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20 April 2024 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 Crawley preview

19 April 2024

Sutton's last home game of the Sky Bet League Two season is a crucial game for both U's and visitors Crawley Town as the season reaches its finale.

While Sutton need a win to retain a chance of carrying the fight for League Two survival to the last game of the season, Crawley are equally desperate for the points to maintain a play-off challenge. They currently lie in the last play-off place after Tuesday's 1-1 draw with Barrow, but have only a one point advantage over Walsall and two over Doncaster, who have a game in hand and whose recent form is matched only by champions Stockport, and so three points at the VBS on Saturday will be seen as vital to keep ahead of the chasing clubs.

Only Stockport and Mansfield have won more games on their travels this season, with Crawley having won ten of their 22 away games, but they will need to improve on their two previous visits to the VBS in the EFL, which both ended in 3-0 defeats, while they also failed to score in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy game in October, which finished in a goalless draw before Sutton won on penalties. However they did win, again by 3-0, at the Broadfield Stadium at the end of September at a time when U's were struggling for form, although it was generally agreed that U's were on the wrong end of several important refereeing decisions in that game.

Crawley's 3-2 home defeat to Colchester last Saturday did neither Crawley or Sutton any favours, and with Colchester backing that result up with a 2-0 win against Grimsby on Tuesday Sutton have been left knowing that two wins in the last two games, and favourable results elsewhere, are needed to ensure EFL football next season. A win on Saturday will be sufficient to take the fight to the last week of the season if Colchester fail to beat Notts County and Grimsby lose to Swindon. There are no new injury worries for U's after last week's draw at Harrogate.

Saturday's referee is Lewis Smith, who although he is in his first official full EFL season refereed as high as the Championship last season and has taken charge of a Premier League game this term. He last refereed Sutton at Carlisle in December 2022.

Tickets are on sale on line to Sutton supporters here, price £21 for adults, £15 for concessions and £7 for ages 12-18. Under 12s are admitted free if accompanied by a paying adult or concession. Seat prices are £4 more in all cases. Remember that by buying on line, even on the day of the game, you can avoid the £2 increase in price that is charged for tickets bought in person at the ground on Saturday. 

The Sutton fan zone will be open as usual from 12.30pm, with a Signal Hour until 1.30pm when beer will be £3.50 a pint, and Football with the Foundation from 1.45pm. Ambers' Bar will also be open showing the Championship game between Leicester City and West Bromwich Albion. 

If you can't get to the game there will be an audio commentary on our iFollow service, with a match pass costing £2.50. Overseas supporters can watch a live stream for £10. Click here to buy the relevant pass. You can also order a match programme to be sent out after the game for £3 plus postage. Click here to order.

Before the game the Supporters' Club will present their Player of the Year award on the pitch, and after the game, from about 5.30pm, we hope to see supporters in the MBA Lounge for the presentation of the other awards, including Club Player of the Year, Players' Player of the Year and Clubperson of the Year. Before that Adrian Barry will conduct the last Strikers Are Key draw of the season in Ambers' bar at about 5.15pm, and after the presentations have finished there is a veterans' game on the pitch between Sutton United and Sheerwater, with a number of Sutton stars of the past returning to action. Kick off is 6.30pm and everyone is welcome.

Unfortunately the season ends on a recurring theme as there are no trains through West Sutton on Saturday due to engineering works. Southern services through Sutton from Victoria or London Bridge are operating to a normal timetable, and from Sutton station supporters can either walk (15-20 minutes) or catch an 80 or 413 bus - the 413 goes past the main Gander Green Lane entrance, the 80 closer to the Collingwood entrance for away supporters. Both routes also connect with the Northern Line at Morden.

After giving a good account of themselves on Thursday against Farnham, our academy players return to their more familar environment of the EFL Youth Alliance on Saturday morning with a game against Luton Town. The game is being played at Uxbridge FC, kick off 10.30am.

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 2 Crawley Town 2

20 April 2024

Sutton United 2 (Lakin 48, Sanderson 79) Crawley Town 2(Kelly 42, Lolos 90+1)

For the second week running two sides desperate for a win served up a hugely entertaining game which ended up with a result that suited neither. Sutton now need not only to win at Milton Keynes next Saturday but also to hope that Colchester lose their last two games and that in the process a goal difference deficit of seven can be wiped out. Crawley meanwhile are the most vulnerable of the clubs in the playoff zone to a continuation of Doncaster's unstoppable form, which means that both teams will be following events on Tuesday, as Colchester host Doncaster, with more than the usual interest.

Sutton showed terrific spirit to be within minutes of a victory that would have put Colchester under more pressure, having trailed at half time, but a goal from Klaidi Lolos as the game entered stoppage time earned Crawley a draw that on the balance of play they deserved, and they might even have gone on to win as Joe Kizzi cleared off the line from substitute Adam Campbell while Danilo Orsi saw an even later effort ruled out for offside.

It was Orsi who came close to an early goal as Crawley started the game well, but Steve Arnold made a superb close range save, and U's were again fortunate to survive as Lolos blazed over the bar after a long throw had fallen to him, and Nick Tsaroulla also sent a shot too high when he should have done better. Although U's created one chance when Nino Adom-Malaki, who would later pick up the Goal of the Season award for his strike against Accrington last month, nearly trumped that effort with a run and shot from 25 yards that flew just over, it was Crawley still having the better of things and U's needed Arnold to be at his best as he saved from Lolos and Orsi. However as the half went on Sutton posed more of a threat, and Olly Sanderson was put through by Josh Coley only to be denied by the oncoming Corey Addai. The keeper saved another low effort from Sanderson, and kept out an Omar Sowunmi header, but the deadlock was broken three minutes before half time when Orsi rolled the ball in to the path of Liam Kelly, who curled a superb shot beyond Arnold in to the far corner of the net.

It was a crushing blow for U's but the second half response was superb and within three minutes a Charlie Lakin free kick eventually found its way back to him after Kizzi's header had been cleared, and his volley deflected off Jay Williams to loop over the helpless Addai and render arguments as to whether Williams had handled academic. With Colchester soon going behind at Notts County U's knew that an extra goal could now prove priceless, but a tendency to stray offside frustrated several promising positions while Crawley, equally keen for a winner, saw Will Wright send a free kick just wide while Arnold saved well again from Harry Forster.

Eleven minutes from time Crawley appeared to have sabotaged their play-off chances, and handed U's survival hopes a huge boost when Addai's pass out was miscontrolled by Williams. Harry Beautyman seized on the error and immediately played a pass through to Sanderson who kept his cool to sidestep a defender and place a shot beyond Addai to spark wild celebrations among those of a Sutton persuasion. It wasn't enough, though, as with the game entering stoppage time Lolos collected a pass from Jeremy Kelly and weaved his way to the edge of the penalty area as Kizzi slipped before sending in a shot that deflected over Arnold off the challenging Sam Hart, who had before the game received the Supporters' Club Player of the Year award.

In a finish similar to that at Harrogate last week both sides threw everything at grabbing a decisive goal, but Addai kept out Sutton's best effort from Deon Moore. It was at the other end that the game was nearly won as Campbell shot past the advancing Arnold only for Kizzi to get back and clear inside the six yard box, and then crossed for Orsi to shoot in off the post. An offside flag ruled out the effort, but Arnold's attempts to take a quick free kick and launch a counter attack were frustrated by referee Lewis Smith with Crawley's players still celebrating,  the second time the official had stopped a Sutton attack for no good reason, with a clear attack on the left in the first half also brought to a halt owing to a leg injury to a Lolos which ultimately required only brief treatment. The final whistle brought more frustration to both teams, who now face an anxious evening on Tuesday before knowing what, if anything, they can do next Saturday to achieve their aims.

Sutton: S Arnold, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki (sub S Duke-McKenna 67), O Sowunmi, J Kizzi, S Hart, J Coley(sub D Moore 67), O Sanderson(sub C Eastmond 84), H Smith, H Beautyman, C Lakin. Subs n/u M Kerbey, L John, C N'Guessan, C Clay. Booked: Hart, Sowunmi

Crawley: C Addai, W Wright, D Conroy, L Kelly, L Maguire, J Williams(sub A Campbell 86), H Forster(sub A Adeyemo 76), K Lolos, D Orsi, R Darcy (sub J Roles 72), N Tsaroulla(sub J Kelly 72). Subs n/u R Sandford, J Mukena, R Khaleel. Booked: L Kelly

Referee: Lewis Smith

Attendance: 4,675 (1,152 away)

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