Roxy Fearon is backing Sutton to go up after demolition of Derby
DERBY head coach Roxy Fearon has backed Sutton Coldfield to win promotion after the National League Three Midlands title-chasers swept to victory at Haslams Lane.
The hosts were always likely to be up against it, having not won a game so far this season.
And so it proved as Sutton Coldfield – three points behind leaders Ampthill but with a game in hand – ran in 10 tries without reply.
Derby's commitment could not be faulted – they were simply beaten by a better side.
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"Sutton Coldfield are the most complete team we have played against that I've seen – more so than Ampthill," said Fearon.
"They are a big side and are also quite athletic.
"They've got all the tools to go up to the next level and I wish them well."
Derby had managed a score in every game before Saturday but even that consolation was taken away from them as they failed to benefit from either visit into the Sutton Coldfield 22.
They tackled everything that moved but the visitors controlled the game throughout.
They ended the first half 24 points up and with their four-try bonus point secured.
Mark Rayner scored twice, with Jamie Taylor and Nathan Burchell also crossing, while Alex White kicked two conversions.
The second half continued in the same vein, with Sutton Coldfield crossing the Derby line six more times.
Burchell started the scoring before impressive prop Brook Davies went over.
Dave Edwards and Rob Watts each bagged a brace, with three more conversions from White completing the scoring.
"I think we let ourselves down a bit in the second half, when the effort levels dropped," said Fearon.
"But on reflection, that was probably down to the fact that we tackled so much in the first half.
"They were a big strong, side and I think it took its toll on us in the end."
He added: "We didn't seem to get many decisions going our way. It wouldn't have changed the result but it meant the lads became frustrated as they were unable to relieve the pressure.
"That told in the end and we starting leaking tries.
"I thought we were probably 20 points better off than the final scoreline suggested.
"But don't get me wrong, they are a very good side."
Colt Josh Gundry was handed his Derby first-team debut at scrum half after Josh Tizard (hand) failed a late fitness test.
"That was a significant change for us and it affected our continuity," said Fearon.
"Having said that, Josh took it all in his stride and acquitted himself really well.
"It was a baptism of fire for him but he will have learned a lot from it.
"He's one for the future and, hopefully, he can build on this.
"We gave him man of the match, because we were pleased with him and it was such a tough game to come into."