Football: Sutton Coldfield turn tables to pile more cup misery on Greenbacks; Bedworth United 2 Sutton Coldfield Town 5 FA TROPHY Picture.
There can be no more unpredictable side at the moment than Sutton Coldfield Town. Having been the first team to lose to Thame United last week, the Royals defied the form-book to increase Southern One West rivals Bedworth's cup angst this term.
The Greenbacks are enjoying their best league campaign in a decade but Mark Hallam's men have now exited all the knockouts and ultimately they were second-best in Saturday's second qualifying round tie.
Sutton's pacy front two of Damien Markman and Justin Rowe led the home backline a merry dance and contributed three goals, wide pair Liam Hebberd and Matt Dodd charged forward, while Royals skipper Nathan Moran was an omnipresent figure in defence to snuff out a series of dangerous moves.
Royals manager Chris Keogh said: 'It was one of our better performances this season, especially when we have had to make a few change to the side.
'It probably says a lot about the overall performance that I couldn't really single anybody out. They all did well.'
But Bedworth certainly didn't help themselves.
Lee Greenway's stupid reaction in back-heading Moran when the two wrestled in the penalty area awaiting a free-kick earned him a red card on 63 minutes and proved to be the turning point. It was the striker's second sending-off this season and though he showed his displeasure by throwing his shirt into the dug-out as he headed to the dressing-room Hallam's stern expression said it all.
Greenway had given the hosts the perfect start when he forced home the opening goal on two minutes after David Foy had initially miskicked a Jon Douglas cross.
But Sutton recovered to lead 2-1 at the break. First Craig Owen lashed home a 20-yard free-kick on 29 minutes and Markman directing a soaring header into the top corner after Dodd's trickery on the right created room for a pinpoint cross five minutes later.
Despite Greenway's exit, Bedworth levelled on 68 minutes when top scorer Douglas neatly lobbed keeper Dale Belford for his 13th goal of the season following a left-wing cross from Jason Moore. The Greenbacks would probably have settled for a replay there and then but Sutton ended with a flurry of three goals in the final 13 minutes.
Rowe hooked in from close-range after Dodd flicked on a Danny Haynes cross and then the striker scrambled home Sutton's fourth after Hebberd's 25-yard half-volley had ricocheted off the cross bar. In injury-time, Dodd earned his reward to prod home Markman's right-wing centre following a quick breakaway.
It was the first time this season Rowe and Markman had started as Sutton's strike partnership but Keogh's decision was made for him when Kyle Perry did not show for training on Thursday and returned to AFC Telford.
On this evidence, Sutton will be a threat to whoever they draw in today's draw.
BEDWORTH (4-4-2): Clarke; Barnett, Grocutt, Pitham (Twigger, 66), Crabtree; L Moore, Doughty, Foy (Cummins, 55), Hanney (J Moore, 66); Douglas, Greenway. Subs: Kemp, Swan.
SUTTON COLDFIELD (4-4-2): Belford; Haynes, Spittle, Moran, Wilson; Dodd, Owen, Field, Hebberd; Markman, Rowe. Subs: Maynard, Breedon, Hazell, Wolsey, Ling.
Referee: D Gratton (Solihull).
By Colin Stoner
at The Oval