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AFC Sudbury overcome Heybridge Swifts and Felixstowe & Walton United to make up ground on play-offs

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Joint manager Rick Andrews is pleased with how his AFC Sudbury players have gone about keeping their season alive.

A run of indifferent form since Christmas looked to have ended the Yellows’ hopes of nabbing themselves one of the four Pitching In Isthmian League North Division play-off places.

However, last week’s 1-0 victory over Brentwood Town got Sudbury back on track and they have followed it up with two more wins – 2-0 at home against Heybridge Swifts on Saturday, which was followed by a 2-1 triumph from Tuesday’s all-Suffolk affair at Felixstowe & Walton United.

Rick Andrews and fellow joint boss Angelo Harrop. Picture: Mecha Morton
Rick Andrews and fellow joint boss Angelo Harrop. Picture: Mecha Morton

Those results have moved Andrews’ side up eighth, four points adrift of the top five with a game in hand on fifth-placed Hashtag United.

Andrews said: “We said to the players that it’s about keeping the season alive for as long as possible – that has been the message for the last month.

“We’ve got eight games left now and we’re still in it – if you’d offered me that at the start of the season I’d have snapped your hand off.

Reece Harris has scored in both of Sudbury's recent victories. Picture: Mecha Morton
Reece Harris has scored in both of Sudbury's recent victories. Picture: Mecha Morton

“What the players have shown recently is that they are an honest bunch who are prepared to work hard for us.

“There’s still plenty to play for and that is all we can ask.”

The win at Felixstowe was particularly crucial given that the Seasiders – on a good run themselves – are among the sides vying to gatecrash the play-offs.

And while it was not the greatest of spectacles, goals in either from Reece Harris and Jamie Shaw earned the visitors the spoils.

“Felixstowe have been on a phenomenal run and fair play to them for that,” added Andrews.

“They have shown just how you can climb if you can stick a few good results together.

“We knew it was going to be a tough game but to a man we were on it.

“The work-rate the boys put in was fantastic and they fully deserved the win.

“It wasn’t the prettiest of games but I don’t think anybody watching would have begrudged us the three points.”

Harris was also on target against Heybridge at the weekend, as was new signing Cameron Forde-Brown, who broke the deadlock shortly after being introduced as a substitute.

The young striker – along with midfielder Callum Burkey – has joined Sudbury on loan until the end of the season from Vanarama National League outfit Southend United.

“We just needed to beef up the squad a little bit,” said Andrews.

“Cameron took his goal well and both of them have settled in nicely – they’re good lads.”

Attention now switches to back-to-back away fixtures, starting at Tilbury on Saturday (3pm) and then leaders Canvey Island on Tuesday (7.45pm).

And Andrews has conceded they are going to need to continue their recent performance levels if they are to come away from those trips with positive results.

“This league is really unforgiving,” he said.

“It’s so tough. You can’t look at any game and think we should win it because there is no easy game.

“You look at the results now and there is never many shocks because anyone can beat anyone on their day.

“We’ve got to keep doing what we’re doing and hope we pick up more points than the sides around us. We’ve got a bit of a momentum behind us and hopefully we can kick on from here.”

Defender Luke Wilson will return to the squad this weekend after serving a suspension.