Sutton Town AFC moved up into fifth place in the East Midlands Counties League after a hard-fought 4-1 victory against an in-form Ellistown & Ibstock Utd, with Craig Mitchell the star of the show with a hat-trick.
The game started with the visitors on top attacking down the slope. It took Sutton nearly 20 minutes before their first worthwhile attack when Guest was unable to convert.
This seemed to wake Sutton up and they looked dangerous on the break, with the visitors holding a precarious high line. Guest and Mitchell were now causing the visitors’ defence problems and it was Guest that ran onto a Fields through ball to open the scoring, calmly passing the ball by the advancing keeper.
Sutton were now on top and could smell blood. Chances fell to Guest, Mitchell and Atkins. But none were taken and Sutton had to wait until the final minutes of the half to double their lead when Mitchell ran onto another through ball by Fields, and he was probably a little lucky as his cross-cum-shot looped over the advancing keeper.
Ellistown started the second half like the first and were on top on the restart. Again the Sutton defence were coping well, Grayson called into action with a couple of long range efforts which he handled well.
Then, against the run of play, Sutton had a chance to increase the lead from the penalty spot after Hewitt was brought down. Up stepped Mitchell to smash the ball home.
Mitchell didn’t have to wait long for his hat-trick as the striker was played in by a lovely ball by Pickering, bringing it down and slotting past the keeper.
This gave the Snipes some breathing space but, as in recent weeks, they again took their foot off the gas. A mix-up in midfield gave the visitors a man over and the Ellistown striker took advantage after being played in, calmly slotting past the advancing Grayson.
This effort spurred the visitors on and they could have doubled their tally, but for a last ditch tackle by Charlesworth. Grayson also pulled off a great save late on in the game.
SUTTON: N. Grayson, M. Hewitt, Hollingsworth, Charlesworth, Pickering, Fields, Guest, Atkins, C. Hewitt, Mitchell, Owens. Subs not used: Rhodes, Doolhan, G. Short, D. Short, Gilliat.
SUTTON MAN OF THE MATCH: Craig Mitchell.
See video action of the game at www.chad.co.uk.