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27 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 Mansfield preview

26 August 2022

A run of three home games in a week at the VBS Community Stadium begins this Saturday with a visit from Mansfield Town.

Beaten in the play-off final at Wembley by Port Vale last season having edged U's out of the top seven by one point, Mansfield are expected to be among the promotion contenders this season, and come in to the game in eighth place having won all three of their home League Two games but lost both away, at Salford and Leyton Orient, two of the current top six.

The Stags have had a blow recently with the news that key striker Rhys Oates faces a spell out with a ruptured pectoral muscle, but are hoping that Oli Hawkins, Lucas Akins, Hiram Boateng and Stephen Quinn may all be fit after recent injury absences.

Although Mansfield eventually finished a place higher than Sutton, it was U's who had the better of the two league meetings last season, winning 2-0 at home in November with goals from Louis John and Omar Bugiel, and then recording an excellent win at the One Call Stadium on Good Friday, Bugiel on target again along with David Ajiboye and Richie Bennett.

Omar's goal at the VBS in November (below) was a goal of the season contender, but he is unlikely to be able to repeat the feat on Saturday with manager Matt Gray expecting the game to come too soon for the striker after he limped off against Barrow a fortnight ago. Sam Hart is also still likely to be sidelined, but Will Randall and Coby Rowe both came through their return to action at Grimsby last week with no ill effects.

Bugiel goal v Mansfield 23.11.21.jpg

Saturday's referee is Devon-based Lee Swabey, who is in his eighth season as an EFL referee and took charge of Sutton's Papa Johns Trophy win at Portsmouth last season.

Tickets can still be bought on line here, with prices £20 for adults, £14 for concessions and £6 for juniors. Under 12s tickets are free if bought in conjunction with an adult or concession ticket. All prices rise by £5 for a seat, and while tickets can be bought in person at the ground on Saturday afternoon, prices for adult and concession tickets rise by £2, an increase that does not apply to tickets bought on line, even on Saturday. Mansfield supporters have their own link to buy tickets here

Season ticket holders are reminded that they will need the replacement ticket card they will have recently received to gain admission.

The Sutton fanzone will be open from 12 noon, with a 'hoppy hour' between 12 and 1 with all draught beers, lagers and ciders costing £3.50 for a pint. Mansfield supporters have their own fanzone open from 1pm with a 'hoppy half hour' between 1 and 1.30.

Tomorrow will also see home supporters able to enter the bar from the ground at half time, with the new passageway between the Players' Bar and the stadium, between the main stand and the snack bar OPEN from 3:30 to access the bar, and you can use the same door to go back out.  There will be no access to this route from the MBA Lounge, and initial admission to the ground must still be through the turnstiles.

We will have a live audio commentary on our iFollow system from 2.50pm, with passes on sale priced £2.50 here. It is also possible to buy a monthly ticket for £4.49 and a season's pass for £45. You can also order a match programme to be sent out after the game, price £3 plus postage, by clicking here.

Supporters should be aware that there are no trains through West Sutton this weekend, but Southern services through Sutton and Northern Line services to Morden are scheduled to run as normal and buses 80 and 413 connect both stations to the ground.

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 2 Mansfield Town 1

27 August 2022

Sutton United 2 (Neufville 44, Fadahunsi 82) Mansfield Town 1 (Hawkins 75)

Tope Fadahunsi came off the bench to score the winner for the second game in a row as Sutton recovered from conceding a 75th minute equaliser to record a third victory over Mansfield in three meetings. Brought on with ten minutes to go, Fadahunsi was on the scoresheet within two minutes as he headed in after Kylian Kouassi, who had been introduced at the same time, had nodded on a Will Randall free kick. 

It was a deserved win for U's, who had enjoyed the better of the first half and led thanks to a brilliant individual effort from Josh Neufville just before the interval, but having defended a number of set pieces with few problems, U's allowed Oliver Hawkins a simple header from a free kick and for five minutes Mansfield looked capable of going on to turn the game completely, but the triple substitution with ten minutes left, which also saw Enzio Boldewijn replace Neufville, was rewarded as Kouassi and Fadahunsi combined to good effect, and U's could have won by more had Will Randall not pulled a shot wide when clear a minute later.

Randall was restored to an otherwise unchanged starting line-up and was soon showing the form that had made it such a blow for U's when he was injured in the season opener against Newport. After five minutes he combined well with Harry Beautyman, whose pass released Donovan Wilson on the left to fire in a low shot that rebounded off goalkeeper Christy Pym's legs to safety.

Without the injured Rhys Oates, Mansfield had Hawkins up front supported by Will Swan, and they combined to produce Mansfield's most dangerous moment as Swan ran on to a return pass from Hawkins and was pulled back by Coby Rowe just outside the penalty area, the centre back taking the first of the afternoon's five bookings and happy to see Stephen McLaughlin's free kick sail harmlessly over.

Craig Eastmond produced a fine surging run that was ended in the penalty area before he could get his shot away, and it seemed as though an enterprising first half performance from U's would go unrewarded until Joe Kizzi intercepted John-Joe O'Toole's crossfield pass and Eastmond found Neufville inside the centre circle just inside the Mansfield half. A surge of pace took him between two defenders and past two more, and he produced a finish to match, shooting low to Pym's right and staking the first claim to this season's goal of the season.

Mansfield were more of a threat in the second half, and a succession of set pieces required U's to be strong at the back, Eastmond and Louis John dominant in the air. McLaughlin fizzed a low cross shot just wide of the far post, and one wicked corner from Anthony Hartigan flashed across goal, Hawkins unable to control his header at the far post and the ball landing on the roof of the net.

For all Mansfield's increased pressure Jack Rose was relatively untested in the Sutton goal, but with fifteen minutes left the equaliser came after Beautyman was penalised for a foul on Hawkins. There was a delay while Mansfield, who had already had to replace O'Toole and Riley Harbottle, made their three remaining changes, and when play restarted McLaughlin's free kick was headed in simply and powerfully by Hawkins.

For five minutes after the goal Mansfield pushed forward and it seemed as though U's would need to hold out for a draw, but the replacement of Sutton's front two saw U's regain the initiative and yet again Fadahunsi's impact was immediate. It was his pressure that forced Elliott Hewitt in to a handball on the Sutton left, and when Kouassi's header from Randall's free kick looped in to the air it was Fadahunsi who reacted quickest to direct his header down past Pym and inside the far post.

Randall should have rounded off his fine performance with a goal a minute later when he was put clear by Boldewijn's pass, but although his shot beat the advancing Pym it also went wide of the post. It was Randall's last touch as he was replaced by Ali Smith, and his ovation as he came off matched that afforded to Neufville, reflecting how well both wingers had played, but it wasn't to prove a costly miss as U's held on for a fine victory.

After the game manager Matt Gray confirmed that Roman Charles-Cook, Adam Lovatt and Matt Ridley have been loaned out for three months to Cray Wanderers, Dartford and Chesham United respectively and discusses the moves, and that of Tobi Ogundega to Kingstonian which is also on loan, in his post match interview.

Sutton: J Rose, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Rowe, C Eastmond, L John, J Neufville (sub E Boldewijn 80), D Wilson(sub T Fadahunsi 80), K Thomas(sub K Kouassi 80), H Beautyman, W Randall(sub A Smith 83). Subs n/u J Barden, B House, L Gambin. Booked: Rowe, Kizzi, Thomas. 

Mansfield: C Pym, J-J O'Toole(sub K Wallace 65), S McLaughlin, J Perch, A Hartigan(sub G Maris 74), R Harbottle(sub E Hewitt 58), L Akins(sub K Gordon 75), G Lapslie, O Hawkins, W Swan, S Quinn(sub H Boateng 75). Subs n/u O Clarke, S Flinders. Booked: O'Toole, Quinn.

Referee: Lee Swabey

Attendance: 2,664(372 away)

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