Canvey Island 2
AFC Sudbury 2
Andy Reynolds insists AFC Sudbury are not prepared to make the same mistakes again following their relegation this season.
The Yellows finished their first campaign in the Ryman League Premier Division with a 2-2 draw away at Canvey Island at the weekend.
Already relegated AFC dragged their hosts down with them in this final game draw, as the Islanders needed to win to have any chance of survival, but a combination of results saw them relegated for the first time in 20 years.
Sudbury’s fate was sealed before their penultimate fixture against Needham Market last week, and now, with the backing of the chairman, assistant manager Reynolds is looking for him and Jamie Godbold to help the club bounce back next season.
“The chairman has come out and said he is backing Jamie, and I am right behind him,” Reynolds said.
“We underachieved this year and we need to learn from the experience.
“There’s no point going down after a tough season and then making the same mistakes again.
“We’re still as hungry as ever to try and achieve what we did last season (winning the Ryman League Division One North title). We want to bounce back.”
There was a very youthful look to the AFC starting line-up for their final game of the season, at The Prospects Stadium, with Ollie Dunlop, Tevan Allen, Tyler French and Dylan Williams all included, while Joe Wright and Wayne Blackman were on the bench.
Adam Tann, Rob Eagle, Danny Crow and captain Sam Clarke were all out injured, although the latter was named on the bench.
Liam Wales opened the scoring for AFC with his 12th goal of the season just before the interval.
Dylan Williams notched the second 12 minutes after the restart and AFC looked to be in complete control.
The home side pulled one back after 80 minutes through Ashley Dumas, and set up a frantic finish when Callum Ibe levelled the scores five minutes later.
But the game ended deadlocked and the teams will meet again next season in Division One North, which will have a new sponsor’s name as Ryman are ending their sponsorship.
“For the first 60 minutes it was us who were in the ascendancy,” Reynolds said.
“We had the opportunity, as we had already gone down, to make some changes and have a look at one or two things.
“We learnt a lot on the day and it will help us go forward.”
AFC Sudbury: Garnham, Allen, Wilkinson, Baker, Henshaw, French, Williams, Corcoran (Blackman 69), Wales, Parker (Wright 59), Dunlop. Subs not used: Austin, Clarke, Godbold. Booked: Baker, Blackman. Att: 423.
n The week 52 winners of the AFC Gold fundraiser are as follows: £100 (230) Miss V Paxton, Jubilee Rd, Sudbury; £10 (163) W Jones, Chequers Lane, Glemsford; £10 (167) A Cleverley, Bakers Court, Gt Cornard.