Sutton, most famous for his role as Alan Shearer’s strike partner in Blackburn’s march to the Premiership title in 1994-95, came off the bench for his debut midway through the second half with the Yachtmen trailing 1-0. He joined his16-year-old son Oliver, a goalkeeper who had himself come on as a substitute soon after half-time due to an injury.
Joel Barnett had put Tilbury ahead midway through the first half and, after the arrival of the Sutton family, Danny Francis made it 2-0 with 20 minutes to go. Five minutes later, though, it was 2-2 thanks to a quickfire double by Ben Thompson, and Chris Sutton looked capable of becoming a matchwinner. But Tilbury snatched it when Aaron Waters scored direct from a corner in the 86th minute.
Cheshunt enjoyed a four-goal spree in the last ten minutes of the first half, setting up a 4-2 win at Soham which lifted them to second spot. Buster Harradine converted a penalty early in each half for the hosts, but to no avail because of that goal rush provided by Michael Deane, Tony Burke, with another penalty, Courtney White and Jose Espinoza.
A second successive 1-1 away draw cost Potters Bar the leadership and they dropped to third place, though still level on points with the sides above them. James Gershfield gave them an early lead at Sudbury with his 14th goal of the season, also becoming the first Ryman League player to reach double figures in league matches alone, but Leon Antoine replied six minutes before the interval, having earlier hit the bar. The hosts had Bradley Thomas sent off with 14 minutes left and only a fine save by Fred Howe prevented Gershfield netting a winner.
Fourth-placed Maldon moved to within two points of the leading trio with a 3-0 victory at Waltham Abbey. Jamie Guy’s 20th-minute goal was all that separated the sides until the hour mark, when Frank Everett made it 2-0. James Robinson completed the scoring in added time.
Aveley have yet to win a league game at home but they collected their fourth away victory to take over fifth place. Their 2-1 success at Chatham was achieved with first-half goals from Paul Burnett and Jordan Cox. Lee Hales replied shortly after half-time for the Kent club but all their pressure could not produce an equaliser, although Harry Smith hit the bar deep into added time.
Like Cheshunt, Romford produced a flurry of goals on their way to a 3-1 win at bottom club Ware. Tom Richardson opened the scoring in the 34th minute and within six minutes long-serving Paul Clayton and Nick Reynolds, with a fierce header, had made it 3-0. Robbie Green pulled one back midway though the second half but the damage had been done. Ware had Reece Loudon sent off near the end.
Grays, playing with ten men for more than half the game, were held to their third home draw in five league outings at Rush Green, this time by Needham Market. Jake Hall was sent off in the 35th minute and the Marketmen took the lead six minutes into the second half through Jack Wilkinson. Substitute Luke Marshall rescued the depleted home side with ten minutes left.
Two late goals saw Heybridge to a 3-1 home victory over Witham. Ben Newson put Swifts ahead after 15 minutes with Lewis Godbold replying in the 39th minute. That was it until the 84th minute, when Luke Callander restored the home side’s lead, and Newson sealed the points with his 11th of the season in league and cups.
Ilford slogged out a goalless draw at home to Thamesmead while, a couple of miles to the north, Redbridge’s game against Harlow was called off because of a waterlogged pitch.