Surrey Senior Cup 3rd Round
Wednesday 13th January 2016
Match report: Darren Pasley
Photos: Stuart Tree. Additional photos: Andy Nunn & Paul Loughlin
Sutton United progressed to the quarter finals of the Surrey Senior Cup at Casuals' expense with a 3-1 victory at King Georges Arena.
James Bracken gave starts to Brandon Johnson, Niall Wright and the returning Joe Hicks - last seasons skipper rejoining after a short spell at Hampton & Richmond.
Sutton made 11 changes to the side which demolished St Albans city at the weekend but still fielded a strong line up which included ex-Charlton Athletic and Forest Green goal machine Stuart Fleetwood.
Early exchanges saw both sides knocking the ball about on a somewhat surprisingly firmer pitch than expected.
The games first chance arrived in the 11th minute and it was Danny Dudley who met Josh Uzun’s touchline free-kick but his volley looped wide of the goal.
The visitors handing a rare start to keeper Wayne Shaw were grateful to their heavyweight custodian as he first kept out Matt Reece’s shot in the 22nd minute before clutching Dudley’s header at the second attempt from the resulting corner.
Reyon Dillon had a half-hearted shout for a penalty waved away before the visitors took the lead in the 29th minute. Casuals threatening themselves were caught on the break and Fleetwood expertly found the the run of Tommy Wright who in behind the backline showed great composure to steady and finish past Danny Bracken.
The goal seemed to settle down what had been a fierce start from both sides and the only other real chance of the half came when Dan Spence flashed a right footed effort just wide with the internal looming.
The visitors started the second half once again on the front foot as they looked to take control of the contest. From Fleetwood’s corner, Simon Downer saw his volley loop off Danny Dudley with Bracken just managing to claw off the line in time. Moments later in the 52nd minute the keeper was called into action again. This time making a great double block to deny Wright a second and then Shaun Cooper.
Midway through the second half the lead was doubled when Spence was allowed the space to get down the left and with the ball knocked back across as the box Reyon Dillon produced a tidy finish at the back post to put the U’s in command.
To their credit, Casuals refused to give in and were rewarded in the 77th minute when Joe Hicks glanced home at the near post from Josh Uzun’s corner to mark his welcome return home with a goal.
It could have been a much different ending had Casuals taken a glorious chance with 4 minutes remaining to level the match. Uzun again with the delivery and Terry Murray was inches away from heading in against his former employers.
The hosts responded with a headed effort themselves. Sam Doswell nodding just wide before they did wrap the game up in the last minute.
Two substitutes doing the trick with Elliot Andersons centre being met by Aidan Brown who nodded in his first goal for the club which was celebrated in acrobatic style.
Bracken, Morgan, Hicks, Dudley, Murray, Johnson, Wright, (Akokhia), Serbony, Reece, (Okojie), Spencer, (Baker)