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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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03 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 Doncaster preview

2 February 2024

Despite Tuesday's home defeat against Harrogate, Sutton can close the gap to the teams above to four points on Saturday when 22nd placed Doncaster Rovers are the visitors to the VBS Community Stadium.

Widely expected to be among the challengers for promotion this season, Doncaster have instead struggled in the lower half of the table and a run of one win in nine games has pulled them back to the edge of the relegation zone. They have won two of their thirteen away games this season, at Forest Green and Tranmere, the last of those coming in October. However they did convincingly have the better of things when the sides met earlier in October at the Eco-Power Stadium, beating U's 4-1 a week after U's had put four past Walsall.

Experienced defender Richard Wood returned from injury in Tuesday's Bristol Street Motors Trophy defeat at Bradford, while goalkeeper Thimothée Lo-Tutala could feature after signing on loan from Hull City. .

Sutton, who suffered a first defeat under Steve Morison on Tuesday, will welcome back Harry Smith, who scored Sutton's late consolation goal at Doncaster in October, after he missed the whole of January through suspension, with Steve hoping to be able to choose from a full squad.

Referee Scott Simpson is in his first season on the EFL list and is making his second visit to the ground this season having been in the middle for the game against Forest Green in September.

Tickts are on sale through our ticketing site here, prices are as usual £21 for adults, £15 for concessions (age 60 and over/full time students with ID) and £7 for juniors age 12-18. Tickets for under 12s are free if bought in conjunction with an adult or concession ticket. Seat prices are £4 more in all cases. Tickets will also be on sale at the ticket kiosk on Saturday but there is a £2 increase in price if paying on the day in person, an increase not applied to any on line tickets bought on Saturday.

Supporters should note that there are no trains through West Sutton station tomorrow due to engineering works, but services through Sutton station are operating normally with no early shutdown.

The fan zone will be open from 12.30pm with a Signal Happy Hour, where beer is £3.50 a pint, and we have live music and children's games from 1.30pm. The food on Saturday is Willows Sausages.

The match programme for Saturday is the same one as was on sale on Tuesday, being a joint version to cover both games. Anyone who hasn't yet bought one and who won't be at the game can order one to be sent out after the game here.

The game will as usual be covered on our iFollow service, with an audio commentary available in the UK and a live stream for overseas viewers. For UK listeners a match pass costs £2.50, with monthly passes available for £4.49. Overseas viewers can buy a video pass for £10. Click here to buy the required pass.

There is a home game for the academy side this morning, with Gillingham the visitors to Aberdour School for a 10.30am kick off in the EFL Youth Alliance.

 

 

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Doncaster Rovers 1

3 February 2024

Sutton United 1(Eastmond 73) Doncaster Rovers 1(Ironside 90+6 pen)

A penalty six minutes in to stoppage time denied Steve Morison his first win as Sutton manager and kept U's seven points behind the sides just outside the relegation zone. It was a bitter blow for U's, who had dominated long periods of the game and looked to have grabbed what would have been a deserved and valuable victory when captain Craig Eastmond found the net for the second successive Saturday with just over a quarter of an hour left. However substitute Omari Patrick missed two chances to give his team a two goal cushion, and a moment of rashness from goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, who came off his line to try and collect a cross from Owen Bailey but was adjudged to have felled Ironside as he tried to punch clear, allowed Ironside to convert from the spot.

There was a lively start to the game with Doncaster striker Billy Waters put through by Hakeeb Adelajun after just fifty seconds and going down as he tried to go round Bouzanis, with referee Scott Simpson deciding the striker had dived and booking him accordingly.

It was as close as Doncaster were to come for much of the first half as Sutton enjoyed the better of possession and territorial advantage but failing to test debutant goalkeeper Tim Lo-Tutala as several crosses were comfortably cleared. Lee Angol sent a sharp volley on the turn straight at the keeper, who was then off his line quickly to deny Olly Sanderson who had turned in to space inside the penalty area. It wasn't until five minutes before the break that Doncaster threatened again when Waters was again in behind the defence and this time Ben Goodliffe, back in the starting line up and making his 200th appearance for Sutton, diverted his shot wide.

The second half saw U's continue to press for the breakthrough, with Harry Smith returning from his six game suspension along with Omari Patrick on the hour mark. The clear chances still didn't reflect the approach work, however, and it wasn't until Charlie Lakin sent a volley from twenty yards narrowly wide that the Doncaster goal was threatened. It was nevertheless well deserved when U's did take the lead with a fine goal, a sweeping crossfield move ending with Kizzi putting Ryan Jackson in on the right and his low cross was met by Eastmond bursting in to the penalty area and volleying in after his first effort had been blocked.

Patrick should have doubled the lead when he volleyed wide from Stephen Duke-McKenna's free kick, and with two minutes left pulled another shot across goal from a narrow angle. Doncaster's efforts to grab a point looked to have gone when Ironside spooned a shot over at full stretch from George Broadbent's pass, but with the indicated five minutes' stoppage time just about up Smith was tackled on the half way line and Bailey's cross found Bouzanis coming almost to the edge of the penalty area and colliding with Ironside as he tried to punch clear. The referee waited for Jon Taylor to send the loose ball wide before pointing to the spot, and after Harry Beautyman had been booked for dissent Ironside coolly tucked the penalty in to the corner of the net. Lakin tried to regain the lead straight from the kick off but his effort was just too high and the final whistle followed.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki(sub H Beautyman 74), J Kizzi, B Goodliffe, C Eastmond, S Duke-McKenna, O Sanderson(sub O Patrick 60), L Angol(sub H Smith 60), C Lakin, S Hart. Subs n/u L John, C N'Guessan, S Arnold, D Moore. Booked: Kizzi, Beautyman.

Doncaster: T Lo-Tutala, J Sterry(sub J Taylor 75), O Bailey, J McGrath(sub J Maxwell H-T), J Olowu, R Wood, J Senior, H Adelakun(sub G Broadbent 59), J Ironside, T Rowe(sub K Hurst 82), B Waters(sub L Molyneux 74). Subs n/u L Jones, M Craig. Booked: Waters, Wood, Broadbent.

Referee: Scott Simpson

Attendance: 3,021(469 away)

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