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30 January 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 Harrogate preview

30 January 2024

An important week in Sutton's quest to pull out of the Sky Bet League Two relegation zone begins on Tuesday when Harrogate Town are the visitors for a game that was postponed in December due to a waterlogged pitch.

Saturday's results at the foot of the table saw U's lose ground on the sides above, with a seven point gap to three teams, but wins against Harrogate in this week's only midweek fixture, and then against Doncaster on Saturday would move U's to within a point of the South Yorkshire side.

Harrogate will come to the VBS hoping to end a record which has seen Sutton win all five previous meetings at the ground, four in the league and one in the quarter finals of the Papa Johns Trophy in January 2022, but they will travel with hope, with only one defeat in their last eight league games and in possession of one of the best away records in the division. No team has won more than their seven games away from home, with only Stockport, Mansfield and Barrow matching that, and although less impressive home form has kept them in 11th place going in to the game, they are only four points outside the play offs.

Sutton will hope Ben Goodliffe has recovered from the injury that kept him out of Saturday's 1-1 draw at Walsall, U's fourth consecutive league draw repeating a sequence in November and December, while Jay Williams, signed on Monday from Fulham, could be added to the squad.

Referee Stephen Parkinson is making his first refereeing visit to Sutton having taken charge of Saturday's EFL League Two game between Crewe and Salford.

For tonight's game only, the EchoLaser stand and terrace will be available to Sutton supporters to enable them to support the team from this terrific viewpoint close to the goal at the Collingwood End. In addition Sutton supporters will have use of the fan zone usually reserved for visiting supporters behind the EchoLaser stand, with a Signal Happy Hour from 6.15pm when beer is £3.50 a pint, and live music from 2 Sam Band in conjunction with Basement Door. 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. Ground admission tickets will include access to the Echo Laser terrace. Seat prices are £4 more in all cases. You can buy your tickets here. Tickets will also be on sale at the ticket kiosk tonight but there is a £2 increase in price if paying on the night in person, an increase not applied to any on line tickets bought on Tuesday.

Tickets purchased for the original date in December, when the game was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch, are valid.

Supporters are reminded that due to the rail strike on Tuesday there are NO Southern or Thameslink services, which means that there are no trains through West Sutton or Sutton stations. South Western trains are cancelled as well, ruling out a connection with the 151 bus at Worcester Park. Anyone travelling from London by public transport will need to use the Northern Line to Morden and then take the 80 or 413 bus, both of which pass the ground.

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Supporters unable to get to the game can watch a live feed whether in the UK or overseas on Tuesday, with a match pass costing £10. Overseas supporters have until Wednesday to purchase a half season ticket for just £85 to cover all games until the end of the season - this offer is not available to UK based supporters. Click here to buy the relevant pass.

The programme for the match will be on sale around the ground - it is a double issue this week to cover Saturday's game against Doncaster as well, and costs £4. If you won't be at either game and want to order a copy to be sent out after the games, please click here. The programme for the postponed game in December has also now been made available for sale for £1 - you can buy that at the ground or order a copy here

 

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Harrogate Town 2

30 January 2024

Sutton United 1 (Jackson 87) Harrogate Town 2 (Muldoon 58,75)

Sutton suffered a first defeat under Steve Morison's management, and a first ever home defeat against Harrogate, as the visitors scored twice in the second half through Jack Muldoon and withstood a late comeback from Sutton who could only manage Ryan Jackson's first Sutton goal in reply.

There were six changes made from the 1-1 draw with Walsall at the weekend. Louis John made way at centre-back for a return to the starting line-up for Omar Sowunmi, Nino Adom-Malaki made his home debut at left back in place of Sam Hart, Christian N’Guessan replaced Charlie Lakin in the heart of the midfield, while in the attacking areas there were changes with Ollie Sanderson, Josh Coley, and Omari Patrick coming in for Lee Angol, Stephen Duke-McKenna, and Deon Moore, Sanderson also making his home debut

It was a strong start to the first half by Sutton, whose first opportunity of the game came from the a long throw delivered by Adom-Malaki. Eventually finding the feet of Patrick on the left, his cross found the head of Sanderson, who headed the ball over the bar.

Sutton had been the better of the two sides as it approached the quarter-hour mark and when another Adom-Malaki cross found its way into the box after the full back had collected a superb pass from goalkeeper Dean Bouzanis, Patrick's header took a deflection on the way through and James Belshaw showed brilliant reflexes to tip the ball narrowly over.

Continuing Sutton's strong start, Sowunmi rose above his marker at the back post and headed Harry Beautyman's corner just wide from a tight angle, but Harrogate became more of a threat and their first chance came when Matt Daly's first time half-volley from the edge of the penalty area was comfortably saved by Bouzanis down to his right. As the half draw to a close, the Yorkshire side fashioned a couple of dangerous opportunities through George Thomson and Matty Daly. The first came when Daly laid the ball back in the box for Thomson to strike straight at a Sutton defender and then Daly cut inside and had a shot blocked. The best chance, though, fell to Muldoon, who was put through by Thomson but shot wide as Bouzanis came out.

Sutton made two changes at the break, Charlie Lakin and another home debutant, Stephen Duke-McKenna, replacing Coley and Craig Eastmond, and started the second half similarly to the first, with Duke-McKenna immediately involved as Sanderson slipped the QPR loanee through to deliver a dangerous cross that was turned away for a corner. Moments later, the U’s came so close to taking the lead when Omari Patrick turned away from his marker to collect a bouncing ball and drove in to the area, only for his goalbound shot to deflect off Stephen Dooley and go wide via the post.

Despite Sutton’s strong start, Harrogate opened the scoring when Abraham Odoh skilfully guided Thomson's crossfield pass in to the path of Daly, whose low cross was turned in by Muldoon. As U's searched for an equaliser, Adom-Malaki provided a deep cross to the back post, with Beautyman's header deflected for a corner and Sanderson had a great chance when Sowunmi headed down a Lakin corner but miscued his effort wide.

For all Sutton's pressure, Harrogate took a firmer grip on the game with fifteen minutes left when Muldoon claimed his second of the night, slipping the ball past the oncoming Bouzanis following a perfectly weighted through ball from Kayne Ramsey. 

Again U's could have replied immediately as Patrick's low cross was turned against the bar and over by substitute Lee Angol, and having now hit both the post and the crossbar in the second half it seemed to be one of those nights. Eventually, U’s did have the ball in the back of the net as Jackson's low effort  found its way through a crowded penalty area and past Belshaw, but despite Sutton’s best efforts, an equaliser wouldn't come and Harrogate left Sutton with points for the first time in their history.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki, O Sowunmi, J Kizzi, C Eastmond (sub C Lakin H-T), J Coley(sub S Duke-McKenna H-T), C N'Guessan (sub L Angol 64), O Sanderson, H Beautyman, O Patrick. Subs n/u L John, S Arnold, D Moore, S Hart. Booked: Kizzi

Harrogate: J Belshaw, K Ramsey, L Gibson, T Sims, S Dooley (sub L Sutton 55), W Burrell, G Thomson, D Cornelius, A Odoh, M Daly, J Muldoon(sub J March 83). Subs n/u J Mattock, J Falkingham, J Daly, J Sivi, J Mitchell. Booked: Dooley, Burrell, Sutton

Referee: Stephen Parkinson

Attendance:2,482(68 away)

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