Craig Pope believes recent acquisition Marcus Garnham could prove the key in AFC Sudbury’s quest for promotion this season.
The custodian made a surprise switch from neighbours Bury Town last week as he dropped down a division in a move that will see Yellows goalkeeper Alex Archer complete his loan move in the opposite direction tonight.
And having seen Garnham demonstrate his pedigree in a pivotal display to help secure a 2-1 FA Trophy first qualifying round replay success over Bognor Regis Town on Tuesday night, Pope has backed the goalkeeper to prove imperative in the club’s search for promotion ahead of Saturday’s trip to Redbridge (3pm).
“Marcus is a top quality goalkeeper, he speaks well, has very good experience and I think he is a very good signing for the club,” said Pope, whose AFC side are seventh in Ryman League Division One North, five points adrift of the play-offs.
“I was a little bit surprised to see him drop down a level because he is a very good goalkeeper.
“Alex is a solid keeper as well, but the management obviously took the decision to bring in a more-experienced player at this point.
“To have a top keeper behind you is always a massive bonus.
“Having him there gives us added confidence, he knows what he wants from those in front of him, which is great.
“Every added bit of quality helps and so having Marcus here definitely gives us that extra chance in our aim for promotion.”
Tuesday’s result saw Sudbury, who also host Leiston in the Red Insure Ryman League Cup second round on Tuesday (7.45pm), bounce back to winning ways having lost their previous fixture 1-0 to Brentwood Town and Pope is hopeful victory over higher-league opposition will give them a boost going forward.
“It was nervy in the end, but we saw it out and got the victory which is what mattered,” he added. “Over the course of the two games against Bognor, we deserved to win. They’re a good team and that will give us confidence going forward.”
n Manager David Batch has also confirmed no decision has been made over the future of Ryan Maxwell, who is facing the axe for a potential breach of contract after an incident involving supporters.
The Free Press was told last week by chairman Phil Turner that a decision was likely to be made by the end of this week.