SUTTON B 5 v 4 THACKLEY THUNDER
RRG GROUP & TOYOTA SILSDEN
Before the game kicked off there was a minutes silence for rememberance Sunday which was impeccably observed by both sets of players, coaches and supporters.
It was a bright sunny morning which meant the supporters stood on the same side as the Sutton manager as they couldn't see for the sun on the spectator side of the ground. This meant the spectators had to be on their best behaviour or they could find themselves in trouble from the Sutton coaching staff!
The Yellow's were without Reece Bithell who picked up an injury in last weeks warm up and also club captain James Pyrah was on the bench as he'd been a doubt before the game due to him having a bug all week. This meant that vice captain Chloe Hodge stepped up to take the captains armband on what was her birthday weekend.
Sutton for once started well as they are famous for their slow starts but not today. That said it was Thackley who had the 1st shot after 4 minutes but it was comfortably saved by keeper Morgan Selwood. Two minutes later Sutton won a corner which Chloe sent in which the visitors just managed to scramble clear to safety. It wasn't long before the home side hit the front and it was right midfielder James Kitson who started it off deep inside his own half. Thackley had the ball on the left and were looking to create a chance but James somehow won the ball with a cheeky back heel. He then had to battle his way past 3 more Thackley players before he had some clear grass in front of him which allowed him to then race down field and draw the Thackley defence out. At this point he laid the ball off to striker Matt Akrigg who beat an onrushing defender and squared the ball to strike partner Callum Filkin who rifled the ball into the back of the net giving the visiting keeper no chance. This was the 1st time in the 3 games against Thackley that the Yellows had been in front.
Sutton were totally dominant now and the only chances Thackley had were from breaks but most of them were stopped by some resolute defending by centre backs Greg Riddiough and Brody Leach.
It looked like Sutton would double their lead on 16 minutes as Cody Leach cut inside from the left and made his way into the penalty area and took the ball past the keeper only to somehow shoot wide with the goal gaping in front of him.
On 18 minutes Jacob Stephens who was playing at left back for the 1st time was replaced by James Pyrah. Jacob had had a very impressive 1st stint and looks more at home in defence more than in midfield. From the throw in Chloe Hodge found Matt Akrigg but the ball bobbled just as he took his shot and the keeper made a straight forward save. Callum was next to go close after Ellie Baraclough slid a fine through ball to the striker but this time the keeper pulled off a good save to deny him. A minute later Sutton did double their lead as the ball fell to Brody Leach inside the Sutton half where he controled the ball and then sent a fine ball over the top to pick out Matt Akrigg who collected the ball and put it past the keeper to make it 2 nil to the home side.
On 24 minutes Sutton were forced into a substitution as right back Thomas Harrison picked up a knock which he was struggling to shake off. It was a shame because Thomas was having another strong game but it meant Jacob would get another chance to impress at full back.
Sutton were now in total control and could easily have had a few more goals as both Chloe and Callum tested the keeper but he was having a good game and denied both players with fine saves. Sutton then forced another corner and as usual Chloe sent in a teasing cross which just missed Greg's head and Ellie's shot went just wide as Thackley failed to clear the danger.
James Kitson then got his reward for having a fine game as Ellie thwarted a Thackley break and threaded a great ball through to James who finished confidently to make it 3 nil to the hosts. Ellie was having a fine game as she frustrated the visitors every time they tried to come through the middle.
With a couple of minutes to go till half time Thackley looked like they were through on goal only for JP to get back and not only win the ball but he cleared the danger as well.
Half time and Sutton were looking comfortable with their 3 v 0 lead.
The Yellows were warned at half time that at some point in the game Thackley would have a spell where they could easily turn the game on it's head as they had done on the previous 2 meetings this season. It looked like they were going to do just that as they created a chance after just 30 seconds of the restart but Morgan Selwood made a good save. After 39 minutes Morgan was brought into action once more as Thackley broke and when the ref failed to spot that 2 of their players were clearly offside they bore down on goal but justice was done as Morgan made a fine save to deny them. Sutton managed to soak up this early pressure and then once again took control of the game as they broke down field and worked the ball to Callum who's fine effort was well saved by the visitors keeper. Next it was Chloe who forced another fine save from the keeper and Cody then hit the crossbar with a follow up shot and as the ball fell to Ellie on the edge of the area but unfortunately she pulled her shot just wide. Sutton continued to attack and increased their lead further on 49 minutes as Callum's shot was once again well saved by the keeper but Matt followed up and put the ball in to the goal to make it 4 nil. Ellie Baraclough who was also celebrating her birthday weekend came off for a breather after 53 minutes and was replaced by Jacob who had swapped with Thomas at half time. Shortly after Thackley won a free kick and sent in a good ball only to head it wide, much to the relief of the Sutton supporters.
Two minutes later and Sutton looked to have put the game to bed as they hit Thackley on the break after good defending from Thomas Harrison and Greg Riddiough the ball found its way to the impressive James Kitson and he picked out Callum Filkin in acres of space who calmly rounded the out rushing keeper and put ball into the back of the net to make it 5 nil with 14 minutes to go.
Unfortunately the home side thought they had got the game won at 5 v 0 and were guilty of everyone trying to score instead of creating chances for team mates. Thackley nearly made them pay by scoring 4 goals in the final 12 minutes, their 2nd coming after a blunder by Selwood but he made up for it by pulling off an amazing diving save low to his right only to see Thackley put the rebound in the goal. Morgan certainly couldn't be blamed for that as he had no chance with the rebound.
Sutton still had plenty of chances to kill the game off once and for all with Cody shooting inches over after a quality pass from Chloe but Cody would have been better to have crossed the ball. Matt did a fine turn and shot inside the area only to see the keeper once again pull off a fine save and Chloe saw her shot from the edge of the area drift agonisingly wide.
Sutton held on in the end to get a much deserved 5 v 4 victory which was the perfect birthday present for both Chloe Hodge (12) and Ellie Baraclough (13).
OPPOSITION PLAYER – Morgan Selwood
SUPPORTERS PLAYER –Greg Riddiough & James Kitson
SPORTING ACHIEVEMENT – James Kitson
PLAYER OF THE WEEK – Greg Riddiough