At the end of the 1996/97 season, the club was relegated due to the 3 year floodlight installation rule not being met. The floodlights were completed in 1998 and the club was reinstated back into the supreme division. The teams best position being 3rd which was a promotion place. The club were promoted to the NCEL for the start of the 2003/2004 season where they played till the club decided to fold at the end of the 2007/08 season due to an ageing committee and no new blood coming to the club. In 2010 the club was reformed with a new committee, management and players and rejoined the Central Midlands League.
From Nottingham Victoria I got the No 1 bus to Ripley market. From Ripley Market Street a 9.2 heading to Mansfield stops on Market Street (Lansbury Road stop), South Normanton. Walk up 100 yards and after the Clock pub you will see Lees Lane, the ground is at the end of the Lane.It was £3 to get in and 50p for a rubbish programme full of adverts. There was no hot food before the game. The ground looked in good nick as did the playing surface. The home side wore Black & Blue stripes and the visitors all Claret.
For the first twelve minutes there was little between the sides. Both teams were building from the back and the play was good on the eye. In the 13th minute a good South Normanton move through midfield led to a speculative shot from the corner of the area. The Sutton keeper got a hand to the ball but couldn't stop Mark Richardsons effort from going into the net. Sutton were not discouraged and soon found an equaliser. A defensive mistake in the South Normanton area left Suttons Craig Mitchell free to blast the ball into the net from 12 yards out.
On the 24th minute Sutton went 2-1 up. After the ball was played into the area it took a couple of deflections and Jamie Batty stabbed the ball into the net. When the ball was bouncing around the area, the Referee's Assistant was waving his flag but when the ball went into the net he put his flag down. The goal was allowed to stand but the home side felt cheated and voiced their complaints for the remainder of the first half. Apart from a South Normanton corner that was headed over the bar,it was Sutton who were edging the contest up to the half-time whistle.
The home side came out fighting in the second half and although they didn't muster any clear cut chances they were definately bossing the game.The Sutton defence were coping well with anything that South Normanton were throwing at them even though Ashley Griffith was looking a threat upfront. Ten minutes from full time Sutton found the killer goal. A corner flighted above the penalty spot found the Sutton number 6, he headed towards goal and the ball rebounded off a defender for James Whitehead to stroke the ball home.Half chances came and went for both sides in the final ten minutes but the score remained 1-3 at full time.
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