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13 February 2024 Venue VBS Community Stadium Attendance

Kick off 19:45 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Sutton v Wrexham preview

13 February 2024

Sutton's last scheduled home midweek Sky Bet League Two fixture of the season is the eagerly awaited visit of Wrexham in front of a near sell out crowd at the VBS. Before that the academy side faces Stevenage in an EFL Youth Alliance game at Tooting & Mitcham, kick off 12 noon.

Neither side is going in to the game at the VBS in the best of form, with Wrexham's defeat at home to Bradford on Saturday their third league defeat in a row and U's run without a win extended to eight games in the defeat at Morecambe, with the gap to Colchester and Grimsby remaining at seven points.

After winning the National League last season amid great publicity, Wrexham were widely expected to feature strongly in the promotion picture this season in League Two, and thanks mainly to some impressive home form they have been around the top of the table for much of the campaign and come to Sutton in fifth place, two points outside the automatic promotion places. Saturday's defeat against Bradford was their first at home since the opening day of the season, but away from the Racecourse Ground, while they have won four times, their away record shows fewer goals scored than any other side in the division.

Sutton's last win was against Wimbledon on Boxing Day, but U's have a good record against Wrexham at the VBS, never having lost in five league encounters, and were within two minutes of what would have been a deserved point at the Racecourse Ground in October before an unstoppable volley from Elliott Lee tipped the game Wrexham's way. There are not expected to be any new injury concerns following Saturday's defeat against Morecambe.

Tuesday's referee is Daniel Middleton, in his first full EFL season but a regular visitor to the VBS in recent years, his last game being the Carabao Cup tie against Cambridge United in August.

At the time of writing it is not envisgaed that there will be any tickets on sale at the ground this evening. A small number of ground tickets were made available on Monday evening and are available on this link

As it is a midweek game it will be live streamed both in the UK and overseas, with a match pass costing £10 and available here. It is possible to order a programe to be sent out after the game, price £3 plus postage, and you can click here to order a copy.

The home fan zone will be open from 6pm, with a Signal Happy Hour between 6 and 7 when a pint costs just £3.50. From 6.30 there is live music from Amelie Tu and Two Sam Band. Ambers' Bar and the 1898 Lounge also open at 6pm.

Anyone wanting to watch a game earlier in the day should head for Tooting & Mitcham's Imperial Fields ground where our academy side plays Stevenage in the first of two meetings between the teams this week. Kick off is 12 noon on the 3G pitch at the far end of the complex behind the main stadium, and admission is free.

 

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Wrexham 2

13 February 2024

Sutton United 1(Lakin 76) Wrexham 2(Boyle 45+3, Lee 85)

Sutton were unfortunate to lose against promotion chasing Wrexham, the visitors' Elliot Lee coming up with a late winner as he had at the Racecourse Ground in October, if not is quite a spectacular fashion.

In front of a near capacity crowd U's made four changes from the side beaten at Morecambe, with Harry Beautyman, Deon Moore, Omari Patrick and Harry Smith, making his first start since his six match ban and named as captain, replacing Craig Eastmond, Sam Hart, Stephen Duke-McKenna and Lee Angol, who were all on the bench, while Wrexham gave full debuts to Luke Bolton and Jack Marriott, with Paul Mullin among those on their substitutes' bench.

Both sides cancelled each other out in the opening stages, but it was Sutton with the first chance in the 11th minute. Omari Patrick seized on a loose pass and produced a curling low shot which was pushed away by Wrexham keeper Arthur Okonkwo.  Smith was quick to follow up, but couldn't force the rebound over the line as Okonkwo tipped the ball away.

Not long after, Charlie Lakin bounced a corner from the right off the crossbar, with U’s looked more likely to open the scoring and the dead ball delivery of Beautyman and Lakin causing problems for Phil Parkinson’s side, Joe Kizzi heading just over from one free kick.. 

It took until the 27th minute for Wrexham to create their first meaningful chance of the game, which fell Marriott, who collected a through ball from James McClean but dragged his shot wide from a tight angle. 

One minute's additional time was signalled, but as the board went up Beautyman was receiving treatment before being replaced by Eastmond, and so the first half was in the third minute of stoppage time when Will Boyle broke the deadlock, shooting in after Bolton's tenacious run had ended with a pass in to the penalty area that Sutton failed to clear.

Sutton began the second half on the front foot, piling the pressure on the visitors, and Nino Adom-Malaki’s superb 25-yard effort was close to finding the back of the net if it were not for the outstretched arm of Okonkwo, the ball striking the bar on its way down before nearly being scrambled in by Ollie Sanderson. U's had two loud penalty appeals waved away, the first when Smith seemed to be pulled down as he tried to reach Patrick's cross, and then when a Kizzi shot struck McClean on the arm, the referee's decision to wave play on unlikely to have survived had VAR been in operation, but as it was his only action was to book Eastmond for dissent.

Lakin delivered another corner, this time met by Eastmond, whose header flashed inches over the bar, but U’s efforts were finally rewarded when Eastmond was fouled just outside the penalty area and Lakin's free kick deflected off the wall and past the wrongfooted Okonkwo to register his first goal for the club. 

The goal seemed to energise Wrexham, who had by now brought Mullin and Ollie Palmer in to the game, and Mullin saw an angled header hit the bar before Bolton made a darting run down the line and cut the ball back to Palmer, whose shot produced a fine save from Dean Bouzanis. However it was heartbreak for Sutton with five minutes of normal time to go as, after U's again had failed to take several opportunities to clear, Bolton again proved a nuisance for the U's backline and played the ball through to Lee, whose shot found the net inside the near post.

Sutton's best chance of an equaliser was a Charlie Lakin volley from distance that was comfortably saved by Okonkwo, but Wrexham held on for a first league win at Sutton that moved them above Barrow in to fourth place, while the latter's home defeat to Forest Green returned U's to the foot of the table.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki (sub S Hart 87), J Kizzi, B Goodliffe, C Lakin, D Moore (sub S Duke-McKenna 71), O Sanderson(sub L Angol 87), H Smith, H Beautyman (sub C Eastmond 45+2), O Patrick. Subs n/u S Arnold, O Sowunmi, L John. Booked: Adom-Malaki, Eastmond, Sanderson.

Wrexham: A Okownkwo, J Bolton(sub J Mendy 87), M Cleworth, W Boyle, E O'Connell, A Cannon, G Evans (sub L Young 64),  E Lee, S Fletcher (sub O Palmer 72), J McClean, J Marriott (sub P Mullin 72). Subs n/u J Tunnicliffe, M Howard, R Barnett. 

Referee: Daniel Middleton

Attendance: 4,831(933 away)

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