What's The Point
Robins and Royals Cancel Each Other Out. Report by Dave Robinson
4 goals were shared on Sutton’s plastic pitch at the Central Ground as Ashton twice came from behind to secure a point. With Stephen Mason moving to centre back the Robins gave full debuts to both left back Domenico Maiese and midfielder Kealan Steenson and after a delayed kick off due to congestion on the M6 the Royals almost caught the visitors cold with their first attack as Keen’s knockdown saw Smith needing to palm away Cameron Gayle’s effort.
Jack Dorney then saw a 20 yard effort pushed out but having been fouled in the act of shooting Lee Gaskell’s free kick was headed away for a corner which Daniel Cowan put past the near post. On 8 minutes debutante Darren Campion won the ball on the halfway line and advanced past Steenson and into the area before firing past Smith for the opening goal but the Robins could have levelled on 19 minutes as Matty Chadwick’s cross found Dorney failing to make any contact with his header.
Danny O’Callaghan had put a volleyed effort just wide for the hosts when Ashton fashioned the equaliser as Dorney’s forward pass found Ashton’s most effective forward Chadwick winning a tackle in the area before tucking the loose ball away. Gaskell then brought a great save out of Wren in the home goal from Chadwick’s left wing cross and a searching cross at the other end from Leslie saw Keen side foot wide. 3 minutes ahead of the interval Keen restored the home team’s advantage as a long kick by Wren saw him outmuscle Coo and step past Maiese before firing home.
7 minutes after the break Mason’s cross from the right wing was headed past the far post by the unmarked Gaskell and O’Callaghan then kept the ball in play for the Royals but saw Gayle help his near post cross over the top. Just past the hour Steenson marked his full debut with a goal as Wren’s fist out of Dorney’s free kick saw the midfielder send a bouncing effort back into the goal. The home keeper could have been on for another assist as a long clearance fell to left winger Leslie to poke wide from a promising position and with time running out the Visitors thought they may have stolen the points as a fine move saw Steenson’s cut back converted by sub Rio Murray only for the linesman to raise his flag.
Team: T.Smith, Coo (Frost), Maiese, Mason, Cowan (Connor), Moses, Lees, Steenson, Gaskell, Dorney, Chadwick (Murray). SNU: Banim, Lofthouse.