The battle for Sky Bet League Two points takes a back seat this weekend with the first round of the Emirates FA Cup, and for the second season running Sutton have been drawn at home to non-league opposition.
Last season Vanarama National League South Farnborough provided one of the upsets of the round, scoring two late goals at the VBS to knock U's out, so Sutton will be keen to avoid a repeat against AFC Fylde, who were promoted back to the Vanarama National League as North Division champions in the summer having been relegated three years earlier.
Fylde initially found the step up difficult, winning only two of their first fifteen National League games and being at the foot of the table, but a defeat of Leek Town in the 4th qualifying round of the FA Cup has heralded a change of fortunes and seven points out of nine from their three subsequent league games have seen them climb out of the bottom four.
Fylde's best FA Cup season came in the 2019-20 season when they beat Nantwich and Kingstonian to earn a third round tie against Sheffield United which they lost 2-1 at Bramall Lane. Last season they held Gillingham to a 1-1 draw at Mill Farm before losing the replay by the only goal. Their squad includes two survivors, Danny Philliskirk and Nick Haughton, from their squad in the last meeting between the sides, a goalless draw in December 2019, while a familiar name to U's supporters will be Josh Kay, who has played against Sutton a number of times for Barrow.
Sutton, for whom Louis John, Ben Goodliffe, Harry Beautyman, Craig Dundas and Rob Milsom were all in the squad for that game four years ago, have had a disappointing run of results in the FA Cup since Matt Gray took over as manager, winning just one of six ties in that time, a 1-0 first round win at Hayes & Yeading two seasons ago, but go in to the game on the back of several improved performances and a fine win at home to Bradford City last Saturday.
Referee James Durkin is a National League official in his fifth season at that level, and took charge of several games during Sutton's National League championship season in 2020-21.
Should the scores be level after 90 minutes there will be a replay at Fylde in the week of 13 November, replacing the Bristol Street Motors Trophy tie at Charlton.
Tickets for the game are on sale on line here, or can be bought from the ticket kiosk on the day of the game. Prices are £16 for adults, £8 for concessions and £4 for ages 12-18. Tickets for under 12s are free if bought in conjunction with an adult or concession ticket, and stand seats are £4 more in all cases.
The printed programme makes a return this weekend and will be on sale around the ground, but if you can't get to the game and would like a copy, you can order one on line here to be sent out after the game.
Due to FA Cup regulations tomorrow's iFollow audio commentary is only available to those with monthly or annual passes - individual match passes will not be on sale for this game, nor will it be available to be watched overseas. Anyone who would like to buy a monthly (£4.49) or annual (£45) audio pass should click here.