Sutton were looking to get a result against Ingles at Coleshill Road last night. The visitors have been a tough opposition to break down so far with 2 clean sheets from 3 games played. Both teams have collected four points out of three games, and were going into this match comfortably in mid table.
The weather was clear prior to kick off with the atmosphere at Coleshill Road relaxed and welcoming for both sets of supporters. The programme on offer was informative and useful for supporters who were new to Sutton United and Ingles and provided a well-researched history of both teams.
There’s a real community feel about Sutton United, and the club have adapted well to life in MFL Division one. The ground is an excellent destination for groundhoppers as the main stand offers a brilliant view of the pitch and the location is accessible to get to by bus.
The starting line up for Sutton featured Reiss James Wagstaff as the goalkeeper who was also the skipper for the team. Brad Gregory and Lewis James played in central defence and the formation appeared to be a 4-2-3-1 with Leyton Hines leading the line as the number nine.Joe Gildea started as the number 10 and was in a good run of form having scored three goals in three games so far.
Overall, there were six changes from the starting line up that played against Heather St John’s at the weekend with prolific striker Joe Delaney going on a scholarship to the US.
The Ingles starting line-up featured Scott Handley as the goalkeeper and Jack Allen as the skipper for the team. The formation looked like a 5-3-2 with the visitors playing on the counterattack and looking to score from set pieces. Jamie Felstead and Jack Allen played as the front two for Ingles and were supported by Ben Tansley as the number ten.
Overall, there were five changes from the starting line-up that played against Wolverhampton SC at the weekend.
The opening 15 minutes of the match were a bit cagey with both teams working each out and settling into the match. Sutton started the better of the two teams and managed to take the lead in the 15th minute. Brad Gregory scored from a header into the bottom right corner as part of an excellent corner routine to give the hosts the lead.
Throughout the first 30 minutes Sutton were managing to control the match well with Yousef Semlali playing well in holding midfield and linking up the play effectively.
Ingles gradually grew into the match near the end of the first half. Their gameplan worked well as they looked well organised at the back and were looking to make the most of set pieces. The visitors had a good chance to score from a corner in the 35th minute which just went wide. Jamie Felstead also got into a good position for Ingles near the end of the first half and had a great chance to score but handballed in the penalty box.
Sutton had a few half chances to increase their lead with Joe Gildea working the ball well before having a shot that was saved by Scott Handley. On the balance of play Sutton went into the HT break with a deserved 1-0 lead and were slightly the better team throughout.
Ingles managed to get a foothold in the match throughout the second half and were regularly threatening the Sutton goal. This followed a key moment in the match where Joe Gildea played an excellent through ball to Leyton Hines who hit a shot that went narrowly wide of the left-hand post early in the second half. Jon Grigg also had a good chance for Sutton from a free kick in the 60th minute but fired wide.
The 1-0 score line set up a nervy finish to the match. Ingles were gradually getting more into it and had a few good chances from free kicks. Ingles had a positive 15-minute spell of pressure on the Sutton goal in the second half which resulted in the visitors getting an equaliser in the 65th minute. An unfortunate mistake by Brad Gregory from a header gave Jamie Felstead the chance to level for Ingles which he took well to make it 1-1.
The next 20 minutes of the match were enthralling with both teams having good opportunities to take home the three points. Ingles had a good chance to take the lead with a header going over the bar late on and Sutton also had some decent opportunities. Tom Cullen played a brilliant cross from the byline that found Tom Massey who narrowly headed over the bar.
Ingles responded with an excellent free kick by substitute Cameron Smith that was well saved by Reiss James Wagstaff in the Sutton goal. Sutton had a late chance to win the match from a free kick, but the ball went over the bar to make the full-time score Sutton United 1-1 Ingles. The visitors just shaded the second half, and a draw was probably a fair result on the night.
Sutton played well and there was a lot of encouraging signs from the team. Reiss James Wagstaff played well and is a good presence in goal. He's a natural leader who communicates well with the defence. Lewis James was good at the back and made key tackles and blocks when it mattered. Yousef Semlali played well in the holding midfield role. He was getting on the ball and controlling the play well for Sutton especially in the first half.
Joe Gildea was reliably excellent as the number ten and served as a focal point for Sutton going forwards. Despite the mistake for the equaliser, Brad Gregory looked good in defence and made some important blocks and interceptions.
Ingles worked hard as a team both on and off the ball last night and were a tough opposition for Sutton. The way the team showed character to get something out of it should be viewed as a positive by the away supporters. The gameplan worked well and Ingles should be an effective team away from home this season where they will probably pick up a fair amount of points.
There were numerous players that stood out at the back. Adam Boulter went under the radar in defence and was heading key balls away for Ingles and reading the game well. Joseph Goodwin also played well at right-back and looked solid defensively.
Both teams look set for exciting seasons and both are worth following from August to the end of April.
FT score: Sutton United 1-1 Ingles
Man of the Match: Joe Gildea
Match report written by Rhys Beardmore for the Midland Football League
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