Mark Morsley 'not hugely concerned' by AFC Sudbury's position after defeat to Bostik League North Division's bottom side
Mark Morsley says he is ‘not hugely concerned’ by AFC Sudbury’s current position, despite losing at basement dwellers Witham Town, writes Alex Moss.
A 2-0 reverse at The Village Glass Stadium on Saturday saw the Yellows slip to back-to-back defeats in the Bostik League North Division for the first time this season.
Defeats to Grays Athletic and Witham have left AFC (10th) nine points and five places adrift of the play-offs, but ahead of a trip to third-from-bottom Soham Town Rangers (18th) this Saturday (3pm), manager Morsley says he has already seen more positives from his side this season than he did in the previous campaign.
“We’ve been a little up and down,” Morsley said. “There are still things which we need to work on, but I’m not hugely concerned.
“I always knew this was going to be a long term scenario, like when I was at Needham it took three or four years.
“I’m pleased with where we are. There’s been more high points this year than there was last year.
“The good points are that we’ve had some really good results. The 2-0 win at Canvey, we showed a lot of steel.
“But there have also been games, and Saturday is a prime example, where we’ve got to deal without having Billy (Holland) and Joe (Whight) and match the opposition’s desire and work rate.”
One win in their first five league games, coupled with an impressive run to the third qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup, left Sudbury down in 18th place in the North Division table in early October.
Morsley’s side hit back with a run of just one defeat in their next eight league games to move up to ninth, and five points off fifth spot, but consecutive reverses in the last two weekends has halted their progress.
“When you look at the rest of the league this season, apart from one or two teams at the top who have got the biggest budgets, after that you see that anyone can beat anyone,” the AFC boss said.
“Witham went to Felixstowe the weekend before and got a draw, and Felixstowe are an ambitious club.
“Saturday was a bad day for us, but I don’t read too much into it.
“We’re in a relatively healthy position in the middle of the table and our goal difference is worth almost another point.”
The Yellows are expected to welcome back Billy Holland and Joe Whight this weekend, both missing last Saturday’s trip to Witham through suspension and injury respectively.
However, AFC will be without striker Phil Kelly for the next three games after the striker received a straight red card late in the first half on Saturday with the score at 1-0.
Kelly’s sending off was described as a ‘ludicrous decision’ by Morsley, who was then sent to the stands after protesting to referee Lee Jessup.
The Sudbury boss has since sent an email to The FA, detailing his personal dissatisfaction with the standard of refereeing in non-league.
“For many years I’ve had a good relationship with referees,” he said.
“I’ve been managing for over 20 years and have managed over 1,000 games of football.
“I would like to co-operate with them and help them, because I think there are issues with refereeing performances and the way referees develop in the non-league game.
“I don’t want to bang on and have a go at officials, but I’ve got to take the bull by the horns.”