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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.