The Non-League Football Paper - - VANARAMA NATIONAL LEAGUE - By Tony Dol­bear

A SPIR­ITED late fight­back from ten-man AFC Fylde was not enough to prevent Sut­ton United tak­ing all three points in a game that was ef­fec­tively de­cided by two goals in a minute just be­fore half-time.

Just sec­onds af­ter Craig Dun­das had given Paul Doswell’s side a 41stminute lead, Coasters’ cen­tre-back Si­mon Grand put through his own net to dou­ble ad­van­tage.

Fylde then saw Lewis Mon­trose sent off for a sec­ond yel­low card, and even though Grand made amends by pulling a goal back five min­utes from time, it wasn’t enough to prevent the U’s from hold­ing on for the points which keeps them fourth in the National League ta­ble.

Nat­u­rally, Doswell was a re­lieved man af­ter­wards, say­ing: “We have played bet­ter this season and not got what we de­served from game so we’ll hap­pily take the three points which are very im­por­tant.”

The first half had been largely undis­tin­guished, with Keiran Cado­gan hav­ing Sut­ton’s best ef­fort with a shot that was saved at the near post by Coasters keeper Jay Lynch.

At the other end, Dave Challi­nor’s Fylde side were rel­a­tively quiet un­til top scorer Danny Rowe’s fierce drive was beaten away by Sut­ton stop­per James But­ler.

Fylde lost cen­tre back Jor­dan Tun­ni­cliffe to in­jury just af­ter the half hour mark and his pres­ence was solely missed on 41 min­utes when Sut­ton took the lead – a long pass from the back find­ing its way through to Dun­das, who raced clear to shoot past Lynch. Then, a minute later, Josh Tay­lor pro­duced the game’s one mo­ment of class with a su­perb run down the left that ended with the un­for­tu­nate Grand turn­ing his cross into his own net. Any hopes of a come­back were seem­ingly dashed on 64 min­utes when Mon­trose was dis­missed for two yel­low cards in the space of a minute, both for fouls on Craig East­man. Sut­ton went close to mak­ing the game safe when sub Anthony Jef­frey and Tommy Wright twice com­bined – Jef­frey shooting just over be­fore set­ting Wright up with a shot that hit the post. Louis John also clipped the top of the cross­bar with a header be­fore Fylde found their feet in the last ten min­utes and af­ter But­ler had saved from sub Jack Mul­doon, Grand scram­bled a goal back with five min­utes left. It then took a fine save from But­ler to deny Rowe an equaliser as Sut­ton threat­ened to con­cede a late equaliser for the sec­ond game run­ning. Challi­nor said: “If we’d have shown the same in­tent and be­lief that we showed in the last 20 min­utes through­out the game we might have got some­thing. “But in the end poor de­fend­ing has cost us at the end of a very tight first half.”

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