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

SUT­TON UNITED fin­ished the first half of the National League sea­son on top of the ta­ble after a win against Eastleigh that was more con­vinc­ing that the score­line sug­gests.

Goals in each half from Tom Bo­lar­inwa and Tommy Wright sealed vic­tory for the U’s, and but for vet­eran keeper Gra­ham Stack in keep­ing out ef­forts from Kieran Cado­gan and a Nicky Bai­ley free-kick, the mar­gin would have won by a lot more.

“We were beaten by a bet­ter side,” con­ceded Spit­fires boss Richard Hill. “Sut­ton are an ex­cel­lent out­fit and al­though we tried to change things in the sec­ond half and im­proved a bit, it was still re­ally only a whim­per and over­all we weren’t very good.”

Sut­ton dominated the open­ing half and after Bo­lar­inwa had sent a 25-yard shot just over, he opened the scor­ing on 13 min­utes when he dis­pos­sessed de­fender Fraser Shaw be­fore slot­ting the ball past Stack.

Re­called for the sus­pended Ross Fl­it­ney, the vis­it­ing keeper kept his side in the game by deny­ing Cado­gan and Bai­ley, while Ross Lafayette thun­dered a vol­ley just over the bar.

Cado­gan might have dou­bled the lead after the break with a fierce shot that just cleared the bar, but Sut­ton did even­tu­ally wrap things up eight min­utes from time when a long Jamie But­ler clear­ance was headed on by Lafayette and sub­sti­tute Wright coolly lobbed Stack into the net.

Eastleigh still had time to reg­is­ter their one and only shot on tar­get – Mark Yeates’ ef­fort tipped over by But­ler – but with a solid de­fen­sive per­for­mance mar­shalled by the ex­cel­lent Si­mon Wal­ton, there was no fur­ther threat.

U’s boss Paul Doswell beamed: “In the first half we were ex­cel­lent and but for Gra­ham Stack we could have won by a lot more. The play­ers have been mag­nif­i­cent in the first half of the sea­son but it is still a very tight league and there is a lot of foot­ball still to be played.”

PIC­TURE: Paul Lough­lin

ONE-UP! Tom Bo­lar­inwa shoots un­der the div­ing Gra­ham Stack to give Sut­ton the lead

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