Sutton United 0 – 2 Maidenhead United
Sutton suffered a second consecutive home Vanarama National League defeat, and lost top place in the league table, as Maidenhead shrugged off the departure of leading scorer Dave Tarpey to continue their impressive away form which has seen them unbeaten in their first four away games at this level. A tight game still looked as though it could go either way entering the last twenty minutes, but after Ryan Upward bundled in a free kick from the lively Sam Barratt the visitors held on to their lead and secured the points in stoppage time through Harold Odametey’s breakaway goal.
Jamie Butler was the first goalkeeper called in to action, diving to his right to tip away a 25-yard effort from James Comley, while at the other end the imposing figures of Jake Goodman and Alan Massey put themselves in the way of several promising moves, Tommy Wright and Moses Emmanuel both having shots blocked, and when Wright did get a shot away from just inside the penalty area Carl Pentney saved comfortably. Craig Dundas headed just wide from a free kick, but the closest to a goal came when Barratt drove a fierce cross in from the right and Harry Pritchard was just unable to direct his shot from close range.
U’s rang the changes early in the second half, and substitutes Anthony Jeffrey and Kenny Davis almost made an immediate impact when Jeffrey did well to keep the ball in play on the left before setting Davis up for a shot which was always rising as it cleared the crossbar. Barratt’s surge of pace down the left created another opening for Maidenhead, but his final delivery was too far ahead of Sean Marks to be a cross and too wide of the far post to be a shot, but with seventeen minutes to go it was the visitors who took the lead when Craig Eastmond was penalised for a foul on Odametey, and Barratt’s inswinging free kick from the right was bundled in at the far post by Upward.
The best chance of a Sutton equaliser fell to Dundas with five minutes left as he beat Pentney to a through ball and, with the keeper injured on the ground, seemed certain to score until Massey got back to block his goalbound effort inside the six yard box. It was the sort of defending that Maidenhead had shown all afternoon, and although the treatment required by Pentney led to eight minutes of stoppage time, they snuffed out any hope of a Sutton recovery when a swift counter-attack on the right as U’s pushed forward allowed Odametey to sprint unchallenged down the right and fire across Butler and inside the far post. Even with the two goal cushion Maidenhead managed to have Pentney and Odametey booked for time-wasting, the latter for the time it took him to leave the pitch when being substituted, but with Sutton unable to produce any real quality with their final cross or pass the visitors were able to claim a fine victory with some ease.