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Marc Abbott set to rotate AFC Sudbury squad for FA Cup tie at Hitchin Town and reveals delight at new signing Andre Edionhon Silvera





AFC Sudbury manager Marc Abbott has hinted he is set to freshen up his side for Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup tie at Hitchin Town (3pm) following a bruising schedule.

The Yellows will have completed 10 fixtures across league and cup since they kicked their 2022/23 season off at home to Barwell six weeks ago when they come off the pitch in Cambridgeshire on Saturday.

It comes after their two games in the last week yielded a point, to take their tally to seven in eight matches following promotion to the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central, leaving them outside the relegation zone in 17th place.

Andre Edionhon in action on his debut in Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Stratford Town Picture: Mark Williamson
Andre Edionhon in action on his debut in Saturday’s 4-2 defeat at Stratford Town Picture: Mark Williamson

Saturday saw Abbott’s side lose out 4-2 at current sixth-placed Stratford Town.

New wide player signing Andre Edionhon Silvera marked his debut with a goal with the former Huddersfield Town scholar, who is Portugeuse, volleying in from Charlie Lewis’ header in the 53rd minute to half the deficit to 2-1.

Joe Neal then replied to the hosts’ next two goals, which came in a five minute spell including one from the penalty spot, with a consolation strike 10 minutes from time.

FOOTBALL - AFC Sudbury v BarwellPICTURED: Joe Neal scores for SudburyPicture: Mecha Morton
FOOTBALL - AFC Sudbury v BarwellPICTURED: Joe Neal scores for SudburyPicture: Mecha Morton

But Neal proved to be his side’s hero on Tuesday in a 1-1 draw at home to Royston Town, firing home a Tom Dickens flick-on seven minutes into stoppage time to earn his side a precious point, following James Brighton’s 68th minute opener.

“I think we got what our efforts deserved,” Abbott said of Tuesday’s display.

“I thought the way we finished the game was another real key moment in the season.

“The players showed determination and resilience to keep going and obviously finished with the late drama.”

Action from Stratford Town’s 4-2 win over AFC Sudbury on Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson
Action from Stratford Town’s 4-2 win over AFC Sudbury on Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson

Neal’s header was the former Cambridge United player’s fifth goal in as many games and his manager could not be more pleased with his summer signing from St Albans City.

“Joe has been fantastic since pre-season,” he said.

“He has brought into the way we want to play in and out of possession and I think he leads the line really well from the front.#

“I think when he is on it the team are on it and he is deservedly getting his goals in recent weeks.”

Of the 11th addition to this squad, who uses Edionhon as his last name, Abbott said of the player at Maidstone United last season: “Andre has started really well and we’re really happy with him.

“He is a bit different in that he is a bit more creative and free-flowing and his contribution Saturday showed he can chip in with goals.”

He revealed the London-based attacker was recommended to him from knowing fellow summer signing Josh Okpolokpo.

Saturday sees the Yellows turn their attention back to the FA Cup with a second round qualifying tie at Hitchin Town, who have won four of their eight matches, drawing one and losing three, to lie eighth in their division.

But Abbott revealed he will have his players’ welfare and their season objective in mind when selecting his side, with three league games - Mikleover, Leiston and Stamford - to follow before September is out.

He said of tomorrow’s tie: “We are excited for it but we have to understand who is ready for it and who needs minutes.

“We want to progress but we also have to be mindful of what this season is about in terms of staying in this league and division.”