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Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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08 February 2022 Venue VBS Community Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Sutton v Salford preview

8 February 2022

Sutton's week of three home fixtures continues on Tuesday evening, and as on Saturday U's face a team that had a disappointing start to the season but are now close to the promotion places.

One of the pre-season favourites for the Sky Bet League Two title, Salford won only two of their first nine games, but they have subsequently moved to within four points of the play-off positions, although they have played more games than most of the sides above them.

Recent form has been inconsistent, with defeats alternating with victories over the past six games, and they had to sit Saturday out when their home game against Port Vale was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch. Their last game saw them beat Carlisle 2-1 a week ago with the winner coming from centre forward Matt Smith, signed during the transfer window from Millwall. Away from home they have won five and lost eight of their fourteen games, with successes at Barrow, Colchester, Harrogate, Newport and Port Vale.

The game at Salford in August ended goalless, providing U's with a first EFL point, although with Louis John hitting the crossbar near the end and Craig Eastmond denied by goalkeeper Tom King in stoppage time it might have been better, while the only previous meeting at Sutton, in the National League in August 2018, saw U's come from behind to win 2-1 thanks to goals from Eastmond and Ross Lafayette.

Sutton remain unbeaten in 2022 and have not lost since the defeat at Newport exactly two months ago, Saturday's draw with Bristol Rovers moving U's back in to an automatic promotion place, and with the exception of Ali Smith, who missed Saturday's game with a hamstring injury and is again likely to be sidelined this evening, and longer term absentees Coby Rowe and Harry Beautyman, should have a full squad to choose from.

The referee for the game is Devon-based Lee Swabey, who was in charge of U's Papa John's Trophy group match at Portsmouth in October and has been an EFL referee since 2015.

Tickets for home supporters can be bought on line here, while Salford supporters can purchase tickets on this link. Tickets will also be on sale at the game, but we would as always advise supporters who wish to buy tickets on the night to arrive in plenty of time to avoid congestion around the ticket kiosk and turnstiles.

A match programme will be on sale around the ground, price £3, and supporters not able to attend can order a programme on line here to be delivered after the game.

As it is a midweek game that was in the original fixture schedule it will be live streamed through our iFollow service and match passes, priced £10, can be bought here

Sutton v Salford iFollow.png


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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 0 Salford City 0

9 February 2022

Sutton remain unbeaten in 2022 after Tuesday's goalless draw with Salford, a game that will not live long in the memory of most spectators but one in which U's emerged with another clean sheet and a hard earned point.

U's best spell of the game was the first fifteen minutes, when Donovan Wilson and David Ajiboye might both have scored, and Wilson hit the post just before half time. Apart from one scare in the first half Dean Bouzanis had a relatively untroubled evening, but it was an increasingly scrappy game with the ball spending a lot of time in the air, and although substitute Isaac Olaofe went close with two minute to go a goalless draw seemed the likeliest outcome from some time before the final whistle.

The game did not have an auspicious start, referee Lee Swabey stopping the kick off on two occasions due to players being in the wrong half of the pitch and an ironic cheer greeting the successful third attempt, but the early stages saw U's on top and Wilson, starting up front alongside Omar Bugiel, sent an effort just wide after Bugiel's shot had deflected in to his path. Craig Eastmond, who had Jon Barden returning to the line-up alongside him in midfield, then seized on a poor clearance and gave Ajiboye a chance to run at the defence, and having created space on the outside his shot flashed in to the side netting. Ajiboye was away again soon afterwards, put through by Enzio Boldewijn, and this time his pull back from the by-line was again diverted in to the side netting, this time by Wilson's flick with the outside of his left foot.

Brandon Thomas-Asante, who had had a loan spell at Sutton three years ago, was Salford's liveliest attacker but on the one occasion he worked a shooting opportunity his effort lacked any power and dribbled through to Bouzanis. However he was almost gifted a chance when Bouzanis was sold slightly short by a Ben Goodliffe back pass and Thomas- Asante charged down the clearance. He was in the process of running the ball in to the empty net when the referee came to U's rescue by ruling that he had used his hand in the challenge on the keeper.

It was U's who came closest to a half time lead when, in stoppage time after Bugiel had received attention following a clash of heads, Wilson's one-two with Bouzanis saw him clear and he pushed the ball past the advancing Tom King, only to see it come back off the foot of the post.

Salford carried more of a threat with the wind behind them in the second half, often looking for recent signing Matt Smith to use his aerial strength, although Ben Goodliffe and Louis John both excelled in the heart of the U's defence and largely nullified the threat. It was Thomas-Asante who posed a bigger danger, and after one good run on the right his cross was cleared as far as Ryan Watson, who shot just wide from the edge of the penalty area. Watson saw another low shot deflected for a corner, and when a rare slip from John allowed Thomas-Asante the chance to break clear, the U's defender was forced in to a foul that earned him a yellow card.

U's lost Eastmond to injury with twenty minutes left, Rob Milsom moving in to midfield and Ben Wyatt on at left back, and struggled to make any great impact on the visiting defence in the second half, with two penalty appeals turned down as first John and then Joe Kizzi felt they were impeded at the far post as they tried to get on the end of free kicks. However with two minutes to go John nodded a Bouzanis free kick down in to the path of Olaofe, but King was off his line quickly to divert the striker's chipped attempt wide for a corner (above). Richie Bennett, on for the last couple of minutes, volleyed over from a Wyatt cross and at the other end Smith failed to keep a header down as both sides had to settle for a point.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Barden, R Milsom, J Kizzi, B Goodliffe, L John, D Ajiboye, C Eastmond(sub B Wyatt 72), O Bugiel(sub R Bennett 89), D Wilson(sub I Olaofe 73), E Boldewijn. Subs n/u W Randall, C Dundas, R Korboa, S Nelson. Booked: John, Milsom.

Salford: T King, J Lowe, J Turnbull, A Eastham(sub T Vassell 31), C Ndaba, S Kelly, R Watson, L Shepherd, M Smith, A Hunter(sub L Bolton 70), B Thomas-Asante(sub C McAleny 86), Subs n/u M Lund, T Golden, L Loughlan, J Torrance. Booked: Ndaba

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 2,491(58 away)

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