FA Vase Round One
Sutton Town 3 Sleaford Town 1
Not for the first time, Sleaford Town disappointingly fell out of an FA cup tie against a side ranked lower in the football pyramid than themselves.
This time against Sutton Town from Division One of the East Midlands League, two steps lower in the standings.
It was yet again a case of Town not being able to put two halves of a game together, having virtually failed to turn up in the first half, then coming back a little stronger after the break. By then, they were chasing a two-goal deficit which soon became three and in the end it proved to be too much.
Richard Jackson had the first attempt of the day as he tried a header from a Nathan Rawdon cross but the keeper made a comfortable save. Too often long balls from the back were running away on the precarious Sutton slope. Then on 21 minutes the home side took the lead when striker Richard Giles found the net rather too easily.
Seven minutes after taking the lead Sutton doubled their advantage through wingman Dale Gilliatt. 2-0.
The big home keeper had to react smartly to turn over a cross-cum-shot from Ash Murrell and Oliver went past two defenders only to hit wide. A Jackson free-kick was headed on by Oliver but the keeper touched it over the top and Murrell stretched to a Shaw cross to turn the ball wide.
After the break Pete Sutton was sent on to replace Rawdon.
Disaster struck on 54 minutes when Sutton sent the game out of reach with a third goal, again scored by Gilliatt.
Further Town substitutions brought on Tony Edwards for Shaw and Liam Tunstall for Oliver. Chances went astray, not least when a Hollingworth shot was parried by the keeper and Pete Sutton followed up to hit over the top.
Fifteen minutes from the end Town did manage a goal when Jackson hit in a shot low to the keeper’s right hand, for his first goal of the season.
It was all too little, too late, as Town made a rather inglorious exit from this season’s FA Vase competition, having been handed a very reasonable opportunity for further progress along with a tidy cash sum from the Football Association.