We are there to be shot at, says AFC Sudbury's Marcus Garnham
© Copyright Stephen Waller
AFC Sudbury's home game with Barkingside today should be a formality.
The Suffolk side lead the Ryman North table by 10 points from their final-day opponents, Harlow Town, with 12 games to go, and currently boast a remarkable record, having taken 42 points from the last possible 48 on offer.
By contrast, Barkingside are rock-bottom of the division with just four wins to their name all season, and lost 3-1 at home to Sudbury last October.
Victory today could see Jamie Godbold’s men stretch their lead at the top of the table to 13, if Harlow lose at home to fourth-placed Thurrock – a team that humbled AFC 4-0 on their home turf two weeks ago.
Despite the odds being stacked in Sudbury’s favour, goalkeeper Marcus Garnham insists he and his team-mates must remain focused and can’t let complacency creep into their game.
“On paper we should win the game, but we are up there to be shot at and there are a lot of teams that want to take points off us,” said Garnham, who re-joined the club earlier this season after a spell at National North side Lowestoft Town.
“We are all keeping to together as a team. We have had our moments, such as the Thurrock game a couple of weeks ago, but we have learned from that and got back to winning ways straight away. Hopefully that will continue on Saturday.”
Garnham was in the Sudbury side that lost on penalties in last season’s Ryman North play-off semi-finals to Brentwood, the team having a strong end to the season, following the arrival of Godbold 13 months ago.
And the former Kirkley & Pakefield boss has carried on where he left off, having moulded together an uncompromising side with an abundance of attacking flair and firepower.
Godbold also boasts sound off-field traits too, according to Garnham.
“He (Godbold) is a people person and the one that speaks to the newspapers,” added Garnham.
“Andy Reynolds (assistant manager) concentrates more on the tactics and what the players have got to do.
“Jamie gees the players up and that is what works at that level. Young players need that and sometimes require a kick up the backside.”
Garnham has experience of success in his career, having won the Ryman League Cup with Bury Town in 2012 and the Zamaretto League Division One Midlands championship two years earlier.
“That Bury side that got promoted with the likes of Gavin Johnson and Neil Andrews was fantastic,” he recalled.
“There was some good experience in the squad and a lot of young lads, the likes of myself, Sam Reed, Tom Bullard and Sam Nunn.
“We have some great experience at Sudbury with some young lads coming through as well.
“Both have been really good sides to play in.”
n Elsewhere in Ryman North today, Bury Town travel to Romford.
The Blues are 10 points off the play-offs, ahead of their game with a team that currently sit 18th.
Bury were scheduled to play earlier this week, on Monday, but their game at Aveley was postponed.