Hotshot Baker moves up the scoring charts

CELEBRATION TIME: James Baker, out of sight, is mobbed by his teammates after scoring a late equaliser for AFC Sudbury at Tonbridge Angels on Saturday (Picture: Kent Sussex Courier)
CELEBRATION TIME: James Baker, out of sight, is mobbed by his teammates after scoring a late equaliser for AFC Sudbury at Tonbridge Angels on Saturday (Picture: Kent Sussex Courier)
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James Baker’s match-saving goal against Tonbridge Angels on Saturday has moved him into sixth place in AFC Sudbury’s leading scorer charts.

Baker, hit by injuries which have restricted his appearances last season and this, now stands on 69 goals, his latest coming two minutes from time at Longmead Stadium.

Baker, coming on once again as a second-half substitute in Tuesday’s replay, was not able to repeat the magic as AFC made their exit from the FA Trophy.

Manager David Batch is optimistic that Baker’s hamstring problems may soon be resolved, giving the striker the opportunity to make more starts for the team.

Batch was not unhappy with the result on Tuesday, but was disappointed with AFC’s second-half performance.

“It was the first time this season we haven’t had a real go,” he said.

Batch felt that AFC were the better side against opponents two divisions higher in both halves on Saturday and in the first half on Tuesday.

“I think they were there for the taking, but we had a bad 45 minutes,” he said. “But defeat is not the end of the world — you would expect them to win.

“The money’s nice and progression’s nice, but we know it’s not a competition we are going to win.”

AFC are back in Ryman League action on Saturday (3pm), away to Romford, who ground share with Thurrock.

Romford are currently 19th in division one north on 17 points, eight behind AFC, who are ninth, five points off the play-off places, but with games in hand on most of the teams above them.

On Tuesday (7.45pm), AFC take a trip to Burnham Ramblers in the third round of the Robert Dyas League Cup.

After that, AFC embark on an uninterrupted run of league games, which Batch welcomes as AFC target a top-five place.

“Some cups can be a distraction,” he said. “We need a few league matches on the spin. It means we can bring in players who were cup-tied, and look at having a more settled side.”

Steve Spriggs and Ollie Hughes, cup-tied at the weekend, come back into contention.

n Baker was the club’s top scorer in his first two seasons, with 24 goals in 2010-11, and 23 in 2011-12.

All-time leading scorers: Gary Bennett 172, Andy Claydon 160, Sam Banya 135, Lee Owen 92, Brian Devereux 79.