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Match Previews

Sutton United Preview

31 July 2018

Match Previews

Sutton United Preview

31 July 2018

Town make their historic debut in the Vanarama National League on Saturday and we have taken an in depth look ahead at our opening fixture.

Last season's Play-Off Semi Finalists Sutton United have had a mixed bag of results this preseason including  wins against Coventry, Dorking Wanderers and Norwich City U23's, a goalless draw with Woking and a 2-0 defeat to Chelsea's U23 side.

Form for Simon Weaver's side has been impressive in preseason, despite having to play the majority of games at The CNG stadium due to the warm weather, Town have managed to take four wins out of five, but suffered a 2-1 defeat against Welsh Premier League side Cefn Druids in the only away fixture.

Harrogate have overcome Knaresborough, Farsley Celtic, Brighouse Town and a youthful Bradford City side before losing out 2-1 to an impressive Scarborough Athletic.

Saturdays game will be the first time that Harrogate and Sutton have ever met in a competitive fixture, meaning both Weaver and Sutton united manager Paul Doswell will be taking their teams into the unknown.

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The U's were one of the founding members of the Conference South in 2004, but have been competing in the National League since the 2016-17 season after they won the Conference South in 2015/16.

Doswell has been Sutton's manager since 2008, making him, along with our boss, one of the longest serving managers in the top five divisions of English football.

Sutton have made several signings so far in the close season including Dale Bennett from Forest Green, Charlie Clough from Barnet and Jonah Ayunga from Sligo Rovers.

For Harrogate, the return of Joe Leesley and Lloyd Kerry were big boosts against Cefn Druids, though Mark Beck and Jordan Thewlis remain sidelined.

The goal scoring form of Dom Knowles will also be a big plus for Town, who will be looking for Knowles to continue his hot streak having seen the ex-Burton Albion man finish last season scoring nine in three games.

Town will have to keep a close eye on last season's top goal scorer Tommy Wright who bagged 14 goals and was named the clubs Young Player of the Year.

Elsewhere, midfielder James Collins secured Sutton's Player of the Season for the second year running and fellow midfielder Craig Eastmond was named in the National League Team of the Season. 

Sutton will be desperate to again be at the business end at the end of the season with Doswell stating “In the league, we'd like to hit the play-offs, so we're looking to get in that top seven, that's the aim''.

No matter what the outcome, Saturday is set to be a memorable occasion in the club's history.

Preview by Isaac Martin

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