Article by Mark Bravery
After Tuesday evening's exhilarating 3-2 victory at Torquay, Sutton United next face the one side currently below the Devon club in the National League table, Guiseley (nicknamed the Lions), who visit the Knights Community Stadium this Saturday (24 February).
Tuesday's result lifted Sutton back to 2nd place, five points behind leaders Macclesfield Town, and means they remain undefeated in the league in 2018 (with four wins and three draws). Their West Yorkshire opponents have spent almost all of the season in the relegation zone, and recently parted company with manager Paul Cox, but on Tuesday ended a run of seven straight defeats by beating AFC Fylde 1-0 at their Nethermoor Park home, the goal scored by John (brother of Wayne) Rooney.
Last season Sutton won this fixture 1-0 thanks to an own goal. When the two sides met at Nethermoor earlier in this campaign United won 2-0, Craig Dundas and Tom Bolarinwa the scorers, with Jamie Butler saving a penalty.
Sutton will again be without the injured Nicky Bailey, and leading scorer Tommy Wright is a doubtful starter because of a sore ankle. Better news is that Harry Beautyman has now completed the three-match suspension that followed his red card at Dover, while fellow attacking midfielder Josh Taylor has returned from his loan spell at Hampton & Richmond Borough.
Sutton are back at home next Tuesday (27 February) when they entertain Merstham in the quarter-finals of the Surrey Senior Cup. Both clubs reached this stage with emphatic victories in the previous round, Sutton trouncing Molesey 7-1 at home while their opponents, currently 12th in the Premier Division of the Bostik (Isthmian) League, won 5-0 away against Epsom & Ewell. Sutton may once again choose to field a mixture of academy players and members of the first-team squad in need of game time.