We travel down to London looking to make it six wins in all competitions against a Sutton side who have had an upturn in form over the last month.
In the Dugout:
39-year-old Matt Gray is in charge of the U’s where he was first appointed as a coach in December 2018. At the end of that season, long-term boss Paul Doswell resigned and Gray was given the interim job for the last game of the season and in the summer the role was made permanent. It took him just two seasons to get Sutton into the EFL for the first time in their history.
Man with the Armband:
Midfielder Craig Eastmond captains Sutton having made over 200 appearances for the club. Growing up in Battersea he started his youth career at Millwall in 2000 before moving to Arsenal’s youth setup two years later. He made four professional appearances for Arsenal and spending loan spells at Millwall and Wycombe Wanderers.
In 2012 he went on loan to Colchester United scoring two goals and moved there permanently a year later. He left the club in 2015 and moved to Yeovil but only made one appearance and moved to Sutton in the same year. This season Eastmond has played every game and started all but one of them picking up two yellow cards.
Summer signing Joe Kizzi has fought his way into the side and has been excellent in the right back position. Kizzi has come through non-league to reach the EFL with Sutton. He has played for teams such as Cheshunt, Billericay Town and Bromley before he moved the Sutton. He scored in their last game over Northampton Town and has helped the side keep four clean sheets in six games.
Former Valiant Donovan Wilson is Sutton’s top scorer with four goals including two in his last two games against Northampton Town and Carlisle United. Earlier in the season he put the U’s in front at the Cardiff City stadium against Championship opposition in the Carabao Cup and scored a late equaliser away to Scunthorpe United in the league.
Last time out and recent form:
In their last five games Sutton have claimed 12 points from a possible 15 with four wins and one defeat. They have kept three clean sheets in those five equalling the number of goals the Valiants have conceded this season with eight. Sutton had a huge win over Carlisle United beating them 4-0 with the Cumbrians having a man sent off in the game.
Sutton got their first EFL away win in their last game over Northampton town. 41 minutes played and Joe Kizzi got the opener. A minute after the break the two former Vale players got the U’s second as Richie Bennet assisted Wilson and they saw the game out to claim an impressive away victory.
The VBS Community stadium, or Gander Green Lane was opened in 1912 with a capacity of 5,032. In the 19thcentury the ground was open fields and used as allotments. Sutton had to leave the ground in 1913 as Sutton Adult School, who owned the ground, decided to form their own team. Sutton United would return in 1919.
Travel along the M25 to junction 8. Then north on the A217 for about 15-20 minutes. Stay on the A217 to the traffic lights with the Cheam Road (A232) and turn right toward Sutton. Do not turn into Gander Green Lane, keep going until you reach the Sutton one-way system and turn left into St Nicholas Way and then left again into the Gibson Road municipal car-park. It is then a relatively short walk down Collingwood Road to the away end of the stadium
On match days, the club car park in Gander Green Lane is for parking permit holders only. Away fans should park in Gibson Road, the local municipal car-park. It takes no more than fifteen minutes to walk from Gibson Road to the stadium and the route brings you in at the east end of the ground, The Collingwood Road End, which is the area reserved for away supporters.
It is recommended that visiting supporters use Sutton station, which is on the main lines out of Victoria and London Bridge and is at the top end of Sutton Hight Street, about 20 minutes’ walk from the ground. The pub near the station is The Old Bank and they will offer a warm welcome to visiting fans.
West Sutton railway station is adjacent to the ground. It is served by Thameslink trains via Wimbledon or Sutton but trains are less frequent. Come out of West Sutton station and turn right into Gander Green Lane and the ground is about 100 yards further along. Away fans should walk past the main entrance and after about 70 yards turn right into Collingwood Recreation Ground. Go all along to the far end for the away turnstiles.