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25 January 2022 Venue VBS Community Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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Match Previews

Sutton v Harrogate preview

24 January 2022

Sky Bet League Two action takes a back seat on Tuesday as Sutton face Harrogate for a place in the semi-finals of the Papa John's Trophy.

With the eight quarter finalists, who all play on Tuesday, now potentially two games away from a Wembley final on Sunday 3 April the competition has reached an exciting stage and U's will hope to repeat the League Two win against Harrogate just before Christmas, when Donovan Wilson's first half goal was enough to claim the three points.

Harrogate currently lie in 11th place in League Two, Saturday's 3-0 defeat of Oldham ending a run of four successive defeats but only their second league game since their visit to the VBS the week before Christmas. They reached this stage of the competition by finishing second to Sheffield Wednesday in a group that also included Mansfield, and Newcastle Under 21s, before winning 2-1 at Tranmere in the first knockout stage and then scoring the only goal of the game at home to Carlisle earlier this month. Sutton finished top of a group that also included Portsmouth, Wimbledon and Crystal Palace Under 21s, winning all three games without conceding a goal, and after a penalty shootout win over Stevenage in the first knock out stage, a 2-1 victory over Colchester earned a quarter final place.

Sutton are appealing against Craig Eastmond's red card in Saturday's draw with Northampton but, regardless of the result of the appeal, Craig will be available to make his 300th Sutton appearance on Tuesday. Although suspensions for red cards are not generally competition specific, the Papa John's Trophy is excluded from the competitions covered and so, should Craig have to serve a suspension, it will cover four league games beginning this weekend at Carlisle - as it was his second dismissal of the season one game is added to the standard three match ban.

Apart from the continued absences of Coby Rowe and Harry Beautyman U's should have a full squad to choose from, while Harrogate will be without the injured Ryan Fallowfield, Simon Power and Aaron Martin, while Alex Pattison, impressive in the game last month, has a late fitness test.

Tuesday's referee is Sam Allison, who has refereed U's on numerous occasions in recent seasons and most recently was in charge of the FA Cup win at Hayes in November, while if U's are looking for omens, reserve official Charles Breakspear refereed the win over Colchester in the last round.

Should the scores be level after ninety minutes there is no extra time and there will be a penalty shootout to decide who progresses to the semi finals.

Tickets are on sale on line here, or can be bought at the ground before the game. Admission prices are £12 for adults, £6 for concessions and £3 for juniors, with Under 11s admitted free if accompanied by a paying adult or concession. Stand tickets are £2 more in all cases. Season tickets are not valid and everyone must have a match ticket to gain admission.

If you can't get to the game it is, as with all Papa John's Trophy games to this stage, being live streamed and you can buy a pass, priced £10, here. You can also order a match programme here.

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Harrogate Town 0

25 January 2022

A week that started in disappointment for Sutton captain Craig Eastmond continued in far happier vein as, after hearing that the appeal against his red card on Saturday had been upheld, he celebrated his 300th appearance for the club with the only goal that put U's within one game of a Wembley final in the Papa John's Trophy.

Eastmond's cleanly struck volley with ten minutes to go edged a tightly fought game in U's favour, and U's now fly the flag for the southern members of the Football League in a semi final draw on Saturday evening that will also contain League One promotion chasers Wigan and Rotherham, and League Two Hartlepool, with both semi finals live on Sky TV in early March.

It was a game that could have gone either way, with Dean Bouzanis the busier goalkeeper in the first half but Sutton improving after the break, Matt Gray making a treble substitution on the hour that saw Omar Bugiel, Isaac Olaofe and Ali Smith replace Richie Bennett, Donovan Wilson and Kenny Davis, and introducing David Ajiboye soon afterwards, and Harrogate might still have forced penalties when Luke Armstrong hit the post with five minutes left.

Armstrong was involved in the first incident of note after just three minutes when he caught Louis John in an aerial collision earning a yellow card from referee Sam Allison who also booked Davis for his involvement in the subsequent brief flare-up. It set the tone for a fractious first half in which the referee felt the need to call skippers Eastmond and Josh Falkingham over for a general warning just before the half hour mark.

By then both sides could have been ahead, Enzio Boldewijn dispossessing Brahima Diarra but shooting wide of the near post, while at the other end Jack Muldoon kept the ball in on the touchline as John tried to shepherd it out, and having cut in along the by-line pulled the ball back for Armstrong, but his shot, and Lloyd Kerry's follow-up effort, were both blocked. Armstrong also had a low shot on the turn saved by Bouzanis, while for Sutton Will Randall headed wide from a Boldewijn cross and Eastmond put a header over the top from a free kick also delivered by the Dutch winger. It was Harrogate who will have felt happier at half time, though, with U's attack being given little time on the ball and unable to pose a real threat.

U's first effort on target came early in the second half, when Mark Oxley had to dive to his left to keep out Eastmond's low 25 yard effort. The resulting corner from Boldewijn was poor, but when the ball came back to him a much better cross was dropped by Oxley, who needed Thomson to rescue him with a hurried clearance.

Apart from a Muldoon volley saved by Bouzanis, Sutton had much more of the game after the substitutions, but chances were scarce at either end until Boldewijn was fouled by Thomson near the left corner flag. His free kick glanced off Thomson for a corner on the other side, which was delivered deep by Boldewijn. Kizzi's first header was blocked but he headed the ball back in to danger, Ben Goodliffe nodded it on to his left, and Eastmond drilled a perfect low first time volley from a narrow angle in to the far corner of the net, his first goal of the season.

Armstrong's low shot on the turn after substitute Mark Beck had nodded on a long clearance clipped the outside of the post, and the last of the four minutes of stoppage time produced a thrilling finish, after a misunderstanding between Kizzi and Goodliffe had caused the latter to concede a corner. Unsurprisingly Oxley was in the Sutton penalty area, and when U's cleared the corner as far as Ajiboye the Harrogate goal was vacant. The winger reached the halfway line before sending the ball goalwards but Thomson, who had taken the corner, produced a magnificent piece of defending to get back and clear off the line, the final whistle sounding while the ball was still in the Harrogate penalty area.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, B Wyatt, C Eastmond, B Goodliffe, L John, E Boldewijn, K Davis(sub A Smith 59), R Bennett(sub O Bugiel 60), D Wilson(sub I Olaofe 60), W Randall(sub D Ajiboye 65 ). Subs n/u S Nelson, R Korboa, R Milsom. Booked: Davis, Smith

Harrogate: M Oxley, N Sheron, L Page(sub W Smith 53), J Falkingham, R McArdle, W Burrell, G Thomson, L Kerry(sub M Beck 82), L Armstrong, J Muldoon, B Diarra(sub A Pattison 66). Subs n/u J Cracknell, J Austerfield. Booked: Armstrong, Page, McArdle.

Referee: Sam Allison

Attendance: 1,499(71 away)

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