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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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17 February 2024 Venue University of Bradford Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Bradford City v Sutton preview

16 February 2024

Sutton are back in the north on Saturday as the battle to climb away from the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone continues, visiting the University of Bradford Stadium to face Bradford City, looking for a first double of the 2023-24 season. We will be wearing green for the game.

Josh Coley and Harry Beautyman scored the goals in October to give Sutton a 2-1 win, U's first win over the Bantams, and gave rise to optimism that better times were round the corner. Since then, though, Sutton have won just one more league game, at AFC Wimbledon on Boxing Day, and have lost to Morecambe and Wrexham in the past week, the latter result seeing U's back at the foot of the table after Forest Green's win at Barrow.

Bradford came to the VBS in October with Kevin McDonald in temporary charge after a disappointing start to the season had cost Mark Hughes his job, and while the appointment of Graham Alexander failed to yield an immediate improvement as City lost the first two games under his control, an impressive unbeaten run either side of Christmas moved them away from the lower reaches of the table.  Two wins this week against sides in the play-off zone, Wrexham and MK Dons, the latter having sacked Graham Alexander in October, have them going in to Saturday's game four points outside the play-off zone that they finished in last season before losing to Carlisle in the semi finals.

Harry Beautyman will miss out on the chance to repeat his goalscoring performance from the home game at Bradford, having limped off during Tuesday's game against Wrexham, the only injury concern that U's took out of the game.

Saturday's referee is Marc Edwards, in his fifth season as an EFL referee who last officiated in a Sutton game in January last season when he was in the middle for the 2-2 draw at Tranmere.

While no physical tickets are on sale at the ground on Saturday, admission will still be possible on the day by scanning the large QR code next to the away turnstiles in Midland Road and then buying the ticket on line. Prices are: Adults £25; Senior (age 65+) and Young Person(age 17-23) £20; Youth (age 12-16) £10; Junior (11 and under) £5. Any tickets that have been ordered through our system and not yet collected should also be picked up from the Midland Road turnstiles - no Sutton supporter should go to the main ticket office.

Anyone not travelling can follow an audio commentary on our iFollow service. A match pass costs £2.50 with monthly passes also available for £4.49. Overseas supporters can watch a live stream for £10. Buy the relevant pass here.

The Supporters' coach leaves the VBS at 8am on Saturday morning.

For independent travellers, drivers should leave the M62 at junction 26 and take the M606 in to Bradford. At end of the motorway take the middle or right-hand lane and follow signs for Ring Road East (under the tunnel) onto Rooley Lane (signs for Leeds Bradford Airport). Go through the traffic lights by Asda then go left at the roundabout in to Wakefield Road, staying in the middle lane. Cross two roundabouts following signs to Shipley and Skipton on to Shipley Airedale Road, the A6037, which becomes Canal Road.  After Tesco and Smyths, go through the traffic lights and turn left on to Station Road, the A6177, and left again to Queens Road. Midland Road is second on the left. With no parking at the ground, street parking is available in Midland Road or Queens Road.

If travelling by rail, supporters are reminded that King's Cross station is closed on Saturday and does not reopen until Wednesday. The best option is to travel from St Pancras at 02 minutes past the hour, changing at Derby and again at Leeds to arrive at Bradford Forster Square, a 5-10 minute walk from the ground (the line goes past the ground just before the station), just over three and a half hours later, so the 09.02 gets you to Bradford at 12.37. Return at 17.30 or 18.30, this time changing at Leeds and Sheffield, to arrive at St Pancras at 21.09 or 22.08. With King's Cross closed, trains from St Pancras are expected to be busy. One piece of good news is that Thameslink services from Sutton to St Pancras are operating normally this weekend.

The academy side will be looking for instant revenge against Stevenage, who beat them 3-1 on Tuesday at Tooting, when the sides meet again at the Shephalbury Academy in Broadhall Way, SG2 8NP, just down the road from Stevenage's first team ground, on Saturday morning, kick off 10.30am. Victory will keep U's hopes of a top three finish in the EFL Youth Alliance South East Division ahead of next Tuesday's game against MK Dons at the VBS.

 

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Match Reports

Match report for Bradford City 1 Sutton United 0

17 February 2024

Bradford City 1 (Kavanagh 54) Sutton United 0

Sutton slipped to another narrow defeat in a game where the balance of play suggested that U's deserved at least a draw but the failure to make the most of chances proved costly.

On a heavy surface that deteriorated as rain set in during the afternoon, Sutton made a good start but Bradford had the first clear chances, both falling to leading scorer Andy Cook, who shot wildly over after Brad Halliday had been allowed to cut in from the right and pull the ball back, and then put a header straight at Dean Bouzanis from a Clarke Oduor cross, the keeper's reflexes keeping the ball out from close range. Sutton then had a chance when Ben Goodliffe failed to direct a diving header in the six yard box from a Charlie Lakin corner, and just before half time Lee Angol, who had just been booked, curled a free kick narrowly wide after Joe Kizzi had been fouled 25 yards out.

U's were out of the blocks quickly in the second half and Harry Smith twice had opportunities, first cutting in from the right and seeing a low shot saved by Sam Walker, who then denied Smith with a brilliant close range stop after Angol had headed back Lakin's cross from the left, Lakin blazing the rebound high over the bar. It proved a crucial save, as moments later Walker caught a Craig Eastmond cross and immediately launched a counter attack which saw Halliday and Oduor combine to send Calum Kavanagh through to hammer a shot past the advancing Bouzanis.

The Sutton keeper did well to deny Cook soon afterwards after the bustling striker had shrugged off Goodliffe's challenge, and Oduor sent a shot too close to Bouzanis, who also saved well from Halliday before the end, but Sutton still had chances, Smith heading over at full stretch from Stephen Duke-McKenna's cross, and almost grabbed what would have been a deserved point when substitute Olly Sanderson turned on to a Craig Eastmond pass in the third minutes of stoppage time and hit a crisp low shot which was pushed away by Walker to preserve Bradford's lead.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki, J Kizzi, B Goodliffe, C Eastmond, D Moore (sub S Duke-McKenna 61), C Lakin, H Smith, L Angol (sub O Sanderson 61), O Patrick. Subs n/u O Sowunmi, C N'Guessan, S Arnold, J Taylor, J Williams. Booked: Angol, Bouzanis

Bradford: S Walker, B Halliday, L Ridehalgh, C Kelly, M Platt (sub K MacDonald 71), S Stubbs, C Oduor, C Kavanagh(sub T Wright 71) A Cook, J Tomkinson, A Gilliead. Subs n/u C Doyle, T Smith, B Pointon, A Wilson, N Wadsworth. Booked: Tomkinson.

Referee: Marc Edwards

Attendance: 16,697(87 away)

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