Sutton went home with all three points this evening after a 1-0 win over ten man Dover thanks to Craig Dundas’ 2nd minute strike.
Manager Chris Kinnear was pleased with his teams efforts in what was an enthralling battle between two play off rivals. ‘I think we deserved something out of the game – They started very quickly and scored. We more than matched them and it was not easy on the pitch – the sending off killed us really.’
Jeff Goulding was sent off in the second half after two bookings and though his dismissal seemed harsh, Chris Kinnear was critical of his star striker. ‘You set yourself up once you are booked and he was stupid to lunge in. He is new here and anybody that gets sent off lets everyone down – He has to buck his ideas up’.*Q1*
Kinnear revealed his plans to get something from the game had to change radically as the team adjusted to going a man down. ‘We were going to bring on Elder, Bellamy and Ademola for the last twenty minutes and go for it, but we had to wait to see how the other team would change before we did. We matched them for enthusiasm and the spirit was good – No one felt sorry for themselves.’
He added, ‘The main thing is that you stay in the game because you know you are going to get a chance. Tom Wynter had a great opportunity at the end, but had it fallen to Barry Cogan or someone like that, then maybe he would have scored and we would have got a point with ten men. You don’t just throw things about and end up losing 4 or 5, though I thought we were just as good as them with ten men.’
Chris also pointed out the experience that Sutton have compared to his own ranks. ‘They killed the game and there could have been twenty minutes added time, but we did not look bad considering they have players on big money and have been at this level for a long time. We don’t quite have the experience that they do quite yet.’*Lpic1*
With that Chris urged patience from fans towards his young charges. ‘We have good young players. Walker (21), Wynter (23), Murphy (21), Raggett (20), Chris Kinnear (23), Stone (24), Bellamy (21). The problem here is that with all the players coming in and out for the last 10 years, we have not been consistent. We need to make sure we keep that core along with the experienced players so that in the summer we won’t have to bring in eleven new players again.’
He continued. ‘I understand the fans frustration, but look at what has happened here the last few years. It’s easy for me to make lots of changes, but is not good for the long term future of the club. I want to build a side and keep them together. You only win things at this level with consistency. At any club where I have been successful, it has taken time.’
However promotion is still not being ruled out of the equation. ‘The lads don’t want to wait another year, they think they can get into the play offs’ said Kinnear of his men.
Dover will look to bounce back with a trip to Weston Super Mare on Saturday, weather permitting.