Article by Mark Bravery
Second in the table, unbeaten in nine league games and with just ten left to play, Sutton United will be in confident mood as they welcome Solihull Moors to the Knights Community Stadium this Saturday (10 March).
Tuesday evening's 2-0 victory over Woking saw United close the gap on leaders Macclesfield Town to just two points, with third-placed Aldershot Town three points further back. Macclesfield, the last club to have beaten Sutton in the league (1-0 at the end of December), are at home to Barrow on Saturday.
Should the Cheshire club fail to beat their Cumbrian opponents, a Sutton victory would take Paul Doswell's team back to the top of the table, their goal difference being better than Macclesfield's. Solihull, however, are unlikely to be the pushovers that their fourth-from-bottom placing might suggest. Although they have spent all season in the relegation zone, the appointment of manager Mark Yates in November has led to a steady improvement in results, and Moors come into Saturday's game with five wins and only one defeat in their last eight league matches. Their last game, on 20 February, was a 0-0 home draw with promotion contenders Wrexham.
Yates has brought in a number of new players, including experienced midfielder Kyle Storer from Cheltenham Town and strikers Adi Yussuf from Barrow and Kwame Thomas from Coventry City (the latter having had a short spell on loan at Sutton earlier this season). A Solihull win on Saturday, coupled with defeat for Barrow or Hartlepool, would see them climb out of the bottom four.
Moors did the double over Sutton last season, winning 3-1 at Gander Green Lane on the opening day then 3-0 at their ground. But United did win 2-0 at Solihull in November of this season (shortly before Yates's arrival), with goals from Ross Lafayette and Craig Dundas.
Sutton are likely again to be without defensive stalwart Nicky Bailey and winger Ross Stearn, sidelined since last month by knee injuries. United can take heart from the form of recently-signed striker Byron Harrison, who has scored in each of his last three games.