AFC Sudbury manager Mark Morsley wants more of the same after players react well to Danny Laws and Dave Cannon coming in to replace fired coaching team
Mark Morsley was pleased with the response of his AFC Sudbury players in their first game with a new coaching team – and has challenged them to repeat it to get three much-needed league points.
Academy duo Danny Laws and Dave Cannon played their parts in getting a new era in the dressing room and dugout off to a winning start on Saturday by knocking out higher-league Harrow Borough from the Buildbase FA Trophy.
The 2-0 home success, sealed by second-half goals from Billy Holland (47’) and Sean Marks (68’) left the Yellows with a trip to BetVictor Isthmian League Premier Division high-flyers Worthing on November 9 (3pm) in second round qualifying.
For Morsley it was the fact there was more grit and fight in his side’s performance on Saturday which was most pleasing, having reacted to their poor start to the campaign by firing his entire coaching staff less than a week previously.
“Saturday was good,” he said. “Danny and Dave did a lot of work on Thursday night with the team and we tweaked things a little bit with the pre-match preparation and half-time, and it got the desired effect.
“We played very well but in a different sort of way; a more competitive and gutsy performance and you would probably expect that after what happened in the week.”
But ahead of returning to BetVictor Isthmian League North Division action when they host 11th-placed Canvey Island on Saturday (3pm), the boss admits he would have swapped their cup progress for league points.
“It will be interesting to see what happens now going forward,” he said.
“It was one great win but I would give it all up for three points on Saturday.”
Against Harrow Borough, youngster Joe Grimwood came in at centre-half for Adam Bailey-Dennis.
Both sides had chances in a goalless first half where the hosts had the strong wind against them but Harrow Borough went closest with Excellence Muhemba’s fine shot cannoning off the right-hand upright in the 13th minute.
Sudbury started the half with great purpose and took the lead within two minutes when Billy Holland poked home a loose ball.
Chances were at a premium but Borough hit the post through George Moore’s header form a free-kick.
Sudbury doubled their advantage in the 68th minute when Sean Marks displayed his predatory instincts to latch on to a loose ball and head past the goalkeeper.
AFC defended with great determination and went close to a third with substitute Callum Harrison’s shot forcing a save while a cross late on when just beyond Marks’ replacement Freddie King.
With no midweek match, save for the handful who played in the FA Youth Cup victory, Morsley took the chance to get the players in for training on Tuesday ahead of tonight.
And he feels Saturday’s opponents Canvey have also been under-performing in the table so far.
He said: “You look at their squad and think why are they 11th?”
“They have got some firepower in their squad so it is important we get ourselves right for that one. We need to get our shape right and get everyone’s head right.
“Of course, they will be very wary of us and it was one of the highlights of last season when we beat them at home (3-0 on March 9), which was topped off by Reece Harris’ goal.”
Morsley will hope for a repeat of that fluent performance towards the end of last season as he looks to start moving his side, currently in 16th, up the table.
On Tuesday, they had been due to host local rivals Bury Town in their penultimate Velocity Trophy Group 1 fixture, but it has now been re-scheduled due to the academy's FA Youth Cup tie at Bristol Rovers.