AFC have new player lined up for FA Cup showdown

CELEBRATION TIME: Dave Cowley runs towards the home fans after scoring in AFC Sudbury's 3-1 win over Redbridge on Saturday
CELEBRATION TIME: Dave Cowley runs towards the home fans after scoring in AFC Sudbury's 3-1 win over Redbridge on Saturday

David Batch expects to have a new player in his AFC Sudbury squad to travel to Burnham Ramblers for their FA Cup tie on Saturday (3pm).

The paperwork on the deal was in the final stages of being completed when the Free Press went to print yesterday.

Batch was not prepared to name or comment on the player until the ink was dry on the deal, but he is someone who can be used in a number of positions.

After recording back-to-back league wins for the first time this season, ninth-placed AFC go into the first qualifying round tie at newly-promoted Ryman League Division One North outfit Ramblers brimming with confidence.

But Batch is someone who does not get carried away with the so-called ‘magic’ of the world’s oldest cup competition, acknowledging the magic for non-League sides comes from financial gain.

He said: “Realistically the best you can hope for is to win two or three or four games.

“The closest I got (as Wroxham manager) was to the last qualifying round.

“That was quite exciting, but when you get to that kind of level you do not expect to win as you are playing teams three leagues higher than you.

“The flip side is it bought the club a stand as we made something like £15,000 in prize money — that is why it is important really.

“The chances of any non-League club at our level getting through to the first round proper are very slim — there might be one.”

Should AFC win on Saturday, or in a replay at The MEL Group Stadium on Tuesday in the case of a draw at the 
weekend, they would pocket £3,000.

“All that is important is for us to win Saturday’s game and then look at the next game — that is all we can concentrate on,” said Batch, who will have defender Ryan Henshaw (holiday) and skipper Sam Clarke (suspension) back, but will lose striker Ben Thompson (family wedding) with James Baker set to start.

Baker scored the winning goal in a 3-2 comeback from 2-0 down at Wroxham on Tuesday, but it was Saturday’s performance — in a 3-1 home win over Redbridge — the Yellows boss was most happy with.

“Saturday was a really good performance, probably our best of the season so far,” he said. “It is not necessarily about performances as much as it is about getting results at important times though and we did that Tuesday to register back-to-back wins.”

Goalkeeper Dan Heath’s loan at St Neots runs out tomorrow and Batch revealed he is not being kept on after they decided to trim the budget, with AFC set to find another club to loan him out to, with Alex Archer holding the number one jersey.