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Concord Rangers stalemate despite late action
Concord Rangers 0, Sutton United 0
CONCORD made it four points from the Bank Holiday weekend with a slow-burning draw at home to a strong Sutton side.
All the best action came in the dying stages with Concord’s James White having a header cleared off the line and then Sutton’s Dale Binns somehow firing over an open goal, but in the end a point apiece was fair.
Fresh from their first Conference South win at Dover on Saturday, Concord started full of endeavour.
But there was little in the way of goalmouth action for the opening 20 minutes until Sam Collins’ free-kick forced Tom Lovelock to gather under pressure in a crowded box.
Then the game sprang to life in a 60-second passage on the half-hour mark with two good saves at either end.
First Concord’s Jamie Butler had to tip Jamie Taylor’s header over the bar following a chipped cross from Damien Scannell.
Then former Concord man Lovelock made a terrific reaction block with his legs to keep out Gary Ogilvie’s first-time hit from close range following a low centre from Collins.
But that was a rare highlight in a half high on industry and low on excitement, although what attacking intent was on show, came from the hosts.
James Elmes scuffed a low, first-time shot at the keeper as the half drew to an inevitable stalemate.
Sutton started the second half brightly but it was the hosts who had the first chance, and it was a very presentable one too, but Collins sliced wide with a clear sight of goal.
Concord boss Danny Cowley made a couple of attacking substitutions with Jason Hallett on for Gary Ogilvie, and James Elmes making way for Reece Harris, who forced Lovelock into a low gather by cutting in on to his right foot with 20 minutes to go.
There were some ironic cheers from the travelling Sutton supporters when sub Ali Fuseini dragged a laboured effort wide from distance; their side had not given them much to cheer until that point.
Concord continued to have the better of it and only a last-ditch clearance on the line from Simon Downer kept out James White’s header from Collins’ corner.
But for all the hosts’ dominance, Sutton had a great chance to take the lead with four minutes to go when a loose ball rolled tantalising across the six yard box, but Craig Dundas just failed to connect.
And they went even closer when sub Dean McDonald’s shot was going in before it was inadvertently blocked by his team-mate Marvin Williams on the line.
Then, in the dying seconds, Binns made a sensational recovery tackle to stop Harris pulling the trigger when clean through on goal.
But Binns quickly went from hero to villain when he fired over an open goal at the death when it seemed for all the world he would score.