Penalty ends AFC’s winless run at second-bottom Ware

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Ware 1 AFC Sudbury 2

A new player could be on board as AFC Sudbury look to build on three points at Ware when they host Waltham Abbey on Saturday (3pm).

Chris Tracey’s side recorded only their first win in six games to give them a boost ahead of two home matches in four days against sides below them in the table.

Two goals from a four-minute spell in the second half from James Baker and Leon Antoine saw them come from behind on Saturday.

But it came at a cost with captain Sam Clarke now likely to be sidelined for a month with a knee injury after only recently returning from a five-month lay-off.

Assistant manager Michael Shinn also left the field in the first half with a neck injury that saw him put on a neckbrace, but he is confident he will be fit for Saturday’s game.

And he could be lining up alongside a new face with a deal for an unnamed player who can operate in a number of positions close to being completed.

“This particular player has become available and is someone we are trying to get in to strengthen us as a group of players going into next season,” said Shinn, who praised Free Press man-of-the-match Antoine’s response to being benched for the last two games.

“He was obviously not happy about not playing but came in and proved a point and I would expect him to start on Saturday.”

Looking ahead to Waltham Abbey and Waltham Forest’s visits, games which could realistically , though not mathematically, secure AFC’s survival, Shinn said: “We have a nice little run of fixtures and if we can pick up a few points from them, maybe seven from three games, that would be a great bonus.”

With Waltham Forest due to host Waltham Abbey last night, Tracey, whose side were 19 points above the bottom two in 14th in Tuesday’s table was sure to be an interested party.

After trailing to a 34th-minute Louis Rose looping shot at half-time on Saturday, AFC turned the game on its head after the break.

The visitors’ pressure paid off in the 75th minute with Dave Cowley’s hanging cross being headed across goal by Rhys Darg for lively substitute Antoine to hook home.

A minute after Antoine had a goal ruled out, Cowley was fouled in the box and Baker tucked away his second penalty in successive games, which ultimately secured the Yellows’ hard-earned win.

AFC Sudbury: Archer, Henshaw, Dalby, Shinn (Brown 31), Darg, Cutts, Maina (Fisher 90), Pond, Baker, Clarke (Antoine 36), Cowley. Unused sub: D’eath.

Free Press man of the match: Antoine - came off the bench to cause havoc to the home defence. Cowley ran him close when after an anonymous first half he had a great second period.

AFC bookings: Shinn and Darg (tackles).