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09 March 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 Grimsby preview

8 March 2024

A huge week in Sutton's bid to climb away from the foot of the Sky Bet League Two table starts on Saturday with a visit from Grimsby Town.

After winning against Forest Green last Saturday, Grimsby earned a goalless draw at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday to move eight points ahead of Sutton with two games in hand, and they would feel that a victory at the weekend would give their own survival hopes a huge boost with Colchester and Forest Green both facing sides in the promotion play-off zone in Barrow and Walsall respectively.

That win over Forest Green last week was Grimsby's first in seven games and their first in 2024, their previous success having come at Salford at the end of December, their only away win of the season. Over half of their away games this season have been drawn, and in the most recent of those on Tuesday they came closest to scoring when Donovan Wilson, a member of Sutton's National League championship side and who made over 100 appearances for us, scoring nineteen goals, hit the bar.

The meeting at Blundell Park in November also finished level, with Harry Smith cancelling out Rekeil Pyke's goal just before half time, and then Sutton failing to take a number of second half opportunities to bring all three points back from the Lincolnshire coast.

American referee Alex Chilowicz is making his second visit to the VBS since joining the EFL list in December, having been in charge for our game against Mansfield just before Christmas. He has been a Major League Soccer referee since 2017.

We will be participating in Level Playing Field's national campaign 'Unite For Access' - a celebration of accessibility and inclusion for disabled sports fans. Level Playing Field is the leading charity advocating for disabled sports fans in England and Wales, and the campaign has seen EFL clubs designating a game over the past fortnight to support the campaign.

 

If you want to know more about the work of Level Playing Field please visit www.levelplayingfield.org.uk.

You can also find them on social media by searching Level Playing Field.

Tickets are on sale on line here, with ground admission prices £21 for adults, £15 for concessions (age 60+/full time students with ID) and £7 for juniors (age 12-18). Under 12s are admitted free if accompanied by a paying adult or concession. Seat prices are £4 more in all categories. Remember that by buying on line you can avoid the £2 increase applied to tickets sold in person on the day of the game.

Our fanzone will be open from 12.30pm with a Signal happy hour until 1.30 when beer is £3.50 a pint. From 1.30 there will be live music and children's entertainment in the fan zone, with Jenny the Giraffe being joined by her friend from Grimsby, the Mighty Mariner. After the game the Arsenal v Brentford game will be showing in Ambers' Bar where there will also be a Strikers Are Key draw.

Yet again this weekend we regret that there are no Thameslink trains through West Sutton station due to engineering works. Southern trains are operating a normal Saturday service through Sutton station, which is a 15-20 minute walk from the ground and served by the 413 bus which goes past the main entrance and the 80 which goes closer to the visitors' accommodation at the Collingwood end. Both those bus services also connect at Morden with the Northern Line, which is also operating a normal service. Drivers should also be aware of newly-reduced speed limits on some of the main roads in the area, including the A232 and A217.

For those not able to get to the game we will have our usual audio commentary through our iFollow service. A match pass costs £2.50, while monthly passes are available for £4.49. Overseas supporters can watch a live stream of the game for £10. Click here to buy the relevant pass. 

A match programme can also be ordered to be sent out after the game, priced £3 plus postage. Click here to buy a copy.

After seeing their game at Plymouth last week postponed, and then turning in an impressive performance to beat Horley 3-1 in the Surrey Senior Cup, our academy side play their first EFL Youth Alliance Merit League 1 game this season at Portsmouth on Saturday morning. Kick off is 11.00am at the Portsmouth training ground in Copnor Road, PO3 5EW

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 1 Grimsby Town 1

9 March 2024

Sutton United 1(Lakin 88 pen) Grimsby Town 1(Obikwu 44)

Sutton rescued a point from what was generally agreed to be the poorest performance since Steve Morison took over as manager, a late spell of pressure ending with a penalty for handball, given by referee Alex Chilowicz on the advice of assistant Stephen Brown. Charlie Lakin smashed the penalty in to the net to cancel out Justin Obikwu's goal that had given Grimsby a deserved lead just before half time. For the second game running Sutton were grateful to goalkeeper Steve Arnold for several good saves either side of Obikwu's goal, and whereas last week Arnold's efforts had ultimately been in vain, this time they kept U's in the game to allow Lakin to salvage the draw when given the chance.

Arnold had an uncertain start to the game, failing to collect a free kick from the right and thankful that Craig Eastmond was well placed on the goalline to clear when Obikwu headed the ball goalwards. With Sutton struggling to make an impact on the Grimsby defence on a pitch which made flowing football difficult, Grimsby had the better of the game and Arnold made a good save to gather in a low shot from Harry Clifton before a fine stop at close range denied Obikwu. It was a shortlived reprieve, though, as moments later Clifton headed the ball back in to the penalty area after U's had partially cleared a corner, and Obikwu neatly steered a shot past Arnold and inside the post.

Sutton's failure to create a serious chance brought a double change at half time, Olly Sanderson and Omar Sowunmi replacing Craig Clay and Jack Taylor, but there was little change to the general flow of the game, as Obikwu produced a fine solo run before having a shot blocked, and Gavin Holohan's low 20-yard shot turned aside by Arnold. The keeper also denied Kieran Green, and when he was beaten by a Harvey Rodgers header from the resulting corner, the crossbar came to U's rescue.

To that point Sutton's only shot in anger had been a Sanderson effort which flew wide, but inside the last fifteen minutes, after Josh Coley and Deon Moore had been sent on to bolster the attack, U's began to put the Grimsby defence under pressure. A Lakin free kick led to a scramble in which both Sanderson and Harry Smith had shots blocked, and from another Lakin free kick Sowunmi's header fell to Eastmond, whose shot was diverted for a corner. Lakin's resulting corner from the right struck Grimsby captain Danny Rose scrambled it away, but the assistant spotted the use of a hand and after a long discussion between the assistant and the referee, who in the first half had overruled the same assistant quite demonstratively when he flagged for a foul, the penalty was awarded and blasted in by Lakin to level the scores.

Even then Grimsby might have grabbed the victory they would have felt they deserved when Curtis Thompson's shot was diverted to Holohan, but again Arnold was equal to the effort and his save ensured U's came out of the game with a point.

Sutton: S Arnold, R Jackson, N Adom-Malaki, J Kizzi, J Taylor (sub O Sowunmi H-T), S Hart(sub D Moore 64), S Duke-McKenna(sub J Coley 64), C Eastmond(sub C N'Guessan 90+), H Smith, C Clay(sub O Sanderson H-T), C Lakin. Subs n/u M Kerbey, J Williams. Booked: Eastmond

Grimsby: H Cartwright, D Tharme, D Hume, K Green(sub J Andrews 88), H Rodgers, C Thompson, T Mullarkey, G Holohan, J Obikwu(sub D Wilson 62), D Rose, H Clifton. Subs n/u J Eastwood, L Smith, A Eisa, R Pyke, H Wood. Booked: Thompson, Rose, Rodgers.

Referee: Alex Chilowicz

Attendance: 3,346(673 away)

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