Play-off bid gets a boost

WELCOME RETURN: Deadline day signing Scott Mitchell in action for AFC Sudbury at Needham Market during his first spell with the club
WELCOME RETURN: Deadline day signing Scott Mitchell in action for AFC Sudbury at Needham Market during his first spell with the club
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Scott Mitchell is back at AFC Sudbury, the defender’s deadline day signing strengthening the squad for the run-in to the Ryman League play-offs.

“As soon as we knew he was available, signing him was a no-brainer,” said manager Jamie Godbold, “and he was keen to come back.”

Mitchell rejoins the club from Leiston in time for a demanding Easter, with Division One North games against struggling Barkingside on Saturday at the Wardale Williams Stadium (3pm), and a first visit to Brightlingsea Regent on Monday (3pm).

The vastly experienced Mitchell was at AFC for season 2013-14, before being sold to Leiston, making 52 appearances.

Godbold and Mitchell were players together at Lowestoft Town, and the manager rates his new signing highly.

“He was one of our stronger players at Lowestoft. He’s a good decision-maker, good in the dressing room, and his experience will be invaluable,” said Godbold.

“He can play anywhere on the pitch, and he’s a talented footballer, comfortable on the ball.”

With AFC’s disciplinary record much improved, Godbold has a full squad available.

“It’s a good position for a manager, to be able to make decisions. You have to leave people out, but the attitude in the squad is great.”

Godbold is still targeting third place and a home semi-final in the end of season play-offs, despite the 3-1 defeat at Dereham Town last week, ending an unbeaten run of 14 league games.

“The loss will keep us grounded and honest,” said Godbold. “To go 14 games unbeaten was a magnificent achievement, but perhaps we were beginning to think we were invincible.

“We try to take something out of every game, and we know that if we don’t play to our potential we can get beaten.”

Godbold believes third place is still achievable, but with Brentwood Town two points behind AFC in fourth place, and with a game in hand, the pressure is on AFC pick up three points on Saturday against a team third from bottom and fighting to avoid relegation.

“We will think about Monday’s game afterwards,” he said.

Brightlingsea are six points outside the play-off places. “A good result there would keep the distance between us, and stop Brightlingsea coming into the play-offs,” he said.