FA Trophy quarter-finalists Aveley to provide tough test for AFC Sudbury at King's Marsh on Saturday
After Storm Ciara saw AFC Sudbury’s Monday evening game called off, Mark Morsley has admitted he is relieved not to be facing title-chasing and FA Trophy quarter-finalists Aveley twice in the space of a week.
Former West Ham United, Bournemouth and QPR midfielder Keith Rowland’s side were due to travel to Suffolk on Saturday (3pm) for successive BetVictor Isthmian League North Division matches.
But the danger of the strong winds saw the clubs given permission by the league to call off Monday’s fixture which ended up preceding a rearranged one this weekend, unable to be played on the original date due to Aveley’s FA Trophy run.
“It suits us really and suited them,” said Morsley of his now 15th-placed side not having to face the third-placed team in back-to-back matches.
“I had a conversation with their chairman on Sunday and Monday and he did a video and the wind was dangerous. It would have been a danger travelling as well as making the game a farce, so I applaud the league for their support with calling it off.”
Morsley’s side will therefore head into Saturday’s game looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-0 defeat at Cambridge City.
Two stunning strikes, from Luke Knight in the 36th minute and from Tom Wood in added time at the end of the 90, saw the Lilywhites repeat the scoreline of the reverse fixture. It also saw them knock some wind out of AFC’s sails following their excellent 3-0 midweek derby win against promotion-chasing Bury Town.
But their manager felt the scoreline did not do his side justice at Histon’s Glass World Stadium.
“It was a disappointing first half but a good second half and I thought we deserved a draw,” he said.
“They cleared three off the line, but I guess that is football; sometimes you get those breaks.”
He is expecting a tough test this weekend from an Aveley side who have won three and drawn one of their last four in the league ahead of knocking higher-league Chelmsford City out of the last 16 of the FA Trophy. Their 3-1 win on their Parkside 3G pitch on Saturday saw them rewarded with a dream quarter-final tie at Notts County at the end of the month.
“I have watched them a couple of times and they are a really good team that are exciting to watch,” said Morsley.
“Maldon & Tiptree are going to be favourites but I think Aveley have got a really good chance of going up in the play-offs.
“It should be a good game and I’m looking forward to it.”
There are injury problems going into the game, most notably the Yellows will be without Sean Marks for ‘several weeks’ with the experienced frontman awaiting the result of a scan on his knee.
Kyle Cassell (knee) and Reece Harris (hamstring) are doubts but Tom Dettmar (hamstring) is ruled out.
AFC travel to face Great Wakering Rovers (9th) on Tuesday (7.45pm).
“They have had quite a good season as they were perennial relegation battlers,” said Morsley.
“A Tuesday night away from home down there is going to be tough but it is another opportunity to see which players are going to make the grade here and which youngsters deal with that pressure.”
More by this authorRussell Claydon