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22 October 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 Walsall preview

21 October 2022

After ending a run of four straight league defeats with a victory at AFC Wimbledon last Saturday and progressing to the knock out stages of the Papa Johns Trophy on Tuesday, Sutton will look to complete a good week when Walsall are the visitors to the VBS Community Stadium on Saturday.

The Saddlers were one of two sides to do a League Two double over U's last season, both games finishing 1-0 as a Tyrese Shade free kick was enough to give Walsall the points at Sutton almost exactly a year ago, and a controversial Conor Wilkinson penalty the difference at the Bescot Stadium. 

Wilkinson has not played since April due to a serious knee injury and like midfielder Joss Labadie, who sustained a similar injury before the end of last season, will not feature at the VBS on Saturday as Walsall look for a second away league win of the season, their only success on the road so far coming at manager Michael Flynn's former club Newport. They have drawn at Stockport and Gillingham, and lost at Barrow, Bradford, Leyton Orient and Mansfield, where they were without leading scorer Danny Johnson, who is on loan from The Stags and was ineligible, but who has scored eight times in the league this season, including an opening day hat trick against Hartlepool.

Sutton will have skipper Craig Eastmond and goalkeeper Lewis Ward available after they missed Tuesday's game due to being respectively suspended and cup-tied, while the majority of the short term injuries have now cleared and there is also good news on some of the longer term injuries, with Matt providing an update in his interview available later.

Saturday's referee is Paul Howard, who is in his third season on the EFL list and last season was in charge of U's games at Rochdale, a year ago this weekend, and Stevenage. He also refereed a number of National League games involving Sutton.

Tickets for Saturday's game are available on line here right up to kick off time. Prices are £20 for adults, £14 for concessions and £6 for juniors, with a £5 increase for stand seats. Tickets will also be on sale at the ground but there is an extra £2 charge for adult and concession tickets bought on the day in person. That charge does not apply to tickets bought on line.

The Sutton fanzone will be open from 12 noon as usual, with food and drink available, with the fanzone for Walsall supporters behind the visitors' accommdation opening at 1.30pm at the same time as the turnstiles.

A programme for the game can be ordered here to be sent out after the game.

There will be a live audio commentary on iFollow for people in the UK unable to get to the game and a match pass costs £2.50. Overseas supporters can watch a live stream for £10. Click here to buy a match pass or to buy a monthly or seasonal pass.


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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Walsall 1

22 October 2022

Sutton United 1 (Milsom 72 pen) Walsall 1 (Maddox 86)

Sutton suffered a frustrating afternoon, playing against ten men for three quarters of the game and struggling to break down a massed and determined Walsall defence until Rob Milsom's penalty appeared to have finally given U's some control, only for Jacob Maddox to equalise for Walsall with four minutes to go with only the visitors' second shot of the game. After the dismissal of Brandon Comley for two fouls on Craig Eastmond in the space of ten minutes, the second forcing U's skipper off with a facial injury, Walsall defended doggedly and in numbers, and Sutton found it difficult to break them down, being restricted to long range efforts. Eventually a needless foul by Peter Clarke on Coby Rowe following a corner gave Milsom the chance to provide U's supporters with relief, but it still wasn't enough as Maddox sent a low shot past Lewis Ward from just outside the penalty area.

Walsall's first shot came in the first five minutes, Douglas James-Taylor seeing a shot beaten away by Ward, and an uncompromising early approach saw Haydon White booked for clattering Omar Bugiel, and Comley shown his first yellow card soon afterwards. Eastmond recovered from that challenge and thought he had put U's ahead after twenty minutes when Will Randall met a cleared cross with a volley that hit the post, and although Eastmond rattled the rebound past Owen Evans he was denied by an offside flag.

Four minutes later Comley caught Eastmond again with a high boot and referee Paul Howard had no hesitation in showing a second yellow card, but any advantage U's might have had was lessened as Eastmond followed Comley down the tunnel with a bloodied face.

Sam Hart came on as a replacement, with Milsom moving in to midfield, while Walsall also made a change, the lively James-Taylor sacrificed for midfielder Tom Knowles, and the game became a case of attack v defence as Walsall slowed the game down and got players behind the ball, and Sutton struggled to pass through or round them. One patient build-up ended with Adam Lovatt shooting low from outside the penalty area and Evans pushing the effort round the post.

The second half followed a similar pattern, with Milsom testing Evans from distance but U's otherwise struggling to create chances as Walsall dealt comfortably with crosses in to the box and closed down gaps whenever U's tried to play through.

The breakthrough eventually came, though, after Evans had clawed Randall's dipping cross out from under the bar and Donervon Daniels had headed the ball out for a corner under pressure from Bugiel. When Randall's deep corner came in, Clarke seemed to have undone all Walsall's good work by dragging Rowe to the ground as he tried to head the ball back across goal, and Milsom scored from the penalty spot.

Needing to become more attacking, Walsall made a triple substitution and the initial impact was to allow U's a bit more space. Randall cut in and hit a tremendous shot from 25 yards which was superbly tipped over by former Sutton loanee Evans, and a crucial interception by Liam Bennett prevented a Donovan Wilson pass leaving Randall with just Evans to beat. Just how crucial it would be was clear four minutes from the end when Knowles got in behind the defence to collect Taylor Allen's pass and took advantage of Joe Kizzi's slip to cut in and fire a shot that was blocked by Rowe, only for Danny Cashman to tee up fellow substitute Maddox for a low shot that beat Ward and rescued Walsall a point.  

Sutton: L Ward, J Kizzi, R Milsom, C Rowe, C Eastmond(sub S Hart 30), L John, E Boldewijn(sub J Neufville 87), A Lovatt, O Bugiel(sub K Kouassi 80), D Wilson(sub T Fadahunsi 87), W Randall. Subs n/u B House, L Gambin, K Thomas. Booked: Randall

Walsall; O Evans, H White(sub J Maddox 76), L Bennett, P Clarke(sub A Williams 76) D Daniels, M Monthe, I Hutchinson, (sub D Cashman 76), L Kinsella, D Johnson(sub T Allen 65), D James-Taylor(sub T Knowles 30), B Comley. Subs n/u L Gordon, R Maher. Booked: White, Comley. Sent Off: Comley(foul-second booking)

Referee: Paul Howard

Attendance: 2,773 (349 away)

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