Match report: Sutton United 2 AFC Fylde 1

Simon Grand pulls a goal back but it was too little too late   Picture: Steve McLellan
Simon Grand pulls a goal back but it was too little too late Picture: Steve McLellan

Sutton United 2 AFC Fylde 1

The hosts hit the Coasters with two quickfire goals in an otherwise evenly-contested first half and, to make matters worse, Lewis Montrose was shown his second red card in the space of seven days.

Simon Grand pulled one back for the Coasters during a late onslaught; however Sutton held their nerve to claim the points.

The hosts dominated possession in the early stages but struggled to find a way through, a tame header from captain Jamie Collins their only chance of note inside the opening 10 minutes.

Dave Challinor’s side seemed content to soak up the pressure and hit on the counter and it almost paid dividends when Sam Finley broke down the right and crossed low for Danny Rowe; however the ball was taken off the striker’s foot by his marker.

Sutton almost made the breakthrough on 25 minutes when Josh Taylor poked a corner goalwards but Finley was in the right place and cleared off the line.

Fylde were dealt an injury blow midway through the half when Jordan Tunnicliffe was forced off, making way for debutant Jason Taylor.

A quick breakaway breathed some life into the visitors attack as Finley saw a vicious half-volley deflected wide before Rowe blasted a strike at Jamie Butler that was too hot to handle but swept up by the alert backline.

However, with just five minutes remaining until the break, Sutton nicked the opener as Craig Dundas was played through and kept his compose to slide the ball past the advancing Jay Lynch.

No sooner had the Coasters restarted the match and the hosts doubled their advantage.

Full-back Josh Taylor bombed down the left, leaving Luke Burke and Jason Taylor for dead, before firing a low ball into the six-yard box that was diverted into his own net by the helpless Grand.

Challinor made a change at the interval, replacing James Hardy with Jack Muldoon, in an attempt to alter the balance of play.

It was still the hosts who had the upper hand as Louis John saw a header clip the crossbar whilst Taylor skewed a left-footed strike wide of the near post.

The challenge was to become considerably steeper for the visitors when they were reduced to 10 men.

Montrose, dismissed at Leyton Orient a week earlier, was again given his marching orders for a second yellow card in as many minutes.

Home substitute Anthony Jeffrey almost wrapped up the points just moments after entering the fray when he whistled a powerful drive over Lynch’s crossbar.

Tommy Wright, another Sutton sub, was desperately unlucky not to put the result to bed with 10 minutes to play when he crashed a first-time effort against the far post.

Fylde fashioned a chance late on when Muldoon’s effort was pushed away.

However, the Coasters did pull one back with five minutes to play; Rowe’s scuffed strike fell to Grand, who poked the ball over the line.

The goal sparked the visitors into life and Butler was forced into a fantastic reaction save when Rowe let fly from 12 yards before time ran out.

Sutton: Butler, Thomas, John, Collins, Lafayette (Wright 71), Cadogan (Jeffrey 74), Dundas, Eastmond, Bailey, Walton, Josh Taylor (Emmanuel 82). Subs not used: Downer, Davis

AFC Fylde: Lynch, Burke, Tunnicliffe (Jason Taylor 32), Grand, Francis-Angol, Bond, Montrose, McCready (Smith 77), Finley, Hardy (Muldoon 46), Rowe. Subs not used: Richards, Jones.

Referee: Savvas Yianni.

Attendance: 2,127.