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02 December 2023 Venue VBS Community Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English FA Cup

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Match Previews

Sutton v Horsham preview

30 November 2023

On FA Cup second round weekend, 40 clubs are one game away from the third round and the possibility of a match against one of the Premier League's top teams, and Sutton will be looking to reach the last 64 for the first time since the memorable run seven seasons ago that ended with Arsenal visiting the VBS Community Stadium.

Standing in U's way are Horsham, who are making only their second appearance at this stage, the first seeing a defeat after a replay against Swansea in 2007, and who are the second lowest ranked side still in the competition after Ramsgate. Originally knocked out in the first round this season after a replay against Barnsley, Horsham earned a reprieve when it was discovered that Barnsley had fielded an ineligible player in that replay, and will be hoping to make the most of their good fortune in front of a sold out away support on Saturday.

Prior to Barnsley, Horsham had beaten Leatherhead, Marlow, Hanworth Villa and National League Dorking Wanderers in the competition, and while they are back in 9th place in the Isthmian League Premier Division they have up to four games in hand over teams above them so are well placed to launch a promotion challenge. Their squad on Saturday could include Tom Kavanagh, who made 111 appearances for Sutton between 2009 and 2013, featuring in the Isthmian League championship success of 2011, and Jack Strange, a former member of U's reserve and youth teams.

Since overcoming National League AFC Fylde in the first round four weeks ago, Sutton have drawn all four League Two games, most recently a good point against high-flying Crewe on Tuesday, but Louis John was added to a lengthy injured list during that game and while manager Matt Gray hasn't ruled him out of Saturday's game, he is one of several players on whom U's will make a late decision.

There are plenty of connections between the sides over the years, although they haven't met since that Isthmian championship season in 2010-11, with Roy Osborne having played for and managed both teams during his long career, and later being a director at Sutton and being inducted to the club's Hall of Fame. He spoke to Sussex World about his excitement at Saturday's game, and you can read that here.

Saturday's referee is Scott Tallis in his first season as an EFL referee and making his second visit this season to Sutton, having been in charge of the game against Gillingham in August.

While Horsham have sold their allocation of tickets there are still tickets available for Sutton supporters and they can be bought on line here. Admission prices are £18 for adults, £12 for concessions and £6 for juniors aged 12-18. Tickets for under 12s are free if bought in conjunction with an adult or concession ticket, and stand seats, of which there are still a few left, are £4 extra. Tickets will, subject to availability, be on sale on the day but advance purchase is advised. With more cold weather forecast, frost covers have been put on the pitch.

Programmes can be ordered on line, price £3 plus postage, to be sent out after the game and you can click here to order yours.

Due to FA Cup regulations our usual iFollow audio commentary will only be available to holders of a monthly or seasonal pass - individual match passes cannot be sold for FA Cup ties and they cannot be streamed overseas. Monthly and seasonal passes can be bought here.

The home fanzone will be open from 12.30pm with a happy hour between 12.30 and 1.30 where pints are £3.50. You can also enjoy a hog roast from the food counter. The fan zone for Horsham supporters behind the visitors' accommodation opens at 1.30pm with drink and food available.

Saturday's scheduled EFL Youth Alliance Cup tie at Plymouth was postponed on Friday morning due to uncertainty over the weather given the length of the journey involved. A new date will be arranged for the Southern area semi-final.

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 3 Horsham 0

2 December 2023

Sutton United 3 (Pereira 64, 74, Patrick 89) Horsham 0

Sutton reached the third round of the FA Cup for the first time since the 2016-17 run to the fifth round, and the first time under Matt Gray's management, making light of what could have been disruptive injuries to Omar Sowunmi and Ryan Jackson to score three goals in the last half hour and secure an ultimately comfortable win. Isthmian League Horsham made life difficult in the first half, but rarely looked like continuing their run once Dion Pereira had scored his first Sutton goal just after the hour mark.

With Louis John failing to recover from Tuesday's injury Christian N'Guessan continued at left back, with Pereira and Josh Coley on the flanks, while Dean Bouzanis returned in goal, but that line up lasted less than a quarter of an hour before Omar Sowunmi joined his centre back partners John and Ben Goodliffe on the casualty list, with N'Guessan now deployed at centre back and Tope Fadahunsi, who began his career as a full back, the new left back.

It could have been unsettling, with Horsham captain Jack Brivio already having had a header saved by Bouzanis, but apart from a Charlie Hester-Cook run and shot which went wide it was Horsham keeper Lewis Carey who was the busier as he saved at his near post from Pereira and then flapped away a free kick from the same player, and before half time Carey had also saved from Harry Smith, and Joe Kizzi had a header from N'Guessan's corner cleared off the line.

Just as U's had lost Sowunmi early in the first half, so another change was needed at the start of the second as Jackson failed to shake off a knock and was replaced by Omari Patrick, with Coley dropping to right back. However Horsham couldn't take advantage of a defence with now only one recognised defender, the only threat to Bouzanis being a low free kick from James Hammond which he pushed away, and the frustration for U's supporters was the failure to take some good chances. Smith's flick on from a Bouzanis clearance sent Aiden O'Brien clear through the middle but he shot wide with just Carey to beat, and then when O'Brien returned the compliment by rolling the ball in to Smith's path the striker's horribly miscued shot went out for a throw in.

The next time U's found themselves in the Horsham penalty area, though, there was no mistake as Smith's pass gave Pereira the chance to shrug off a challenge from Harvey Sparks and stab the ball past the advancing Carey. Having opened his U's account Pereira, who had also scored his first goal for Antigua & Barbuda in the recent international break, took just ten minutes to score a second, as Patrick produced a superb run on the left, skipping past the challenges of former U's players Tom Kavanagh and Jack Strange before sending in a cross that Brivio could only head to Pereira, who took a touch past Sparks and drilled a shot in to the net.

That seemed certain to be enough for U's to progress, but with two minutes left there was a third goal as Patrick took centre stage again, turning between two defenders to attack the Horsham penalty area, exchange passes with O'Brien and coolly place his shot beyond Carey and inside the far post to round off Sutton's satisfying afternoon.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson(sub O Patrick 49), J Kizzi, O Sowunmi(sub T Fadahunsi 14), C Clay, D Pereira(sub D Mellor 90+3), J Coley, C N'Guessan, H Smith(sub L Angol 90+2), H Beautyman, A O'Brien(sub C Dundas 90+3). Subs n/u B House, S Arnold, T Ogundega. Booked : Clay, Kizzi

Horsham: L Carey, B Price (sub K Daniel 78), H Sparks, C Hester-Cook(sub L Rodrigues 67), J Strange, J Brivio, L Harding, T Kavanagh (sub J Mazzone 79), S Fenelon(sub T Richards 78), D Ajakaiye, J Hammond(sub D Barker 87). Subs n/u A Malins, A Lelliott, D Tuck, S El-Abd

Referee: Scott Tallis

Attendance: 4,283(1,265 away)

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