Captain takes positives from cup heartache

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AFC Sudbury captain Sam Clarke believes there are plenty of positives to focus on following the club’s 3-0 defeat to Maidstone United in the Robert Dyas Isthmian League Cup final.

Despite conceding to his disappointment on missing out on getting his hands on some silverware, Clarke was left with nothing but positive feelings after leading his side out in the ‘special’ occasion.

“We are all slightly disappointed with the final outcome because I think we were very unlucky to concede three times,” he said. “However, I’m left with a lot of pride for the boys because we played really well and gave the fans something to cheer about.

“It is a great achievement for the football club to get to this stage with a whole league above able to reach the final and I think throughout we gave a good showing of ourselves.

“From my point of view it was a brilliant occasion and to be able to lead out a club in a final that I love and have been at for quite a few years was special.

“As a squad I think we can all be very proud of what we’ve achieved.”

As well as taking pride from the performance on the night, Clarke also believes the squad will be able to look back on the entire campaign as whole with a sense of achievement, despite looking as if they will also miss out on a Ryman League Division One North play-off spot come the end of the season.

“We discussed in the dressing room afterwards that we have to take all the positives from the match and push on in the eight remaining games and really end the season on a high and see where that leaves us,” he 
added. “You can see from this display that we are not a million miles away from the teams in the league above us so we just have to keep going as we are and see where that takes us.

“This season has been a great progression from last season finishing as low as we did and again that is something we can take great positives from with how far we’ve come.

“It looks as if we are going to miss out on the play-off places again, but seeing how far we’ve come in a short space of time means we will only take positives for this season.”