Late goals send St Albans City spiralling out of FA Trophy at hands of Sutton United
- Credit: JIM STANDEN
St Albans City suffered a rare defeat this season as Sutton United won 2-0 in the FA Trophy at Clarence Park.
The National League side, who are second in the table, left it very late, scoring twice inside the final two minutes to book their passage to the fourth round and hand Saints only a second competitive loss.
Ian Allinson made one change from the side that defeated Cray Wanderers in the previous round, Michael Clark moving into the starting line-up for the National League South leaders and Devante Stanley dropping to the bench.
The early stages of the game saw Sutton look to impose themselves on the tie and they were presented with a golden opportunity inside the opening six minutes.
Smart play allowed former Saint Harry Beautyman to slalom past Joy Mukena and drive into the area. His effort though was tipped over by Michael Johnson.
The pressure continued and Will Randall headed over before Beautyman sent another header straight at the City keeper.
St Albans did come back into the contest by the midway point and their first effort on goal almost opened the scoring, Zane Banton's shot from a tight angle rebounding off the outside of the post.
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That was the closest either side came in the opening 45 minutes but Beautyman continued to be a threat after the break, squandering another chance when he put an unmarked header wide of the target.
Saints did carry more threat though in the second half but failed to really make it count, with Mitchell Weiss and Banton both seeing efforts blocked in the box by Sutton defenders.
Beautyman was again the man involved as Sutton went even closer to breaking the deadlock, as he saw his diving header from Randall’s cross strike the post.
St Albans’ best chance came with seven minutes left on the clock, James Kaloczi meeting Luke Warner-Eley’s free-kick but putting the header over the bar.
And it proved a costly miss as Sutton took the lead with two minutes to go.
A well-worked move down the left that saw substitute Isaac Olaofe squaring to Beautyman and he made no mistake from the edge of the box.
The visitors then doubled their lead in added time with Olaofe the scorer this time.
This time he latched onto a through ball and went round Johnson before slotting into the bottom corner of the net.