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Match Previews

Match Preview: Sutton United

22 March 2019

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The Spireites will try to make it back-to-back league victories when they host Sutton United on Saturday, kick-off 12:30pm. Here is our big match preview for the game…..


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Team News

During Thursday’s pre-match press conference John Sheridan confirmed that Jerome Binnom-Williams will not feature against Sutton.

 “'JB' (Binnom-Williams) is struggling with his knee and won’t be fit for Saturday but other than that, the rest of the squad has come through and I’ve got lots of players to pick a team from,” said the boss.


The opposition

The Manager – Ian Baird

Paul Doswell has taken a break from his managerial role at Sutton due to personal reasons and his assistant Ian Baird will take charge until the end of the season.

Baird began his playing career at Southampton and had two loan spells during his time at The Saints with Cardiff City and Newcastle United.

In 1985 he made a permanent move to Leeds United and was eventually made captain by manager Billy Bremner. The striker played a crucial part in Leeds reaching the FA Cup semi-final which attracted interest from other clubs.

Portsmouth were the club to sign him after Baird rejected a contract offer to stay at Leeds. However, his spell on the South Coast was short and he headed back to Leeds after just one season.

He had another successful spell in Yorkshire as he was named Player of the Year in 1989, but an alleged fallout between the striker and manager Howard Wilkinson led to his departure to Middlesbrough.

Baird moved to the North East in January 1990 but still played a big part in Leeds claiming promotion that season.

He scored two goals against Newcastle on the final day of the season which led to Leeds clinching promotion over Newcastle.

Baird’s next move was up to Scotland and to Hearts in 1991. He started his spell there strongly and scored on his debut against Airdrie United, but a torn thigh muscle severely affected his form.

After his time in Scotland had come to an end, Baird had short spells Bristol City, Plymouth Argyle and Brighton.

Injury problems meant that Baird was forced into retirement but he had a brief period at Instant-Dict in Hong Kong. However, further injury issues meant that he had to retire for good.

The 54-year-old began his coaching career in the Far East, taking charge at Instant-Dict and the Hong Kong national team in 1999.

After returning to England, Baird worked for a Leeds-based football agency before getting the part-time managerial post at Havant and Waterlooville in 2004.

He then moved to Eastleigh after three years in charge at Havant and Waterlooville. Eastleigh reached the FA Cup first round for the first time in their history under Baird and made the play-off semi-finals in 2009, but he was dismissed in 2011 after five years as manager.

He has been in his role at Sutton United since 2014 and they currently sit in ninth position in the National League.


One to Watch – Roarie Deacon

Deacon came through the youth ranks at Arsenal but left for Sunderland without making a senior appearance for The Gunners.

The midfielder was a regular for Sunderland’s reserve side, however, he failed to break into the first team squad.

Deacon’s next port of call was to Stevenage on a free transfer in March 2013. A two-year spell at the club came to an end, this time moving to Crawley Town.

He joined Sutton for his first spell after just a year at Crawley and enjoyed a successful time at Gander Green Lane.

Deacon was an integral part of the side that went all the way to the FA Cup fourth round, scoring against Forest Green Rovers, Cheltenham and AFC Wimbledon on their way to face Arsenal.

He struck the woodwork against his boyhood club, but the tie would end in a 2-0 defeat for Sutton.

In the summer of 2017 Deacon moved to Dundee, however, in his second season at the club he found game time hard to come by.

He returned to Sutton in January and will be a major threat to the Spireites on Saturday.


Head to Head 

This will be the second occasion the sides have come up against each other. The first meeting back in October ended in a 1-1 draw with the Spireites equalising late on through Jonathan Smith.


From the dugout

John Sheridan: “They’re a team that are in and around the play-offs, so we’ve got to be wary. They’re going to come here and try to win the game.

“They’ll come in thinking if they get the three points they could make the play-offs. They’re doing something right, they’ve been consistent in the way they play.”


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