Brightlingsea Regent boss hopes AFC Sudbury can win title

James Webster

James Webster - Credit: Archant

Jamie Webster’s Brightlingsea Regent are proving to be the comeback kings of Ryman North, following another eye-catching result at promotion candidates Cray Wanderers on Saturday, writes Carl Marston.

The R’s rallied from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 with fourth-placed Thurrock last Tuesday, and they went one better at Bromley to overturn a 2-0 deficit and win 3-2 against second-placed Cray Wanderers.

Russell Malton’s sweet brace, after Jake Clowsley’s initial goal, extended Brightlingsea’s impressive unbeaten run to seven matches, with five wins and two draws, and keeps them just two points behind the play-offs.

At the same time, Regent’s shock win on Saturday was a huge boost to East Anglian neighbours AFC Sudbury, who managed to stretch their lead at the top of the table thanks to the Essex club’s win over rivals Cray.

“I know Sudbury’s manager, Jamie Godbold, very well, and I exchanged texts with him over the weekend,” explained R’s boss Webster.

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“I’d love Sudbury to go on and win the title, and get promoted, so it was good that we managed to do them a big favour on Saturday.

“It’s always good when clubs from our area get promoted. I’ve known Jamie from various coaching courses in the past, and I passed on a few details about Cray to him.”

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But while the R’s latest win was a big fillip for Sudbury, it also confirmed their own potential for the rest of the season.

“It was just like the previous game against Thurrock, in that we started very poorly and were soon trailing by a couple of goals,” explained Webster.

“At one point, we were just thinking how many goals Cray might score. As their manager said afterwards, they were in complete control. We were just looking to keep them to under four of five goals.

“But once again, the players responded magnificently. We were miles off Cray in the early stages, and it’s didn’t even look as though we were playing at the same level as them.

“But we then managed to get re-organised, closed them down better, and got two quick goals to bring it back to level terms. I think we stunned Cray a little.

“Once again, we showed terrific character, and an ability to bounce back. We got an early goal at the start of the second half, another fantastic one from Russell (Malton), and after that I never felt in the least bit edgy.

“We dominated the second half, but of course we can’t keep giving teams 2-0 lead before we start playing.”

Brightlingsea are in action again tonight, in an all-Essex derby at Witham Town.

“That should be a different type of game. It will be a feisty affair, and it will be more of a physical battle,” added Webster. The R’s will go fifth with a win.

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