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24 February 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 Colchester preview and travel reminder

23 February 2024

Over three of the next four Saturdays Sutton play the three other sides that the battle for League Two survival now seems to concern, and that run of fixtures starts this weekend when Colchester United are the visitors to the VBS Community Stadium, with Grimsby due to follow in a fortnight's time before a trip to Forest Green Rovers.

Colchester sit eight points ahead of Sutton with a game in hand, and of the four sides involved in the battle for survival their recent form has been the best, with the six games since Danny and Nicky Cowley were appointed as the management team seeing a win, a defeat and four draws, the most recent of which came last Saturday when a late own goal denied them all three points against Accrington. One addition to the squad in January was Alistair Smith, who left Sutton for Lincoln in the summer and has now joined Colchester on loan.

The sides drew 1-1 in November, Omar Sowunmi's late equaliser earning Sutton a deserved point after Arthur Read's fine solo goal had given Colchester the lead. Read has missed the last couple of games with a calf strain but may be fit to return for Saturday's game, while Conor Wilkinson and Bradley Ihionven may feature after appearing in the Essex Senior Cup tie against Hashtag United on Tuesday. Sowunmi is one of two former Colchester players who may be in Sutton's squad on Saturday, with Ryan Jackson having played over 100 games for Colchester earlier in his career.

The previous two meetings at Sutton have both ended in home wins, Rob Milsom's penalty the only goal of last season's meeting while the previous season Will Randall's late goal tipped an entertaining game Sutton's way 3-2. Manager Steve Morison reports no fresh injury worries after last Saturday's defeat at Bradford.

Saturday's referee is Ben Speedie, who is in his fourth season as an EFL referee and making his second visit to Sutton having taken charge of the 3-0 win against Rochdale two years ago. This is his first Sutton game this season.

Tickets for the game are on sale on line here, price £21 for adults, £15 for concessions (age 60+/full time students) and £7 for ages 12-18. Tickets for under 12s are free but must be bought in conjunction with an adult or concession ticket. Seat prices are £4 more in all cases. It will be possible to buy tickets at the ticket kiosk on the day, but there is a £2 increase in price, an increase not applied to on line purchases at any time.

The fan zone will be open as usual at 12.30pm with a Signal Happy Hour until 1.30pm with pints costing just £3.50. There is live music and kids' games from 1.30, while the food on Saturday will be willow sausages. We are also asking supporters to please bring along any non-perishable food donations they can spare to help Sutton Community Works tackle food poverty in Sutton. The collection point will be in the fan zone.

If you can't get to the game yo 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. A match programme is also available to order here for £3 plus postage to be sent out after the game.

Once again this weekend we regret that there are no Thameslink trains through West Sutton station due to engineering works. Southern trains are operating a normal Saturday service through Sutton station, which is a 15-20 minute walk from the ground and served by the 413 bus which goes past the main entrance and the 80 which goes closer to the visitors' accommodation at the Collingwood end. Both those bus services also connect with the Northern Line at Morden. Drivers should also be aware of newly-reduced speed limits on some of the main roads in the area, including the A232 and A217.

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Colchester United 1

24 February 2024

Sutton United 1 (Lakin 18) Colchester United 1(McGeehan 7)

Sutton and Colchester shared the points at the VBS, with Sutton missing a golden chance to take all three points and close the gap on the Essex side at the foot of the table when Harry Smith's penalty ten minutes from time was saved by Colchester goalkeeper Owen Goodman.

Sutton might have scored inside the first minute when Craig Eastmond blasted a shot over the bar, but Colchester replied with a shot from Arthur Read that was well saved by Steve Arnold, who had replaced Dean Bouzanis in the Sutton goal. A minute later Colchester led when the ball was pulled back by Noah Chilvers to John Akinde, whose low shot was turned in by Cameron McGeehan arriving late inside the penalty area.

Read hit the foot of the post from a free kick after being fouled by Eastmond, and within two minutes Sutton were level as a Josh Coley cross fell for Charlie Lakin, who forced the ball past Goodman. Lakin almost turned provider when his free kick was glanced just wide by Ben Goodliffe, and Smith ran on to a Craig Clay pass and lifted it past Goodman (above) only for Riley Harbottle to acrobatically clear off the line. Colchester finished the half strongly as Arnold saved from Jayden Fevrier and Read, the rebound from the second save netted by McGeehan but an offside flag coming to Sutton's rescue.

Craig Clay missed a good chance early in the second half, scuffing a shot wide from Lakin's corner, and at the other end Arnold made a brilliant reflex save when an inswinging free kick from Read came through a crowded penalty area. The big chance came with ten minutes to go as substitute Stephen Duke-McKenna's shot was blocked by a diving Harbottle with his hand, but Smith's penalty was saved to his right by Goodman.

Sutton: S Arnold, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki, J Kizzi, B Goodliffe, S Hart, J Coley(sub O Sanderson 69), C Eastmond, H Smith, C Lakin, C Clay(sub S Duke-McKenna 69). Subs n/u O Sowunmi, D Moore, L Angol, J Taylor, S Roberts. Booked: Eastmond, Goodliffe.

Colchester: O Goodman, J Richardson(sub M Egbo 64), E Iandolo, R Harbottle, C Hall, A Read, A Smith, C McGeehan(sub J Mingi 90+3), J Akinde (sub T Hopper 64), N Chilvers, J Fevrier(sub M Jay 83). Subs n/u T Dallison, S Hornby, B Ihionvien. Booked: Richardson, Read, Iandolo.

Referee: Ben Speedie

Attendance: 3,472(780 away)

 

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