Archer wants to mark AFC milestone with pair of wins

MR CONSISTENT: Alex Archer, who is set to clock up his 99th straight appearance for AFC Sudbury on Saturday
MR CONSISTENT: Alex Archer, who is set to clock up his 99th straight appearance for AFC Sudbury on Saturday

AFC Sudbury goalkeeper Alex Archer has backed his side to recover from Monday’s defeat with a maximum haul from their bank holiday weekend.

The recently-turned 20-year-old is set to become the club’s record consecutive appearance holder at Ware on Saturday (3pm) — and hopes to make it a weekend to remember with a second win in three days when his former club Needham Market visit on Monday (3pm).

The only ever-present member of the side last 
season, who played in all 61 games in all competitions, 
will pass Ben Nower’s 98 straight matches if he plays Saturday.

And he is confident of marking the occasion with three points, to erase the pain of Monday’s disappointing 3-0 reverse at Aveley — the Yellows’ first defeat of the season.

“I think we just had one of those days that over the course of a long season you are going to have,” he said. “All the boys admitted they have not performed on the night.

“But we have to draw a line under it and go again Saturday and Monday.

“In this league it is all 
about momentum and we are looking to win Saturday and Monday and take six points from three days to set us up nicely.”

Archer, who played in Peterborough United’s academy up until 18, when injury curtailed his progress, went on to play for Monday’s opponents Needham Market as an 18-year-old before being released only two months into the 2012/13 season by then manager Danny Laws, who is now the reserve-team manager at AFC.

And the winner of the Yellows’ Young Player of the Year last season, in his first full campaign, admits he still feels he has a point to prove when the two sides meet.

“It was a strange experience going to Needham,” he said. “Lawsy was the manager there and he is now at the club with us.

“We are fine though and he had reasons for doing what he did.

“There is always that little bit of an added extra for me to prove my worth, though there have been a lot of changes since then.

“It is always nice to put in a good performance against your old club though.”

Archer also believes there is a score to settle with their Suffolk rivals, currently top of the early table after four straight wins, after some disappointing results against them last season.

AFC, ninth after Tuesday’s games, were knocked out of last season’s FA Cup to the Marketmen, as well as tasting a second defeat at Bloomfields in the league, while being held to a goalless home draw last August Bank Holiday.

He said: “There is always a bit of added spice when the two sides meet, with it being a derby and especially with them overcoming us twice and drawing at home.

“With it being a Bank Holiday Monday, we will be expecting 300-plus at the ground and hopefully we can give a performance for the fans and the club.

“It is always nice to get a win over them, especially so early on in the season, but we are under no illusions how tough that will be as they are a good side.”

Of clocking up his record-breaking appearance milestone, Archer said: “I have been reminded of it on a few occasions by Tony Simpson, who does statistics at the club.

“He has been reminding me of it for the last couple of months!

“If I am selected Saturday it will be nice to pass that milestone and shows I have had a bit of consistency.

“Hopefully I can keep performing to the levels I have been in my time at the club and hopefully there will be many more to come.

“To get into three figures will be good.”

AFC look set to be without defender Ryan Henshaw (knee) on Saturday though, while striker Ollie Hughes played his last game on Monday before heading off to Gran Canaria to take up a new teaching post.