AFC Sudbury players must keep focused with Ryman North title in sight

PUBLISHED: 08:00 26 March 2016

Jamie Godbold

Jamie Godbold

Archant

AFC Sudbury manager Jamie Godbold has called upon his players to keep their focus now that the Ryman League Division One North title is within tantalising touching distance.

Only three teams can now catch the league leaders as they head into their final six games, starting with the visit of relegation-threatened Waltham Abbey today and 
continuing with a west Suffolk derby at Bury Town on Monday.

One more point would take Cray Wanderers out of the equation, four points would see off Harlow Town – who lost 4-3 at Romford on Wednesday night – while seven points would make it impossible for Thurrock to catch them.

And with the latter facing tough fixtures against fellow high-fliers Hornchurch and Cray over Easter weekend, there’s every chance that Sudbury could be crowned 
champions at Ram Meadow, of all places, if they were to rack up two more victories – something they’ve managed in seven of their last eight outings.

“We keep telling the players 
‘nothing is done and dusted yet’,” said Godbold, who will be without the key trio of James Baker, Sam Clarke (both suspended) and Jack Wilkinson (injured) today.

“There are lots of 
‘what-ifs?’ What if we won on Saturday and then had the chance to seal the title at Bury Town? On the flip side of that, what if we don’t pick up a point over Easter and still needed seven points but with only four games left? The pressure would really grow then.

“We’ve dealt with the pressure of being up the top really well for the last three or four weeks and we just have to keep approaching each game with the same attitude.

“Waltham Abbey are fighting for their lives, while Bury won’t want us to win the league on their patch. Neither team is just going to give us three points.

AFC Sudbury are aiming to reach Step Three of the non-league pyramid for the first time since Sudbury Town and Sudbury Wanderers merged in 1999. Prior to that Sudbury Town spent three seasons in the Southern League Premier Division (94/95 to 96/97).

“It’s been a tremendous season, whatever happens, but I just really want us to get over the line to reward all the hard work of everyone involved, from the players, to the club’s backers to the supporters. I think this club deserves to be at a higher level,” said Godbold.

“As soon as we lost the play-off semi-finals last season I said that would be our driving motivation and that we would bounce back from the disappointment.

“I think we’ve got better as the season has gone on. We’ve had games when we’ve played really well and we’ve had other days where we’ve had to dig in and grind out a result. We’ve learnt to win in different ways.

“There are a lot of players in that dressing room that have been at this club a long time and not won much.

“I think they’ve approached this season with the attitude that they would do whatever it takes to win something.”

Only three teams can now catch the league leaders as they head into their final six games, starting with the visit of relegation-threatened Waltham Abbey today and 
continuing with a west Suffolk derby at Bury Town on Monday.

One more point would take Cray Wanderers out of the equation, four points would see off Harlow Town – who lost 4-3 at Romford on Wednesday night – while seven points would make it impossible for Thurrock to catch them.

And with the latter facing tough fixtures against fellow high-fliers Hornchurch and Cray over Easter weekend, there’s every chance that Sudbury could be crowned 
champions at Ram Meadow, of all places, if they were to rack up two more victories – something they’ve managed in seven of their last eight outings.

“We keep telling the players 
‘nothing is done and dusted yet’,” said Godbold, who will be without the key trio of James Baker, Sam Clarke (both suspended) and Jack Wilkinson (injured) today.

“There are lots of 
‘what-ifs?’ What if we won on Saturday and then had the chance to seal the title at Bury Town? On the flip side of that, what if we don’t pick up a point over Easter and still needed seven points but with only four games left? The pressure would really grow then.

“We’ve dealt with the pressure of being up the top really well for the last three or four weeks and we just have to keep approaching each game with the same attitude.

“Waltham Abbey are fighting for their lives, while Bury won’t want us to win the league on their patch. Neither team is just going to give us three points.

AFC Sudbury are aiming to reach Step Three of the non-league pyramid for the first time since Sudbury Town and Sudbury Wanderers merged in 1999. Prior to that Sudbury Town spent three seasons in the Southern League Premier Division (94/95 to 96/97).

“It’s been a tremendous season, whatever happens, but I just really want us to get over the line to reward all the hard work of everyone involved, from the players, to the club’s backers to the supporters. I think this club deserves to be at a higher level,” said Godbold.

“As soon as we lost the play-off semi-finals last season I said that would be our driving motivation and that we would bounce back from the disappointment.

“I think we’ve got better as the season has gone on. We’ve had games when we’ve played really well and we’ve had other days where we’ve had to dig in and grind out a result. We’ve learnt to win in different ways.

“There are a lot of players in that dressing room that have been at this club a long time and not won much.

“I think they’ve approached this season with the attitude that they would do whatever it takes to win something.”

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