Sutton United open up with defeat at Eastleigh
Sutton United started the new Skrill South season with defeat at the pre-season favourites Eastleigh on Saturday.
On an afternoon of few chances, the Yemi Odubade’s first half strike sealed the 1-0 win, and leaves United looking to tomorrow night’s visit of Staines for their first goals and points.
United boss Paul Doswell was without Harry Beautyman, who has signed for Welling United, and Dale Binns and Jamie Slabber to injury.
Eastleigh should have gone ahead in the 11th minute when, having seen a shot blocked, Stuart Fleetwood chipped the rebound to the far post where Odubade volleyed wildly over, but the former Eastbourne, Oxford and Gateshead striker made amends in the 25th minute.
The situation developed from a crude challenge by Simon Downer which saw him booked, and Eastleigh force a corner from the resulting free kick.
Jai Reason’s corner found its way back to him, and he showed a neat touch to beat a defender and fire in a low cross which Odubade turned in from close range.
Sutton did not make the best of their opportunities – Jamie Taylor held on to the ball for too long when Ali Fuseini was making a good run ahead of him, and both Mitchell Nelson and Sam Rents failed to beat the defensive wall with free kicks.
There was promise early in the second half when Taylor showed a good turn of pace to collect a pass forward from Downer, but Chris Dillon’s challenge ensured he could not make the most of the opening at the expense of a yellow card that might have been red but for the proximity of other defenders.
There was little else to cheer for United’s fans in a second half in which neither side rose far above dismal, although Dean McDonald showed some promise on his debut after replacing Dean Sinclair, and at the back they were rarely threatened by an Eastleigh attack full of Conference and Football League experience.
Tuesday’s night match with Staines is followed by the visit to Gander Green Lane of Bishop’s Stortford.
Off: Harry Beautyman has joined Welling United of the Skrill Premier
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