Saturday 8th May 2021 | 15:00
Gander Green Lane
Address: Gander Green Lane, Sutton , SM1 2EY
Sutton face the first of two home games against sides in the bottom six of the National League table on Saturday, with the visit of Weymouth preceding Tuesday’s Surrey derby against Woking. After losing control of the championship race on Tuesday following the stoppage time defeat at Notts County, U’s will be looking to continue their record of not having lost two league games in a row this season, and taking the three points that would move them within a point of Torquay prior to the leaders’ game against play-off contenders Bromley at 5.20.
Promoted through the National League South play-offs last season, Weymouth have spent much of the season just above the bottom three but have collected some notable wins along the way, being the only side to have done the double over Stockport – indeed Weymouth and Sutton are the only teams to have won at Edgeley Park this season. They also beat Hartlepool and Bromley at the Wessex Stadium, and only lost to Torquay by the odd goal in seven. U’s had to work hard for a 1-0 win back in October, Will Randall’s late goal finally breaking the Terras’ resistance after a fine performance from on-loan goalkeeper Jack Bycroft.
Weymouth have a good record at Sutton, winning on four of their five visits, with U’s one success coming in January 1989, a week before the FA Cup tie at Norwich, when U’s won 3-1. The last meeting at Gander Green Lane was a National League South game in March 2006 and was U’s last game under John Rains’ management before Ian Hazel took over – Weymouth won 3-0.
Rob Milsom and Will Randall are still likely to be missing through injury, although both trained on Friday, but otherwise Matt Gray has a full squad to choose from.
SUFCtv will be live streaming the game, with season ticket holders having received a pass to enable them to watch the game at no extra charge. Non season ticket holders and Weymouth supporters can click here to buy a pass, price £9.50. You can join commentators Ahmed Nur and Tom Mitchell from about 2.45pm.
Sutton took back control of the National League championship battle with a comfortable win at home to Weymouth which was followed two hours later by Torquay’s draw against Bromley which left U’s in a position to go back to the top of the table on Tuesday with victory over Woking. U’s were in charge from start to finish at a blustery Gander Green Lane, and should have had more than the two goals scored by Craig Eastmond and Donovan Wilson, but Weymouth battled throughout and, while rarely looking like troubling Dean Bouzanis, made Sutton work for their success.
U’s suffered a blow when leading scorer Isaac Olaofe pulled up injured in the warm-up, Kenny Davis coming in to the starting line-up with Harry Beautyman moving to the left, and Beautyman, who had one of those afternoons in front of goal, might have scored inside the first two minutes when at full stretch he couldn’t direct a shot from David Ajiboye’s low cross.
Weymouth fashioned a chance of their own soon afterwards, Andrew Dallas setting up Sean Shields on the left of the penalty area for a shot that Bouzanis blocked with his knees, but that was the Sutton keeper’s only serious action of the afternoon and, as U’s exerted the early pressure, it was opposite number Ethan Ross who was kept busy, off his line to deny Wilson and then parrying Ajiboye’s low shot before scrambling the ball away as Beautyman tried to pounce on the rebound.
Sutton didn’t have to wait long for the breakthrough, though, as Ajiboye laid a pass back to Jon Barden, who whipped in a superb cross that was met by Eastmond’s powerful header (above). Soon afterwards U’s should have had another as Bugiel stormed in along the left by-line, leaving Jacob Mensah in his wake, and laid the ball back for Beautyman who this time miscued his effort wide of the far post, and despite having most of the play U’s could only reach half time one goal ahead as Weymouth crowded out several other opportunities.
What advantage there was from the conditions seemed to be with the visitors after the interval but it soon became clear that the initiative was still with U’s as, within two minutes, Bugiel again rampaged forwards but couldn’t find the finish to match, Ross being given the chance to save. However the keeper had no chance three minutes later as Wilson ensured that the first draft of the Sutton goal of the season competition, shown at half time during the live stream of the game, will need a rewrite, battling for possession on the edge of the penalty area after Davis had headed the ball forward, and unleashing an unstoppable shot which was past Ross before he knew it.
Seven minutes later that competition almost gained another entry as, after Ben Goodliffe had headed away a long throw, every Sutton outfield player had a touch in a passing move that had reached 19 passes by the time Beautyman played a one-two with Eastmond and this time found the finish he was looking for, only to be foiled by an offside flag.
U’s continued to threaten, and substitute Tobi Sho-Silva might have done better with two headers, but while Weymouth finished with a free kick from Jake McCarthy that hit the defensive wall and trickled through to Bouzanis there was never any real danger of U’s being denied victory, and when Torquay then failed to beat Bromley the destiny of the championship was back in Sutton’s hands.
Weymouth: E Ross, C Brooks, O Harfield, B Worman, B Camp, J Mensah(sub J Leslie-Smith 53), A Robinson, J McCarthy, A Dallas(sub P Fonkeu 63), J McQuoid(sub B Thomson 63), S Shields. Subs n/u J Dickson, C Murray. Booked: Camp, Brooks.
Referee: Robert Massey-Ellis