Article by Johnnie Lowery
In an entertaining and even game at Solihull Moors Sutton United were able to claim a point - a result both sides will probably agree was fair.
The home side started brightly and nearly took the lead after a Jamie Butler clearance was charged down, though the bounce of the ball left Jamey Osborne with a lot to do and Butler was able to recover and make the save. Danny Wright looked lively and will feel he ought to have hit the target when a bright run put him through on goal, though the shot was dragged wide. Sutton grew into the game but created few clear cut chances until they look the lead 25 minutes in, a Josh Taylor cross seemingly hitting the arm of the defender and falling to the ground. Whilst appeals for a penalty were still going on Ross Lafayette swiveled and volleyed home instead, putting U’s 1-0 up. Charlie Clough headed just wide as Sutton remained the better side with Butler only really having to make routine saves when called into action. Perhaps the pivotal moment came towards the end of the half as Lafayette was kicked hard in the face as he challenged for a loose ball. Though a foul was given the referee, who didn’t have his finest game all afternoon, bizarrely decided against giving even a yellow card when a red was a real possibility.
Solihull came out for the second half looking a lot better and nearly found themselves level when a 25 yard freekick from Darren Carter smashed off the crossbar, bounced down onto but not over the line, and away to safety. Within minutes the equalizing goal did come though, and from a rather questionable freekick decision. The delivery from wide was headed back across goal perfectly weighted for Wright to head home. The Midlands side dominated and came close through both Tyrone Williams and Jermaine Hylton, but they were stunned with just 15 minutes to go when a rapid counter attack saw a long Dale Bennett ball flicked on by the outstanding Lafayette into the path of Tommy Wright. Though the defender did well to force him out wide the shot was too powerful for the Solihull keeper, the ball squeezing under his body and in for 2-1. The pressure on Sutton’s goal remained relentless however and five minutes later Solihull were level, a loose ball falling for Kyle Storer who volleyed home. There was one final chance for Craig Eastmond on the break but his effort from range did not trouble the keeper, and the full time whistle went minutes after, confirming the points would be shared on this occasion.