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Ten Not Out

14 May 2018

The 17th April 2008 saw the U's relegated to the Ryman Isthmian League despite a win away to Bath City under caretaker manager Jimmy Dack. Less than a month later, on 14th May, former Eastleigh manager Paul Doswell had taken over the reins at Sutton and a new train of events was put into motion.

Dos is different to any other manager we have experienced (Bruce still says that he interviewed the club, rather than the other way round) and in his first two seasons the team finished in the play-offs on each occasion. At the third attempt the title was won and promotion secured back into Conference South (as it was still called). Again the play-offs were reached without any joy and the 2013/14 season saw the U's mount a thrilling chase that saw them fall just short of champions Eastleigh. Despite taking an early lead in the semi-final at Dover the U's were again eliminated without reaching the final. The following year brought an unusually disappointing season, when nothing really seemed to click.

That certainly wasn't the case in 2015/16 when the manager's vision brought a new 3G pitch and a magnificent unbeaten run of 26 league games saw the U's fight back from mid-table obscurity to overhaul the long-time leaders Ebbsfleet United and clinch the title, giving the club it's biggest ever league prize. The 2016/17 season brought the never to be forgotten run to the 5th Round of the Cup and the match against Arsenal, with giant-killing win over Cheltenham Town, AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United. The season just finished brought the club its highest-ever placing in the English pyramid system, 3rd place in the National League, for a long time the U's seemed the only club capable of challenging eventual champions Macclesfield but despite securing a home semi-final more play-off heartbreak was to follow.

Ten years have flown by in an instant, bringing league titles, play-off excitement and disappointment, cup glory and global exposure with terrific football. So, congratulations to Dos on reaching ten years in charge and thanks  for taking us to the very pinnacle of the Non-League game and, to date, our highest ever league finish. Here's to the next ten years and many more smiles....

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