Nine-men Snipes see red amid fury over ‘biting’


Sutton Town AFC finished their 4-0 EMCL clash at Blaby & Whetstone with nine men after Varley and West where both shown red cards, but the game will be remembered for an altercation between Fields and Blaby’s Wheeler in which Wheeler appeared to to bite Fields.

However, the referee and assistant didn’t see the incident, only giving Wheeler a yellow card, who was to rub Sutton’s noses in it by going onto score a brace.

Sutton couldn’t match their midweek performance at Bardon, and Blaby ran out deserved winners, but the game was thrown into controversy when on the hour mark the attempted bite caused a melee of players to surround the officials.

That resulted in Varley being sent-off and the Blaby forward only being shown a yellow, 10 minutes later West exacting his own revenge against Wheeler by stamping on the Blaby forward.

Blaby started the game on top, and were very physical in the challenge. Sutton couldn’t get their passing game going and it was Blaby who had the first chance of the game as Preston blasted the ball over.

Blaby really ought to have taken the lead, when after 20 minutes they had a two on one opportunity, Preston again having the chance.

The forward slid the ball past the onrushing West but the striker’s goal effort was superbly cleared off the line by Sweeney, who crashed into the post.

Sutton didn’t learn, though, as again they were caught short at the back, this time as Preston was played in and the striker kept his cool to slide the ball by West and give the visitors a half-time lead.

Sweeney’s earlier brave clearance had left its mark on the defender and he was replaced at half-time by Charlesworth.

Sutton had more of the game in the second half and Owens had a couple of long range efforts, but on the hour Sutton were reduced to 10 men after the infamous bite incident.

The afternoon was to get worse for the Snipes as Hollingsworth misjudged the ball, and his slip let in Preston whose precise pass found Wheeler on the back post to slot home.

Sutton were now all at sea, and Preston scored his second of the game five minutes later. As West came rushing out, the forward kept his cool to round the keeper then slot home from what looked an impossible angle.

Sutton had a chance for a consolation as great work by substitute Naughton saw a chance fall to Charlesworth, but the defender was unable to convert from close range.

As Snipes pushed to get back into the game, Blaby made their man advantage count, after great work by Barratt, the overworked Sutton defence let in Wheeler to score, who clashed with West after the ball went in the net.

West seeing his chance for retribution, stamped on the forward, leaving the referee no choice but to send off the stopper.