From the Archive: A Thrilling Comeback Against Sutton United

This Saturday, we welcome Sutton United to Rodney Parade in what is only The U's third-ever visit to our stadium.

Sutton defied the odds in the 2020/21 season, winning the National League and entering the Football League for the first time in their history. The club had spent much of its life in non-league, and while we had prolonged periods away from the Football League ourselves, our paths never crossed. 

This was more than made up for in December 2021 when we welcomed Sutton to Rodney Parade for our first-ever Football League encounter with the club. 

Matt Gray’s men had defied the odds in their opening 19 games of the season. They arrived in South Wales with ten victories and two draws under their belt, sitting pretty in the League Two play-offs. 

Victory against us would have put the club in the automatic spots, and a first-half brace from David Ajiboye put them well on the way to this. Their first half wasn’t all plain sailing, though, with Craig Eastmond being sent off for a foul on Robbie Wilmott. 

Former manager James Rowberry made sure we capitalised on this in the second half. An excellent 25-yard strike from Lewis Collins put us back in contention before a scuffed strike from Courtney Baker-Richardson found the back of the net to draw things level in the 64th minute. 

Despite dominating possession and creating a string of chances in the second half, it looked like the game was headed for a draw. However, Jake Cain had other ideas with the midfielder bursting into the Sutton area and drawing a foul from Enzio Boldewijn in stoppage time. 

This led to a penalty being rewarded in the 93rd minute, which Matt Dolan was more than happy to step up and convert for us. The game put us within touching distance of the playoffs and was a fantastic introduction to Rodney Parade for Sutton United.