Sutton Coldfield T 4 Loughborough Dynamo 2

Tuesday 27th November 2012
Sutton Coldfield Town 4 Loughborough Dynamo 2
Doodson Sport Cup First Round
At: Coles Lane, Sutton Coldfield
Kick-off: 7-45 pm
Admission: £7; Programme: £1-50 (24 pages)
Weather: cold, dry
Attendance: 49
Duration: first-half: 45:29; second-half: 47:58

Sometimes a change of plan can turn out to a good thing as was the case tonight.

I’d planned to watch two games this week – Coventry Sphinx v Rocester last night and Brocton v Nuneaton Griff tonight. Last night game’s at Sphinx Drive fell not unexpectedly to the bad weather but this afternoon I remained hopeful of making the short 1.7 mile trip from home to the Silkmore Lane Sports Ground, especially after a mostly dry day in Stafford.

However, around 4pm came the bad news via Twitter:

To confirm tonight's game vs Nuneaton Griff is OFF sorry all!

Not for the first time this year in bad weather, my thoughts then turned to the 3G pitch at Coles Lane and, as luck would have it, Sutton Coldfield Town were hosting Loughborough Dynamo in a Doodson Sport Cup First Round tie. I’ve said before that Sutton’s ground is one of my favourites with that impressive tall stand.

‘Bad news’ about Brocton became ‘good news’ about Sutton Coldfield by the time I’d arrived at Coles Lane and I saw an entertaining game in which Mark Danks bagged four goals for the Royals. Another former Stafford Rangers player from the Phil Robinson era, Danny Davidson, made a real impact as a half-time substitute by scoring TWICE for Loughborough within 64 seconds of the restart.

This tie in what is the Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Cup pitted two sides in Division One South at opposite ends of the table. Sutton (5th with 30points from 20 games) are chasing promotion to the Premier Division while Loughborough (17 points from 19 games) occupy 20th position out of 22 clubs.

Loughborough were making their second trip to Coles Lane in three days after defeating Romulus 4-2 in a league game on Saturday.

As usual, programmes were available at the gate, a teamsheet pinned up in the clubhouse foyer, line-ups announced on the tannoy, the tea bar offered its usual extensive menu (chip and curry sauce for me tonight) and I took my usual place towards the front of the stand. Things some people take for granted but always appreciated.

Three named stood out on the teamsheet – Danny Edwards and Mark Danks for Sutton and Loughborough’s Danny Davidson. All three previously played for Stafford Rangers though Edwards’ blond hair and central midfield role had me confused [I think Luke Chapman may have started – need to check].

Before kick-off, I had a chat with ‘Grounhopper Dave’ who I only seem to see at Coles Lane and briefly with another person [whose name I don't know] who no doubt will report the proceedings in a future edition of a well-known Sunday non-league newspaper!

Sutton Coldfield (in all blue) got the game underway defending the car park end of Coles Lane. Unlike my last visit to see them when they drew 0-0, Sutton took the lead after just 14 seconds! Mark Danks picked up the ball on the left and fired a low shot past the diving Dynamo goalkeeper Laurie Pearson into the far corner of the net.

Sutton’s Jake Bedford, playing in place of suspended Lee Evans, was called into action in the 19th minute to tip over a far post header from Tom Liversedge.

Danks, on his full debut for the Royals, struck again five minutes later. He intercepted a poor backpass from Chris Hollist, rounded the goalkeeper and somehow scored from the acutest of angles on the right side of the area.

Even though the visitors started playing with some urgency, Danks completed his hat-trick in the 39th minute. He latched on to a ball over the top of the Loughborough defence, got the better of Mark Ruddock and lobbed the advancing Pearson from 25 yards out.

Loughborough made a change at the interval, replacing Liversedge with Danny Davidson, what an impact the substitute made. Barely 18 seconds of the second half had elapsed when Bedford dropped a hanging right-wing cross and Davidson tapped home on score with his first touch his debut.

Davidson (pictured right chatting to Danks) scored again with 64 seconds on the second-half clock to reduce Sutton’s previously unassailable lead to just a single goal. Bedford could only parry an initial shot from Reece Lester and the tall former Stafford striker slotted home.

The possibility of extra time had all but ended by half-time, now it was a real possibility especially when Amoo fired a decent chance over the bar from just outside the area. Davidson almost completed a quick-fire hat-trick with a header that Bedford held.

Loughborough continued to press forward. Bedford blocked a shot from Amoo and Shawn Richards curled another shot wide of the left-hand post.

With 20 minutes remaining, I thought it more likely that Loughborough would equalise than Sutton would net a fourth goal.

No sooner had I made that comment in my notebook… Sutton scored a fourth and Danks it was Danks who netted from another tight angle with two defenders on the line.

Shows what I know!

Despite the two-goal deficit, Loughborough heads didn’t drop and they kept on pressing for a goal. They were almost gifted one when Bedford managed to keep out an eccentric wild backpass from Joel Kettle. And the Sutton keeper then produced a diving fingertip save to turn Rob Norris’s angled shot round the post.

Into stoppage time and Bedford picked up a harmless backpass which initially went unnoticed until the visitors appealed. Norris slammed the indirect free-kick against the wall.

Sutton Coldfield Town (blue/blue/blue): 1. Jake Bedford, 2. Scott Lycett, 3. Louis Keenan, 4. Danny Edwards, 5. Joel Kettle, 6. Kristian Ramsey-Dickson (capt), 7. James Wilcock, 8. Jamie Sheldon, 9. Mark Danks, 10. James Quiggan, 11. Reece Leek. Subs: 12. Luke Chapman (not used), 14. Daryl Taylor (for Leek, 67), 15. Phil Male (for Danks, 75), 16. Jake Healy (for Quiggan, 56), 17. Lee Parsons (not used).

Loughborough Dynamo (amber/black/black): 1. Laurie Pearson, 2. Wayne Dean, 3. Chris Hollist, 4. Dan Henton, 5. Danny Gibbons (capt), 6. Mark Ruddock, 7. Shawn Richards, 8. Ryan Amoo, 9. Tom Liversedge, 10. Dom Brennan, 11. Reece Lester. Subs: 12. Matt Langham (not used), 14. Danny Davidson (for Liversedge, ht), 15. Jake Betts (not used), 16. Rob Norris (for Amoo, 71), 17. Mitch Williams (for Henton, 83).

Referee: Dumitru-Ravel Cheosiaua.
Assistants: Philip Hardisty and Simon Gudger.

1-0 Mark Danks (1)
2-0 Mark Danks (24)
3-0 Mark Danks (39)
3-1 Danny Davidson (46)
3-2 Danny Davidson (47)
4-2 Mark Danks (71)

Sutton Coldfield: none
Loughborough: Reece Lester (YC, 36)