Sutton United 1-3 Tranmere Rovers: Connor Jennings’ wonder strike gives Rovers early Christmas present in win over Sutton

By George Williamson

A goal each from Adam Buxton, Andy Cook and Connor Jennings gave Tranmere Rovers all three points in a 3-1 win over Sutton United as they continued their push for the National League play-offs.

With Dover, Macclesfield and Wrexham all drawing, Sutton missed the chance to go top with a win, while the victory for Micky Mellon’s side puts them just two points outside of the play-off places at Christmas.

The game itself was largely dominated by Rovers, but Simon Walton forced Scott Davies into the first save of the match in the first minute, before the lively Jennings set up Ollie Norburn minutes later, but his shot was blocked for a corner.

When Norburn was fouled on the edge of the area twelve minutes in, Buxton set his sights at goal and fired the dead-ball past Jamie Butler to give Rovers an early lead.

With Sutton looking to respond, Tommy Wright fired a long-range effort at Davies’ goal, but the shot-stopper was able to save comfortably.

buxton sutton

Adam Buxton celebrates his 12th minute opener against Sutton.

Rovers winger Dylan Mottley-Henry burst into the area ten minutes later, but he fired over the bar when James Norwood may have been better placed to hit the target.

Moments later though, Sutton were level as Kenny Davis powered in a diving header from close range past Davies.

Tranmere were caught out by a long punt forward, and the ball was smartly headed back across goal and was headed home from close range.

Lafayette and Dundas had chances for the hosts as they looked to up the ante in search of a go-ahead goal, but it was Rovers who got it on the stroke of the break.

With the first half fizzling out, Jennings fired his side back in front shortly before the half-time whistle with a crisp volley from 25-yards out.

Into the second half and it was Rovers again that started strongly, with Mottley-Henry weaving his was past two defenders before firing a cross-shot over the bar.

James Norwood looked to set-up a killer third goal for the visitors, but his cross was diverted wide by Cook after great work on the left by the striker.

jennings sutton 2

Goal scorer Connor Jennings on the ball in midfield.

Just past the hour mark, and Sutton had a glorious opportunity to draw level when substitutes Tom Bolarinwa and Kieron Cadogan combined, with the latter firing over from ten yards out.

Tommy Wright dragged an effort wide for the hosts moments later as they looked to push for an equaliser, before Rovers just about dealt with a couple of goal-mouth scrambles as the hosts flooded the area.

With time ticking down, and Sutton pressing for the equaliser, Rovers were able to seal the three points on the break as Cook bundled the ball past Butler to add a third goal and finish the game as a contest.

Rovers have a Boxing Day clash with AFC Fylde to look forward to, while Sutton travel to Boreham Wood looking to bounce back from the defeat.

Tranmere Rovers; Davies, Buxton, Sutton, McNulty, Cook (McDonagh), Norwood, Jennings, Norburn, Mottley-Henry, Clarke, Banks.

Sutton United; Butler, John, Collins, Davis, Lafayette (Cadogan), Dundas, Eastmond (Bolawinra), Bailey, Wright, Walton, Downer (Coombes).

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