The group stage of this season's Bristol Street Motors Trophy ends on Tuesday, with Sutton making a first visit to The Valley to take on League One Charlton Athletic in what is, even though officially a group game, a knockout tie with the winners set to go through to the second stage of the competition and the losers going out. The kick off is at 7pm and Sutton will be wearing amber.
Both sides have three points in Southern Group B but have reached that figure in different ways, with Charlton losing at Crawley and then beating Aston Villa's Under 21s, both in the regulation ninety minutes, and Sutton drawing with both teams but gaining an extra point by winning the penalty shootout against Crawley having lost in the same way to Villa. That means that a draw after ninety minutes on Tuesday would leave the sides still level on points, and the winners of the penalty shootout going through as runners-up in the group behind Crawley to an away tie in the first knockout stage. If the draw follows the same procedure as the previous two seasons potential opponents will be Portsmouth, Reading, West Ham Under 21s and either MK Dons or Oxford United, with MK needing a point from Tuesday's home game against Northampton to win that group.
The game was put back a week while Charlton finally took care of their FA Cup tie against Cray Valley Paper Mills, but Charlton had no game on Saturday due to international call-ups and so manager Michael Appleton, who was a beaten finalist in this competition twice while manager of Oxford United, is expected to name a strong side, while mindful of facing their longest journey of the season on Saturday to Carlisle. They currently lie in mid table in League One and in their last league game scored an injury time equaliser to earn a draw at leaders Portsmouth.
Sutton have struck late equalisers in the last two games, extending an unbeaten run to four in league and cup, and are looking to make it three out of three successful negotiations of the group stage. Manager Matt Gray has used the competition in the past to give game time to players who may not have featured recently but one of those who might have been included, Lee Angol, is unavailable through suspension having been booked in both U's group games so far. Dion Pereira is also absent on international duty with Antigua & Barbuda, for whom he scored his first goal in Saturday's 3-2 home defeat against Puerto Rico.
Tuesday's referee is Carl Brook, who first took charge of a Sutton game in 2007 and is now in his fourth EFL season. He last refereed U's in October's home defeat against Salford.
Tickets for Tuesday's game are £10 for adults and £5 for over 65s and under 21s and tickets can be bought at the ground on the night from the South Stand ticket office, card payment only. That is also where to pick up any tickets that have been bought on line but not yet collected. Our accommodation is in the Jimmy Seed (South) Stand.
If you can't make it to The Valley on Tuesday you can watch the game on our iFollow service as it is being live streamed, and match passes costing £10 can be bought here.
Supporters going to the game will find it easiest by train, with Charlton station less than five minutes walk from the ground and frequent services from London Bridge. If travelling from Sutton, catch the 26 or 56 minutes past the hour. Return at 17 or 47 minutes past the hour, or 03 and 33 with a second change at Tulse Hill.
For anyone who wants to drive, the best route will depend on the prevailing rush hour traffic. The ground is just off the A206 Woolwich Road, east of the Woolwich Road Flyover on the A102 Blackwall Tunnel northbound approach. There is no parking at the ground and a lot of the surrounding streets have parking restrictions. The post code is SE7 8BL.