Tuesday 24th November 2020 | 19:00
The Racecourse Ground
Address: Mold Road, Wrexham , LL11 2AH
Please note the kick off for tonight’s game has been put back until 7.45pm after Sutton’s players were held up by train delays on the journey north this morning.
Sutton make the long midweek trip to Wrexham tonight having been forced to postpone the scheduled Saturday trip at the end of October after a Covid outbreak at the North Wales club.
It’s been a fairly momentous time for Wrexham in the past two weeks, with Hollywood stars Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney getting clearance to complete their purchase of the club, and since the announcement they have picked up two single goal wins, away to Hartlepool and at home to Aldershot, to move in to the top half of the National League table. With a goalless draw against Barnet preceding those wins it’s now three games without conceding a goal for Wrexham, whose defensive record is bettered only by Solihull, who put four past the Dragons in the FA Cup in the 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup.
Sutton moved back to second place after the roller-coaster ride of the 3-3 draw at Wealdstone, and victory tonight would move U’s to within two points of leaders Torquay. The Racecourse Ground hasn’t been the happiest of hunting grounds for U’s, though, with two 1-0 defeats and two 1-1 draws, last season’s game seeing Sutton within minutes of victory thanks to Harry Beautyman’s goal (above) before Craig Eastmond was sent off for a goalline handball and Wrexham converted the penalty.
Manager Matt Gray is hopeful that Will Randall may have recovered from the knock that kept him out of the Wealdstone game which would leave him with a full squad to choose from with the exception of Coby Rowe.
The game is being live-streamed by Wrexham, who are also selling the printed programme that was produced for the original date, and further details of how to purchase both are here. We will also have a live Mixlr commentary from the ground.
Sutton suffered a heavy defeat at The Racecourse Ground as Wrexham continued their good run if recent form with a third consecutive win and fourth consecutive clean sheet, moving in to the play-off zone within a point of U’s, who remain second. There was little between the sides early on, but once Kwame Thomas, who had had a spell on loan at Sutton three seasons ago, had put Wrexham ahead the home side always had the edge, doubling the lead just befroe the break with what looked like a Ben Goodliffe own goal, and although U’s threatened to come back in the second half they were seen off by two goals in four minutes, Thomas finishing what he had started to claim the Man of the Match award.
U’s made two changes, with Ben Wyatt and Tobi Sho-Silva starting in place of Kenny Davis and Isaac Olaofe, Rob Milsom moving to midfield, and if anything they shaded the first twenty minutes, with Theo Vassell doing well to prevent Jon Barden’s cross reaching Sho-Silva at the far post after a neat link up with Omar Bugiel, while Bugiel headed wide from a Milsom cross, but just before the half hour mark they were undone by a quick counter attack, Thomas and Paul Rutherford combining well before Rutherford laid the ball back in to the path of the striker whose first time shot ripped in to the roof of the net.
He almost had a spectacular second, hitting the outside of the post with a snap shot from the corner of the penalty area, while Rutherford shot just wide from twenty yards after a poor pass from Louis John had been interecepted, but Sutton came close to an equaliser when Rob Lainton failed to gather Milsom’s free kick, but recovered well to tip Harry Beautyman’s header over the bar when Craig Eastmond lifted the ball back in from the left. However it was from the corner U’s conceded a second as Milsom was dispossessed after the corner had come back to him, and as Wrexham countered Wyatt’s attempted clearance was blocked. In the end David Ajiboye fouled Elliott Durrell on the left edge of the penalty area, and Durrell’s low free kick found its way in to the net, the final touch looking to come off Goodliffe although Jay Harris was claiming it for the home side.
It was the first time either side had scored more than once in meetings at The Racecourse Ground, and having been pegged back from 2-0 at half time on Saturday U’s now had to repeat Wealdstone’s effort, and Sho-Silva saw a close range shot deflected over the top soon after the restart. He and Wyatt then went off as U’s reverted to the starting line-up from Saturday and it heralded their best spell of the game. Beautyman saw one low shot saved down at the near post, and also shot at Lainton after running on to Bugiel’s pass, while Ajiboye shot too high after a good run. Milsom also wasted a free kick in a promising position, shooting high and wide, but any hope of a comeback was then snuffed out as Thomas guided Lainton’s long clearance in to the path of Adi Yussuf, who turned and fired an unstoppable shot past Dean Bouzanis. Four minutes later Goodliffe’s attempted header back to Bouzanis saw Thomas outjump the keeper and head the ball in to the unguarded net to round off the victory, with U’s denied even a late consolation when Ajiboye’s header from Beautyman’s corner was cleared off the line.
Wrexham: R Lainton, J Horsfield, J Reckord, P Rutherford, T Vassell, F Kelleher, E Durrell(sub A Jeffrey 76), J Harris(sub J Davies 82), K Thomas, J Ponticelli (sub A Yussuf 56), P Rutherford. Subs n/u R Hall-Johnson, C Dibble. Booked: Vassell.