quite get enough on the ball to take it around the keeper and score.
Ebbsfleet showed some signs of life early in the second half, Butler having to deny substitute Luke Coulson from a well struck long range effort. Chances were rare, Bolarinwa having a half opportunity that ended up in the scrapyard behind the goal, but on 77 minutes the game finally sprung into life. Craig Eastmond did well to win a header and knock the ball back to Bolarinwa, whose first touch brought the ball under control before a series of intricate touches took him past four men and into a shooting position, with the ball smashed past Ashmore to spark delirium in the away end. Ebbsfleet had one opportunity to get an equaliser, quickly prevented by Louis John’s good positioning to clear, and indeed Sutton nearly put some gloss on the scoreline when Harry Beautyman shot just wide late on and Ross Lafayette was unlucky not to score after beating both defender and keeper to a long ball forward