Sutton One Win Away From Wembley

Article by Mark Bravery

Sutton United play off against Boreham Wood at Gander Green Lane this Sunday (6 May, kick-off 3pm), with the winners facing either Tranmere Rovers or Ebbsfleet United in the National League play-off final at Wembley on Saturday 12th. The victors in that game will earn a place in the Football League.

Sutton's 2-1 victory over Aldershot last Saturday saw them seize third place in the final table, the club's best-ever finish in its 120-year history, and fast-tracking Paul Doswell's team through to the play-off semi-finals. The Shots, who finished fifth, lost at home on penalties to Ebbsfleet in Wednesday's  play-off eliminator. The following evening Boreham Wood played AFC Fylde for the right to face Sutton, the Wood coming through 2-1 with goals from Jamie Turley and top scorer Bruno Andrade.

Tranmere (the league's runners-up, behind Macclesfield) host Ebbsfleet on Saturday lunchtime, so the teams playing on Sunday will know who lies in wait at Wembley.

Sutton were undefeated in this season's league encounters with the Wood, winning 4-0 away thanks to penalties from Jamie Collins and Nicky Bailey plus a brace of goals from Craig Eastmond, while the return match at Sutton finished 1-1, another Collins penalty being answered by a late equaliser from Angelo Balanta. Wood finished the season in fourth place, a best-ever for them, and four points behind Sutton.

United have had some injury concerns. Simon Walton has been sidelined for the last three weeks with a hamstring strain. Fellow midfielder Eastmond and centre back Terell Thomas both failed fitness tests before the Aldershot game, while winger Kieron Cadogan suffered an ankle injury during that match. The eight days since then will have provided useful recovery time.

For Boreham Wood, striker Morgan Ferrier and defender Kane Smith are both doubtful starters after picking up injuries on Thursday.

All play-off games must produce a winner, so, if necessary, there would be extra time and penalties on Sunday.