Sport Come on the U’s.

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Sport Come on the U’s.
Sutton United’s home debut ended in disappointment…but let’s not write them off yet. Graham discusses the U’s league promotion. Image: Shutterstock

On Saturday 28th August 2021, Sutton United played their first-ever home game in the Football League, following their promotion from the National League last season. The U’s had to have a new pitch laid during the summer, so their home debut was delayed until the fourth match of the season.  

United took the lead after an hour through David Ajiboye, but Oldham Athletic equalised with only two minutes left.   In the sixth minute of stoppage time Junior Luamba scored a late goal to give Oldham the win, and their first points of the season.  

Sutton find themselves at the foot of the League Two table, with two points from four games, draws with Salford City and Scunthorpe United, and defeats by Forest Green Rovers and Oldham. They have also lost to Cardiff City in the EFL Cup, but then Cardiff are ninth in the Championship, 63 places above Sutton in the football pyramid.  

Five games, two points: not a good start to the season, but it’s worth noting that both Forest Green and Oldham scored their winning goals in stoppage time. Both defeats have also been by only one goal: Sutton may have lost, but they haven’t been embarrassed.  

Don’t write Sutton United off yet – the season runs until May, and they still have 42 games left to play. As well as that they haven’t started their FA Cup campaign yet, and we all remember how that went in 2017, don’t we?  You don’t?  That year, Sutton joined in the competition at the 4th Round Qualifying, and defeated Forest Green Rovers 2-1, then Dartford (6-3 away) in the 1st round.  After that, it was one ‘giant-killing’ after another.  Sutton, then in the National League (the fifth tier), beat Cheltenham Town (fourth tier) 2-1, AFC Wimbledon (third tier) 3-1 in a replay, Leeds United (second tier) 1-0.   In the 5th Round they faced Arsenal (first tier) and went down 2-0. This was only the ninth time since 1945 that a club from outside the Football League had reached the 5th Round.  

 Sutton may be bottom of the League – for the moment – but there is still a lot to look forward to. This historic season for Sutton United still has a long way to go.