Yellow cards deny Sutton first win
Sutton & Epsom have one game left to avoid finishing the London One South season with 26 defeats from 26 games after losing 24-10 at home to Haywards Heath on Saturday.
For 30 minutes of match at Rugby Lane, Sutton were down to 14 men due to yellow cards for very innocuous offences and it cost them dear.
Otherwise, they played with great fire and passion showing huge character against a much bigger side.
As so often this season Sutton had the early pressure and with two minutes gone took the lead through a penalty kicked by fly half Frankie Murray.
They then lost influential flanker David Crowest to an ankle injury but for the next 30 minutes matched Heath blow for blow but in a strange refereeing decision in a one on one situation Sutton’s best player No8 Matt Whittacker was sent to the sin bin for killing the ball.
This gave Heath the chance to develope huge pressure on the Sutton line and eventually their full back Rob Jackson crossed the Sutton line where he failed to ground the ball but the referee from some 30 metres away awarded the try. The conversion was missed and at half time the visitors led 3-5.
Four minutes into the second half Haywards Heath’s centre Marc Cashman was sent to the sin bin for a high tackle but Sutton were unable to take advantage despite some determined play then again on 20 minutes Sutton’s fly half Murray went to the sin bin for killing the ball 5 metres out.
Heath elected to scrimmage and drove Sutton back their No8 Steve May getting the touch down. Jackson converted.
Heath then had their best period of the game putting huge pressure on Sutton’s line, Sutton’s defended with great determination but eventually replacement centre Sam Drage was driven in for Heath’s third try.
Sutton then lost hooker Gary Nash to the sin bin for 10 minutes for taking the ball in an offside position.
This was followed by the softest of tries when for the only time in the game Sutton’s defence let them down and speedy winger Roscoe Atkins ran round the outside to score Heath’s all important bonus point try in the corner. The conversion attempt dropped short.
If nothing else Sutton have shown character all season and they came straight back at the visitors pinning them in their 22 for the last 10 minutes of the match before young scrum half Jonjo Wadwa showing real strength for a small man, drove over from 5 metres to score wide on the left. Murray converted with the last kick of the match.
On Saturday, Sutton are away in their last League game of the season to Cobham at Fairmile Lane, kick off 3pm.