Why Sutton United Will Survive – Opinion

After stabilising in League Two over the past two seasons since their promotion from the National League, Sutton United now find themselves in a fight to remain in the division. However, they have hit form at the right time and have put themselves in a great position to survive the drop.

The U’s entered this campaign against Luke Williams’ Notts County expecting a close game. That tight affair never came, as the Londoners ran to a rampant 5-1 win against their stunned opponents. Joe Kizzi, Omari Patrick, Harry Beautyman and current top scorer Harry Smith were all on the scoresheet and in the latter, they have somewhat of a shining light this season as he now has nine goals.

That mauling was as good as it got though and they then went on a seven-game run of losses following that result. They then had a tough end to the year picking up just three wins before New Year’s Day in a capitulation that would ultimately cost then-manager Matt Gray his job. The 8-0 humiliation by Stockport County proved to be as much as the club could take and the 42-year-old was relieved of his duties in late December.

Jason Goodliffe took temporary charge of the next five games before Steve Morison arrived, including the FA Cup third-round tie at Championship side Plymouth Argyle.

Since new manager Morison took the helm in January, the Yellows have had huge wins against Accrington Stanley, fellow relegation rivals Forest Green Rovers and Notts County. January was a big month for new managerial arrivals at the bottom three clubs. Morison at Sutton, the Cowleys arrived at Colchester United and Steve Cotterill was brought in by Forest Green Rovers.

The new boss hit the ground running and signed Charlie Lakin on loan from Burton Albion. Ollie Sanderson came in from Fulham temporarily and Stephen Duke-McKenna arrived from Queens Park Rangers.

Discipline has been another positive for the Londoners as well this season, with just two red cards all season and only 11 fouls on average per game, according to Sofascore. Sutton currently sit 23rd in the League Two table and are level on points with bottom side Forest Green and only one point behind Colchester in 22nd.

There are one or two things that could see the Amber and Chocolates struggle though. They have just three clean sheets all season, including the 1-0 win against relegation rivals Forest Green, a 4-0 thumping of Walsall in October and the tight AFC Wimbledon game which ended 1-0 on Boxing Day.

Morison’s side also still have a tough run in as they face the likes of Stockport County, Harrogate Town, Crawley Town and MK Dons in their remaining fixtures. One thing is for sure, the Easter weekend is huge for Sutton. They travel to Salford City on Good Friday before hosting Swindon Town on Easter Monday. Four or even six points here would be a big leap in their hopes for survival against two teams who themselves are struggling.

Colchester aren’t losing many, but they’re not winning many either. Forest Green appear to be struggling and have lost their last two games. With just one point separating the bottom three, United has as much of a chance as the other two teams of staying up. Three doesn’t go into two and Morison’s side will survive.


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