FOOTBALL

National League Preview: Sutton United vs. Forest Green Rovers

A big week is on the horizon for Mark Cooper’s Rovers, with two winnable ties against 16th-placed Sutton swiftly followed by the visit of 10th-placed Wrexham in a bid to close the gap on league leaders Lincoln City.

The Nailsworth side suffered a blow in their title hunt after falling to a late 2-1 defeat against promotion rivals Dagenham and Redbridge at Victoria Road last Saturday.

The loss saw the Daggers climb above Rovers into second and Cooper’s men will have to overcome a stubborn Sutton side who are currently four National League games unbeaten.

The London outfit, who reached the fifth round of the FA Cup, threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 with relegation-threatened York City last time out.

Paul Doswell’s Yellows held Forest Green to a 1-1 draw at the New Lawn in the second game of the current campaign, when Nicky Bailey cancelled out Matt Tubbs’ early opener.

Rovers’ top goal scorer Christian Doidge will be looking for his 20th strike of the season having scored five goals in the last six league fixtures and could rise or drop one place into second or fourth depending on the outcome.

With the trip to Lincoln looming at the end of the month, many would feel maximum points from the three upcoming fixtures is crucial ahead of the crunch title six-pointer.

Cooper could be without Keanu Marsh-Brown (thigh) and Bristol Rovers loanee Jake Gosling (illness).

Meanwhile, the visitors may be forced to continue to field new signing Will Puddy in goal after the injury to first choice Ross Worner in the 3-2 win against Torquay United over three weeks ago.

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