Sutton started again using the 4-4-2 formation. With Dave Timothy in at right back and Hammonds and Palmer teaming up in the centre of the defence, due to Mison having picked up a slight knock against Croydon.
The game kicked off, under the best floodlights in the league, with the first 10 minutes being a bit messy as the sides settled down. Suttonís first goal came from a Phil Wingfield free kick. Probably about 8-10 yards outside of the box he curled it with Beckhamesque grace over the wall and into the top right hand corner. The keeper had no chance. The game then settled for a while with Sutton applying some good pressure. Suttonís second came after a Phil Wingfield corner, when Scott Corbett was unsubtly rugby tackled by their no. 9. Matt Gray rightly smite the ball home.
The second half was really a story of missed opportunities. Matt Fowler found himself free after another Wingfield corner, but managed to put it just the wrong side of the upright. A powerful Haworth header from an excellent Gonsalves cross was saved well by the keeper and Wingfield hit the bar from another free kick from a wide position on the right, after completely fooling their right back with an exquisite little flick. However Hendon also had their chances and if it werenít for some excellent stops by Tommy Dunn they would have been one goal behind a lot quicker. Hendon got a consolation goal with minutes to go, after Corbett had bought down their winger. However Sutton were made to battle to keep the points as the ref managed to dig up five minutes of extra time from somewhere.
Sutton deservedly took all three points with a 2-1 win, it was just a shame we couldnít have kept the clean sheet.
Team: Dunn, Gonsalves, Timothy, Palmer, Hammonds, Wingfield, Honey, Corbett, Gray, Fowler, Haworth
Goals: Wingfield, Gray (pen)
U's v Gravesend & Northfleet (16/03/02)
In the first in the series of challenging upcoming matches for Sutton in the next fortnight the Uís were unable to break down a resolute Gravesend defence and were narrowly beaten 1-0.
There was little in the way of clear-cut chances throughout the match for either side but Gravesend made the best of some suspect Uís defending and a break away on the left wing, mid-way through the first half, when their striker flicked the ball over an advancing Tommy Dunn to give them the lead at the break. Prior to half time Phil Wingfield went off injured and was replaced by Nick Bailey whose introduction briefly sparked the Uís into life, Bailey himself shooting just wide from 20 yards. Half time: Uís 0, Gravesend1.
The Gander Green Lane pitch hampered attractive football as it took a battering from the weather. Matt Gray continually caused problems for the Gravesend left full back, whipping in one teasing cross that Matt Fowler just failed to force past a wall of the visitorís defenders. Dunn saved well on a number of occasions to prevent Gravesend extending their lead but at the final whistle, Uís supporters left feeling that the team deserved more for their efforts. Final Score: Uís 0, Gravesend 1.
Team: Dunn, Gonsalves, Mison, Hammonds, Palmer, Honey, Corbett, Wingfield (Bailey), Gray, Haworth, Fowler
U's v Aldershot (23/03/02)
If further evidence were needed that the Uís find it hard to produce results using the wingback system, then todayís result provided it. Like last Saturdayís home defeat against Gravesend, the team rarely bothered the opposition goalkeeper and the forwards frequently looked isolated from the midfield. The continuous use of the long-ball into the front two was pointless when there were no players in support on the occasions Rob Haworth or Matt Fowler were first to the ball. Matt Gray was wasted playing at right wing-back and it was no real surprise when Aldershot took the lead just before half-time Ė Tommy Dunn must take the blame for losing a challenge on the edge of the box and providing Aldershotís Stafford Browne with a simple goal. Half time: Aldershot 1, Uís 0.
The introduction of Nick Bailey, and the resulting shuffle of positions, seemed to help Sutton find their feet after the break, with Dave Timothy moving out onto the right and Gray joining Haworth upfront. However, the Uís were still unable to create more than a half chance as the Aldershot defence soaked up any pressure Sutton applied. Eddie Akuamoahís return from injury when he came on as substitute was unfortunately the result of an injury to Scott Corbett, an Aldershot player rightly receiving a yellow card for a late tackle from behind but Akuamoah could not inspire a Sutton fight-back. In fact, it was Aldershot who looked the more likely to add to their lead and thought they had done so, only for it to be ruled out for a foul on Dunn. Once again, a single defensive error cost Sutton a share of the points as the game finished Aldershot 1, Uís 0.
Team: Dunn, Gonsalves, Palmer, Hammonds, Mison, Honey, Corbett (Akuamoah), Timothy, Haworth, Fowler (Bailey), Gray.
U's v Kingstonian (01/04/02)
For the first time in any competition this season the Uís featured in a 0-0 draw. In an uninspirational first half, it was the referee that provoked the biggest reaction from the crowd, twice failing to notice Kingstonianís Clarke leaving Uís players on the floor with apparent use of his elbows. Eddie Akuamoah was denied a goalscoring chance by an intentional handball only for the referee to award a free kick and produce a yellow rather than red card. Later, the same Kingstonian defender committed a foul on the edge of the area but went unpunished. Otherwise the Uís best chance was a Matt Gray shot from twenty yards that was just tipped wide by the Kingstonian goalkeeper. Half time: 0-0.
The Uís probably shaded possession after the break but were unable to break the deadlock. Gray twice tried his luck from outside the box but the best chance of the game fell to Nick Drew, on his full debut, after some good work on the edge of the area left him with just the keeper to beat but his shot was unfortunately tipped wide. Final score: Uís 0, Kingstonian 0.
Team: Dunn, Palmer, Gonsalves, Mison, Hammonds, Honey, Drew, Bailey, Akuamoah, Haworth, Gray.