After a disappointing Easter weekend, Sutton will be looking to return to winning ways in the Ryman League on Saturday when they visit Canvey Island (kick off 3pm - click here for travel details, and note changes to train times due to engineering works). The Essex side won 2-1 at Sutton in August, but U’s have so far avoided having the double done over them in the league this season and will hope that continues at Park Lane. Despite the two defeats over Easter, U’s position in the play-off zone hasn’t suffered too much during the midweek fixtures, with Kingstonian’s defeat at Waltham Abbey meaning that U’s have their destiny back in their own hands in the quest for second place and home advantage in any play-off game, but more important in the short term will be to pick up one of the two victories that Paul Doswell feels will be necessary to make sure that they qualify for the end of season games. Canvey Island have seen their play off hopes recede in recent weeks, and indeed following Thursday’s win for Carshalton against Billericay they may feel that they still need one win to avoid any late worries at the other end of the table.
The players not involved in Thursday’s Surrey Senior Cup win at Croydon Athletic trained at Croydon before the game, and Paul reports mixed news on the injury front. ‘’We were hoping for better news regarding Sam Gargan, but after doing some running he’s still reporting some pain so is probably a week or two short of playing, and the same with Matt Hann, but Alan Pouton came through OK and will come back in to the squad and Sonny Cobbs is now over his tonsillitis.’’ More problems arose on Thursday, though, with John Cartledge, recalled from his loan at Metropolitan Police following Steve Perkins’ injury on Monday, pulling a hamstring. ‘’It’s unfortunate that we’ve sent him out for a month to build up his fitness and he then gets injured in his first game back for us. But there were some good things tonight, as we wanted to see whether Bradley Woods-Garness could get through 90 minutes after his knee injury, and we had a good look at some of the younger players like Daniel Harding, Jazz Gold and Jerson Dos Santos, who I thought did well when he came on, and it’s given us a nice problem over who plays up front on Saturday. Generally I thought we were excellent tonight. I’m under no illusions that we were playing anything like Croydon’s first team, and I thought they gave it a real go for the first hour until our fitness told, but you can only play against what’s put in front of you and I thought we kept the ball well, which was important to conserve our own fitness.’’ Even so, U’s had to make earlier changes during the game than would have been ideal. ‘’We wanted Jazz Gold to play a full game, as we wanted to have a really good look at him, but in the end Steve Griffin had had to play him for the full game the night before and he was beginning to feel his muscles tighten at half time, while we had Steve McKimm with a stomach upset, so we had to scratch our heads a bit and decide who could play where, which is why you saw Anthony Joseph at right back.’’.
U's reserves are at home to Eastleigh in the Suburban League, kick off 3pm.