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07 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 Walsall preview and travel information, plus academy fixture update

6 October 2023

Sutton will continue efforts to climb away from the foot of the Sky Bet League Two table on Saturday when Walsall are the visitors to the VBS Community Stadium (3.00pm), while our academy side are in action in the morning at Aberdour School against Exeter City in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup (kick off 10.30).

As with Salford on Tuesday, Walsall are one of those sides that Sutton have yet to beat in two years of EFL meetings, although that record seemed set to end in April when U's were 1-0 up deep in to stoppage time before a Walsall equaliser meant that both games last season ended 1-1 after U's had scored first. Had Sutton won that game at the Bescot Stadium the result would have left U's on the fringe of the play-off places, but following that game only one point was picked up in the remaining seven league games and U's finished in 14th place, two places above Walsall.

This season Walsall, who won both games 1-0 in the 2021-22 season, are again in mid table having won two of their six away games, at Salford and then last week at Bradford. They have lost at Swindon, Morecambe and Wrexham, while their visit to Crewe ended level. Leading scorer Freddie Draper, signed on loan from Lincoln City, scored in the victories at Salford and Bradford and had scored three goals in four games prior to Tuesday's goalless draw at home to MK Dons. Summer signing from Newport Priestley Farquharson and Brandon Comley, who was sent off in the corresponding fixture last season, are both injury absentees.

Sutton will move off the bottom of the table with victory on Saturday if Forest Green lose at Accrington, but will be without skipper Craig Eastmond, who came off with a hamstring injury during Tuesday night's home defeat to Salford. Louis John and Rob Milsom are also likely to remain on the sidelines on Saturday through injury.

Saturday's referee is Ed Duckworth, in his first season as an EFL referee and making his first visit to Sutton. 

Tickets for the game can be bought on line here, priced £21 for adults, £15 for concessions (age 60+/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 tickets are £4 more in all cases. Tickets can also be bought at the ticket kiosk on the day, but there is a £2 increase in prices for tickets sold in person on matchday which does not apply to tickets bought on line, even on Saturday. With the ground likely to be very busy on Saturday due to the club's Foundation Day you are advised to buy on line to avoid congestion around the car park and ticket kiosks. 

The match programme is a combined issue also including last Tuesday's game against Salford, and if you can't get to the game and would like to have a programme sent out you can order one for £4 plus postage here

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. 

As mentioned above it is Foundation Day at the club, when we will celebrate the work of the Sutton United Foundation, and you can find more details in the article posted on the website yesterday which can also be found here. The fan zone will be open at 12 noon with pies on the lunch menu.

Supporters travelling to the game should note that there are no trains through West Sutton on Saturday 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.

Anyone wanting to watch two games tomorrow can head to Aberdour School in Brighton Road, Banstead, in the morning (10.30 kick off) where our academy side will take on Exeter City in the EFL Youth Alliance Cup. Exeter play in the South West Division of the Alliance, where they currently sit seventh out of nine, and beat Oxford on penalties in the previous round. Sutton are in third place in the South East Division, three points behind leaders Wimbledon and level on points with second placed Northampton, who visit the VBS next Saturday morning.

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Match Reports

Match report for Sutton United 4 Walsall 0

7 October 2023

Sutton United 4 (Patrick 6, Smith 12, 37, Riley og 27) Walsall 0

Sutton ended miserable run of ten league games without a win with a blistering first half performance that set up a first ever win over Walsall and moved U's off the bottom of the League Two table. From the moment Omari Patrick found the bottom corner of the net with a well placed free kick Sutton were in control of the game, quickly added a second through Harry Smith and by half time had the game as good as sewn up.

After Tuesday's defeat against Salford U's fans could have been forgiven for anxiety in the first five minutes as Jamille Matt and Liam Gordon both had a sight of goal and Gordon, allowed time to line up a shot from the edge of the area, was only inches wide. However within two minutes Aiden O'Brien, paired with Smith up front, was fouled just outside the penalty area and Patrick drove his free kick past the defensive wall and in to the far corner of the net.

Backed by a raucous VBS Community Stadium crowd, U's had soon doubled the lead as Walsall failed to clear a Sam Hart long throw and Smith took advantage to hammer a volley past Owen Evans in to the roof of the net, and with Sutton's confidence soaring, the move of the match two minutes later almost produced a third as Patrick, O'Brien, Smith and Craig Clay all combined to find Josh Coley on the right, but having turned inside Coley sent his shot just over the angle of post and bar.

Walsall had the potential to cause the Sutton defence problems, with Tom Knowles sending one shot wide and seeing another blocked by O'Brien in the six yard box, but U's soon regained the initiative and, after a Christian N'Guessan free kick was cleared back to him just inside the Walsall half, he came forward on the right before chipping in a delicious cross that Omar Sowunmi, possibly impeded, and Smith couldn't quite reach but which went in off defender Joe Riley.

Initially credited with the goal in the ground, Smith did have his second of the game ten minutes later, though, climbing at the far post to meet Joe Kizzi's cross with a classic centre forward's header which thundered past Evans, and U's were able to return to the dressing room to a deserved ovation and with the points almost wrapped up.

A lively start to the second half from Walsall might have set up a more anxious second half, but Hart scrambled away Ryan Stirk's cross shot in the six yard box, and when Gordon kept the attack going his cross flashed across goal. Knowles then broke through but shot straight at Dean Bouzanis, but Walsall couldn't keep the momentum going and there were few moments after that when Sutton's dominance was threatened. Patrick produced one exhilarating burst on the left that ended with his shot being diverted wide by Harry Williams, while Smith might have completed a hat trick when he met N'Guessan's corner with another powerful header which was beaten out by Evans, and Kizzi headed in another N'Guessan corner only for referee Ed Duckworth to spot some pushing. O'Brien also went close after creating space for a right foot shot that was pushed wide by Evans, but having done the hard work in the first half Sutton cruised through the closing stages and for the first time since the opening day of the season were able to enjoy celebrating a home victory with the supporters at the end.

Sutton: D Bouzanis, J Kizzi, S Hart(sub R Jackson 86), O Sowunmi, B Goodliffe, C Clay, J Coley(sub H Beautyman 86), C N'Guessan, H Smith(sub H Kasimu 88), A O'Brien(sub L Angol 75), O Patrick(sub D Pereira 88). Subs n/u S Arnold

Walsall: O Evans, R Stirk, L Gordon, O McEntee, D Daniels(sub H Griffiths 77),  H Williams, J Riley, A Oteh, J Matt(sub I Hutchinson H-T), T Knowles (sub D James-Taylor 63), D Johnson(sub R Tierney 77). Subs n/u J Foulkes, F Draper, J Smith.

Referee: Ed Duckworth

Attendance: 3,009(275 away)

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