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11 September 2021 Venue Borough Sports Ground Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Sutton v Stevenage preview

9 September 2021

After last week's unscheduled week off, Sutton return to action at the VBS Community Stadium with a visit from Stevenage, who first visited the ground in December 1984 in the third round of the Isthmian League Cup.

Between those games Stevenage made the faster progress of the two and have been a Football League club since 2010, having been denied promotion in 1996 due to their Broadhall Way ground being deemed not to be of sufficient standard. After winning promotion to League One in 2011, they were relegated back to League Two in 2014 and would have been back in the National League at the end of the curtailed 2019-20 season but for the sanctions that saw Macclesfield deducted points and finish bottom of the table.

After finishing 14th last season under Alex Revell's management, Stevenage started with two wins this season at home to Barrow and away to Bristol Rovers but have failed to win any of their four subsequent games, losing at Bradford and Walsall and drawing at home to Port Vale and Swindon, the latter game last week seeing Swindon score a late penalty equaliser.

Stevenage have several players that U's have come up against in recent seasons, with midfielder Jake Reeves being with Notts County last season, Elliott Osborne having played for Stockport, Jamie Reid with Torquay and winger Bruno Andrade having impressed on several occasions for Boreham Wood, while U's will also need to keep an eye on last season's leading scorer and Player of the Year Elliott List. Meanwhile U's assistant manager Jason Goodliffe comes up against the side for whom he made over 150 appearances and had two spells in the management team.

Sutton will have Omar Bugiel available after his return from World Cup duty with Lebanon, appearing as a substitute against both UAE and South Korea, while most of those who missed out last week through illness or injury could be involved in the squad.

Saturday's game will be refereed by Trevor Kettle, making his first visit to the VBS Community Stadium.

Stevenage's last visit to the ground was in August 1999 in the Nationwide Conference, winning 2-0, their first win at Sutton.

Tickets are available online here, and will also be available at the Club Shop on Friday morning between 10am and 12 noon, and on the day of the game from 12 noon onwards. The match programme will be on sale in the ground, but if you can't make it to the game you can order a copy online here.

Live audio commentary will be available through the iFollow system, with a match pass costing £2.50, but you can buy a monthly pass for £4.49 or a season's pass for £45, which you can then also use on Tuesday against Hartlepool, a game that will be live streamed and therefore individual audio passes will not be available. Click here for more details.

Supporters travelling to the game should note that there are no trains through West Sutton this weekend.

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Match Reports

Richie Bennett double secures first win

11 September 2021

Sutton were able to celebrate a first EFL success after two goals from summer signing Richie Bennett, his first for the club, saw U's come from behind, taking the lead just eight minutes after Elliott List had put Stevenage in front

It was a game in which all the main entertainment came in the second half after a first period in which there had been little between the sides and only the occasional sight of goal. However within five minutes of the restart Stevenage thought they should have had a penalty and U's missed two good chances to go in front, and the tone was set for an exciting second half that saw Stevenage reduced to ten men as Terence Vancooten was sent off for the handball that allowed Bennett to score what proved to be the winner from the penalty spot.

After the fitness issues of the past week U's were still several players down, and the inclusion of Jon Barden, who had limped off in the Papa John's victory over Crystal Palace, was only short-lived as within five minutes he had gone down again after stretching to keep a ball in play and was replaced by Joe Kizzi. A cagey opening period saw Bennett try his luck from distance, Joe Anang saving comfortably, but U's biggest threat came from Enzio Boldewijn, who gave Luther James Wildin a torrid time, and it was from one Boldewijn cross that they came closest to scoring, Tobi Sho-Silva's flashing header well saved by Anang.

Moments later there was danger at the other end as Ben Coker, who had coped well with David Ajiboye's pace, found himself in an attacking position and sent over a cross that was met at the far post by a header from Luke Norris that landed in the hands of Dean Bouzanis via the crossbar. It was Norris who again came close just before half time when List knocked the ball in to his path and his volley was brilliantly turned aside by Bouzanis.

Stevenage began the second half on the front foot, winning a corner that U's struggled to clear but when Jake Taylor went over under Craig Eastmomd's challenge referee Trevor Kettle decided that he had gone down to easily and booked him for simulation. It was the prelude to an end to end spell which saw Boldweijn fire over from an Ajiboye cross, Bouzanis make another good save to deny Bruno Andrade, and Bennett have a shot superbly blocked by Vancooten. As U's kept up the pressure, Ajiboye's blocked sshot ran to Kizzi whose low cross just evaded Alistair Smith, who then headed over when Boldewijn returned the ball in to the middle.

The deadlock was broken soon after as Louis John's clearing header was returned first time by Chris Lines in to the path of List, who kept ahead of John and finished clinically and powerfully past Bouzanis, but Stevenage's advantage lasted only three minutes before Kizzi and Ajiboye combined on the right and Kizzi's chip to the far post was headed in by Bennett.

The pivotal moment came five minutes later when Ajiboye's deep cross, which initially drew groans from the U's fans who thought it was overhit, was nodded back by Boldewijn and after a bout of pinball in the area the ball ran to Sho-Silva, whose powerful drive struck Vancooten on the arm. The award of the penalty was instant, the decision that Vancooten had prevented a goal less so, and after queries from Craig Eastmond and John the referee went to consult his assistant before showing the red card. Bennett assumed penalty duties and calmly slotted in to the corner of the net as Anang went the other way.

Eastmond almost added the security of a third with a fine volley that was just too high, but despite being a man down Stevenage created plenty of worries for U's and after Norris had seen a shot beaten away by Bouzanis, they thought they'd equalised when substitutes James Daly and Jamie Reid linked on the left and Daly fired in to the net, only for the offside flag to cut short the celebrations. 

Bennett went off with ten minutes left, 40-year-old Craig Dundas making his 568th appearance for U's but his first in the EFL, and Dundas did well in his own penalty area to force Norris to shoot over from a good position, while Bradley Barry shot weakly across goal after good work by Reid, but despite five minutes of stoppage time, and a booking for Kizzi for time-wasting, there was to be no repeat of earlier last minute disappointments as U's players and fans celebrated the first EFL three points.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Barden(sub J Kizzi 5), R Milsom, C Eastmond, B Goodliffe, L John, D Ajiboye, A Smith, R Bennett(Sub C Dundas 80), T Sho-Silva(sub W Randall 75), E Boldewijn. Subs n/u B Wyatt, C Rowe, K Kouassi, B House. Booked: John, Kizzi

Stevenage: J Anang, L James Wildin, B Coker, J Reeves, S Cuthbert, T Vancooten, E List(sub B Barry 79), J Taylor(sub J Daly 67), L Norris, C Lines, B Andrade(sub J Reid 67). Subs n/u L Prosser, E Osborne, S Bastien. Booked: Taylor, Coker. Sent Off: Vancooten (handball denying goalscoring opportunity).

Referee: Trevor Kettle

Attendance: 2,427 (297 away)


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