Article by Johnnie Lowery
In a winner takes all game it was Sutton United who came out on top to secure a place in the National League playoff semi-finals, where they will face either Boreham Wood or AFC Fylde.
It was an entertaining and very even game throughout, both sides having their fair share of chances. The first for the visitors came for Josh McQuoid when he reached a lofted through ball, though he was crowded out before the opportunity could be taken. 12 minutes in Sutton should have taken the lead, some great skill from Tommy Wright allowing Tom Bolarinwa to put in a low cross that was met by Kieron Cadogan but somehow put wide rather than in the back of the net. It the visitors next to have a golden opportunity, Scott Rendell hitting his shot from 6 yards against Jamie Collins on the line with the rest of the goal gaping. United’s wingers were causing the Shots all kinds of problems and Cadogan was unlucky not to give U’s the lead when his header was well held by Lewis Ward in the Aldershot goal. The last chance of the half fell to Bolarinwa but his volley after a corner was only half cleared was some way off target.
The game sprung into life early in the second half when once again Bolarinwa beat his man – this time the cross wasn't properly dealt with and Tommy Wright was on hand to volley home. The lead lasted less than 10 minutes, a questionable to say the least penalty awarded to the visitors with Rendell making no mistake. A nervous last half an hour followed with chances for Rendell and substitute Nicke Kabamba, but Sutton weathered the storm and on 79 minutes a Josh Taylor effort was spilt for Ross Lafayette to react first and tap home, restoring the cushion that United had. As the Hampshire opposition pushed men forwards chances came for Sutton on the break, Byron Harrison denied by a defensive block on the line whilst Ward did well to push a powerful Bolarinwa effort round the post. There were a couple of nervous moments left, Jamie Butler twice doing well to deny Fabian Robert from close range, but the game finished 2-1 with the full time whistle sparking further celebrations around the ground