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01 January 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 Newport preview

31 December 2023

A busy spell of four Sky Bet League Two games in nine days finishes for Sutton on Monday when Newport County visit the VBS Community Stadium.

The festive period has seen Sutton move off the bottom of the table above Forest Green and record a first away league win of the season, but U's were unable to make any more impression on the teams above on Friday at Gillingham when Scott Malone's late thunderbolt broke through a determined defensive performance from U's, who had played since the 26th minute with ten men after Harry Smith was sent off. With Salford and Colchester also beaten on Friday, U's go in to the first game of 2024 still six points behind the two closest teams.

An appeal against the red card was unsuccessful and so Smith will begin a four match suspension on Monday, an extra game added to the usual three for serious foul play as it was his second dismissal of the season. Apart from that interim manager Jason Goodliffe reports everyone being fit after Friday's game, although goalkeeper Jack Rose, who has been out through injury, is now unwell and will not be available. 

When Omari Patrick gave Sutton the lead at Rodney Parade in August it seemed as though Sutton's first away win of the season would come on the same ground as their last victory of the previous campaign, but three Newport goals in the last twenty minutes, one headed in to his own net by Joe Kizzi, saw the game end in a 3-1 defeat for U's, a result that moved Newport in to the top six. They have failed to build on that position, though, and are currently in 18th place, having won three and lost nine of their twelve away games, the wins coming at Forest Green, Gillingham and Morecambe. Striker Will Evans, who also found the net in the August game, is third in the division's scoring charts with fifteen goals, behind Notts County's Macaulay Langstaff and Jake Young of Swindon.

Referee Alan Young is making a New Year's Day visit to the VBS for the second time, having been in the middle for the game against Exeter City two years ago. Now in his sixth EFL season, he was in charge of last season's games against Chelsea in the EFL Trophy and Farnborough in the FA Cup.

Admission prices are as usual, £21 for adults, £15 for concessions and £7 for ages 12-18. Tickets for Under 12s are free if bought in conjunction with an adult or concession ticket. Stand seats are £4 more in all cases. Tickets can be bought on line here, or at the ticket kiosk at the ground on the day, although prices for tickets bought in person on the day rise by £2, an increase not applied to on line purchases. There is a special offer for anyone who hasn't previously attended a U's fixture and is buying a ticket for the first time, who when buying can claim a free ticket to any other home league game this season apart from the game against Wrexham. To claim this offer, please email tickets@suttonunited.net.

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If you can't get there, as it is a Bank Holiday the game will be live streamed, with a match pass costing £10. Overseas viewers can still take advantage of the half-season ticket offer, with a pass costing just £85 to cover all league games to the end of the season, though not FA Cup ties. Click here for more information and to buy the required pass.

The programme for the game is a double issue that also covers last week's game against Mansfield, and will be on sale around the ground for those who weren't at that game. Anyone who hasn't been able to get to either game can order a copy here to be posted out after the game, price £4 plus postage.

Tickets for next Saturday's Emirates FA Cup tie at Plymouth will be on sale at tomorrow's game. Just to remind supporters that there will be no tickets on sale at Plymouth on Saturday, but the Sutton shop and office will be open this week for anyone not able to be at Monday's game and who still hasn't bought a ticket. You can also book tomorrow for the Supporters' Club coach to Plymouth which leaves at 7.30am. Fare is £30 and payable upon booking. If you're not at the game and want to book for the coach please email johnparsons092@gmail.com.

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Newport County 1

1 January 2024

Sutton United 1 (Fadahunsi 90) Newport County 1(McLoughlin 79)

Just when it seemed as though Sutton were set for the sort of undeserved defeat that happens to sides at the wrong end of the table, Tope Fadahunsi popped up with his first goal of the season in the last of the ninety minutes that was the least that U's merited after a spirited performance, particularly in the second half, that lacked only composure in front of goal. U's hit the post in the first half and later had the ball in the net twice, only for the goals to be ruled out by the officials, while Newport goalkeeper Nick Townsend made several good stops, and it was all too predictable that Newport would score with what was their second on target shot of the game, but Fadahunsi darted in front of Townsend to volley in a Rob Milsom corner to make sure that U's efforts didn't go completely unrewarded and that the gap to the sides above would close to five points.

With Harry Smith beginning a four match ban after his red card at Gillingham, Lee Angol played up front with Josh Coley, Dion Pereira and Omari Patrick supporting him, while Dominic Gape and Christian N'Guessan comprised the midfield and Omar Swounmi and Ben Goodliffe were reunited in the centre of the defence with Joe Kizzi reverting to right back. While Sam Hart started at left back, his wretched luck with injuries continued as what appeared to be a groin injury forced him off just before the half hour mark, Milsom brought on as a replacement.

The first half was scrappy, with Sutton producing the two moves of quality. First a fine left to right move ended with Gape's cross being headed wide by Angol, and Patrick then chased a Coley pass before setting up Milsom for a deep cross that was met by Pereira with a looping header that came back off the post. At the other end Seb Palmer-Houlden sent a header wide from a McLoughlin cross, and after Coley had picked up the afternoon's only booking for a challenge on Ryan Delaney as the Newport captain was lining up a shot, Bryn Morris's free kick diverted wide off the defensive wall.

U's made a change at the break, Fadahunsi replacing Patrick to play alongside Angol, but before it could take effect U's would have been behind but for Dean Bouzanis, who made a brilliant save to tip a curling Palmer-Houlden shot round the post. For much of the rest of the half it was Sutton pressing to break the deadlock, with Pereira at the heart of most of the threat. Gape set him up for one low shot that was saved low down by Townsend before another Pereira shot was deflected just wide, and when he did find the net Aiden O'Brien, who may have got a final touch, had strayed offside. If at that point Pereira was entitled to curse his luck, he should have done better when a superb run by Coley sliced through the Newport defence before he pulled the ball back but Pereira blazed the chance over the bar.

Townsend was scrambling again soon afterwards to push away a deflected Coley shot, and O'Brien glanced a header wide, but from the goal kick that resulted from that second chance Sutton were made to pay for not taking chances as Will Evans controlled the ball before laying it off to James Waite, and he in turn rolled a pass in to the path of McLoughlin who blasted an unstoppable shot past Bouzanis.

Sutton refused to accept defeat and Harry Beautyman, another second half substitute, met a Pereira cross with a header that was well saved by Townsend, while Milsom saw a superb volley crash in to the net off the post only for the whistle to have gone for a foul by Kizzi. Sowunmi was sent up front for the last five minutes, and the pressure finally told as Pereira had another shot deflected wide for a corner which Milsom swung in to the six yard box for Fadahunsi to beat Townsend to the ball and volley in from close range.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, S Hart(sub R Milsom 28), O Sowunmi, B Goodliffe, D Gape(sub H Beautyman 60), J Coley(sub R Jackson 85), C N'Guessan, L Angol(sub A O'Brien 60), D Pereira, O Patrick(sub T Fadahunsi H-T). Subs n/u S Arnold, C Clay. Booked: Coley

Newport: N Townsend, L Payne, S McLoughlin, R Delaney, J Clarke, M Baker, W Evans, B Morris, S Palmer-Houlden, S Bennett(sub M Bondswell 76), H Charsley(sub J Waite 62). Subs n/u J Maxted, K Rai, N Wood, N Sanca, H Bright.

Referee: Alan Young

Attendance: 2,737(268 away)

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