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13 August 2022 Venue VBS Community Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Sutton v Barrow preview

12 August 2022

Sutton's second Sky Bet EFL League Two home game sees Barrow make the long trip south looking to extend their 100% record this season.

Last season saw the Bluebirds flirt with relegation before Phil Brown guided them to safety, their EFL future secured when they beat U's 1-0 a fortnight before the end of the season. This season, with Pete Wild having moved from Halifax to take over as manager, they have made a positive start with 3-2 wins against two of the clubs expected to be in the promotion picture this season, newly promoted Stockport, where Barrow led 3-0 at half time, and then Bradford City, where the scored a last gasp winner moments after Bradford had equalised. They then came through the first round of the Carabao Cup against Championship side Blackpool on Tuesday, winning on penalties after a goalless draw.

Summer signings Ben Whitfield and Billy Waters have already found the net this season, Whitfield's goal at Stockport on his debut against his former club, and added to against Bradford, but another summer signing, Richie Bennett, will not be able to face his former club this weekend, currently being sidelined by injury.

Sutton now know the extent of the injury to Ben Goodliffe, who will be out for around six months with a ruptured posterior cruciate ligament, but manager Matt Gray reports that Coby Rowe should be fit after coming off just before half time at MK Dons on Tuesday, while Will Randall and Sam Hart are both now training and very close to a return.

Barrow's 1-0 win in April mirrored U's victory at the VBS in November, when David Ajiboye was the scorer on a day when the edge of Storm Arwen produced conditions far removed from what can be expected this weekend.

This will be the eighth league meeting between the sides at Sutton, with three wins for Sutton, three draws, and one Barrow win when Josh Kay, likely to be in the squad on Saturday, scored the only goal in stoppage time in the 2018-19 season.

The referee on Saturday is Andy Davies from Hampshire, an EFL referee since 2012 and the only former professional player currently on the list - his only previous game at Sutton was in the 2006-07 season, when he took charge of a game against Hayes in National League South.

Tickets can be bought on line here, prices £20 for adults, £14 for concessions and £6 for juniors, with a £5 increase for a stand seat. While tickets can also be bought in person at the ground on the day, supporters are reminded that there is a £2 increase for tickets sold in that manner - that increase does not apply to tickets bought on line, even on Saturday.

The Sutton United fan zone will be open from noon, and between then and 1pm there will be a 'hoppy hour' where all draught beers, lagers and ciders will be £3.50. Further details are here. A similar scheme will be operating in the Barrow fan zone from 1pm, where a 'hoppy half hour' will run until 1.30pm..

If you can't get to the game there will be an audio commentary on our iFollow service, price £2.50 for a match pass, although you can also buy a monthly pass at £4.49 or a season's pass for £45. Click here to buy your pass. You can also order a match programme to be delivered after the game, for £3 plus postage. Click here to order yours.

While there is a rail strike scheduled for Saturday, Thameslink and Southern services are expected to be unaffected and so trains through Sutton and West Sutton should run as normal.

It is also forecast to be extremely hot on Saturday and supporters are encouraged to follow the DCMS guidance here

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Barrow 0

13 August 2022

Sutton United 1 (Fadahunsi 79) Barrow 0

Sutton picked up a first Sky Bet League Two win of the season in bizarre and controversial circumstances as a goal by Tope Fadahunsi with just his second touch in the Football League, following in after goalkeeper Paul Farman had misjudged Jack Rose's long clearance, was enough to beat a Barrow side who went in to the game having won both previous league games, and who thought they had escaped with a point here when a John Rooney free kick from inside his own half found the back of the net six minutes in to injury time. However referee Andy Davies decided after lengthy conversation with his colleagues that the goal should not stand as the free kick for offside had been indirect and had gone in to the net untouched, although the post match video footage suggested that Brad House, on for heatstroke victim Rose, had diverted the ball in.

In the intense heat it was a credit to both teams that spectators were able to watch a competitive, if at times scrappy game, with Sutton starting brightly but Barrow coming closest to a first half goal when Sam Foley's 30 yard volley was superbly touched on to the post by Rose. Before that Josh Neufville, a lively presence throughout, had produced one sparkling run on the left that ended with a shot blocked by Farman, while the goalkeeper also turned a shot from Harry Beautyman, preferred to Ali Smith in the starting line up, in to the side netting although the officials failed to spot the heavy deflection and awarded a goal kick. 

There was a scare for Rose when, sold slightly short by Joe Kizzi's back pass, his clearance was charged down by Josh Gordon and rolled just past the post, although again the officials seemed to err, awarding a corner when the ball seemed to cross the line before either Rose or Gordon reached it. If he was fortunate then, Rose soon redeemed himself with his brilliant stop from Foley, but U's luck as a team was out as, for the third time in four games, they had to make a change before half time as Omar Bugiel limped off to be replaced by Kwame Thomas.

Barrow were more in the game in the second half and it took another fine stop from Rose, with help from Kizzi, to deny Billy Waters after Patrick Brough had been put through on the left and pulled the ball back, but as the game went on the heat began to take its toll and for long periods a goalless draw seemed the most likely outcome. The second half drinks break saw Barrow make a triple substitution, while U's brought on Fadahunsi for Donovan Wilson, and it was the U's replacement who would have the bigger impact. His first touch was to win a good challenge in midfield that allowed Enzio Boldewijn to race down the left but then push the ball too far ahead of him, but his second was a tap-in after his pressure had caused confusion between Farman and Niall Canavan, the ball bouncing over the keeper and Fadahunsi's touch downgrading Rose's contribution from a goal to an assist.

It was Rose's last involvement as he went down shortly afterwards feeling the effects of the heat, and with no risks being taken, Brad House was brought on. Sutton might have put the game beyond reach when Neufville's brilliant run on the right ended with a cross which was diverted by Beautyman in to the pasth of Boldewijn, but Farman was off his line quickly to save, but House was called in to action soon afterwards, scrambling to push Josh Kay's deflected effort wide four minutes in to injury time. Two minutes later House was at the centre of things again as it seemed that for the second Saturday in a row Sutton would suffer stoppage time misery, but the officials smiled on him and U's were able to celebrate the valuable first league win. 

Sutton: J Rose(sub B House 84), J Barden, R Milsom, J Kizzi, C Eastmond, L John, E Boldewijn(sub A Smith 84), D Wilson(sub T Fadahunsi 72) O Bugiel(sub K Thomas 42), H Beautyman, J Neufville. Subs n/u M Ridley, L Gambin, K Kouassi.

Barrow: P Farman, T Warren, P Brough, H Neal, (sub T White 72), S McClelland, N Canavan, R Gotts(sub J Rooney 72), S Foley, B Waters(sub J Kay 72), J Gordon, B Whitfield(sub J Stevens 81). Subs n/u J Lillis, S Nwabuokei, M Kenlock. Booked: Stevens

Referee: Andy Davies

Attendance: 2,276 (126 away)

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