We take a deeper look at Saturday's opponents, Sutton United.
THE MANAGER: MATT GRAY
Matt was appointed by Sutton United in May 2019 following the departure of Paul Doswell, becoming a manager for the first time in his career. He was originally part of the coaching staff at Sutton, joining them in December 2018. He has also held spells as an assistant manager at Eastleigh, Aldershot and Crawley Town.
Gray secured promotion to the EFL for the first time in the club’s history in his second full season in charge at Sutton United, being named manager of the season in the National League in the process. Under his guidance his team have gone from strength to strength in the EFL, currently fighting for automatic promotion sitting in 3rd at the time of writing. They are currently on a 5 game unbeaten run in League Two.
KEY PLAYER: ROBERT MILSOM
Robert Milsom signed for Sutton United in August 2019 when the club were in the National League following his release from Notts County at the end of the 2018/19 season. At 35 years old he is an experienced professional at the club with plenty of EFL experience in his locker, playing for the likes of Brentford, Southend United, Rotherham United, Bury, Notts County and Crawley Town. He has also had spells in Finland with Turun Palloseura and in Scotland with Aberdeen.
Originally a midfielder, Milsom has been playing at left back for Sutton, contributing with five goals so far this season, appearing in 23 of the 25 games that Sutton have played in the league so far this season. The majority of Milsom’s goals have come from the penalty spot this season but his left foot can hurt opponents with his delivery too, with four assists from left back.
LAST TIME WE PLAYED
Northampton Town 0-2 Sutton United
The Cobblers came into this match with just one defeat in their previous six in League Two but were dealt a blow before kick-off with central defender Jon Guthrie being ruled out following a positive Covid-19 test. Jon Brady shuffled the pack with Aaron McGowan moving to centre-back and Shaun McWilliams filling in at right back.
It was a wet and windy afternoon with Rebecca Welch becoming the first female referee to take charge of a Northampton Town fixture. Sutton were a physical threat from the off, playing a direct but highly effective 4-4-2 formation. Joe Kizzi put Sutton in front in the 41st minute and following half-time their lead was doubled courtesy of a Donovan Wilson strike early in the second half.
The Cobblers were unable to mount a comeback and Sutton extended their good form to make it 4 wins in 5 league games.
CURRENT LEAGUE FORM
11/12 - Bradford City 2-2 Sutton United
18/12 - Sutton United 1-0 Harrogate Town
01/01 - Sutton United 2-1 Exeter City
15/01 - Sutton United 3-3 Stevenage
18/01 - Sutton United 3-2 Colchester United
LAST TIME OUT: COLCHESTER UNITED
Sutton United come into this fixture on the back of another late goal, this time a 92nd minute winner from Will Randall to defeat Colchester United and spell the end of Hayden Mullins’ time in charge at the U’s.
The result fired Sutton into the automatic promotion places, leapfrogging the Cobblers in the process, having played a game more.
Sutton went behind early in the game with Owura Edwards firing Colchester United into the lead in the 3rd minute. They were not behind for long with Isaac Olaofe bringing them on to level terms, tapping into an empty net following Omar Bugiel’s initial effort hit the post. Colchester United went ahead again just before half-time thanks to a Freddie Sears penalty in the 44th minute. Isaac Olaofe doubled his and Sutton’s tally in the 64th minute heading home a Boldewijn cross. Sutton went into the lead for the first time in the match in the 92nd minute thanks to a Will Randall strike from the edge of the area which found the bottom corner and handed Sutton United all three points.