Taylor lashes United to three points in the lashing Basingstoke rain

Wandsworth Guardian: Celebration: Jamie Taylor enjoys his first league goal for Sutton United since October            All pictures: Paul Loughlin Celebration: Jamie Taylor enjoys his first league goal for Sutton United since October All pictures: Paul Loughlin

For the second time this month, Sutton United returned from an awkward looking away game with three points and a clean sheet - this time Basingstoke were on the wrong end of a 1-0 scoreline.

Jamie Taylor's first Skrill South goal for the club since October proved sufficient to earn victory in Hampshire, and keeps United fourth in the table.

The quality of the game was compromised by the conditons, with a strong wind throughout added to by a heavy shower during the second half.

Sutton produced a battling performance, and if the home side point to the fact that they hit the woodwork twice as evidence that they were unlucky not to get something from the game, United always gave the impression of being the better side.

Simon Downer's first action of the afternoon was an important one, as he called correctly at the toss-up and allowed United to face the wind in the first half, and if his second was less impressive, a foul on Louis Soares that earned him his 10th booking of the season.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Build up: Damian Scannell's part of the move that led to the decisive goal at Basingstoke

The indiscretion will keep him out of the trip to league leaders Bromley on February 8 and the following game against Hayes.

But by then, Sutton had already shown signs of being happy in the conditions as Jamie Slabber laid Damian Scannell's cross in to the path of Taylor, and only a fine block by Jay Gasson diverted the ball over the bar.

In the 16th minute, though, Taylor was not to be denied when another cross from Scannell was punched away by Wells and landed at his feet just inside the penalty area,as he took a touch and lashed a shot back in to the roof of the net.

With the wind behind them, Basingstoke were too often guilty of overhitting their passes, but they did threaten when Matt Partridge fired in a shot from the left that was pushed out by David Gregory, with Charlie Clough putting the rebound perilously close to his own goal.

They went close again when Rhys Weston was penalised on the edge of the penalty area and Ben Wright's free kick clipped the top of the crossbar, but Sutton were still playing some good football and when Lee Sawyer chipped a pass forward it took a superbly judged tackle by David Ray to prevent Taylor going through.

Wandsworth Guardian:

BANG: Jamie Taylor's rasping effort beats the Basingstoke keeper

Turning round with the wind on their backs Sutton soon went close when Scannell lifted the ball over Wells but also just over the bar, and Taylor tried a shot from further out that was well dealt with by the keeper, but as conditions deteriorated both sides found it difficult to overcome them.

If anything, it was Basingstoke who made the best of the chances, with Shaun McAuley volleying just over from a Manny Williams cross, and Wright meeting a deep cross with a downward header which was pushed round the post by Gregory.

The closest they came, though, was when Williams pounced on a half-cleared cross and powered in a shot that was tipped on to the bar and over by Gregory.

United were n0t without chances themselves, Sawyer and Scannell both sending headers just too high from crosses by substitute Kane Haysman.

For the last two minutes they were faced with only 10 men after Adam Green, booked for a foul 12 minutes earlier, was shown a second yellow card for tugging Slabber back as they turned to pursue a long ball from the Sutton defence.

Sutton: D Gregory, A Wynter, D Binns, R Weston, S Downer, C Clough, D Scannell , C Dundas, J Slabber, J Taylor(sub K Haysman 67), L Sawyer.

Subs n/u: D Sinclair, D Shitta, L John, T Lovelock.

Wandsworth Guardian:

Not this time: Jamie Taylor's effort is blocked

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