THE CLARETS welcome Sutton United to Melbourne on Saturday with the focus on another three Skrill Conference South points as the hosts look to continue their unbeaten run under Manager Mark Hawkes.
Chelmsford City, who have recorded three wins and three draws in all competitions under Hawkes, will be without central midfielder Matthew Lock who serves his one match suspension for collecting five yellow cards.
Sutton United, who have arguably been the league’s underachievers thus far after their promising opening to the campaign, find themselves in fifth place.
They will be more than happy with their point’s tally of 33 from 21 games although with the squad they have a title challenge may have been a more suitable target. United find themselves twenty-points off the pace of early pacesetters Bromley.
They could plummet down the table however with a couple of poor results as Bishop’s Stortford, who sit one place and a point above United, have two games in hand and so could really widen that gap in the play-off places which have been of a somewhat interesting spectacle as the season has evolved.
The Clarets will also welcome back former frontman Jamie Slabber - who netted on 29 occasions in 49 appearances for City in all competitions last season – as he faces his former club for the first time since departing last May.
Slabber is Sutton United’s top scorer so far this season having bagged his team nine goals which also makes the prolific striker joint fifth in the Skrill South’s top scorer’s chart.
Sutton United will prove a stern test for the Clarets, although the hosts will take great confidence from the result picked up over United’s fellow promotion hopefuls Bishop’s Stortford. Hawkes’ men were 2-1 winners of that match, which was played on Boxing Day, which was also the Clarets’ most recent league outing due to various postponements.