The Gulls went down to a 2-0 defeat against Sutton United last night thanks to goals from Maxime Biamou and a penalty by Nick Bailey.
To compound United’s misery defender Ben Gerring was sent off after receiving two yellow cards, he received the second trying to stop an almost certain goal, but instead conceded the penalty that allowed Sutton to double their lead.
United encountered severe transport issues on the day. This led to the match being delayed on ten minutes as the team raced to the Borough Sports Ground in a procession of taxis after their coach broke down near Chievely services.
Player-manager Kevin Nicholson made one enforced change to the team that drew with Barrow on Saturday. The injury sustained by Courtney Richards ruled him out of last night’s match and Damon Lathrope was drafted in to take his place.
Sutton took just four minutes to take the lead. Maxime Biamou finished from close-range after United failed to deal with a corner at the first and second attempt. The Gulls had started sloppily and the poor start gave Sutton all the impetus they needed.
United were second to most things on the pitch but still threatened sporadically. Brett Williams went on a forceful run that was only just stopped before he pulled the trigger.
Sutton had dangers all over the pitch. Roarie Deacon, Ryan Burge, Hudson-Odoi, and goal-scorer Biamou were finding space and time to run at United’s defence. The Gulls were lucky to concede just one goal in the opening half an hour.
United started to come out of their funk as the half-time whistle neared.
Dan Sparkes delivered a superb corner to find the run of Nathan Blissett. His header sailed just over the bar. It was United’s best opportunity of the first half.
The Gulls reorganized at the half-time break and improved all over the pitch in the second half.
Striker Brett Williams had the ball in the back of the net in the 46th minute but it was ruled offside.
The match turned Sutton’s way once again in the 53rd minute.
The U’s broke through United’s back line which stung Ben Gerring into a last-ditch challenge to stop an almost certain goal. The referee adjudged that he had fouled Biamou, and having just received a yellow card a few minutes earlier, a second ended his night and gave Sutton the chance to double their lead.
Nick Bailey smashed the ball past Brendan Moore to put further distance between the two teams.
Giacarlo Gallifuoco came off the bench to replace Luke Young and bring United back up to full strength in defence.
With a little bit more luck, striker Brett Williams would have gotten United back into the match despite going down to ten men.
His attempt in the 63rd minute took a deflection and went wide.
United were trying to find ways in which to change the course of the match. Sean McGinty broke from defence in a bid to stretch the game. His ball to Williams threatened to break the lines, but Williams touch deserted him and the chance was gone.
The Gulls threw caution to the wind and played with a lot less fear in the closing twenty minutes of the match.
Williams had another chance just before he was substituted.
His touch to control a long ball into the box was sublime, but the resulting shot was smothered by Sutton’s ‘keeper Ross Worner.
Sam Chaney had united’s last chance. It looked as though he had the better of things as he pushed forward inside Sutton’s penalty area but they were able to close him down at the vital moment.
Sutton United played extremely well and deserved all three points.
United headed back home with much to process, but with everything at hand to turn this performance around when they visit North Ferriby on Saturday.