AFC Sudbury boss David Batch delighted to have players back from injury as his side march into Ryman League Cup semis and have only lost one league game since August

AFC Sudburys Michael Shinn, left

AFC Sudburys Michael Shinn, left

It’s been a good week so far for AFC Sudbury boss David Batch.

Not only did his side make it into the semi-finals of the Ryman League Cup with an impressive 4-1 victory at Harlow Town on Tuesday night.

But he also welcomed back influential players, Jamie Forshaw and Michael Shinn in the victory, Shinn playing an hour and reporting no ill-effects to an injury that has kept him out for a month.

For Batch, it was a good night all round as his side – who have lost just one league game since August – close in on the Ryman North play-off positions, as well as now have a League Cup semi-final to look forward to.

“We’re getting there,” Batch said.

“We’ve been missing players and still doing well, so to welcome back the likes of Michael Shinn and Jamie Forshaw was a big plus.

“And we had two players on loan from Cambridge United in the squad at Harlow, James Akintunde and Ryan Horne – for me Ryan was man of the match – and scored a great goal.

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“All of a sudden we had four additional players in the squad.”

Harlow’s excellent facilities at Barrows Farm, and on a 3G pitch that easily survived the weather, proved just perfect for AFC Sudbury.

After a goalless first-half Ryan Henshaw headed home from a corner for Batch’s side, before Ben Thompson netted the second following another corner.

Harlow pulled a goal back and then came AFC’s third from Horne – the fourth came from Forshaw.

“The result was great of course, but the most pleasing aspect of the whole night for me was the return of Michael Shinn,” Batch added.

There is little doubt Shinn is a key player for AFC Sudbury – as is Forshaw – but it’s credit to the rest of the talented squad that they have done so well, so far this season.

“We’re reasonably well-placed in the league,” Batch said.

“But there is half a season still to go for us and for most other clubs. Nothing is won at this time of the year.

“I’m getting the right group of players together and we keep trying to improve.

“What I want us to do is to focus on ourselves and continue to improve.”

AFC face two tricky away games on Saturday and next Tuesday – at Redbridge and Needham Market respectively.

Both clubs sit in and around where Sudbury currently are in the league table, while Batch’s side still have to play the likes of high-fliers Witham, Harlow and Heybridge Swifts – all twice – in Ryman North clashes. Their season is very much in their own hands.

“We’ve done well to lose just once since August in the league, but there are going to be times when we play well and get beaten by a better team,” Batch added.

“We are going to have to play well and consistent for the remainder of the season.”

Top of Ryman North

P Pts.

VCD 24 54

Soham 29 54

Harlow 27 53

Witham 22 49

Heybridge 25 49

Thurrock 24 47

8th = Needham 26 46

10th = Sudbury 24 42

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