Sutton Coldfield Town - The Royals

Sutton Coldfield Town - The Royals

Brigg Town 2 - Sutton Coldfield Town 1

by Ian Hartwell

Royals suffer defeat in closely-fought game at The Hawthorns.

Sutton Town entered the game on the back of three consecutive victories, facing a Brigg side who were also unbeaten since their opening day defeat to Loughborough.

Sutton started the game brightly, with Craig Marshall having a shot ruled out for offside before James Reid shot wide of the post. Some good play by Matt Dodd saw him cut in on the right wing and pass to Marshall, who had his shot blocked. At the other end of the pitch, a cross from the right was tipped over the bar by Niall Cooper, while failure to clear a Brigg corner led to the ball ricocheting in the box before eventually being cleared off the line.


The game was becoming end-to-end, with both sides having good chances but neither able to capitalise on them. With half an hour gone, James Reid beat the offside trap but saw his cross cut out by the Brigg defence, and ten minutes later a cross from Phil Male once again found Reid, whose header flew agonisingly over the bar.

It was Brigg however who eventually found the breakthrough just before half time. Confusion in the Sutton defence allowed Bruno Holden to have a clear run on goal, and despite Cooper’s best efforts to close him down, he made no mistake to give Brigg the lead at half time.

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The Royals began the second half in much the same vein as they had the first. A free kick to the right of the goal was hit straight at the Brigg goalkeeper, and both Dean Rathbone and Craig Marshall saw shots fly just over the bar. Reid was replaced by Mark Bellingham ten minutes into the half in an attempt to rejuvenate the Sutton attack, and it took just another ten minutes for the Royals to find an equalizer. A corner from the right found Ed Booth, who headed the ball home to make it 1-1.


The following fifteen minutes saw few chances for either side, and it appeared as though the game would end with honours even until the referee awarded Brigg a free kick to the right of the Sutton goal with just under ten minutes to go. The Brigg substitute Ray Ford stepped up and curled the ball into the top right hand corner to once again give Brigg the lead.

The home team could have been further ahead less than a minute later, when a corner from the left was headed against the bar and the follow-up headed shot was cleared off the line by the Sutton defence. The last five minutes saw a late surge by Sutton in an attempt to once again level the match, but Brigg held on to take all three points.

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