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Match Previews

Sutton Preview - Semi Final place awaits Tuesday night's winner

24 January 2022

Match Previews

Sutton Preview - Semi Final place awaits Tuesday night's winner

24 January 2022

Town are in cup action this midweek with a place in the semi-finals of the Papa Johns Trophy at stake when they travel to face Sutton United.

Victory in the knockout rounds at Tranmere and at home to Carlisle sealed Town's progression through to the last eight and they will travel with plenty of confidence following Saturday's return to winning ways courtesy of the 3-0 win at home to Oldham.

Our opponents

After gaining promotion as National League champions in 2020/21 Sutton have gone from strength to strength in League Two.

After a promising start they have really kicked on over the last dozen matches, averaging two points per game to climb up to third place with 44 points and the prospect of promotion a very real possibility.

Sutton advanced to the knockout stages of the competition having posted a 100% winning record in the group stages. They then edged Stevenage on penalties in the second round before overcoming Colchester 2-1 in the round of sixteen to set up tomorrow's clash.

Earlier this season

Town fell to a 1-0 defeat at Gander Green Lane just over a month ago with Donovan Wilson getting the winning goal on the half-hour mark.

They could consider themselves unlucky on the day though as they enjoyed the majority of possession and outshot the hosts by a margin of 15-6.

The two sides also met back in the National League with honours largely even, most recently in Town's promotion season. Goals from George Thomson and a late Jack Muldoon penalty sealed a 2-0 win on home turf at the end of September before two late goals from Tommy Wright in the return fixture proved to be the difference in a 3-1 victory.

Ones to watch

Midfielder David Ajiboye leads the way having netted six times this season, also tallying three assists, whilst young forward Isaac Olaofe, on loan from Millwall, also has six goals and has netted four times in his last four appearances.

United have had plenty of contribution from their midfield this season with both Robert Milsom and Alistair Smith hitting the target five times. Milson also four assists.

Joe Kizzi, a summer recruit from Bromley, has settled in well to the backline whilst Town fans will also recall both Harry Beautyman and Enzio Boldewijn from their National League days.

The man in charge

Matt Gray is in the dugout for Tuesday night's opponents, as he was when the two sides last met. Forced to quit the game in his mid-twenties due to injury after stints at Barnet, Hayes and Havant & Waterlooville.

He then went into coaching at Eastleigh before taking positions at Aldershot and Crawley. Gray then joined Paul Doswell's coaching staff at Sutton before taking over the manager's position for the 2019/20 season, earning promotion and the manager of the year accolade a season later.

History

The club were long time members of the Athenian and Isthmian Leagues before earning promotion to the Conference in 1989. They fell back into the Isthmian League in 1991, where they remained until being elected to the newly-formed Conference South in 2004.

They suffered a further relegation in 2008 before bouncing back in 2010/11, enduring a couple of near missed in the playoffs before winning the title in 2015/16.

In the National League the club reached the playoffs in 2018, being defeated at the semi-final stage, before earning a historic promotion a season ago.

Before promotion to the Football League the club was most notable for its FA Cup exploits, having defeated recent-winners Coventry in 1988/89 in round three and then reached the fifth round in 2016/17, beating Leeds United before being knocked out by Arsenal.

Team news

Town will again be without injured trio Ryan Fallowfield and Simon Power, whilst there were will be a late check on the fitness of Alex Pattison.

Aaron Martin will also be unavailable having joined Halifax Town on loan for the remainder of the season.

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