Sutton United 2-0 Mansfield Town
By Dan Richards
Sutton end Mansfield’s 5 match winning run, to maintain their promotion hopes. An Omar Bugiel strike helped Sutton to end a poor run of form, which had seen them lose 4 of their last 6 matches.
The U’s got off to a great start, after a deep cross from Ricky Korboa, was only cleared as far as Louis John. The centre-back made the Stags poor clearance pay, leathering home from 5 yards out with 6 minutes gone.
Mansfield responded well though, and would have levelled the score had it not been for the heroics of keeper Dean Bouzanis. The Australian looked beaten from an Oliver Hawkins header via a corner, before managing to get a strong right hand to the attempt.
The first major chance in the second half came from the home side and down the left flank. Ricky Koboar on his first league start this season, found himself in plenty of space, smashing a low-driven shot past Stags keeper Nathan Bishop. However, Stephen Mclaughlin saved the day for the visitors clearing off the line.
At halftime, Nigel Clough decided to intervene and brought on George Lapslie for the former Premier League midfielder, Stephen Quinn. He nearly stamped his mark on the match within minutes of coming on, had it not been for a brave block from Sutton captain Craig Eastmond.
During the second 45 minutes, Clough’s outfit wasted plenty of chances to level the scores. One of those coming from substitute Tyrese Sinclair, whose arrival nearly looked like a piece of genius by Clough, as the winger cut inside from left-wing. However, his shot was blocked by the reliable Ben Goodlife.
Another chance came shortly after, as a cross from Mclaughlin, found an unmarked George Maris in acres of space in the box. The attacking midfielder poorly headed wide, much to the anger of his manager.
With the pressure building on the home side, in the 69th minute, Bugiel smashed in a fine strike from outside the area. His first goal since the opening day, which certainly calmed Matt Gray’s nerves, and gave the yellows a goal buffer.
Although Clough's men pushed on to find a way back into the match, the best opportunity for the remaining 20 minutes landed to Donovan Wilson of the home side. He was unable to add to the scoreline though, flashing his shot wide of the post.
The U’s now turn their attention to Barrow on Saturday. Whilst the Stags will look to overtake Crawley in the league standings, whom they travel to at the same time.
Attendance: 2,497 (298)