Saturday 20th February 2021 | 15:00
Gander Green Lane
Address: Gander Green Lane, Sutton , SM1 2EY
After last week’s win at home to Boreham Wood, Sutton are back at Gander Green Lane on Saturday to entertain a Wealdstone side who gained promotion as National League South last season. This will be the first return league game that U’s have played this season, the sides having already met at Wealdstone’s Grosvenor Vale ground this season, putting on a treat for the BT viewers as Sutton led 2-0 only for Wealdstone to storm back in the second half, with two goals from former U’s striker Ross Lafayette helping them to lead 3-2 before Craig Eastmond’s injury time strike earned U’s a point.
Since that November afternoon Wealdstone have won once in their subsequent nine National League games and have only taken one point from their last five, although that was a fine draw at leaders Torquay where the Stones were only denied victory by an injury time equaliser. They have also seen manager Dean Brennan leave the club in the last month, with his assistant Stuart Maynard currently in charge.
They have won twice away from home this season, at Halifax and King’s Lynn, and come in to tomorrow’s game in 19th place, although only eleven points behind 8th placed Altrincham with four games in hand. U’s are unbeaten in the last six league and cup games between the sides, going back to Wealdstone’s promotion to National League South in 2014.
Lafayette has been out injured recently but could be fit for tomorrow’s game, and Moses Emmanuel and Dan Wishart are other former Sutton players in the Stones’ squad this season. They will be without the suspended Connor Smith and Michee Efete is a doubt through injury. Sutton have a fully fit squad to choose from with Kenny Davis recovered from his recent injury
The game is being live streamed by SUFCtv. Season ticket holders should have received a code to watch the stream free of charge, while non season ticket holders can click here to buy a pass, price £9.50. We will also have an audio Mixlr commentary from the ground. A programme will be available to download free, including the latest news from Matt Gray, with some encouraging injury updates, and the letter N in Sutton’s history.
Sutton put the pressure on National League leaders Torquay ahead of their evening kick off against Halifax with a convincing success over a Wealdstone side now with only one point from their last seven league games. The game swung dramatically in U’s favour in the last five minutes of the first half as the visitors, already trailing to Isaac Olaofe’s goal, were reduced to ten men, and Ben Goodliffe and Louis John both then struck before the interval to give U’s a grip they never seriously looked like losing, despite a bright start to the second half from Wealdstone which saw Danny Parish reduce the arrears.
Sutton were already on top by that stage, and after the visitors’ Alex Dyer had been booked for simulation in the penalty area, U’s took the lead when some fine battling by David Ajiboye regained possession he had lost and allowed Craig Eastmond to clip in a fine first time cross that Olaofe controlled well before sliding past Harvey Isted in the Wealdstone goal.
The keeper had no chance with that, but made a fine save soon afterwards to keep out Goodliffe’s fierce volley after Louis John had headed on a free kick. However the visitors’ afternoon began to unravel five minutes before half time when Ashley Charles, who had already been booked for holding Omar Bugiel back when the striker was trying to burst clear, caught Bugiel again late in midfield. Originally referee Scott Jackson seemed to settle for a free kick, but as Rob Milsom waited to take it the official then decided to go to his pocket for the second yellow card.
Barely had Charles reached the dressing room than U’s were two ahead, Goodliffe this time not to be denied his first goal of the season as he crashed a header past Isted from Jon Barden’s cross (above). Four minutes later U’s had another free kick in an attacking position and before Milsom could take it John and Jack Cawley were spoken to by the referee after scuffling in the penalty area. John had the last laugh as he scrambled the ball in after Isted failed to gather Milsom’s low free kick, but his reaction to Cawley in the aftermath earned him a booking.
It wasn’t all good news for U’s, Milsom limping off before the half time whistle to be replaced by Ben Wyatt, and it was Wealdstone who started the second half the better, scoring after ten minutes when Cawley headed Danny Green’s free kick across goal and Parish dived to head in.
Given that U’s had seen a commanding position evaporate in the game at Grosvenor Vale earlier in the season supporters watching the live stream may have shifted uneasily, but further mishaps were avoided, although not before Bugiel had been booked and then replaced by Tobi Sho-Silva. The substitute’s first action was to set up a chance for Olaofe which was blocked, and chances continued to come as John headed wide from a free kick, Eastmond shot just over when the ball fell to him on the edge of the area following a corner, and Ajiboye had a header saved by Isted.
The best chance fell to Sho-Silva, who got in behind the defence to control a long pass that Cawley failed to cut out, but rolled his shot just past the post. He made amends, though, seconds after former U Ross Lafayette had come on as a substitute, when Eastmond again collected a Randall corner and chipped in a cross which Sho-Silva headed home to complete the victory.
Wealdstone: H Isted, J Olowu, D Wishart(sub J Meekings 74), A Charles, J Cawley, J Okimo, J Mendy, A Dyer, D Parish(sub M Phillips 59), D Green, D Lewis(sub R Lafayette 81). Subs n/u J Askew, D Dalling. Booked: Dyer, Charles. Sent Off: Charles (second yellow card).
Referee: Scott Jackson