The Bees continue their pre-season preparations as they take on last season’s National League Champions, Sutton United, in a pre-season friendly.
Sutton United vs Barnet FC
Saturday 31st July, 12:00
Easy As HGV Stadium – Farnborough Football Club – POSTCODE: GU14 8UD
Manager: Matt Gray
Last Season: 1st in Vanarama National League – Promoted to EFL
One to Watch: Enzio Boldewijn
What a season it was for Sutton United last time out, as they defeated the odds and won The National League title, subsequently gaining promotion to the EFL for the first time in their history. Matt Gray’s side played a stylish, yet effective brand of football throughout the campaign and wrapped up the trophy with a game to spare. The goals of Harry Beautyman played an instrumental part in their promotion, but their consistent ability to grind out results was ultimately the key component to their success.
The two games with the Bees last year came at the back end of the season, with Sutton edging a tense clash at Gander Green Lane, as a second-half goal secured a 1-0 victory in a match that was overshadowed by a serious injury to Aymen Azaze. The sides then met on the last day of the season, as goals from Harry Taylor and Josh Walker wrapped up a 2-0 win for the Bees with Sutton United securing the title the weekend before.
Harry Kewell’s men ramped up their preparations with two 75 minute friendlies against Championship side, Peterborough United last weekend. The first game saw two First Team sides go up against each other, with a very strong Posh side running out as 3-2 victors in a cracking match. The second game saw the Bees field a side made up of mostly trialist players and they lost out 2-0 to another experienced and strong Peterborough United team.
There’s been positive news as well this week with the addition of former Leyton Orient defender, Joe Widdowson earlier today (Friday). The full-back brings significant experience to our ranks and has also previously won The National League title during his time with the O’s. All in all, Kewell will hope that his side can get more minutes in the legs and start progressing with his style as the new season begins to draw closer. Tomorrow’s match will be an interesting test for the Bees as they come up against a familiar opponent who start their campaign imminently, regardless of the outcome it gives the coaching staff another good opportunity to see how we’re shaping up.