Cornard United have boosted their squad with four new players — including a left-back hoping to win a second professional contract at the end of the season — as they target a top 10 place to get them back in the FA Cup.
The side currently 14th in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division table, eight points off the top 10 with nine games to play, have brought in former AFC Sudbury young forward Charlie Gilbert, Colchester United’s released second-year scholar Shakeem Ferlisi, right winger Brett Angel and pacey forward Alexis Pryke.
Joint-manager Liam Aves, who was disappointed to lose 1-0 at Norwich United to a late goal on Saturday in a game which they had dominated the chances, said: “We knew the deadline was coming up fairly soon for players to sign on.
“Recently we have lost a couple to unavailability that we had brought in to replace long-term injuries and when we were looking around we have managed to pick up some pretty decent players.”
The managers’ links with Colchester United have seen them land the services of full-back Ferlisi as he builds up match fitness for professional exit trials at the end of the campaign, while Aves is excited about the impact goalscorer Gilbert can bring after he joined the club following the end of university.
Fellow new recruits Angel and Pryke are both well known to fellow joint-boss Ryan Lines.
Cornard’s new additions are set to feature when they bid to bounce back from successive 1-0 defeats at home to Halstead Town on Monday (3pm).
• AFC Sudbury Reserves reached 10th spot, and their target for points at the start of the campaign, after they beat Norwich United Reserves 2-1 at home on Saturday.
They host league leaders Woodbridge Town on Monday after travelling to second placed Whitton United on Saturday (both 3pm).
• In the Premier Division, Shane Wardley took heart from his Hadleigh United side’s narrow 1-0 defeat at home to high-flying Coggeshall Town on Friday with his relegation-threatened side at Saffron Walden Town on Saturday (3pm) before hosting Long Melford on Monday (3pm), as they bid to make up three points to safety.
• Long Melford (16th) picked up a point at Ely City at the weekend after youngster Callum Hemson equalised ex-Villager Jamie Thurlborne’s early second-half strike.
Jamie Bradbury’s side host Godmanchester Rovers on Saturday and travel to Hadleigh on Monday (both 3pm).