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Match Previews

OPPOSITION GUIDE: SUTTON UNITED

10 December 2021

The Bantams will welcome Sutton United to the Utilita Energy Stadium on Saturday for a Sky Bet League Two clash set to kick-off at 3.00pm.

Sutton currently sit in the play-off spots, and are sixth after 20 games - winning 10, losing eight and drawing two.

The newly-promoted U’s will be looking to bounce back from midweek defeat against the Bantams after a 93rd-minute goal sent them back from Newport County empty handed.

The South London-based outfit have impressed during their inaugural season in the English Football League, having won the National League last season to secure promotion to the top four divisions for the first time in their 123-year history.

Saturday’s encounter will be the first between the two clubs, as they have never previously come across each other in league or cup.

We have put together an Opposition Guide to give you all the information you need to know about our 21st league opponent of the campaign.

TRANSFER ACTIVITY

The U’s brought seven fresh faces in to bolster their squad after earning promotion from the National League, allowing 11 players to leave the other way.

INCOMINGS: Enzio Boldewijn (Notts County), Donovan Wilson (Bath City), Richie Bennett (Stockport), Joe Kizzie (Bromley), Richy Korboa (Northampton), Alistair Smith (Altrincham), Isaac Olaofe (Millwall, loan), Harry Palmer (free agent).

OUTGOINGS: Adam Lovatt (Tonbridge, loan), Filip Chalupniczak (Tooting & Mitcham, loan), Kylian Kouassi (Chesham, loan), Rhys Browne (Wealdstone), Wayne Brown (Colliers Wood), Callum Kealy (Dorking), Bradley Pearce (Welling United), Jude Mason (Merstham), Aaron Simpson (free agent), Josh Nembhard (free agent).

ONES TO WATCH

David Ajiboye

David Ajiboye joined Sutton United in 2019 as current manager Matt Gray’s first signing for the club. Ajiboye put pen to paper after a prolific season with Worthing, scoring 16 times in the Isthmian League.

The versatile striker-come-winger has nine goals and assists to his name this season, topping the U’s goalscoring charts and placing second in the division for assists.

The 23-year-old has made over 100 appearances in Sutton yellow and netted twice in South Wales on Tuesday. 

Rob Milsom

The U’s creative outlet, Milsom plies his trade at left-back but is more than comfortable slotting into the midfield.

Milsom has featured in 18 games this season - despite turning 34 at the start of the year - and has proved his worth, registering four assists and netting two goals.

Sutton’s No.24 has racked up over 200 career appearances, enjoying spells with Brentford and Notts County after starting his career with Sky Bet Championship high-flyers Fulham.

Ben Goodliffe

Goodliffe has been a mainstay of an impressive Sutton defence this season, featuring 18 times in the centre of a back four which has kept eight clean sheets so far this season.

The 22-year-old joined the club from Premier League side Wolves in the summer of 2019 and has made over 100 appearances for The U’s since he arrived at Gander Green Lane. 

Goodliffe was voted Sutton’s Young Player of the Year in their promotion season and earned himself a spot in the National League Team of the Season.

CAPTAIN

Craig Eastmond captains the U’s and has done so since the 2019/20 campaign. Eastmond moved to Sutton in 2015, earning the club’s Player of the Year award in his first season. 

The 31-year-old spent time on loan with Millwall, Wycombe and Colchester before joining Sutton to begin his six-year spell. Eastmond has made 250 appearances for the club and was voted Player of the Season in their promotion campaign last time out.

Eastmond has made 15 appearances this season, featuring in the centre of midfield or in a centre-back pair, though was sent off in Sutton’s midweek loss at Newport County.

MANAGER

Matt Gray is the man in the dugout at Gander Green Lane, taking charge in 2019. Gray has already secured icon status for himself in Sutton by achieving the club’s first promotion to the EFL.

The U’s job is Gray's first in management, joining the club as a coach initially in 2018 and stepping up to the main role after Paul Doswell’s departure.

Gray experienced Sky Bet League Two as a No.2 at Crawley and Aldershot and has enjoyed his start to league football as manager - guiding Sutton into the play-off spots in the first half of the season.

LAST MATCH

Newport 3 (Lewis Collins 53’, Courtney Baker-Richardson 64’, Matthew Dolan 90+3' pen)

Sutton 2 (David Ajiboye 24’, 42’)

SUTTON: Dean Bouzanis; Jonathan Barden (booked 72’), Ben Goodliffe , Craig Eastmond (dismissed 34’), Ben Wyatt; Will Randall, Kenny Davis (Enzio Boldewijn 45+2’), Robert Milsom, David Ajiboye; Donovan Wilson (Richie Bennett 77’), Omar Bugiel. SUBS (not used): Tobi Sho-Silva, Filip Chalupniczak, Ricky Karboa, Craig Dundas. 

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Tomorrow's encounter will be the first fixture between these two sides in history. 

To secure tickets at a discounted rate - UNTIL 11.59PM TONIGHT - please CLICK HERE


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