Sutton Seek Revival In The North

Article by Mark Bravery

After a damp and disappointing Easter weekend all but extinguished Sutton United's hopes of winning the National League title, the team head north twice in the next seven days hoping to pick up the points that would keep them in runners-up spot and perhaps put some fresh pressure on leaders Macclesfield.

First up this Saturday (7 April) is a daunting trip to AFC Fylde. The ambitious west Lancashire club, in their first season at this level, have scored 76 league goals, more than any other side, and in Danny Rowe boast the division's leading scorer with 23. They have racked up some impressive home victories since the start of the year, including a 6-0 demolition of Macclesfield and a 7-1 thrashing of Aldershot. Tuesday evening's 3-1 win at Barrow, their fourth victory in six games, lifted them to 7th in the table, replacing Dover in the play-off places.

Sutton however have the second-best away record in the division and have lost only one league match on the road in 2018. They will be looking to bounce back after losing 3-0 at home to Bromley on Monday. Avoiding defeat in Lancashire would ensure they stay above third-placed Boreham Wood, currently three points behind.

Macclesfield, who won twice over Easter, are now nine points clear of Sutton, though with a game more played, and travel to ninth-placed Ebbsfleet on Saturday.

Fylde's full back Zaine Francis-Angol is an injury doubt for Saturday. Sutton will be hoping for a successful appeal against Monday's bizarre red card for Jamie Collins so that their captain will be available to face the Coasters.

Next Tuesday (10 April) United play on the other side of the Pennines at FC Halifax, a match postponed from early March by the freezing weather. Halifax, promoted with Fylde from the North division last year, rose to second in the table in September but then suffered a mid-season slump in form, prompting a change of manager in February. The new man in charge, Jamie Fullarton, oversaw a five-match unbeaten run before Good Friday's 2-0 defeat at Fylde left them in 17th place, six points clear of the relegation zone. The Shaymen are at home to Boreham Wood on Saturday.

Earlier this season Sutton won their home fixtures against both these opponents. A Craig Dundas strike and an own goal helped to see off Fylde 2-1 in October while the following month another Dundas goal and a brace from Ross Lafayette saw them overcome Halifax 3-2.