Short of five first-choice players, including top try scorer Ian Knott, Sutton & Epsom came through their most difficult match in London Division Two South West this season winning at Chobham 44-24 on Saturday.
Chobham are a very dangerous side and only complete concentration in defence kept them out.
The host’s fly half Alex Seers had a great game with the boot pinning Sutton back time and again with monster touch kicks and kicking 14 of Chobham’s 24 points.
However, he was more than matched by Sutton’s man of the match full back Steve Warnham who not only scored a try but kicked four conversions and three penalties - three of the conversions came from the touch line.
Sutton had the edge in the tight scrum but the Chobham back-row just edged them out in loose play turning the visitors over several times.
Chobham, however, found Sutton’s superbly well organised defence a hard nut to crack and time and again promising attacks broke down on this obdurate wall.
Sutton opened the scoring with a penalty from Warnham who added to his tally shortly after coming in at pace behind a 10 metre scrum he wove his way through the Chobham defence to score midway to the posts - he converted his own try.
Chobham then woke up and took the game to Sutton controlling matters for some time they were eventually rewarded with two penalties from Seers to narrow the gap.
Sutton soon came back from this and from a scrum 30 metres out the ball went out to right wing Michael Cartledge who chipped over the defence and won the race to touch down in the corner.
Warnham converted and then made the next try, following a line out, he made a brilliant break committed the defence and gave a perfectly timed pass outside to left wing Charlie Purvis who forced his way over in the corner - Warnham converted and at half time Sutton led 6-24.
Chobham dominated matters after the restart but struggled to break through until Sutton conceded a series of penalties and from a five-metre lineout Chobham’s number eight Tommy Guy drove in for their first try, which Seers converted.
Almost from the kick off Sutton’s right wing Cartledge wove his magic down the wing before passing inside to powerful number eight Shawn Renwick who carry three Chobham players as he forced his way over in the corner - Warnham converted.
Seers added two penalties shortly after to make the scores 19-31.
Warnham then kicked his third penalty before a charge by Sutton’s captain flanker Matt Whitaker made 20 metres, he passed to replacement flanker Joe Ridgely who made it almost to the line but got his pass away to centre Brendan Kipping for him to score in the corner.
With three minutes to go Chobham managed to manufacture a gap in the Sutton defence and a lovely loop round by full back Harry Guy saw him slice through to score wide on the left.
With less than a minute to go Sutton won a scrum 20 metres out and their hard working lock James Caddy taking the ball at pace swatted the defence away to score Sutton’s final try in the corner.
The conversion was missed but this bonus point victory consolidates Sutton’s place at the top of the table.
On Saturday, Sutton travel to Warlingham in the opening round of the intermediate cup (kick off 3pm).