Marcus Garnham targeting FA Trophy progress with AFC Sudbury
Goalkeeper Marcus Garnham and his AFC Sudbury team-mates have already experienced playing against one of the non-league big boys this season, and they would like to do it again in the FA Trophy.
Jamie Godbold’s team lost 5-0 to Ebbsfleet, from National League South, in the FA Cup earlier this season and are back in knockout football today.
This afternoon they entertain Bowers & Pitsea from Ryman League North in the First Qualifying Round of the FA Trophy, keen to start a run in the competition.
“Any competition is important and if you can get a good run it can benefit your club financially,” said Garnham.
“Obviously there is more prestige attached to the FA Cup, with the potential of making it on to TV in the early stages, but it is still nice to make Trophy progress.
“We played Ebbsfleet in the FA Cup earlier this season and that was a step up for the players, in terms of the quality, while the facilities and stadium were impressive too.
“It would be nice to get through against Bowers & Pitsea and get another draw against one of the bigger non-league teams.
“We have got to make sure we get a result on Saturday though.
“It’s a cup competition and anything can happen, so every player has to turn up and do their job.”
Today’s game provides a distraction from Sudbury’s league campaign which has been up and down in recent weeks.
After a solid start, AFC have lost seven of their last 10 league games – but only two by more than the odd goal.
“We are doing OK. Recently we have had a few injuries and that’s coincided with playing some of the better teams in the league, which probably hasn’t helped us,” added Garnham.
“We are still in and around the top-five but we need to bridge the gap in the league that has emerged recently.
“It’s early days though and a lot of the lads are having their first experience at this level. Our main aim this season is to stay up.
“It’s our first season at this level and we are finding that teams are more clinical and, unlike last season, we are not getting away with things that we maybe would have done then.
“Teams are more clinical the higher up you go.”