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Match Previews

Match Preview | Sutton United (H)

26 September 2023

Match Previews

Match Preview | Sutton United (H)

26 September 2023

The Valiants are back in action this evening as we host Sutton United in the Third Round of the Carabao Cup.

It will be the vale’s first Third Round Carabao Cup fixture since the 2009/10 season when we faced Scunthorpe United at Glanford Park.

On the way to the Third Round, Vale have beaten Fleetwood Town 3-2 in Round One. Ethan Chislett scored a brace and Josh Thomas also got his name on the scoresheet for The Valiants. In the second round, Vale played host to Crewe Alexandra. The game finished 0-0 after 90 minutes, but the Vale won 2-0 on penalties after The Alex missed all four of their penalties. James Wilson and Ollie Arblaster scored for Vale to send us into Round Three.

Crosby’s Comments

When reacting to Saturday’s 1-1 at Cambridge United, Crosby said:

“A good point earned away from home. I think we had control of the first half, we created chances how we thought we could do because of the way that they pressed and we changed the way that we set up slightly to use the strengths of our team. The overriding emotion is that we weren’t ruthless enough in both boxes and when we had the chances we could’ve taken the game away from Cambridge in the first 10/15 minutes with the chances that we had., We then had a couple in the second half but then they get themselves back in the game. We stood up to their threat really well and it’s a good point against a team who have won three home games on the spin”

When looking ahead to the Sutton United fixture, Crosby said:

“We’re on a really good run of form, we’re collecting points, the performance levels in my opinion are getting better. We have to keep looking at ways to improve, both collectively and individually and we now take on Sutton United in the Third Round of the Carabao Cup with a chance to move onto the fourth round. It’ll be a difficult game; Sutton bring their own strengths to the game and we have to nullify them and we have to try to play our game.”

The Opposition

Sutton United have had a difficult start to their League Two campaign. They currently sit at the bottom of the league on four points from their nine games. Their only league win of the season came on the opening day when they beat Notts County 5-1 at Gander Green Lane. Since then, they have picked up just one point and that came in their most recent game when they drew 1-1 with MK Dons.

In the Carabao Cup, they have beaten two League One opponents on their way to the Third Round. After a 2-2 draw in the 90 minutes, Sutton beat Cambridge United 6-5 on penalties sending them into the next round. Sutton then travelled to Wycombe Wanderers where Aiden O’Brien scored the only goal of the game in the 19th minute to complete another a ‘cupset’ for the U’s.

One to Watch – Aiden O’Brien

The on-loan Shrewsbury striker has amassed over 300 football league appearances over his career and with an eye for goal he will be one to keep a close eye on when the sides meet. The Irish striker made his professional debut for Millwall in 2011 when he made a substitute appearance in their 3-0 League Cup defeat against Wolves.

After a few loan spells, O’Brien returned to Milwall in 2015 and played for the Lions for five seasons, picking up 187 appearances and scoring 34 times. At the end of the 2020 season, he left Millwall and joined Sunderland where he made 45 appearances, scoring just five times. Three of his goals came in one game when he scored a hat-trick against Portsmouth in the League Cup.

Since then O'Brien has had spells at both Portsmouth and Shrewsbury where he has been sent out on loan twice to Gillingham and now Sutton United. This season, O’Brien has played nine games, scoring one goal.

Last Time We Met 

Port Vale 2-0 Sutton United, Saturday 26th March 2023.

The last meeting between the sides came in our 2022/23 promotion season and it was the Valiants who came out on top. We took the lead after just nine minutes, Mal Benning crossed from the left towards Jamie Proctor who saw his effort bobble into the path of James Wilson and he eventually fired home to get Vale off the best possible start. Soon after the lead was doubled via a sensational strike from Jamie Proctor. Benning’s cross was headed away as far as Proctor who acrobatically volleyed into the top corner from the edge of the area.

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