29 August 2023

Matt Gray wants big name in cup to boost Sutton budget

29 August 2023

Sutton manager Matt Gray is hoping for a money-spinning EFL Cup tie after Aiden O’Brien gave the League Two side a shock 1-0 win at Wycombe.

The Shrewsbury loanee netted his first goal for the Yellows midway through the first half and the visitors held on to reach the third round for the first time in the club’s history.

Following four straight defeats since their dramatic penalty shootout win over Cambridge in the previous round, Sutton were on the back foot early in the first half.

But O’Brien’s cool finish swung the momentum of the game and proved enough to put United in the hat alongside the Premier League’s top eight.

“We’re on a nice little run now, with two League One opposition beaten,” said Gray. “We’re obviously not going to win the competition, but you want a big tie, a big money-maker to help my budget. Simple as that.”

And Gray was delighted with how his side handled higher-league opposition, who came closest when Luke Leahy struck the post in the second half.

Gray said: “We’re really pleased with the first-half performance with our threat on the counter-attack. The second half we really dug in and it was a solid defensive performance.

“We rode our luck at times but we deserved the clean sheet and to go through in the end.”

Wycombe boss Matt Bloomfield was left rueing missed opportunities after seeing his team enjoy the majority of possession and territory.

“I think we controlled the game,” said Bloomfield. “We had 18 shots, an xG of 2.58, hit the post, near misses, that pretty much sums up the game.

“Then you give Sutton something to hold on to and they defended for their lives but we’ve created more than enough chances to win the game.”

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