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Kick off 15:00 (UK)

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21 October 2023 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 Morecambe preview and travel information

20 October 2023

Sutton return to the VBS this weekend looking to recapture the form of a fortnight earlier when Walsall were beaten 4-0, U's first league win since the opening day of the season.

The opponents are Morecambe, who were relegated from League One at the end of last season, two seasons after reaching that level for the first time in their history. Manager Derek Adams, who led them to promotion through the play-offs before leaving to take over at Bradford City, returned before the end of the following season and steered them clear of the drop but was unable to repeat the feat last season. Morecambe have been an EFL club since 2007, and have visited Sutton once before, in April 2000 when a 1-0 win guided Sutton closer to the Nationwide Conference relegation trap door and completed a double for the Lancashire side who had won 6-2 in the home game at their old Christie Park ground.

Their league position of 12th may be slightly false as they have two games in hand over most clubs having seen their games during the international break postponed due to having several players called up by their countries, including Eli King (Wales U21s), JJ McKiernan (Northern Ireland U21s), Michael Mellon (Scotland U21s) and Jacob Bedeau (Grenada). McKiernan goes in to the weekend in form after scoring a hat trick in Morecambe's 3-1 win at Colchester in their last game, although James Connolly was sent off in that game.
Sutton will also welcome a player back from international duty with Dion Pereira having earned his first two caps for Antigua & Barbuda in their two Concacaf Nations League games against The Bahamas. Louis John and Jack Rose have begun training after their injuries while long term injury absentees are Craig Eastmond and Scott Kashket. Dominic Gape, signed this week from Wycombe, is unlikely to feature this Saturday as U's look to repeat the performance that swept Walsall aside a fortnight ago.
Referee Neil Hair is in his sixth season as an EFL referee and was last at the VBS on Good Friday for the visit of Stockport County.
Tickets are as usual available on line at £21 for adults, £15 for concessions (age 60+/full time students with ID) and £7 for juniors age 12-18. Tickets for under 12s are free if bought in conjunction with an adult or concession ticket. Seat prices are £4 extra in all cases. Tickets can be bought on line here. Admission will be available on the day, but a reminder that tickets sold in person on the day carry an increase of £2 which does not apply to on line purchases.
Tickets will also be on sale for Tuesday's game away to Wrexham, for which we would remind supporters that no tickets will be available to Sutton supporters on the night.
The match programme is on line only this weekend and can be downloaded free of charge here.
The fanzone opens at 12.30, with jerk chicken on sale from the pie pod and from 1.45pm Liv Layne performing live as part of our new agreement with Basement Door (see here for more details).
Unfortunately once again there are no trains through West Sutton station this weekend due to engineering works. Southern services through Sutton are running normally from Victoria, and buses 80 and 413 connect Sutton station to the ground - they also connect with the London Underground Northern Line at Morden.
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 viewers a match pass costs £2.50, but excellent value monthly passes for £4.49 and a season pass for £45 are available. Overseas viewers can buy a video pass for £10, with a season pass available for £170. Click here for further details and to buy a pass. 
See it hear it EFL TAR.jpg
Tomorrow is our designated game for the EFL's 'Together Against Racism' campaign and we will be highlighting during the afternoon how supporters can help report discriminatory, anti social and criminal behaviour at the ground. The league yesterday released a video of a discussion about discrimination between David Prutton and Jobi McAnuff and you can find more details here

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 2 Morecambe 3

21 October 2023

Sutton United 2 (Smith 45+5, Goodliffe 62) Morecambe 3 (Mellon 31, Mayor 45+3, Senior 90+1)

After battling back from two goals down to draw level and then look the likelier winners for much of the last half hour, Sutton were dealt an agonising blow by Morecambe's Joel Senior, whose goal in the first minute of stoppage time allowed Morecambe to head north with all three points and keep U's three points adrift at the foot of League Two.

It was harsh on Sutton, who had shown great spirit after conceding a second goal in first half stoppage time and had cut the deficit before the half time whistle, but U's will feel that all three goals that Morecambe scored were avoidable, with Senior allowed to run twenty yards unchallenged before sending in a low shot that beat Dean Bouzanis at his near post.

Sutton names an unchanged side for the third league game in a row, and the start was reminiscent of the defeat of Walsall a fortnight ago. It took a fine save from Stuart Moore to deny Ben Goodliffe's downward header after a left wing corner had been headed back from beyond the far post, and from the long throw that followed, Moore again did well as the ball looped goalwards off defender Farrend Rawson's head.

Unlike against Walsall, though, the early goal proved elusive and after half an hour Morecambe's first corner saw them break the deadlock as referee Neil Hair penalised Goodliffe for pulling Jacob Bedeau down as the ball came in, and Michael Mellon lifted the penalty high in to the net.

The game continued to be played mainly in the Morecambe half, but Sutton had had two early warnings of Tom Bloxham's threat on the right, with Craig Clay and Omar Sowunmi producing crucial interventions from low crosses, and in first half stoppage time Bloxham was clear again after David Tutonda's hurried clearance caught U's understaffed at the back. Bloxham laid a pass off to Adam Mayor, who sidestepped past a lunge from Omari Patrick as the winger tried to recover and shot low past Bouzanis.

In recent weeks Sutton had seen games slip away from them once the opposition had gone two up, but this time there was an immediate response, with Sam Hart winning possession on the half way line and continuing his run to collect Patrick's pass and crossing for Clay, whose header looked unlikely to trouble Moore but was diverted past the helpless keeper by Harry Smith's head.

Moore was injured in trying to save and didn't reappear for the second half, while U's replaced Patrick with Dion Pereira, and the new Antigua & Barbuda international immediately sent a curling shot just wide. The boost from Smith's goal was clear as U's continued to have the better of things, and it was no more than was deserved when Sowunmi headed on Christian N'Guessan's long throw and Goodliffe's volley on the turn gave substitute keeper Adam Smith no chance.

Tails up, Sutton went for the winner, with Aiden O'Brien shooting wide after finding space on the right, and Pereira's shot deflected just past the post, but there were other opportunites as too often a knock down was cleared or ran through to Smith. A draw would nevertheless have been a satisfactory outcome given the position when Mayor scored, but even that was denied U's as, with the game entering stoppage time a cross was cleared as far as Senior, who took advantage of the lack of a challenge to approach the edge of the penalty area and shoot low inside the near post to give Morecambe the victory.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, S Hart(sub R Milsom 90+6), O Sowunmi, B Goodliffe, C Clay, J Coley(sub H Beautyman 90+3). C N'Guessan, H Smith, A O'Brien(sub T Fadahunsi 90+2), O Patrick(sub D Pereira H-T). Subs n/u S Arnold, L John, R Jackson. Booked: Coley. 

Morecambe: S Moore(sub A Smith H-T), D Love, D Tutonda, J Bedeau(sub C Stokes 83), F Rawson(sub Y Songo'o H-T), J Senior, T Bloxham, J Slew(sub J Davenport 75), M Mellon, JJ McKiernan, A Mayor. Subs n/u C Brown, C Smith, E Walker. Booked: Tutonda, Love.

Referee: Neil Hair

Attendance: 2,603 (176 away)

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