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Kingstonian 1-0 Sutton United

Sutton United arrived at Kingsmeadow on this wet October evening unbeaten and sitting top of the Ryman Premier League. On the basis of tonight's showing they may well stay there for some time yet, Alan Dowson describing them as the best side we have played this season, such was the visitors control for long periods of the game. It came as something of a surprise that the winning goal didn't arrive until 3 minutes from time. And perhaps a bigger surprise that it went the way of the K's.

Sutton dominated possession in the first 45 minutes, K's rarely getting out of their own half save an early Max Hustwick glancing header from a Tom Bird corner which flashed over the cross bar. A mix of gallant defending from our 3 centre backs and poor finishing from the visitors somehow contrived to keep the game goalless going into the interval.

A well worked Sutton corner saw the ball ricochet off Tolfrey's right hand post, falling to Richard Jolly who could only scuff his shot with the goal at his mercy. Jolly was then denied by a superb last ditch tackle from Hustwick when he appeared certain to score, and, as the half drew to a close a flying save from Tolfrey again thwarted the ex-Carshalton man.

Perhaps reminded by Dowson at half time that although we were playing the league leaders, K's were sitting third in the league on merit - they started the second half with a little more purpose and endeavour, Matt Gray and Bobby Traynor both testing Sutton keeper Kevin Scriven with shots from distance.

Traynor should have done better from a header just inside the penalty box, although he was out done just moments later by his Sutton counterpart - Jolly inexplicably missing a header from inside the 6 yard box when it looked easier to score.

It was a big ask of Sutton to maintain the pace and dominance of the opening hour and they were unable to do so, K's coming more into the game for the last half hour particularly with the introduction of Dean Lodge and Bash Alimi for Carl Wilson Dennis and Lee Hall. Lodge could have won a penalty when tumbling in the box, although the visitors had a bigger shout for a spot kick when the ball appeared to strike Adam Thompson's hand - both appeals waved away by the referee.

There had only been 6 nil-nil draws in the previous 100 meetings between these two sides, and as the clock ticked down it looked as though one of these rare occurrences was likely to materialise. However with just 3 minutes remaining Tobi Jinadu won a towering header in the middle of the park which the Sutton defence didn't deal with. As Scriven hesitated just a split second too long, Bash Alimi stole in to lift the ball over the keeper and into the net, sparking delirious scenes on the pitch and terrace alike.

On another night this 87th minute goal may well have been a consolation in a defeat. But K's defended resolutely throughout, rode their luck at times but stuck to their task and although conceding the lion's share of possession restricted Sutton to just a few clear cut chances, if not creating too many for themselves.

As Dowson pointed out - K's will need to play better in the FA Cup at St Albans on Saturday to still be in the competition come Monday's draw, but go into that game on a decent run of form and if tonight proves nothing else it shows what can be achieved by commitment and hard work.

Sutton travel to Lowestoft on Saturday in another top of the table clash, excused from FA Cup action following their 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Alton Town.

Mon 4th Oct 2010
Kingsmeadow Stadium
Isthmian League Premier
Sutton United0
1Rob Tolfrey
2Dean Hamlin
3Tom Bird
4Adam Thompson
5Max Hustwick
6Tobi Jinadu
7Matt Gray
8Jean-Sylvain DossouCautioned
9Bobby Traynor15
10Carl Wilson-Denis16
11Lee HallCautioned14
12Sam Clayton
14Dean Lodge11
15Gomez Dali9
16Bashiru Alimi10
17Nic Taylor
Match Report By
Simon Murray