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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

13 November 2021 Venue Prenton Park Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Tranmere v Sutton preview

12 November 2021

After a successful week in the FA Cup and Papa John's Trophy, Sutton return to Sky Bet League Two action this week with a trip to Tranmere Rovers.

It won't be the first time U's have visited Prenton Park, as the clubs were opponents in the National League for two seasons following Sutton's promotion in 2016. The first visit in April 2017 ended in a 3-2 defeat, a last minute goal beating U's who had fought back from 2-0 down with Jack Jebb and Pape Gueye both recording their only senior goals in U's colours. Four months later Sutton brought all three points back south thanks to a Craig Dundas goal, although Tranmere would end that season being promoted through the play-offs. Manager Micky Mellon was in charge of Tranmere for both those games, and returned for a second spell with the club at the end of last season after a season managing Dundee United.

Successive defeats against Northampton and Mansfield have slowed what was a good start to the season for Tranmere, who were unbeaten in their previous six games, and they go in to this weekend's game in 11th place, two places and one point behind Sutton. They have the best defensive record in the league, conceding just ten goals, but no team has scored fewer in League Two this season either. Sutton manager Matt Gray is expecting a tough game, saying. ''Tranmere are a good side with an experienced manager, and we know they've got a very good defensive record, so we know it's going to be difficult but we're going there confident and in good spirits after the last week.''

U's will be missing Omar Bugiel, away on international duty with Lebanon, and long term injury absentee Harry Beautyman, but Craig Eastmond, Louis John and Jon Barden could all return to the squad for Saturday's game.

Referee will be Will Finnie, the Bedfordshire official in his third EFL season and taking charge of a Sutton game for the first time.

Any Sutton supporters who have not yet bought tickets for the game can do so at Prenton Park on the day. Prices are: Adult (age 23-64) £22; Senior(age 65+) £17; Young Person(age 18-22) £15; Under 18 £9; Under 12 £5. Disabled supporters pay £15 with a personal assistant admitted free. Accommodation is all seated and in the Cowshed Stand at the northern end of the ground.  It is expected we will have in excess of 150 supporters in the ground on Saturday.

Travel information was published on the website earlier this week and can be found on this link.

If you're not travelling, the game is being live streamed as this is an international weekend, and passes, price £10, can be bought here. There is also football at the VBS on Saturday morning, with the Academy side facing league leaders AFC Wimbledon in the EFL Youth Alliance South East division, kick off 11am. Admission is free.

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Match Reports

Tranmere Rovers 0 Sutton United 1

13 November 2021

A moment of brilliance from Isaac Olaofe with just under twenty minutes left gave Sutton a fourth win in five away games and a second consecutive win at Prenton Park.

Olaofe dispossessed home captain Peter Clarke on the edge of the Tranmere penalty area before shooting in to the net, and while it was tough on Clarke, who had rescued his team on three occasions previously, to be the fall guy it was a deserved win for U's who came closest to scoring prior to the goal and then defended well as Tranmere tried to avoid a third successive league defeat.

U's were able to welcome captain Craig Eastmond back after injury, and started brightly, with Olaofe showing his threat early on as he turned away from Jay Spearing thirty yards out and was brought down by the experienced midfielder who took a booking for the team, his fifth of the season triggering a suspension, as Olaofe seemed to be away. Tranmere then had a spell of pressure that produced a series of corners, all of which were well defended, and they came closest midway through the half when Calum McManaman's shot from the edge of the area had Dean Bouzanis scrambling across his goal but bounced wide of the keeper's right hand post.

A well balanced game opened out towards half time and Sutton found space to create chances, with David Ajiboye wriggling his way through a succession of challenges and crossing to the far post, where an unmarked Will Randall saw his header back across goal come back off the upright. Moments later Ajiboye had even more space and took on Calum McDonald on his outside but was forced slightly off balance and sliced his shot wide of the near post. Before the break Peter Clarke was required to make a fine intervention to prevent Olaofe reaching a Joe Kizzi cross after Randall and Ajiboye had again cut open the home defence, but this time Tranmere immediately countered and Liam Feeney ran at the U's defence before, like Ajiboye earlier, slicing a shot wide of the near post under pressure from Ben Goodliffe.

Sutton came out on the front foot after the break and, after Randall had sent a shot just too high from the edge of the penalty area, came very close to going in front when Ben Goodliffe headed Rob Milsom's free kick back from the right and Coby Rowe's volley beat Ross Doohan but was superbly cleared off the line by Clarke. The home captain denied U's again soon afterwards as Richie Bennett battled through on the left and Clarke dived in to divert his shot wide for a corner.

At the other end Coby Rowe produced an equally fine piece of defending to block a shot from Paul Glatzel who had beaten the offside flag on the left and cut in to the penalty area, and Elliott Nevitt dived to meet a cross from Josh Dacres-Cogley but saw his header fly just wide. With twenty minutes to go Clarke went from his side's saviour to villain as Olaofe's persistence saw him chase the defender down as Tranmere tried to play out from the back, win the ball and turn back in to the area before shooting past Doohan with the aid of a slight deflection off Nathaniel Knight-Percival.

It was backs to the wall for U's as Tranmere pushed for an equaliser, but again the defence stood solid and restricted the opposition to few chances, Bouzanis making an awkward save at the second attempt from a McManaman volley, and McDonald's low shot from the edge of the area just evading the onrushing Glatzel on the edge of the six yard box. Bennett was shown a yellow card for taking too long to leave the pitch as he was replaced by Craig Dundas, joining Goodliffe in the book after referee Will Finnie ruled he had dived under a challenge from Knight-Percival, but for the third game running U's back line remained secure and one goal was enough for a victory that saw U's out of the play-off positions only on goal difference.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Rowe, B Goodliffe, A Smith, D Ajiboye, C Eastmond (sub K Davis 88), R Bennett(sub C Dundas 82), I Olaofe(sub D Wilson 75), W Randall. Subs n/u B House, B Wyatt, L John, R Korboa. Booked: Goodliffe, Bennett.

Tranmere: R Doohan, J Dacres-Cogley, C McDonald, N Knight-Percival, P Clarke, C McManaman, K Morris(sub P Glatzel 64), J Spearing, E Nevitt, R Watson, L Feeney(sub J Hawkes 58). Subs n/u J Murphy, T Davies, M Duffy, S Foley, N Maynard. Booked: Spearing, Knight-Percival.

Referee: Will Finnie




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