While the debate over the use of 3G surfaces in the Football League rages on, Sutton United let their football do the talking on a quagmire of a pitch to prise three points from Dover Athletic on Saturday.

A goal from Kieron Cadogan may have ultimately settled the Vanarama National League match in Sutton's favour but it was United's impressive rearguard performance that gave manager Paul Doswell great satisfaction at the final whistle.

Cadogan controlled Tommy Wright's dangerous cross from the left with his chest before firing a low angled shot into the net via a post to give Sutton the lead in the 25th minute.

A difficult assignment on a heavy pitch was made even tougher when influential midfielder Harry Beautyman was sent off in the 60th minute for a dangerous tackle on Connor Essam.

However, Simon Walton and goalkeeper Jamie Butler were the standout performers in a stellar defensive display that repelled Dover's aerial bombardment of the Sutton penalty area.

Doswell was delighted with the way his players rolled up their sleeves to secure another vital victory.

“I couldn’t have been prouder of the players in terms of the backs-to-the-wall performance they gave in the last half an hour,” he told SUFCtv.

“We withstood a barrage of long balls into the box but Simon Walton, Jamie Collins, Terell Thomas and Louis John all stood up to that.

"And what a return by Jamie Butler (goalkeeper). He helped us so much with his kicking and coming out to sweep. The whole back five were outstanding.

“We had to dig in during the second half and that showed another side to the team.

“A lot of credit goes to the players for having the steel to see that through.

“Then you had the brilliance of Tommy Wright. You saw there a masterful performance in the centre-forward position. It was a joy to watch."

The win at Dover was United’s ninth on the road so far this season.

They will be aiming for another tomorrow night (Tuesday) when they make the long journey to struggling Barrow for a rearranged fixture, weather permitting.

Another win for Sutton will see them return to third spot, just a point behind league leaders Macclesfield Town going into Saturday's mouthwatering home game against fellow high-fliers Wrexham.