Sobering afternoon for King's Lynn Town as they fall to heavy defeat at Sutton United
Vanarama National League
Sutton United 5 King's Lynn Town 1
King's Lynn Town were brought back down to earth after last week's FA Cup triumph as they were convincingly beaten by high-flying Sutton United in the National League.
Isaac Olaofe was the outstanding performer for Sutton, scoring a hat-trick and causing Lynn plenty of defensive headache on a difficult afternoon in South London.
Speaking after the game, despondent Lynn manager Ian Culverhouse said: "You can't defend like that, you just can't. All over the pitch we were poor and I said the performance was weak.
"There's no positives after that. We just have to throw it in the bin, lick our chops and just come back stronger but there's no positives from start to finish."
The Linnets struggled to cope with Sutton's pressing as Culverhouse's side were restricted to just one effort on goal in the first-half, before the home side ran away with the game after the break.
Sutton sat in fifth place in the league table ahead of the game with five more points than Lynn despite playing two fewer games.
Matt Gray's side continued their strong start to the season as Archie Mair's goal was peppered by The U's in wet and windy conditions.
Olaofe's deserved first goal arrived after 24 minutes as Sutton's early pressure finally paid off, the forward emphatically finishing past Mair after the ball fell into his path inside the box.
The goalscorer had already seen his low strike well saved by Mair, while there were also strong calls for a home penalty as Sutton harried Lynn into losing the ball in dangerous positions.
Rory McAuley was alert to shut out the danger as Sutton found themselves with a four-on-two opportunity after Michael Clunan had been dispossessed in midfield just before the opener.
Lynn's first effort on goal was not until the 40th minute when Jamar Loza fired over from the edge of the box after a neat lay-off by Adam Marriott.
Sutton continued their dominance in the second-half with Olaofe heading in at the near post from a corner leaving Mair with no chance after 53 minutes.
Coming into the game full of confidence after defeating League Two Port Vale in the FA Cup, Lynn then proceeded to enjoy their best spell of the game with Dean Bouzanis in the Sutton goal saving well from both Loza and Marriott in the space of two minutes after both were put through.
Dayle Southwell's rebound from Marriott was destined for goal with the keeper stranded until it was blocked by Sutton defender Ben Goodliffe.
A looping header from McAuley was then tipped wide before Sutton killed off the game with a third as Tobi Shoa-Silva followed up to finish into an empty goal after a free-kick had crashed off the underside of Lynn's bar on 68 minutes.
Just one minute later, Olaofe completed his brilliant hat-trick before Southwell fired low into the bottom corner as a consolation goal for the Linnets 10 minutes later.
A miserable afternoon for the West Norfolk side was further compounded just before stoppage time as Harry Beautyman headed in from another Sutton corner.
Reflecting on his side's 5-1 hammering, Culverhouse said: "It's the second one that has got a hat-trick against us and we keep giving balls away by the looks of it."
The Linnets now sit 18th in the National League on seven points after eight games, while Sutton climb to third with two games in hand on the teams above them.
Lynn's opponents next Saturday, Dover Athletic, saw their game at Wealdstone postponed this afternoon due to "Covid-19 issues". The Linnets travel to Barnet on Tuesday, which Culverhouse has described as "another really hard game".
Sutton United: Bouzanis, Goodliffe, John, Ajiboye, Davis, Bugiel (Sho-Silva 61), Beautyman, Randall, Eastmond, Milson, Olaofe (Kealy 74). Subs not used: Barden, Dundas, Simpson
King's Lynn: Mair, Lupano, Barrows, McAuley, Brown, Jarvis (Power 60), Clunan, Carey, Loza (Kelly 73), Southwell, Marriott (Mitchell 61). Subs not used: Smith, King