CONCORD Rangers’ brave attempt at reaching the Skrill South play-offs ended with a 1-0 defeat at Sutton but, like the season as a whole, they didn’t go down without an almighty fight.
The Beachboys dominated Sutton and only the brilliance of home stopper Jason Brown kept his side in the game.
Time after time he denied Concord while the visitors also felt they were deserving of a penalty when Gary Ogilvie was brought down in the area in the second half when clear through on goal.
In fact, not only should it have been a penalty, Sutton should have been down to 10 men.
But they won a reprieve and with 12 minutes left Craig Dundas headed in at the back post to give them a win that made their second-place position in the table all but secure.
Concord boss Danny Cowley rang the changes for the game with one eye on an energy-sapping closing week to the season that will see them go to Basingstoke tomorrow night, possibly host Ebbsfleet on Thursday (if the Kent side’s appeal to not have the game, which was abandoned last week because of flood light failure, replayed is unsuccessful), end their league campaign at home to Bath City on Saturday, before looking forward to a county cup final against Braintree next Tuesday.
But despite the whole-sale changes, Concord were the better side from first whistle to last.
Taylor Miles hit the post with a cross-turned-shot and James White had a goal chalked off after Steve Cawley was adjudged to have pushed his man in the build up to the goal.
In the second half, as well as Ogilvie’s penalty shout, Brown produced a stunning double save to deny first Cawley and then Lewis Taafe from close range.
And even after Sutton’s goal, Concord refused to give in, with Tony Stokes having two efforts blocked by Brown and then Cawley also going close late on after being set up by Stokes.