Ryman North Preview: AFC Sudbury v Brightlingsea Regent
- Credit: Richard Land/Focus Images Ltd
AFC Sudbury manager Jamie Godbold has warned his side not to go seeking revenge against Brightlingsea Regent, at the Wardale Williams Stadium, tonight.
Sudbury are second from top in Ryman North and could close the gap on leaders Cray Wanderers to three points with a win against their Essex rivals, who have lost just one of their previous seven league games.
Regent find themselves in mid-table, 14 points behind Godbold’s side, but have a good recent record against their west Suffolk opponents.
James Webster’s side dealt Sudbury a damaging blow towards the end of last season, winning 3-0 in Essex and that completed the double, with Regent also prevailing in the Boxing Day clash, 1-0.
Regent currently enjoy the bragging rights this season too, having drawn 1-1 at North Road and emerged as 5-1 winners at Sudbury in the Ryman League Cup in August.
“They have been a bit of a bogey side for us and it’s a bit of a local derby too,” said Godbold.
“Brightlingsea have adapted well to playing in a higher division but it’s important we don’t go seeking revenge and we have to try and carry on where we left off against Hendon on Sunday.”
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Sunday’s win saw Sudbury progress to the next round of the FA Vase and Godbold was delighted as his side collected their third straight win, and fourth win in five in all competitions.
“People will say that the league is our priority but it’s important that we keep on winning to continue gathering momentum,” added Godbold.
“We are on a good run of form as are Brightlingsea, so if we can keep getting performances and wins, then we will be there or thereabouts.
“We have a game in hand on Cray and it’s important we keep the pressure on the teams around us.
“There are four or five teams in the mix and a win puts them right back in contention for the top, while defeat can you see you drop very quickly.”
While Sudbury have been situated at the top end of Ryman North for most of the season, defensive frailties early in the season were all too plain to see.
As well as the 5-1 home defeat Regent in the cup, Sudbury also lost 6-2 at home to the leaders and have shipped 25 league goals this season.
In recent weeks, however, Godbold’s men have tightened up at the back.
We have made big strides defensively,” explained Godbold.
“When you look at the league table we have conceded a hell of a lot of goals .
“We secured a clean sheet at Hendon which was a good achievement and we have done a lot of work in the respect that it’s not just the responsibility of the back five, the whole team have to defend.
“We have certainly become a lot more difficult to break down, while Marcus Garnham has come back and made a big difference in goal.”
Garnham has replaced Ollie Bowles, who ironically, will be between the sticks for Regent tonight, after his loan deal from Concord Rangers was cut short.
Former AFC Sudbury striker Terry Rymer is also expected to be involved for Regent.