Ryan Henshaw has re-signed for AFC Sudbury and is set to be joined by an experienced defender as the Yellows look to end their Soham hoodoo.
Chris Tracey’s side travel to Julis Martin Lane on Saturday (3pm) having tasted victory against East Anglian rivals Soham Town Rangers only once in the last 11 years.
But they will be boosted by a 6-1 home win over strugglers Redbridge on Saturday, their first victory in 15 games in all competitions, and the possible early return of talismanic striker James Baker.
The club’s top goalscorer for the last two campaigns is set to be on the bench on Saturday having trained for the last few weeks after last playing on August 21 against Maldon & Tiptree where he fractured his wrist.
He was originally expected to be back by the end of October, but suffered a setback which meant he was sidelined for another six weeks.
Eighteenth-placed AFC’s last win at current 15th-placed Rangers came on August 25, 2009, with former captain Craig Hughes scoring the winning goal in a league encounter.
“We might as well not bother turning up at Soham – we have won there once, maybe twice in all the years I have been involved with Sudbury,” said Yellows boss Tracey. “That is our bogey ground and they are our bogey team.
“We have had numerous good teams and players go there and it just seems it is the way football works sometimes.
“Having said that, the run that we have been on of late that is the sort of place we will go and win.”
With Russell Pond starting a two-game suspension for his red card against Thamesmead Town, Henshaw could come straight into the midfield having returned from playing for Thurlow Nunn League side Haverhill Rovers after transferring from AFC to Haverhill over the summer.
The 20-year-old, who has made 11 starts and scored three times for Rovers, is a product of the Cornard United youth team, and played 31 times in all competitions for Sudbury last season at right-back, centre-half and in central midfield.
Assistant manager Michael Shinn said: “He is someone who wants to be at the club and he knows what to expect.
“He is a winner and that is the sort of player we want at this club.”
Meanwhile, the as yet unnamed defender, who has being playing a league up in the Ryman Premier, trained with the club on Tuesday.
Doubt has been cast over whether left-back Ashley Sloots will return to the club having initially agreed to before calling off unavailable for Redbridge’s visit, with the possibility he may play for Hadleigh United in the FA Vase on Saturday.
n AFC Sudbury Ladies made history on Sunday by reaching the first round proper of the FA Women’s Cup, where they were handed a home draw – see Page 68.