Article by Johnnie Lowery
Despite being reduced to ten men early in the second half Sutton United fought on and came out with all three points against the league’s title favourites Salford City.
The big spending Manchester side started the better of the two sides, an early long range effort taking a wicked deflection and pinging off the top of the crossbar with Jamie Butler beaten. Lois Maynard may feel he ought to have given Salford the lead when through on goal but was denied by Butler – it didn’t matter for the Ammies however as from the resulting corner Carl Piergianni powered home a header after losing his marker. United responded by swapping Kieron Cadogan and Dan Wishart round, and the effects were quickly evident as a cross into the box was only narrowly headed wide by Ross Lafayette. Soon Sutton were level though, a cross running all the way through to Wishart at the far post, the winger able to pull the ball back to Cadogan who set it for Craig Eastmond to hammer home. Minutes later Eastmond nearly made it 2-1 in sensational style when his volley from the halfway line caught the Salford keeper stranded but was just too high. There was still time for former Aberdeen man Adam Rooney to blaze over from inside the penalty box after a slip from Charlie Clough.
U’s started the second half brightly but ten minutes in were dealt a huge blow as Aswad Thomas was sent off for a stamp on Danny Whitehead. Instantly Josh Taylor was brought on and it was the substitute who created the goal that ended up being the winner, taking possession off a defender and racing clear to square to Lafayette, who couldn’t miss. Salford pressed but rarely threatened, and realistically it was Paul Doswell’s men who looked most likely to score again with Taylor and fellow substitute Aaron Drinan causing Salford’s defence all sorts of problems with their work ethic. Mark Shelton came closest when an effort from an angle flew across the face of goal, whilst Scott Wiseman was denied a penalty, probably not helping his case with his high propensity to go down under a challenge from the previous 86 minutes of the match. One last bicycle kick effort deep into stoppage time came to nothing, and the full time whistle came from the resulting goal kick as Sutton made it 7 points from a possible 9 in the first three games