Sutton United v Port Vale preview: it’s been a good run for the Valiants – will it continue against newcomers Sutton? Here ‘s our preview…
Sutton United v Port Vale, League Two
Gander Green Lane stadium
Saturday 9th October, 3pm
Last time we met?
None. This is the first competitive meeting between the two sides.
Valiants team news
September League Two player of the month contender Ben Garrity could be missing after he was forced off early in the dramatic win over Leyton Orient. If he is unable to make it, Jake Taylor is the obvious replacement in the midfield. There could be a couple of additions to the bench this weekend – Devante Rodney is back from suspension while Brad Walker marked his return from injury with an outing against Rochdale in midweek. Dennis Politic and David Amoo are also pushing for starts after impressive performances from the bench on Saturday.
Opposition team news
After victory in their last league game, Sutton are expected to be unchanged for this game. If so, it will be a former Valiant front two of Donovan Wilson and Richie Bennett.
Man in charge: Matt Gray
- Age: 39
- Appointed: May 2019
- Games in charge: 98
- Win ratio: 44%
In the Football League it was that dramatic 3-2 win over Leyton Orient where last-gasp strikes by Dennis Politic and Jamie Proctor gave Vale all three points. We don’t think Harry Smith has got over it yet!
Form (latest game first):
In the League, Sutton recorded an excellent 2-0 away victory over Northampton Town thanks to goals from Joseph Kizzi and Donovan Wilson.
Form (latest game first):
There are two former Valiants in the Sutton United squad. Striker Richie Bennett was a John Askey signing in June 2019. Bennett made thirty appearances for the Valiants, scoring seven goals before a surprise switch to National League side Stockport County in March 2020. After a spell on loan with Hartlepool United, Bennett signed for Sutton in the summer and has two goals in nine appearances this season.
Bennett could be partnered by another Valiant old boy. Forward Donovan Wilson had a brief loan spell with the club under Neil Aspin in 2018. He scored a solitary goal in a 2-2 draw with Stevenage before returning to parent club Wolves.
Midfielder Ryan Burge had a brief spell with Sutton United in 2016, some three years after leaving Vale in the most controversial of circumstances. Burge had been signed by the Valiants in 2011 and after recovering from injury, he played in the first part of the 2012-13 promotion season. However, his end came in controversial circumstances as we describe below:
March 2013: The midfielder is dropped from the Vale squad to face Bristol Rovers and controversially tweets his dissatisfaction with it. Manager Micky Adams offers an alternative version saying Burge failed to show for a team meal. The matter prompts chairman Paul Wildes to speak to the media. Wildes says Burge still has a future at the club. The midfielder backs down via social media posts but the club say the apology came too late and suspend him for 14 days.
April 2013: The club then announce the midfielder has left by mutual consent.
Founded in 1898, this is Sutton’s first season in the Football League. The club first reached the Conference in 1986 and received nationwide attention during the 1988-89 season when their FA Cup exploits included knocking out holders Coventry City. They were at it again in 2016-17 when they reached the fifth round beating three League teams in Cheltenham, AFC Wimbledon and Leeds United.
Were you paying attention?
Here’s a quick quiz on the opponents:
- When were Sutton United formed?
- Who is the current Sutton United manager?
- How many goals did Richie Sutton score for the Valiants?
- Against which side did Donovan Wilson score his only Vale goal?
Quiz answers (no cheating):
- Matt Gray