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Holmesdale 1-1 Sutton Athletic
Holmesdale 1-1 Sutton Athletic

Fresh from their FA Vase success last weekend Holmesdale battled out an entertaining draw with Sutton Athletic in the SCEFL Premier Division at Oakley Road on Tuesday night. 

If ever the cliche ‘a game of two halves’ applied to a football match it was this one. With the home side having the better of the first period and the visitors dominating the second.

The ground staff worked a miracle to get this game on after the heavy rain, which had seen many other local matches postponed.  

Dale started the game pressing from the off, Sam Bayford seeing a well struck free kick tipped over by Athletic keeper Ryan McCourt.

Bayford went close from range soon after and the Welling United loanee’s mesmerising footwork saw him draw several fouls around the area.

The home side took the lead on 12 minutes when Callum Keeble’s free kick from the right found Ronnie McClean at the far post and he slid the ball home for 1-0.

Bayford went close with another free kick soon after, while Sutton occasionally threatened on the break.

After Andrew Dalhouse had a shot saved by McCourt, Athletic broke upfield and David Chandler broke clear but put his shot on goal went just wide as Dale keeper Liam Northwood narrowed the angle.

Holmesdale still had the better of things late in the half, Bayford shot just over after good work by Dalhouse, and he then had a shot deflected wide himself. Alession Akabuogu headed wide from the resulting corner and then had a shot saved by McCourt.

Right on the break though, Athletic almost equalised on the break when Jack Kirby turned the ball narrowly wide at the far post.

The second half saw the visitors come out looking determined to get back into the match and Dale really missed Dalhouse up front, who went off just after half time.

With Athletic pressing, Mus Hashemi forced a save from Northwood at his near post, before Holmesdale rallied with Theo McKenzie firing wide after a strong run upfield.

Manny Dsuinowo made a great saving tackle in the box to deny Kirby, before Northwood saved from David Orisatko.

Sutton had a goal ruled out for a foul on the keeper, but they eventually drew level on 77 minutes when Kirby crossed for the right and found Louis Lovell unmarked in the area to side foot home the equaliser.

Late on Holmesdale almost re-rook the lead when Akabuogo hit the post from close range after a scramble at a corner and they had another chance cleared from a set piece soon after.

With both sides having given everything, fatigue started to set in during the 7 minutes of added time, with the final chance going to Dale’s Arnold Mam who fired over. 

In the end both sides had to settle for a point, which was about fair over the run of play, leaving Holmesdale in 13th and Sutton Athletic three points behind in 15th. 

Dale: Northwood, McKenzie, McClean, Akabuogo, Macualey, T Odedoyin, Keeble, Bayford, Dsuinowo, Musoke, Dalhouse.

Subs: Morrison, Mam, Schultz, Pepple, W Odedoyin. 

Sutton: McCourt, Butt, Hashemi, Beech, Ekall, Watson, Chandler, Katonda, Lovell, Kirby, Gunner.

Subs: Tarley, Watts, Spellward, Orisatko.  

Goals; HFC – McClean 11mins. SAFC – Lovell 77mins. 

HT 1-0 FT 1-1

Att: 50