Stevenage make the short trip to South London for a clash with Sutton United in the Round of 32 of the Papa John’s Trophy tonight…
After Sunday’s announcement, a new era at the club begins as Paul Tisdale takes charge. Before he gets underway in league action, Tisdale is faced with the tough challenge of fellow Sky Bet League Two side Sutton United in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Stevenage come into this fixture unbeaten in their last three, as wins against MK Dons and Colchester, along with a draw with Rochdale resulted in a successful run for the club under the temporary management of Robbie O’Keefe. Sutton’s last result was a 1-0 win in the league at home to Barrow which followed a 2-0 win against Mansfield the week prior.
Sutton United were founded in 1898 and made a name for themselves as a well-established non-league club. Despite being 123 years old, Sutton had never entered the Football League. That was until the end of last season as The Yellows finished top of the National League, capping it off with a 3-0 victory against Hartlepool. Before that, Sutton gained some fame in the 2016/17 campaign with their incredible FA Cup run. They became only the 9thnon-league side to reach the 5th round of the competition since 1945 before being knocked out by Arsenal at Gander Green Lane in the Round of Sixteen.
Since May 2019, Matt Gray has been the manager of Sutton United, leading them to promotion last season. His side have got off to an impressive start to the season despite a slow start, as they are currently sat inside the play-off places in Sky Bet League Two. The club have won ten out of their nineteen league games with two draws and seven losses. Sutton also finished top of their group in the Papa John’s Trophy, winning all three games against Portsmouth, AFC Wimbledon and Crystal Palace Under 21s.
Before this season, Stevenage and Sutton hadn’t met each other competitively for over twenty years. In the 1990s they had several non-league clashes with Stevenage winning the majority. Overall, in the nine games between the two sides, Boro have won four, drawn two and lost three. The most recent fixture was in September 2021 as Stevenage travelled to Gander Green Lane for Sky Bet League Two action. Despite an Elliott List opener, The Yellows won 2-1 that day.
Sutton United play their home games at Gander Green Lane in South London which holds a capacity of just over 5,000, seating 765. The record attendance for this stadium came during the 1969/70 campaign when Sutton lost 6-0 to Leeds United in the FA Cup in front of 14,000. Up until this year, the pitch was artificial but, due to EFL regulations, they were forced to replace it with grass. Additionally, a new stand was constructed in the away end, and new floodlights and turnstiles were installed.
The distance from The Lamex to Gander Green Lane is 47 miles. Supporters wishing to drive should use the M25 and come off at junction ten for the A3, heading towards central London. As you reach Tolworth, exit the A3 and take the fourth exit at the roundabout for the A240. After crossing a railway, take the second exit at the roundabout for the A240 Ewell Bypass (which becomes the A24) for nearly a mile.
Supporters can also go by train, using West Sutton station which is just a five-minute walk from the stadium.
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