West saves spot kick as Snipes edge up to third

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Sutton Town AFC moved up to third place in the East Midlands Counties League after two second half goals from Mitchell and Guest gave the Snipes a 2-0 victory at in-form Gedling MW, but the story could have been different but for a wonderful first half penalty save from West.

Gedling kicked off with the wind at their backs, but a lightning break from the Snipes found Guest clear. He crossed to Pickering at the back post, but the youngster, with only the keeper to beat, crashed his effort off the bar and Mitchell flashed the rebound wide.

The home side thought they had taken the lead when Kieran Wells nodded home from a fine cross by Stanley, but to Sutton’s relief the striker had just strayed offside.

This seemed to wake the Snipes up and they came into the game. Firstly Guest had a chance from a corner, but he headed wide, then after a scramble in the box a chance fell to Rhodes, whose bobbling effort had Ogrizovic beaten but unfortunately for Sutton the ball struck the post.

Back came Gedling and they really should have taken the lead. Another burst by Wells caused problems for the Snipes’ defence as his cross was handled by Tittley.

The referee had no hesitation in pointing to the spot, up stepped Tony Law, but his well-struck penalty was superbly saved by West, a real let-off for the Snipes that they were to take full advantage of.

Just as half-time approached, a chase between Law and Atkins ended up with both players on the floor, and immediately Atkins asked for medical attention.

Luckily in the stands was a paramedic, and he attended to Atkins, who was later confirmed to have broken his collarbone.

Sutton kicked off the second half hoping to take advantage of the blustery gales, and the Snipes applied the early pressure, but Brett and Watson were defending well for the home team.

Sutton finally took the lead just before the hour mark, Mike Hewitt drilling a lovely ball to the back post, and Mitchell first to react as the striker smashed the ball passed the hapless Ogrizovic.

Snipes smelled blood and they didn’t have to wait long to double their advantage. It was nearly a carbon copy of the first goal, again Hewitt delivering a wicked cross to the opposite back post and there was Guest to steer the ball home.

Gedling went for broke and sent on two extra forwards, but the Snipes’ defence dug in.

Sutton now have a week off, with their next game being at home to Greenwood Meadows on 28th December.

SNIPES: West, M. Hewitt, Tittley, Sweeney, Pickering, Fields, Atkins, Rhodes, Mitchell, Owens, Guest. Subs: Short, Hollingsworth, Charlesworth, D. Mitchell, C. Hewitt.

SNIPES MAN OF THE MATCH: Michael Hewitt.