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Match Previews

Sutton Preview - Town looking to bounce back with a trip to The U's

1 September 2022

Match Previews

Sutton Preview - Town looking to bounce back with a trip to The U's

1 September 2022

Town will be looking to get back to winning ways when they travel to Sutton United this weekend.

Defeat in midweek in the Papa Johns Trophy at Hartlepool was the third in succession but a spirited second half showing provided positives, particularly in the attacking third where a number of chances were created.

Fixture Information

Our opponents

In their first season as an EFL side Sutton enjoyed a fantastic debut campaign, being in and around the promotion mix virtually all season, only missing out on a playoff spot on the final day.

They did lose both forward David Ajiboye and goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis in the summer, with the pair moving on to Peterborough and Reading respectively. Isaac Olaofe also returned to parent club Millwall after a successful season.

The club went some way to replacing them by bringing in the likes of Jack Rose from Walsall, Tobi Ogundega from MK Dons and Josh Nuefville on loan from Luton Town.

The club have eight points from their opening six games, although they have posted two wins and a draw from their early fixtures at Gander Green Lane including a late 2-1 win against Mansfield last Saturday.

Last season

The U's did the double over Town last season, winning both games without conceding. A Craig Eastmond goal ten minutes from time was enough to win the points at home whilst on the final day of the season at The EnviroVent Stadium they triumphed 2-0 with Eastmond again on the scoresheet alongside Isaac Alaofe.

The man in charge

Matt Gray is in the dugout for United, being in the role since 2019. 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.

Ones to watch

Loanee Josh Neufville has started the season well since arriving from Luton, and was on target last weekend, and he will provide creativity alongside Enzo Boldewijn.

After last seasons exploits Town will need to be wary of Craig Eastmond from midfield, whilst the evergreen Harry Beautyman has opened the campaign in good form.

Familiar faces Joe Kizzi and Rob Millsom will again be in the back line for the U's.

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 in 2021.

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

Simon Weaver continues to be without Will Smith, Max Wright and George Thomson, but will make late checks on Alex Pattison, Joe Mattock, Stephen Dooley and Josh Falkingham, with the latter forced off during the midweek 2-0 defeat at Hartlepool.

Rory McArdle is also edging nearer to a return after a long lay off.

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