REPORT | Sutton United 3-1 Wrexham

Macclesfield Town
Posted:Sat 21 Dec 2019

There was little early Christmas cheer for Wrexham and their travelling supporters in south London, as an Omar Bugiel hat-trick secured a big win for the home side and pulled them four points clear of the Welshmen.

Bugiel struck within the opening quarter of an hour and doubled Sutton’s lead on 36 minutes, before he was on hand to fire home a 66th minute penalty.

The Reds did at least get on the scoresheet in the closing stages, but the outcome was decided long before James Jennings fired home from close range.

For Wrexham, Akil Wright is missing due to injury, so Devonte Redmond returned to the side.

Only three minutes on the clock when David Ajiboye demonstrated his undoubted pace, racing onto a pass from Craig Eastmond out to the right, collecting the ball 25-yards out and firing in a shot that Kieran Kennedy bravely threw his body in front of. The ball rebounded kindly for the Sutton winger to collect and from the edge of the box fire in another fierce effort that Rob Lainton needed to get two hands onto and push away for a corner.

On eight minutes, a free kick to Wrexham just inside the home half, was taken by Luke Young and his cross was met by the head of James Jennings, who should have found the target from 10-yards out, but an assistant’s flag caught him offside anyway.

The home side took the lead on 13 minutes, when they had some luck that a blocked shot from Tommy Wright fell into the path of Omar Bugiel, who fired goalwards through a gap and despite Lainton getting a hand to the effort, it still managed to finish inside the far post.

The Wrexham defence were adamant there was an offside, with Bugiel standing behind the last outfield player when the original shot came in, but neither the assistant nor referee showed any interest in their protests, although the match video suggests they had a case.

Bugiel was though booked on 20 minutes for a foul on Luke Young, bringing him down on the halfway line. It was a poor challenge, as the Sutton striker lunged at the midfielder and on another day might even have seen a different coloured card produced.

Some neat play by Omari Patrick earned Wrexham a corner a few minutes later, and Bobby Grant's cross put pressure on keeper Nik Tzanev, who was happy to punch it behind for another corner, but for the second effort he was able to pluck the ball from the air.

Another few minutes later, and a diagonal ball from Redmond was met by Mark Carrington on the right but his header into the six-yard box drifted just wide of the near post.

On the half hour, and Redmond's long distance pass was taken on the chest by Patrick inside the United area, but with his back to goal, the on-loan forward was unable to bring the ball under control and the moment passed.

On 36 minutes, the Wrexham defence got caught flat footed to a rapid Sutton break and when the ball was whipped over from the home side’s right flank, Bugiel just checked his run just enough to collect the pass and fire home from about 16-yards, as defenders streamed back to the goal line.

There should have been a hand ball award in Wrexham’s favour, 35-yards from the home goal, but with the ball falling at Patrick’s feet, the referee waved play on. Although any advantage evaporated within seconds, as the forward was promptly disposed of the ball!

As the 45 minutes expired, the speedy Ajiboye darted into the Wrexham box with the ball at his feet but looking for a gap between Pearson and Kennedy, he went to ground claiming for a penalty, which was waved away. although Davis was booked for arguing the point.

Ht 2-0

The visitors did push forward from the restart, but were finding it heavy going against a resolute Sutton defence.

There was a double change for Wrexham on 58 minutes, as JJ Hooper and Luke Summerfield were introduced for Grant and Redmond respectively.

Good work by full back Ben Wyatt on the Sutton left, saw him deliver a deep cross aimed at Ajiboye, who was back peddling when he tried to head towards goal and the ball carried behind for a goal kick on the hour.

Then an Ajiboye free kick from out on their right, sailed in front of the Wrexham goal without anyone able to get a touch for either team.

Following a Sutton free kick on 66 minutes, both Kennedy and Louis John raised their feet high for a bouncing ball, but it was the Wrexham man who was judged to have offended and a penalty awarded.

Bugiel stepped up to hammer the ball home from 12-yards and claim his hat-trick for the afternoon.

This also saw Mark Harris sent on for Patrick.

On 72 minutes, Young fired off a long-range shot that was deflected behind for a corner, that was delivered into the centre and while JJ Hooper was able to get his head to the bouncing ball, he had to watch on as keeper Tzanev denied him.

As for most of the second half, with a decent goal advantage, Sutton were happy to concede possession to Wrexham and hit their visitors on the break, Kyel Reid on their left was joining Ajiboye in chasing anything that was aimed their way.

Reid was giving Carrington a hard time and on 82 minutes he twisted and turned his way to the by-line before sending over a cross that Pearson was just happy to clear from under his own crossbar.

While at the other end, the Red shirts were searching for any avenue back into the match, but all too often the first ball into the Sutton box was blocked or cleared.

In the final minute of normal time, there was a small consolation for the travelling supporters, as after good work by first Rutherford and then Summerfield, Jennings appeared on the edge of the six-yard box to stab the ball home to reduce the arrears.

It was always going to be, unfortunately, too little and too late, on an afternoon when Sutton’s rapid attacking play had really taken the game away from Wrexham before the break.

Sutton United: Tzanev, John, Barden, Goodliffe, Davis, Bugiel (Dundas 73), Eastmond, Ajiboye (Milson 87), Wright (Jarvis 80), Wyatt, K Reid.
Subs: Bolarinwa, Randall, Milsom.

Wrexham: Lainton, Carrington, Kennedy, Lawlor, Pearson, Jennings, Rutherford, Young, Redmond (Summerfield 58), Patrick (Harris 67), Grant (Hooper 58).
Subs: Dibble, T Reid.

Referee: Scott Jackson (Somerset)
Attendance: 1,637
Away: ? – a non-segregated match

Bookings –
Sutton United:
Bugiel (20, foul), Davis (45, dissent)

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