Sutton Hope To End Dover Hoodoo

Article by Mark Bravery

Sutton United return to National League action this Saturday (10 February) with a trip to Dover Athletic, a match which pits the 6th-placed side against the 5th, United sitting just one point above their east Kent rivals and both clubs  keen to put last weekend's FA Trophy exits behind them.

Sutton have failed to beat Dover in any of their last six meetings, those games  including the Whites' 3-0 South division play-off victory at Gander Green Lane in 2014 and a 6-0 thumping at the Lane last season. Dover also beat United at their Crabble ground in the last campaign, 3-1, though that match was mired in controversy as the officials missed what looked a legitimate Sutton equaliser that would have levelled the score at 1-1. In the end United's only  goal came from Kevin Amankwaah, with Bradley Hudson-Odoi later seeing his penalty saved.

Dover manager Chris Kinnear has rebuilt his side after losing several key players in the close season, strikers Ross Lafayette and Moses Emmanuel and left back Aswad Thomas all joining Sutton (though Emmanuel is now on loan at Maidenhead and Lafayette has just been loaned to Maidstone).  Another of Sutton's summer arrivals, winger Anthony Jeffrey, has moved in the opposite direction and is on loan at Dover until the end of the season.

When the two sides met at Sutton earlier this season the match finished 2-2, Tommy Wright and Kieron Cadogan putting United 2-1 ahead late in the game only for a stoppage time equaliser from defender Manny Parry to salvage a point for the visitors.

Last month the Whites ended a run of five league games without victory by beating Boreham Wood 3-2 away then Guiseley 2-1 at home, though last Saturday a late Leyton Orient winner at Crabble saw Dover bow out of the Trophy 3-4.

Sutton have also won their last two league games, 2-0 at Gateshead then 2-1 at home to Dagenham & Redbridge, their only defeat in 2018 coming at Brackley in the Trophy.

United are back on the road next Tuesday (13 February) as they play the rearranged match at Barrow after the original fixture fell victim to the weather two Saturdays ago. Last weekend the Cumbrian club lost 3-1 at stuggling Torquay, and now sit only one point and one place above the bottom four.

Sutton's midfielder Craig Eastmond will be suspended for both matches as a result of accumulated bookings