Owens goal gives battling Sutton draw with league leaders

Sutton Town v Thurnby.
Sutton Town v Thurnby.

Sutton held the league leaders Thurnby Nirvana to a 1-1 after surviving a second half onslought from the visitors.

The first real chance of the half fell to Sutton as good pressure from Rhodes and Fields led to a chance for Short, but the player/manager couldn’t connect properly with the chance and the ball rolled tamely into the arms of Flinders.

Sutton Town v Thurnby.

Sutton Town v Thurnby.

Sutton were now on top and Short had a chance to make amends soon after when he was played in by Hollingsworth, but the veteran striker’s attempted lob was just too high.

Thurnby hit back straight after great work on the wing from Melbourne. He squared the ball to the onrushing Morris, but the little striker could only balloon the effort way over the bar.

Thurnby were now becoming a more attacking threat, and the two wingers either side were causing problems for Hollingsworth and Sweeney.

Firstly Finney took Hollingsworth on and whipped a dangerous ball in to the box which was well cleared by Hewitt, then Day cut in from the left with a mazy run and smashed an effort goalwards but West fisted the ball away to safety.

Just after the half hour mark a free kick was whipped in by Hewitt that was only cleared to the edge of the box.

The ball fell to Owens who controlled the ball and curled a lovely effort into the top corner away from the despairing dive of Flinders.

Thurnby kicked off the second half down the slope and for the first 10 minutes were camped in the Snipes half.

Day and Finley continued to cause problems down the flanks, and chances fell to Phillips and Melbourne but West saved both efforts comfortably.

It only looked a matter of time before Thurnby equalised as Sutton struggled to get out of their own half.

For all Sutton’s hard work they eventually had a helping hand in gifting the visitors their goal.

The ball fell to Hewitt but the poor clearance put the back line under more pressure and the bouncing ball fell to Atkins.

The midfielder could only miss-kick the clearance into the path of Finney, and the winger didn’t need a second invitation to drive into the box. At full speed he went over the outstretched leg of Hollingsworth, and even though the linesman didn’t flag, the referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot.

Up stepped Day who calmly sent West the wrong way to the delight of the visiting fans.

Sutton had their own penalty claims turned down10 minutes later when substitute Hewitt was felled in the box, but to the amazement of the little forward the referee waved play on.

Both teams pushed on looking for the winner but the game was to end all square as the referee blew the final whistle.

This was a much improved performance from Sutton after last week’s defeat, and they will look to return to winning ways when they visit Gedling Miners Welfare next Saturday.

Sutton Team: West, Sweeney, M Hewitt, Charlesworth, Hollingsworth, Fields, Atkins, Rhodes, Mitchell, Owens, Short. Subs: Chambers, C Hewitt, Pickering, Tittley, Gilliatt.

Sutton M.O.M: Neil West