Football: Sutton right on button

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The Independent Online
Torquay United. .0

Sutton United. . 1

Jones 77

Attendance: 3,414

SUTTON UNITED, the Diadora League club from suburban Surrey, claimed their second Third Division scalp of the season thanks to a 77th- minute goal from David Jones that decided yesterday's FA Cup second-round tie at Plainmoor.

After their 4-3 victory at Colchester in the first round, this was a much tighter affair, but the non-League side fully deserved their success, which took them into the third round (where they have a tie at Notts County) for the first time since they beat Coventry City five seasons ago.

The Devon side had to face a chorus of abuse from their supporters after losing to non- League opposition for the third successive year - first Farnborough, then Yeovil, now this. They could have few complaints, however, for although the chances were shared equallybetween the two teams, Sutton were by far the more composed and skilful.

For Jones, a 22-year-old plasterer, the winner was sweet relief, for he had missed a good chance just after half-time. Confusion between Don O'Riordan, the Torquay player- manager, and Lee Barrow allowed Jones a clear run at goal, but the midfield player shot wide.

Another defensive error allowed him to make amends. Paul McKinnon's cross from the left posed little threat, but Tom Kelly lost control of the ball and Jones drove it home gleefully from the edge of the penalty area.

There was no way back for Torquay, despite a desperate late siege that saw Fitzroy McCaulskey, Sutton's capable goalkeeper, save two long- range efforts from Scott Colcombe.

The home side had been the first to settle, but they were unable to create any clear chances, despite their early pressure. Indeed, it was the visitors who should have taken the lead in the 19th minute. Simon Quail put the dangerous Ollie Morah, a Tottenham discard and Sutton's best attacker, through on the right, but his low cross was somehow missed by McKinnon, rushing in at the far post.

McKinnon, Sutton's record goalscorer, still had a fine game, despite playing as an emergency left-back for the first time in a career which has taken him from Sutton to Malmo in Sweden, Blackburn Rovers and back to Sutton - this is his eighth spell with the club.

After their early dominance, Torquay fell away, with their long-ball game proving sterile and unprofitable. The closest they came was in the 32nd minute, when Adrian Foster hooked a Paul Trollope cross against the woodwork. In the second half, Torquay's attacks became more and more unimaginative, and they could find no way past Darren Anderson and Nigel Golley, both heroic in the Sutton defence.

'Staying 0-0 for as long as that did us a few favours,' Alan Gane, the Sutton manager, said. 'We weren't under siege for too long.' When the pressure did arrive, though, his team passed the test with some style.

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