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Mark Morsley wants AFC Sudbury to show they can play direct against Witham Town

After being bullied during Saturday’s second half in the 3-2 home defeat to Grays Athletic, Mark Morsley will be looking for his AFC Sudbury side to show they can make a more direct style work for them at Witham Town.

ON TARGET: Tom Monk, pictured against Brentwood, made it two goals from three games on Saturday
ON TARGET: Tom Monk, pictured against Brentwood, made it two goals from three games on Saturday

The Yellows boss firmly believed the match officials cost his side points as the Essex team overturned a 2-0 deficit with a hotly-disputed equaliser.

But he admitted Grays’ tactic of putting them off their game with a physical approach in the second period is something he will be looking to find a way to combat in time for this weekend’s trip to bottom side Witham.

Morsley is not expecting an easy ride at Spa Road with their hosts, who have former AFC understudy Luca Collins in goal, buoyed by a 2-2 draw at top 10 side Felixstowe & Walton United on Saturday.

“It was a great point,” said Morsley. “I think it will be very tough. The surface will not be great and it is always a tough place to go.

“It will be a battle but one we have to stand up to in the game and that might reflect in my team selection.

“We have certainly got the players to do that (go more direct) and it is something we need to add to our game.”

Influential Callum Harrison (dead leg) will be back but lynch-pin midfelder Billy Holland will be suspended (five bookings).

Saturday’s home game, that had seen AFC looking to build on back-to-back Bostik League North Division victories, had got off to a flyer with a 2-0 lead build-up inside 22 minutes.

Recent signing Tom Monk ran on to a flicked header before rounding the ‘keeper and finishing well 10 minutes in before Ben Hunter converted Phil Kelly’s low cross.

But AFC’s lead was halved in the 31st minute when they failed to clear a corner and Michael Toner fired in.

The hosts came close to regaining a two-goal cushion at the start of the second period but Kelly saw a one-on-one effort blocked and Darryl Coakley saw a 30-yarder come back off the post.

Grays pulled level on the hour mark when Kieran Bishop’s angled drive was allowed to stand, despite Thomas Wade appearing to touch it in standing behind goalkeeper Paul Walker on the goal-line.

What turned out to be the winner followed seven minutes later from Michael Hahn showed great technique to volley home Michael Finneran’s long diagonal ball.

Bishop hit the bar late on while Kelly wasted a good chance at the other end.

“The referee’s and linesman’s performance cost us the game,” reflected Morsley.

“Their second goal was offside – we have it on video. And it is a shame as it is what I would consider to be a fairly bog standard decision.

“And Michael Toner, their centre-half, pulled over Ben Hunter when he was just about to score.

“I was disappointed not to get anything out of the game as we deserved a draw on the first half, but I have to say second half they were impressive.

“We have just had the rough end of the stick a bit in recent games but the bigger concern was how we allowed them to dominate in the second half and did not do what we were good at, which is keeping the ball, which is something we will work on in training.”

It leaves AFC 10th and eight points off the top five.

“If someone said to me before the Canvey game we would take six points in three games, we would have taken their arm off,” said Morsley.

l AFC Gold week 30 winners: £100 (263) D Smith, Catesby Meadow, Sudbury; £10 (237) Mrs S Paxton, Jubilee Rd, Sudbury;3rd £10 241 J Middleditch Brent Eleigh Rd Lavenham.

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