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Erith Town 2-1 Sutton Athletic
Erith Town 2-1 Sutton Athletic

Victory for Erith Town over Sutton Athletic took them to third place in the Southern Counties East Football League.

Injury ravaged Erith are amid a punishing February schedule and have had to recruit, bringing in six new players over the last few weeks. Daniel Lopes from Corinthian, and Luke Tanner, previously at VCD Athletic, were the latest to make their debuts for the Dockers.

Newly promoted Sutton were able to field a more settled side and are in a comfortable mid table position. They presented the hosts with a stern challenge.

Having gone two up within the first twenty minutes, it looked as though the Dockers might be in for a comfortable evening however, when the visitors pulled one back, they made the Dockers fight all the way to the final whistle.

Jason Goodchild hit an early shot well wide before Arlie Desanges fired over for the visitors.

Just after the fifteen-minute mark, the Dockers went ahead. Steadman Callender burst through and was brought down by goalkeeper Joe Hyde. A penalty was awarded, and Hyde cautioned. Callender took the responsibility himself and netted confidently for his third goal in three games.

Four minutes later, the Dockers doubled their lead when Goodchild struck a twenty yard shot sweetly into the bottom corner.

After a further eight minutes, Sutton pulled one back when Conor Evans sent over an in-swinging corner and George Wishart powered home his header from close range.

Callender fired over from twenty-five yards before the goal attempts dried up, and the teams went in to warm up in the changing rooms at half time with just one goal separating them.

Chances continued to be few and far between after the break. Sutton played some easy on the eye football, passing out from the back, but struggled to make inroads into a determined Erith defence with Tom Ash impressing.

At the other end, Erith had more of the territorial advantage but found the visitors’ defence equally firm and only had a James Miles free kick that flew over to show for it until the final fifteen minutes.

Ladic Melconian had a chance to ease the hosts nerves with ten minutes remaining but he side-footed agonisingly wide after a cross was only cleared to the edge of the area. He had another more difficult opportunity in the closing minutes but could not garner sufficient power to worry Hyde.

Erith Town: Foley, Jayaguru, Trueman (McClean 75), Goodchild, Carrington, Ash, Melconian, Miles, Callender, Tanner (Clover 85), Lopes (Chalker 61).

Unused subs: Taylor, Jeffrey.

Goal scorers: Callender (16), Goodchild (20)

Yellow cards: Goodchild, Miles, Tanner, Callender, Woodward (manager)

Sutton Athletic: Hyde, Lawrence, Vincent, Muckle, Fenn, Wishart, Spencer (Salami 74), White (D. Watson 79), Desanges, Evans, C. Watson (Olatunji 46).

Subs not used: Gregory, Spellward.

Goal scorers: Wishart (28)

Yellow cards: Hyde, Muckle, White

Referee: Marcin Indyk

Assistants: Adam Back, Esther Perry

Attendance: 99