Heybridge Swifts boss Mark Hawkes hails his side’s display at AFC Sudbury

AFC Sudbury's Robbie Martin, left, takes on his his former team-mate Rhys Darg, who is now with Heyb

AFC Sudbury's Robbie Martin, left, takes on his his former team-mate Rhys Darg, who is now with Heybridge Swifts, during Saturday's Ryman League Division One North match - Credit: Archant

“A PERFECT away performance” was how Heybridge Swifts boss Mark Hawkes described his side’s 2-0 win at AFC Sudbury on Saturday.

Hawkes said: “I would describe that as a typically well-executed away performance. They put us on the back foot for the first quarter-of-an-hour without threatening us. The first time we strung together four or five passes it led to the first goal.

“The first-half carried on in the same vein as although they maybe had more possession, they didn’t look like hurting us.

“In the second half we again looked solid and our keeper has not had to make a serious save. We defended well and kept our shape well and got the second goal ten minutes from time to settle us down which is why it was a perfect away performance.”

Hawkes now believes two more wins will be enough for the Swifts to be certain of an end-of-season play-off berth.

“We are still fourth and the whole of the top six won again today. If you look at the league Witham are the only other serious play-off contenders outside the top five unless something goes drastically wrong,” he said.

“We have five games to go and I think we need two more wins to cement our place in the top five. We can then maybe rest a few players before the end of the season ahead of the play-offs.”

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Although disappointed by the result, stand-in AFC Sudbury manager Michael Shinn said there were plenty of positives from his side’s display.

He said: “I am disappointed not to get something out of the game, but there are so many positives to take out of the last week, especially as they have only had three chances and scored twice.

“But that is the difference between the position they are in and the one we are in, and if you asked their manager how the game went he would say they shaded it.”

Shinn said the positives included the centre back partnership starting to form between Lee Townrow and Tom Cutts and the team’s work ethic that has developed in the last five games that have come thick and fast in just 11 days.

“There have been times this season when, after they scored their first goal, we would have been rolled over 4-1 or 5-1, but the signs are there that we have got that mentality out of our system and are starting to move forward.”

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