Sutton stalemate sets U’s in good stead

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Tibble on target and Hamilton heroics earn a credible draw

Hastings Utd earned a solid 1-1 draw at Gander Green Lane at Sutton Utd Women on Sunday. On a day of firsts for the U’s on and off the pitch, Georgia Tibble’s 3rd goal in 2 games in claret gave the U’s a first half lead before a late Olivia Watson equaliser rescued a draw for the hosts.

The game had a number of obstacles throughout that made for a particularly unsettled beginning to proceedings – the ever changing weather and the freezing conditions coupled with the 3G pitch meant that the ball was being played much longer than you expect either team would have wanted to be playing it. The first big chance came with 8 minutes on the clock, when Sophie Reed was adjudged to have had her hands in an unnatural position when sliding in to block an effort from the edge of the box, resulting in a Sutton penalty. But, as was soon to be discovered, Blair Hamilton was on top form, and despite starting a dive to her right, the penalty was a trickler down the middle, and she was able to recover to save the penalty.

The U’s then started to really get a grip on the half, and started to chain together chances, but the goal was as route one as it gets. Hamilton collected the ball and launched it over the top, which Tibble latched onto and put under the goalkeeper, who arguably could and should have done better with it. But what does it matter what the goalkeeper could have done? The U’s were one up after 20 minutes.

The rest of the half followed a similar pattern of the U’s being on top, Hamilton routinely dealing with the constant Sutton balls over the top, although both goalkeepers pulled off brilliant reaction saves resulting in goalline scrambles in both cases. And, on commentary, the line ‘Get Blair Hamilton a knighthood’, something I reckon she’ll hold over me for at least a few weeks.

HT : Sutton Utd Women 01 Hastings Utd Women

Whilst the first half gave us a penalty, a goal, snow, hail and frozen fingers – the second half only really gave us a Sutton goal and a U’s senior debut. Sutton certainly settled into more of a groove ad seemed to figure out that launching balls in behind was not an effective strategy. Around the hour mark they really started to put a stranglehold on the game, and with 78 minutes on the clock a well weighted through ball found Sutton’s dangerwoman Watson, who put just over Hamilton and into the net. Nothing less than the Yellow’s deserved on the balance of play.

The U’s did nearly steal it at the end courtesy of a free kick taken by someone who wasn’t Izzy Payne…Joking, of course Izzy took it. Her speculative effort was dipped and was tipped onto the post by goalkeeper McNulty, and Milly Topliss just couldn’t get the required contact to convert the rebound, and it led to a corner that sadly wielded no reward.

FT : Sutton Utd Women 11 Hastings Utd Women

The Ry-view : A solid performance against a good Sutton team. No new injuries to report (phew) and as good a final friendly as the team could have wanted as they prepare for their return SCWGFL action next week. The players and fans can be very proud of the effort put in by the side.

Congratulations to Emma Giles upon her first team debut.

Line up:

Hamilton, Corrigan (Baker)((Ward)), Muggeridge, Reed, Sharp, Relf (Carmichael), Carter, Williams, Tibble, Payne, Hill (Giles)((Topliss))

POTM : Blair Hamilton

Next Match : Pagham (A), 18th April 2021

Ry Segal