Snipes stay fourth after Radford win

Sutton Town AFC consolidated their fourth place in the East Midlands Counties League after a hard fought 2-0 victory over a plucky Radford, when a controversial opener from Owens and a wonderful first half strike from Fields were enough to give Sutton all three points on Saturday.

The game started very slowly with both defences on top, the Snipes started to work their way into the game, and Mitchell should have opened the scoring after 10 minutes, but the in-form striker blazed the ball over with only the keeper to beat.

Sutton were now applying the pressure and it only looked a matter of time before they would score.

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The next chance came after a mazy run from Hewitt fell to Atkins, who was one on one with the keeper. But the winger delayed and Shepherd was able to make the block.

Then, after more good work from Fields, a chance fell to Mitchell, who could not finish with his header, the ball falling to Owens, who missed the rebound with his header.

But there was still a chance for the Snipes as Owens’ header looped to the back post where Mitchell only had to nod the ball home, but the striker somehow managed to put the ball over from a yard.

Radford where not posing much of an attacking threat, but after 40 minutes their first real chance of the game fell to Babatunde, who cut in from the right and smashed a goalbound effort that just flew over the bar.

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From the resulting goal kick, Mitchell flicked the ball onto Stevie Owens who smashed a 25 yard effort goalwards, the ball hitting the bar and bouncing down on the line.

The referee played on until his attention was drawn to the linesman, and after a little deliberation the Snipes were awarded the goal to give them a 1-0 lead.

They didn’t have to wait long to double their advantage as another mazy run from Owens was stopped by a foul on the edge of the box. Gilliatt could only smash the ball into the wall, but Fields was quickest to react, hammering the ball past the despairing dive of Apenitis.

Snipes kicked off for the second half and went looking for the third, chances falling to Hewitt and again Mitchell in the first five minutes.

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But none were taken and it was Radford that started to push, looking to get back into the game, West acrobatically tipping Handley’s drive over the bar.

It was Radford on the attack and Charlesworth and Hewitt were becoming overworked in the Snipes defence, but they coped well with what the home team offered, Charlesworth making a couple of crucial blocks and, when the defence was beaten, West at hand to save from King’s mazy run.

Radford huffed and puffed but couldn’t find any real chances of scoring, and it was the Snipes who should have wrapped things up as the home side pushed.

Substitute Chambers was played in with only the keeper to beat, but the striker fluffed his chance and the home keeper smothered the effort.

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SNIPES: West, M. Hewitt, Gilliatt, Charlesworth, Pickering, Fields, Atkins, Rhodes, Mitchell, Owens, C. Hewitt. Subs: Chambers, Grayson, Short, Hollingsworth.

Sutton M.O.M: Chris Rhodes.

The Snipes are next in League Cup action tonight (Tuesday) against Holbrook Sports at The Fieldings.

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