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Cards seeking league and cup double over high-flying Sutton

Glen Harrington
7:50pm, Mon 8th Feb 2021
Sutton United vs Woking
Vanarama National League
Saturday 9th February 2021

Woking will travel to Sutton United for the second time in four days on Tuesday evening when the two sides meet in the Vanarama National League at Gander Green Lane.

It was another close fought encounter between the two sides last weekend, once again decided by a single goal, in contrast to last season’s back-to-back comfortable wins for Sutton. Whilst it was a moment of controversy that split the sides in December, it was a moment of brilliance which separated them in the first of two February encounters, with Malachi Napa’s spectacular overhead kick clinching not only the Cards’ progression into the final eight of the FA Trophy for the first time since 2016 but also, most likely, the club’s ‘Goal of the Season’ award.

Sutton weren’t at their best on Saturday, and certainly weren’t helped by the injuries to top scorer Isaac Oloafe as well as the man brought onto replace him, Wil Randall. However, the Cards will be wary of an improved performance from the U’s on Tuesday night, particularly as Matt Gray’s side still have National League title aspirations, as they sit nine points behind leaders Torquay United, who the Cards will meet in the next round of the Trophy later this month, with three games in hand.

Woking – Team News

Dowse will be hoping for good news on the injured trio of Josh Casey, Slavi Spasov, and John Goddard. He was at least able to welcome back Jamar Loza as a late substitute on Saturday, with the Jamaican winger making his first appearance since the home defeat to Aldershot Town at the start of January. The boss will no doubt be tempted to stick with the same side but does have options should he want to shuffled the deck, including Tommy Block and Jonté Smith, who impressed as a late substitute at the weekend.

Sutton United – The Boss

Matt Gray was appointed as Sutton boss in May 2019 following the resignation of long-time stalwart Paul Doswell. Gray had already been at the club since the previous December as part of Doswell’s coaching team and has done a fine job since stepping into the top job, leading Sutton to a comfortable mid-table finish last season, before seemingly kicking on again this campaign. This is Gray’s first managerial position having previously had spells as an assistant manager at Eastleigh, Aldershot Town, and Crawley Town.

One to Watch

Midfielder Harry Beautyman, a former Woking trialist, is always a danger and has scored five goals already this season. He netted 15 last campaign, including two against the Cards, and was named in the National League team of the season. A two-time England C international, his career has also taken him to the Football League, where he’s featured for the likes of Stevenage, Northampton Town, and Peterborough United, following time with Welling United and a first spell at Sutton.

Last Time Out

Sutton United 0-1 Woking – FA Trophy (6th February 2021)

Not many Woking fans will need a reminder of this one. The Cards secured their first win of 2021 thanks to Malachi Napa’s stunning goal on the stroke of half-time and a superb defensive performance led by reunited centre-back pairing Moussa Diarra and Ben Gerring. It was also a first win for the Cards at Gander Green Lane since August 2011, when the visitors won 5-0 on route to the National League South title the following year.

Next Up

The Cards host league leaders Torquay United on Saturday, now the first of two visits by the Gulls this month, and that’s followed by a trip to Wrexham next Tuesday.

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