It was yet more frustration for Kidsgrove Athletic as they lost 1-0 to Sutton Coldfield Town as they allowed Isai Marsella to pass a free-kick along the ground and into the back of the net to take all three points.
The Royal’s top scorer for the season had been on the pitch for less than five minutes when he was able to score the only goal of the afternoon in a match that was less than inspiring.
Kidsgrove were forced to make some changes to the side that draw with Market Drayton Town seven days previously with Rhys Thompson and Lee Cropper both coming in on dual registration. While despite picking up knocks against Market Drayton Tom France started and Oliver Jepson was on the bench.
In a game which was dominated by the 3G pitch, the ball spent the majority of the 90 minutes in the air as neither team could get a foothold in the game.
Anthony Malbon had the first chance of the afternoon for the visitors when France played in his captain. However, as Malbon tried to break through, he picked up a recurrence of his recent injury forcing him to dink his shot straight into Lee GWilliams’ hands before coming off for Cropper.
While winger Ryan Moore had the first chance for Sutton Coldfield, as he saw Grove goalkeeper Kieran Harrison, make a comfortable save as his volley evaded everyone in the area.
Harrison then had to be alert to deny Ben Usher-Shipway who had a long-range effort palmed away before stopping Reece Gibson poking home the loose ball.
On loan, Crewe midfielder Regan Griffiths almost broke the deadlock in the final minute of the half when he hit a dipping volley just over the bar. Had it gone in then it would have been a spectacular goal for him to score.
After the break, the game didn’t improve as neither side did anything to warrant really taking all three points.
That changed in the 68th minute when the hosts won a free-kick. Harrison set up his wall on the right-hand side before taking a position on the left-hand side as everyone expected the ball to be curled around the wall. However, Marseila spotted that the wall had shifted across and was able to pass the ball into the corner of the goal. It left Grove manager Ryan Austin seething on the touchline as Sutton Coldfield moved above Kidsgrove in the league table.
Cropper had a great chance to equalise from a wide free-kick. However, the former Abbey Hulton United forward decided to use the wrong foot and put his effort wide of the goal.
In the dying moments of the game, Thompson had a great chance to snatch an unlikely equaliser from a free-kick. However, he put his effort well over the bar and in all reality that summed up the afternoon for Kidsgrove Athletic.
Kidsgrove Athletic: Harrison, Thompson, Morris, Hall (Campbell-Gordon, 54), Duffy, Butler, Griffiths, Blake, Wiggins-Thomas, Malbon (Cropper, 18) and France (Jepson, 81).
Unused subs: Boula and Chesters.
Sutton Coldfield Town: GWilliams, George, Christophurou, Shaw, Ganley, Beresford, Usher-Shipway, Martin, Gibson (Marseila, 63), Ahenkorah (Hurst, 79) and Moore.
Unused subs: Powney, Robillard and Harrison.