Sutton keeper frustrates Eastwood in cup exit

Eastwood midfielder Adam Campbell fires in an effort on goal against Sutton on Tuesday. Photo by Brian Eyre/neaa 05-02-13 be 4
Eastwood midfielder Adam Campbell fires in an effort on goal against Sutton on Tuesday. Photo by Brian Eyre/neaa 05-02-13 be 4

Eastwood Town 1 Sutton Town 3

Holders Eastwood Town went out of the Notts Senior Cup at the first time of asking, yet only have themselves to blame after failing to capitalise on several goalscoring opportunities.

Having won the competition seven times in the last nine years, and been runners up on the other two occasions, few would have predicted the outcome.

However, the Badgers are often their own worst enemies in terms of failure to convert chances and this game was no different.

Greg Smith hit the crossbar with a cross-come-shot in the tenth minute, before Adam Campbell saw a shot deflected wide and Smith hit the bar again.

Sutton’s first real attack in the 31st minute almost brought them the lead as Dale Gillett’s header was cleared off the line by Selvam and then the follow up shot was blocked in front of goal.

A goalmouth scramble saw Smith force a fine reflex save out of keeper Gavin Saxby before Smith then saw a 30 yard shot well saved, Selvam beat the offside trap, going around the keeper and being crowded out before he could shoot and Gillett tested Richard Stainsby after being put through by Richard Guest.

Sutton were much more of a threat in the second-half, Criag Charlesworth and Andy White both going close early on.

At the other end Saxby could only parry Jake Green’s stinging shot, but Sutton finally broke the deadlock in the 50th minute when a dangerous cross could only be cleared to the edge of the box and White gleefully fired into the corner of the net.

Saxby denied Green and then substitute Matt Harris, who missed a good chance soon after coming on, before Harris again, Green and Smith were all thwarted by the inspired keeper.

However, there was nothing he could do about the Badgers equaliser. With four minutes left, Chris Shaw sent over a teasing cross and Smith leapt highest to bury his header.

There was still time for captain Romaine Graham to win the game however with the very last chance the tall defender headed wide at the far post.

The first half of extra time saw former Badger James Whitehead nod a free header wide in the only real opening of the period, but he wasn’t to be denied and he put the visitors back into the lead in the 108th minute, running into the box unchallenged to head home.

Harris almost took the tie to penalties in the 113th minute but the home side were caught chasing the game a minute from time, and Guest ran through the middle unchallenged to put the tie beyond any doubt.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Eastwood: 1 Richard Stainsby 2 Gary Breach (Reagon Marriott 105) 3 Chris Shaw 4 Romaine Graham (c) 5 Danny Roberts 6 Vijay Selvam (Matt Harris 59) 7 Jake Green 8 Mitch Hanson 9 Greg Smith 10 Adam Campbell 11 Scott Rogers. Subs: Wayne Diuk, Josh Raven, Bradley Munn

Scorer: Smith 88

Sutton: 1 Gavin Saxby 2 James Whitehead 3 Nathan Hollingsworth (c) 4 Craig Charlesworth 5 Mike Hewitt 6 Chris Rhodes 7 Dale Gilliatt 8 Richard Giles (Chris Hewitt 46) 9 Andy White (Dean Sweeney 97) 10 Craig Mitchell 11 Richard Guest. Subs: Danny Hatfield, Dean Short, Lee Hunt

Att: 81 Ref: Andrew Dallison

Best Badger: Vijay Selvam

by Andy Cope