Manager Steve King: “I felt it was a very even game with nothing between the two sides in the first half. Speaking to the referee about the penalty appeal afterwards, he told me: ‘It did strike his hand and if I got it wrong, I apologise’. But that’s no comfort for us”
“I felt that Sutton are a good strong side. We played the last 30 minutes uphill with 10 men and Sutton were able to see the game out. We were never a threat in that period”
“The bottom line is that a set piece is all that separated the two sides tonight.”
It’s the second game in four days for both sides and the first evening home kick off for the Hawks.
It’s an intense game with Sutton, who are much fancied his season, and Whitehawk – who have made a good start and currently sit above the visitors in the table – both enter the game with high hopes tonight.
The first chance of the game goes to Sutton’s Jessy Reindore after 4 minutes who fierce shot is saved by John Sullivan in the Hawks’ goal and over for a corner.
There follows a long period of good Whitehawk pressure, with corners, free kicks and long throws into the box – but no goal.
Sutton have an attempted 40+ yard shot at goal which just fails to dip enough.
Honours are fairly even during the half, if anything, Whitehawk have a little more of the play and after the half hour mark, a foul on Sam Deering and the following free kick nearly brings a goal and there are very strong shouts for a penalty.
A good tempting crossfield ball from Ahmed Abdulla is safely guided behind by a Sutton defender and more pressure follows from the corner … but the half ends all square.
The game gets more intense in the second half and Sutton pick up a couple of yellow cards, then on 63 minutes a great delivery from a Sutton free kick is met by Sutton defender Clough who heads firmly past Sullivan.
Shortly after this things look bad for the hosts as Tom Cadmore’s challenge, near the half way line, earns him a surprising (straight) red card. Sutton’s seemingly poleaxed player thankfully makes a quick and full recovery.
Substitutions for the home side flow and inevitably Whitehawk chase the game but have no joy. Sutton hold onto their slender lead and in the final minutes, with players committed forward, Craig Dundas wraps it up on the break – with the visitor’s second goal.