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23 December 2023 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

22 December 2023

At the end of a turbulent week, Sutton will begin a hectic run of four games in eight days over the Christmas period with a home game against Mansfield Town at the VBS on Saturday, kick off 3pm

After the departure of Matt Gray as manager earlier in the week, assistant Jason Goodliffe wll take charge for a game that sees the visit of a side beaten only once in the league this season but one that has not beaten Sutton in the previous four EFL meetings between the teams.

Mansfield were the last side in the EFL to stay unbeaten this season in league games, going without defeat in seventeen games until losing at Swindon four weeks ago, but they have drawn almost as many games (nine) as they have won (ten), and so are maybe not as high in the League Two table as might be expected, coming into the weekend programme in fourth place, one point behind Wrexham and Barrow. The latter could widen that gap before Mansfield step on to the VBS pitch tomorrow as they visit Crewe tonight, whereas a win for Crewe would move them a point ahead of Mansfield as well and push the Stags down to fifth. Striker Will Swan could return from illness.

Sutton have won both meetings at the VBS since joining the EFL, Tope Fadahunsi coming off the bench to score the winner last season after Josh Neufville's fine goal had been cancelled out by Oliver Hawkins, while the previous season Louis John and a screamer from Omar Bugiel gave U's a 2-0 win.

With U's looking to bounce back from last weekend's thrashing at Stockpport, Jason Goodliffe still has to juggle fitness concerns, with Omar Sowunmi forced off at half time at Stockport. Both Sam Hart and Rob Milsom returned in that game with no ill effects, and should Milsom be involved tomorrow it will be his 200th appearance for U's.

Tomorrow's referee is Alex Chilowicz, an American who has been a Major League Soccer official since 2017 and refereed the game between Arsenal and Barcelona in Los Angeles in the summer.

Admission prices are as usual, £21 for adults, £15 for concessions and £7 for ages 12-18. Tickets for Under 12s are free if bought in conjunction with an adult or concession ticket. Stand seats are £4 more in all cases. Tickets can be bought on line here, or at the ticket kiosk at the ground on the day, although prices for tickets bought in person on the day rise by £2, an increase not applied to on line purchases.

The programme for the game is a double issue that also covers the New Year's Day game against Newport, and will be on sale around the ground. Anyone not at the game can order a copy here to be posted out after the game, price £4 plus postage.

The Sutton United fanzone will be open from 12.30pm, with a Signal Happy Hour until 1.30pm with beer at £3.50 a pint. The Sutton Christian Centre will be performing Christmas Carols from 1.45pm, and festive turkey and gammon rolls will be on sale.

Anyone not going to the game can listen to a full audio commentary on our iFollow service, with a match pass costing £2.50. Monthly (£4.49) and annual (£45) passes are also available, and those will be valid for the Emirates FA Cup tie at Plymouth in a fortnight, when match passes will not be sold. Overseas viewers can watch the action live for £10, or take advantage of the half-season ticket offer, with a pass costing just £85 to cover all league games to the end of the season, though not FA Cup ties. Click here for more information and to buy the required pass.

Tickets will be on sale tomorrow for the games at Wimbledon, where only a handful of our allocation remain, Gillingham and Plymouth, where in both cases there will be no tickets available to Sutton supporters on the day.

 

 

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 0 Mansfield Town 2

23 December 2023

Sutton United 0 Mansfield Town 2 (Quinn 25, Akins 75)

Sutton's first game since the departure of Matt Gray as manager ended in defeat as a goal in each half saw Mansfield keep up their promotion challenge and keep U's rooted to the foot of the League Two table, nine points adrift of 22nd placed Colchester. After dominating the early exchanges Mansfield went ahead just after the midpoint of the first half, and although Sutton had moments when an equaliser might have come, a second goal fifteen minutes from time eased the visitors to victory and the three points needed to keep within touch of the top three, who all won this weekend.

With Omar Sowunmi, Ben Goodliffe and Louis John all unfit, Sutton paired Joe Kizzi and Sam Hart at centre back,with Rob Milsom at left back making his 200th Sutton appearance. There was plenty of action for them early on as Mansfield had much of the possession in the early stages, but apart from a wild shot from Jordan Bowery there was little immediate threat to the Sutton goal as U's cleared most of what came in to the penalty area. The defence was breached, though, in the 25th minute when Ollie Clarke sent Callum Johnson, who had needed little encouragement to get forward, down the right and his cross evaded the diving Dean Bouzanis and was headed in from a narrow angle at the far post by Stephen Quinn.

Davis Keillor-Dunn almost added a second six minutes later when he drifted in from the right and hit a twenty yard shot that clipped the top of the crossbar, but having no more than Quinn's goal to show for their general dominance, Mansfield could have gone in at half time level when just before the interval Milsom's free kick was headed across goal by Kizzi, and Harry Smith's close range header was superbly tipped on to the bar and over.

It was a crucial moment, because although U's would barely have deserved to go in level it would have been a huge boost to confidence. A double change at half time, with Josh Coley and Christian N'Guessan replaced by Dion Pereira and Aiden O'Brien, saw U's continue the improvement and after Pereira had seen a shot blocked, Clay returned a fine cross in from the right and Smith, having got in front of his marker, will have been disappointed not to have kept his volley down. At the other end Keillor-Dunn kept looking to add to his tally for the season, curling a shot wide from twenty yards and then trying his luck with two free kicks, the first wide after Hart had been booked for fouling Lucas Akins just outside the penalty area and the second punched away by Bouzanis.

Pereira did cause Mansfield some concern with a volley which landed on top of the net, but the visitors' worries were soon settled as Bowery muscled Pereira off the ball in midfield, and George Maris put Akins through to hammer a left foot shot in off the underside of the bar and make the points safe.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson, R Milsom(sub T Fadahunsi 78), J Kizzi, S Hart, C Clay(sub L Angol 78), J Coley (sub D Pereira H-T),C N'Guessan(sub A O'Brien H-T), H Smith, H Beautyman, O Patrick. Subs n/u S Arnold, D Gape. Booked: Hart

Mansfield: C Pym, C Johnson(sub W Swan 88), S Quinn (sub S McLaughlin 70), L Brunt, A Flint, B Cargill, L Akins(sub R Oates 77), O Clarke (sub G Williams 88), J Bowery, G Maris, D Keillor-Dunn(sub L Reed 70) Subs n/u C MacDonald, S Flinders. Booked: Clarke

Referee: A Chilowicz

Attendance: 2,762(442 away)

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