Sutton Aim To Tame The Dragons

Article by Mark Bravery

After their 1-0 victory at Dover last weekend, Sutton United face another match against National League promotion rivals this Saturday (17 February) as they welcome Wrexham to the Knights Community Stadium.

Sutton followed the Dover win with a midweek 1-1 draw at Barrow that lifted them to fourth in the table, and they are now undefeated in five league games. Their Welsh opponents are undefeated in nine, but six of those games ended as draws, including last Saturday's home encounter with Halifax which finished 1-1 and saw the Dragons slip from top spot to third, with United now only one point behind them. Wrexham do boast the best defensive record in the division, with just 25 goals conceded in 33 games.

Last season United won this fixture 1-0, an own goal early in the game enough to settle matters. Earlier this season a spectacular late equaliser from Ross Lafayette earned Sutton a share of points at the Racecourse Ground, Marcus Kelly having given the Dragons a first-half lead.

Sutton will again be missing the influential Harry Beautyman, suspended for three games following his red card at Dover, though fellow midfielder Craig Eastmond should return after completing his two-match suspension. Nicky Bailey is doubtful after limping off in the first half at Barrow. Wrexham will also be missing a midfield player, Paul Rutherford having been dismissed against Halifax.

Sutton are back in league action next Tuesday (20 February) as they travel to Torquay United. The Devon club have been anchored in the relegation zone for almost all the season, but have won their last two games (3-1 home to Barrow, 2-1 at Maidenhead) to haul themselves up to 22nd place. Last season Sutton won 3-2 at Plainmoor, defender Simon Downer having to replace the injured Ross Worner in goal for over half the game, and scoring through Roarie Deacon, Max Biamou and Dean Beckwith. The Gulls exacted a measure of revenge earlier this season by winning 1-0 at Sutton, an early headed goal from Ruairi Keating enough to take the three points.