AFC Sudbury manager Jamie Godbold believes his side can no longer be considered dark horses in their pursuit of a place in the Ryman League Division One North play-offs.
The Yellows’ boss suffered his first defeat since taking over last month as Sudbury were eliminated from the Robert Dyas Ryman League Cup following a 3-0 quarter-final defeat to higher-league Grays Athletic on Tuesday.
That result ended a six-match unbeaten run — which had included four wins in the league — to propel the club into the final play-off berth, two points ahead of Dereham Town and only two adrift of third-placed Brentwood Town.
“Six weeks ago we could have considered dark horses, but certainly not now with the fine run of from we have been on,” he said ahead of trips to bottom side Burnham Ramblers on Satuday (3pm) and Thamesmead Town on Tuesday (7.45pm). “Back then it may have been the case to some people, but I don’t think we should ever be considered to be a dark horse because of the stature of this club.
One big stumbling block for the manager to overcome is Sudbury’s poor disciplinary record that could ultimately hamper the club’s promotion dreams.
Lawrence Yiga became the Yellows’ third player in as many games, and the 12th in total this season, to be dismissed following his straight red card during Tuesday’s cup defeat.
“We have to learn but it doesn’t seem as if we are,” said the boss following the latest red card. “It is not everyone, the majority are working and fighting hard for the cause, but I just feel they are being let down.
“We need to solve it because it could cost us and we are missing the spine of our side.
“We have had to fight back too many times in the past couple of weeks and it is getting too much.
“It would just be nice to have a full squad to chose from, because as of yet I have not had to make a decision because the team is picking itself.
“The players are dead on their feet at the minute having to play a man down and there is only so many occasions you can get away with that.
“The young lads who have come in have had a good test and responded, but it makes the challenge for the play-offs that much more difficult.”