Sutton lined up with new boys Brett Peel, Callum Mason, Lee Stevenson and Richard Groves. On the bench and also new to Sutton were Danny Prance, Jamie Senior and Liam Kennedy.
The Stags were watched over by "pocket rocket" Ryan Williams, with Mike Whitlow watching from the terracing. 1st team squad players, Ton Naylor, Grant Ryan and Ben Turner were in the Stags' staring eleven..
Quite a decent turn out to say that the Blackwell tournament final was being played down the road, and Rainworth were entertaining Eastwood Town. May have been 200+, but I never heard an official gate.
The Stags took the lead after just 5 minutes - a poor back pass from Brett Peel was latched on to on the right by Grant Ryan - he crossed into the area where Anthony Williams was waiting to tap in from a couple of yards.
Sutton gradually took control of the game, and only a great tip over on 24 from Stags keeper James Elliott from a James Senior free-kick kept the scores level. A few minutes later Tom Naylor should have added to the Stags tally, heading wide from just a few yards out.
Sutton's best effort of the half was a cracking run into the area and shot across goal that Elliott dived full length to palm away from a corner. - superb save that had everyone applauding, even Snipes' Manager Danny Bryant - a top, top former non-league keeper. H-T 0-1
On the hour mark, Sutton made several changes to their outfield players, and keeper Mark Frost was replaced as well. The changes had an immediate effect, with Adam Moran crossing into the box for Peter Stubley to side-foot home. Good finish - the ball was at a bit of an awkward height, but Stubley kept his composure and met it well.
Stubley had the ball in the net again on 65, but this effort was disallowed for offside - strange decision as the player had controlled well to beat his marker before running on and firing into the net.
The visitors went in front in the 69th minute when a poor throw from the deputy keeper put Sutton under immediate pressure - and when Turner found Ryan, the striker ran at Peel who simply let him run past him and slot home from an acute angle. Self destruction of the 1st magnitude.
In the 87th minute, Sutton's 15 year old Liam Kennedy lost the ball in the middle of the park allowing Lewis Croucher a free run at goal - he finished without any problem.
Straight from the kick off, Stubley was brought down in the box - and although he was on a hat-trick, he is one of those centre-forwards who is not too keen on taking penalties - he may have had second thoughts when he saw Danny O'Donnell smash the ball onto the bar.
Mind you, a corner resulted and Kennedy popped up at the far post to head powerfully home and level the scores at 3-3.
Great game, although for periods in the second half both teams were guilty of a lot of direct play (long ball) that gave me a bit of neck ache! Still, a very entertaining game and I left the ground thinking that Sutton have decent enough team to mount a serious challenge on the CMLS title, while for the Stags, these lads are good - some of them very good......
Saturday -- Stags v Hartlepool