AFC Sudbury looking to cause another FA Trophy upset, this time at St Neots

AFC Sudbury player James Baker tries to get a shot in as he is held back by Maidstone's Sonny Miles

AFC Sudbury player James Baker tries to get a shot in as he is held back by Maidstone's Sonny Miles duing the match between Maidstone United and AFC Sudbury at the Gallagher Stadium, Maidstone, Kent, on 15 November 2014. Picture: Steve Waller - Credit: Picture: Steve Waller

AFC Sudbury boss David Batch hopes his side can maintain their reputation as cup specialists when they travel to St Neots Town in the FA Trophy, today.

St Neots play a division higher than AFC – in the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division – but they will be fully aware of the Suffolk side’s exploits in getting to the Third Qualifying Round, Batch’s Ryman North outfit travelling to Ryman Premier high-flyers Maidstone and emerging 2-0 winners.

It’s not just Maidstone that have fell to Suffolk Premier Cup quarter-finalists AFC either, as Batch explains.

“We defeated Maidstone in the last round and have also beaten Bognor Regis (FA Trophy), Leiston (League Cup) and Bury (League Cup) from the Ryman Premier this season, so I imagine St Neots will be on their mettle.”

Batch’s side are currently unbeaten in seven games in league and cup but, despite their impressive run, the team must be on top of their game in Cambridgeshire.

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“I think some players probably raise their game more for certain matches and that happens at all levels of football,” he added.

“We might be able to put in a six out of 10 display in our league and still come away with a win, whereas against teams like St Neots, we need to be operating at eight of 10, and even that may not be enough.”

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Batch will be without the suspended Larence Yiga for today’s game but does welcome back striker James Baker (hamstring).

With his squad at almost full-strength, Batch has options at his disposal and the ability to change the way the Yellows play to suit the game they are playing.

“We are becoming more and more flexible to suit different games,” explained Batch. It might not be enough to win every single game but I am in a position where I can change the personnel and shape to try and highlight our opposition’s weaknesses and nullify their strengths.”

AFC will pick up £4,000 should their endeavours be successful today, while in the next stage, the First Round Proper, the likes of Braintree Town, Bristol Rovers and Grimsby will enter the fray. Not that Batch is thinking that far ahead.

“I only started thinking about today’s game after I realised Tuesday night’s match with Mildenhall was postponed,” added Batch.

“But we have obviously had St Neots watched and have done our due diligence.

“It will be a difficult, difficult game.”

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