Article by Mark Bravery
Sutton United remain on the heels of National League leaders Macclesfield Town, who are just two points ahead (with a game in hand) as both clubs head to Kent this Saturday (17 March), the Silkmen visiting 7th-placed Dover while Sutton play on the 3G surface at Maidstone United.
Sutton, five points above third-placed Tranmere Rovers, are still undefeated in the league in 2018 (with seven wins and three draws) and have won their last three games without conceding a goal.
Maidstone, promoted to England's fifth tier along with Sutton in 2016, won 3-1 at Gander Green Lane in August, going behind to a first-half Tommy Wright goal then scoring three times after the interval. The Stones rose to fifth in the table in the autumn, but from mid-November a dreadful run of seventeen league matches without a win was finally ended last Saturday by a 1-0 home victory over struggling Torquay United. They now sit in 18th place, seven points clear of fourth-from-bottom Solihull Moors.
Last season this fixture finished 1-1, a Jamar Loza penalty for the home side cancelling out an earlier own goal.
Centre back Dean Beckwith has just returned to Sutton after a short loan spell at Maidstone, but fellow loanee Ross Lafayette is remaining with the Stones until the end of the season, though the striker will not face his parent club on Saturday. Maidstone have also recently signed midfielder Michael Phillips on loan from Crystal Palace, but will be missing defender Seth Nana Twumasi, who completes a two-match suspension, and injured midfielder Ollie Muldoon, while there are fitness doubts about striker Delano Sam-Yorke. For Sutton, defenders Nicky Bailey (knee) and Louis John (hamstring) are doubtful participants.