I know Sheppey will be up for it and we'll be up for it but we are massive underdogs, says Sutton Athletic coach Tristan Cropley

Wednesday 06th April 2022

SUTTON ATHLETIC coach Tristan Cropley says he is plotting a second shock in the Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup Semi-Finals tonight.

Sean Muggeridge’s Crowborough Athletic sealed a shock 1-0 win at Glebe last night, courtesy of Lucas Murrain’s eleventh goal of the season to book their place in the Final for the first time, with a 2-1 aggregate win.

Sutton Athletic welcome Premier Division leaders Sheppey United to Lower Road tonight, with Ernie Batten’s side arriving in Hextable with a 2-1 lead from the first leg.

Sheppey United go into the game on an impressive 20-match unbeaten run and are five points clear of Chatham Town at the top of the table, having played a game more and with only three league games left to play.

“It’s winnable.  People may laugh at that but it was 2-1 at their place. Arlie Desanges has a goal ruled out for offside but if you watch it back and it wasn’t and the referee only sees it once and I’ve seen it several times so we could’ve come away with a draw,” said Cropley.

“I fancy us against anyone at home. It’s a one-off game. We’ve done well in all of the cups we’ve been in.

“I know Sheppey will be up for it and we’ll be up for it.  When we played them at their place for the last 20 minutes they were hanging on so I was really pleased with how well we played.

“We are massive underdogs but that’s what the cups are all about. Whoever wants it the most will walk away with a final place.

“But if you would’ve said at the beginning of the season you would be in the top two or three and you would get to a semi-final or a final of a cup we would’ve bitten you hand off.”

Sutton Athletic go into the game sitting in second-place in the Southern Counties East Football League First Division table with 69 points from their 33 games.

Daniel Kelly’s side are nine points adrift of leaders Stansfeld, a side that have won their last six games and are nine game unbeaten.

Sutton Athletic, Larkfield & New Hythe (66 points), Snodland Town (62 points) and Bridon Ropes (61 points) are all currently vying for the play-offs.

“We’ve already achieved success,” added Cropley, speaking after Saturday’s goal-less draw at home to Larkfield & New Hythe.

“Nobody expected us to be at this level. We don’t have a budget. We don’t moan about budgets because we know you can’t moan about what you haven’t got.

“To be in the top two or three at this stage and to be in the semi-final of the league Cup and have knocked out teams in the league above, we’re punching well about our weight so everything now is a bonus.”

Sutton Athletic  v  Sheppey United
Southern Counties East Football League Challenge Cup Semi-Final Second Leg
Wednesday 6 April 2022
Kick Off 7:45pm
at Lower Road, Hextable, Kent BR8 7RZ