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Match Previews

Sutton United (A) Preview

7 December 2023

Match Previews

Sutton United (A) Preview

7 December 2023

After an enforced break due to a pair of postponements Town are back in action when they travel to face Sutton United in a re-arranged fixture.

And Simon Weaver’s side will be hoping to continue the run of form shown over the past month or so that has seen them move into the top half of the table with an eye now on the playoff positions.

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Our opponents

The 2023/24 season is the third consecutive season in League Two for Sutton, having earned promotion to the EFL a season after Town.

In their first season at this level they missed out on the playoffs by just a single point and followed that up with a mid-table fourteenth placed finish in 2022/23.

This season though they have found the going far tougher and face Town second bottom of the table and seven points from safety.

The 56 goals they have conceded is also a league high and have won just four times this season, although three have been on home soil.

They have steadied the ship of late though, drawing four of the last five including a 1-1 draw on Saturday against Walsall.

Previous meetings

There have been four meetings at this level between the two sides, with Town yet to yield a single point from any of the fixtures.

A season ago the hosts triumphed 2-1 through Kylian Kouassi’s strike after Luke Armstrong’s penalty cancelled out Harry Beautyman’s opener. In the return fixture David Ajiboye’s early goal proved the difference.

In 2021/22 Donovan Wilson netted the only goal of the game in the fixture at Gander Green Lane before the U’s secured a 2-0 on the final day of the season at the Envirovent Stadium.

The man in charge

Steve Morrison is in charge, having replaced long-time boss Matt Gray at the start of January. Having previously coached at Cardiff City he was in the hot seat at Isthmian Premier League side Hornchurch until his appointment at Sutton.

Morrison made over 600 appearances in a playing career spanning clubs such as Stevenage, Norwich, Leeds and most notably Millwall.

Ones to watch

Harry Smith has proved the standout performer so far this season with the forward netting seven times and adding two assists since his summer move from Leyton Orient.

Former Carlisle striker Omari Patrick is closed behind in the goal tally having struck on five occasions with Harry Beautyman adding four goals.

One-time Town loanee Josh Coley has seen plenty of action this season after joining on a permanent move from Exeter and he has assisted on four goals.

Craig Eastmond, Robert Milsom and Harry Beautyman are all familiar names stretching back to the two sides’ National League days.

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.

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 continue to be without longer term absentees Mark Oxley, Lewis Thomas, Rod McDonald and Sam Folarin but hope that the recent break in action sees the likes of Stephen Dooley, Warren Burrell and Kayne Ramsay recover from knocks sustained in the victory at Forest Green.

 


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