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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

27 January 2024 Venue Poundland Bescot Stadium Attendance

Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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English Football League - League Two

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Match Previews

Walsall v Sutton preview

26 January 2024

After a well deserved point against promotion chasing Mansfield on Tuesday, Sutton are on the road again at the weekend with a trip to Walsall. We will be wearing white.

The home game against the West Midlands side saw one of the highspots of this season so far for Sutton, with two goals from Harry Smith, one from Omari Patrick, and an own goal, giving U's a 4-0 lead at the break which was retained through the second half. The following week saw them beat Gillingham 4-1 at the Poundland Stadium, which was symptomatic of an inconsistent season which has seen them win ten and lose ten of their 26 games. Their recent form has been positive, though, and they have won their last three home games, with only Wimbledon and Harrogate successful at the ground this season. 

The week after the encounter at the VBS, Sutton lost 4-1 at Doncaster with striker Mo Faal enjoying an impressive game, winning the penalty from which Doncaster went ahead, and then completing the scoring himself, and U's could face him again tomorrow after his loan at Doncaster ended and he has instead now joined Walsall from his nearby parent club West Bromwich Albion. Striker Danny Johnson is out with a toe injury, while midfielder Jamie Jellis may feature after being signed from Tamworth.

Last season saw U's within seconds of a win that would have revived a play-off challenge before Isaac Hutchinson grabbed a stoppage time equaliser, but having beaten The Saddlers for the first time in October, and unbeaten in the last three league games, U's will be hopeful of being able to complete a double.

Manager Steve Morison reports no new injury concerns after Tuesday's windswept draw at Mansfield, which means that Ben Goodliffe, who had to come off in the second half, should be available to make his 200th Sutton appearance. Harry Smith misses the game through suspension, the fifth of his six game ban.

Tomorrow's referee is Ross Joyce, in his ninth season as an EFL referee. He has previously taken charge of Sutton games at Bradford last season and at Scunthorpe in the previous campaign.

Admission is available on the day, price £25 for adults, £21 for over 60s, £20 for ages 18-20, £14 for under 18s. A family ticket is available (one adult, one under 18) for £27. Payment by card only. There is an away fans' bar open from 1pm, again all payment by card.

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, with a season pass available at the bargain rate of £85 until next Wednesday. Click here to buy the required pass.

For those travelling, the supporters' coach leaves the VBS at 8.30am.

If you're driving, leave the M6 at junction 7, taking the A34 towards Walsall. At the end of the dual carriageway turn left by the Bell pub in to Walstead Road and continue for about two miles, crossing the A4031 before coming to the ground on your right. Postcode WS1 4SA. Car parking is available for £7, card payment only. I

If travelling by train, the stadium has its own station, Bescot Stadium. Trains run from Euston, the fastest routes taking just over two hours with a change at Birmingham New Street in all cases. Trains from Euston are at 16 and 40 minutes past the hour. Using West Midlands services to Birmingham rather than Avanti is cheaper but slower, and in some cases requires an extra change at Rugby. From the station walk under the M6 and the ground is in front of you with the visitors' accommodation closest. Return trains leave at 11 and 41 minutes past the hour.

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Match Reports

Match report for Walsall 1 Sutton United 1

27 January 2024

Walsall 1 (Daniels 18) Sutton United 1 (Eastmond 23)

Sutton remain unbeaten under Steve Morison after another good performance earned a point at the Poundland Stadium, with U's disappointed not to have more reward.

U's made six changes from the starting line up at Mansfield, with Stephen Duke-McKenna and Deon Moore both making their debuts alongside Harry Beautyman in an attacking midfield three behind Lee Angol. Louis John and Sam Hart returned to the back line, John picking up an early booking for halting a threatening run by Mo Faal. U's had an escape when Douglas James-Taylor found himself behind the defence to try and head a Donervan Daniels pass over Dean Bouzanis but misdirected his effort with U's keeper able to collect the ball with ease, but Bouzanis had no chance soon afterwards when Daniels came forward to join a Walsall attack and after Jack Earing had turned Liam Gordon's pass in to his path he turned inside the challenge of Joe Kizzi and fired in to the top corner of the net.

Sutton were level within five minutes when, after a spell of pinball inside the penalty area in which Duke-McKenna had seen a sweetly struck shot blocked, the resulting throw in was cleared as far as Craig Eastmond, who had spurned a left footed shooting opportunity moments before when set up by Moore, but who this time met the ball with a first time left footed volley that took a deflection off Brandon Comley to beat Owen Evans.

Before the interval U's should have been ahead as Charlie Lakin failed to convert Moore's low cross from close range after a swift counter attack started by Beautyman winning the ball twice in midfield and sending Angol clear through the middle, and also skimmed a 25-yard volley just wide, while Angol almost punished Evans for some casual play on the edge of the penalty area, the former Sutton goalkeeper recovering to push the ball away for a corner, and Eastmond blasted a chance that was arguably easier than the one he had scored high in to the stands.

Walsall made a change at half time, Jamille Matt replacing James-Taylor, and it was the home side who had the better of the early exchanges and should have gone back in front when a low Earing cross found Mo Faal, who shot wide from just outside the six yard box when it seemed he had to score. U's made early second half changes, Omari Patrick and Josh Coley replacing Moore and Duke-McKenna, and in an entertaining half that at times moved quickly from end to end both sides looked capable of winning but some good attacking play was let down by poor deliveries at both ends, U's putting several set pieces straight in to the hands of Evans, who was having an uncertain afternoon and after needing to chase Angol to the touch line to prevent the striker taking advantage of another poor touch was booked for preventing a quick throw.

Bouzanis had to scramble across to claw away a speculative overhead kick from substitute Josh Gordon that threatened to loop in to the top corner, while at the other end a Ryan Jackson cross carried in front of goal with no one able to apply a crucial touch. U's had one late scare when a strong run from Priestly Farquharson was ended by Christian N'Guessan, who picked up the last of the afternoon's seven bookings, but unlike last season Walsall were unable to profit from the injury time free kick and U's picked up the point that was the least they deserved.

Sutton:  D Bouzanis, R Jackson, S Hart, J Kizzi, C Eastmond(sub C N'Guessan 77), L John(sub O Sowunmi 90+3), D Moore(sub O Patrick 54), C Lakin, L Angol (sub O Sanderson 77), H Beautyman, S Duke-McKenna (sub J Coley 54). Subs n/u S Arnold, N Adom-Malaki, Booked: John, Eastmond, N'Guessan.

Walsall: O Evans, D Okagbue, L Gordon, B Comley, D Daniels, P Farquharson, J Earing, I Hutchinson, M Faal(sub J Gordon 66), T Knowles, D James-Taylor(sub J Matt H-T). Subs n/u J Smith, T Allen, R Stirk, R Tierney, E Adegboyega. Booked: Okagbue, Knowles, Evans, Hutchinson

Referee: Ross Joyce

Attendance: 5,094(149 away)

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