Football: Kidsgrove let lead slip as they crash to defeat at Stockport
KIDSGROVE Athletic came out on the wrong side of a seven-goal thriller at Sutton Coldfield Town despite leading 3-1 early in the second half.
The artificial 3G surface at Sutton's Coles Lane ground made sure the game would beat the wet weather and it was the home side who took the lead in the 17th minute when Mark Danks hit a shot into the bottom corner of the net.
Grove fought back well though, and levelled matters in the 34th minute when the in-form Liam Shotton fed the ball through to Andy Kinsey who turned the ball into the net.
Four minutes later Grove took the lead when Kinsey curled a fine shot past home keeper Lee Evans for his third goal in two games.
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The visitors seemed to be heading for their first win in seven games when they went 3-1 ahead in the 51st minute.
Daniel Skelton pounced on a mistake in the home defence before turning the ball home.
The Sutton manager then made a change and brought substitute James Sheldon into the fray and he pulled a goal back in the 58th minute with his first touch of the ball.
The home side then applied the pressure and drew level with 20 minutes to go.
A long throw in by Kristian Ramsey-Dickson caused confusion in the Grove box and Danks was on hand to score his second of the game.
Just as the game moved into its final stages, Sutton snatched the winner with nine minutes remaining.
The ball fell to former Port Vale and Stafford Rangers midfielder Luke Chapman outside the box and he struck a superb 25-yard shot into the far corner to condemn Grove to their fifth defeat in the last six games.
The result leaves Grove fourth from the bottom of the table while Sutton are on a roll, six wins out of seven putting them into third place in the Division One South table.
Grove manager Shaun Hollinshead, pictured below, said: "We played very well on what was a difficult surface. These 3G pitches are all right for training on, but I'm not a lover of them overall. We did well to get in front and Andy Kinsey's second goal was a superb finish. Their second goal changed things and they put us under a lot of pressure, because they are not third in the table for nothing.
"At 3-3 I was happy, I would have taken a point before the game, but then the lad Chapman hit one into the top corner when we should have closed him down.
"We are playing some decent stuff and scoring plenty, but the number we are conceding is becoming a concern and we need to resolve that problem."
NANTWICH'S home game against Marine was called off due to a waterlogged pitch, as was Stafford Rangers' home game against Witton Albion and Leek Town's home game against Belper Town.
Newcastle Town, buoyed by their 2-0 win at Leek Town on Boxing Day were also frustrated by the weather as their trip to Mickleover Sports went the same way.