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Defender on AFC Sudbury's radar ahead of home games with Romford and Canvey Island while former Spurs professional Roman Michael-Percil is released



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AFC Sudbury are closing in on a new central defender with joint managers Rick Andrews and Angelo Harrop hopeful of boosting their options for two home games in four days.

The Yellows got back to winning ways on Saturday with Jake Clowsley’s 75th minute finish sealing a 1-0 victory against Maldon & Tiptree at The MEL Group Stadium.

It puts them on the cusp of re-entering the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division’s top five play-off zone ahead of further home games, against Romford on Saturday (3pm) and Canvey Island on Tuesday (7.45pm).

AFC Sudbury's managers are hoping to be able to have a new signing in their squad for Saturday's home game Picture: Mark Westley
AFC Sudbury's managers are hoping to be able to have a new signing in their squad for Saturday's home game Picture: Mark Westley

“We are continuing to look to improve the squad,” revealed Andews, “we’ve not got much cover at centre-half and this is an area we are trying to improve number-wise.

“If we lost one of our centre-halves we would be down to the bare bones.

“We have identified a couple who we would like to speak to and we have put in seven days and will not have the opportunity to speak until the tail-end of the week.”

Jake Clowsley was AFC Sudbury's match winner against Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday – scoring in his third consecutive appearance Picture: Steve Screech
Jake Clowsley was AFC Sudbury's match winner against Maldon & Tiptree on Saturday – scoring in his third consecutive appearance Picture: Steve Screech

Joe Grimwood and Jamie Shaw are the only current specialist centre-backs at the club with versatile captain Lewis O’Malley having filled in there alongside the former in recent games.

Andrews confirmed central midfielder Roman Michael-Percil has been released with the former Spurs professional having made just two appearances since signing less than a month ago.

“The travelling was too much for him,” said Andrews of the London-based player who had unavailable since the turn of the year due to Covid-19.

Meanwhile, young wide forward Lagshan Sivakumar, who had impressed the joint bosses with an eye-catching full debut at Coggeshall Town in their Velocity Trophy tie in late November, has opted to return to play for dual registered lower-league club Diss Town.

Roman Michael-Percil, pictured in action at Stowmarket Town in mid December, has been released from AFC Sudbury Pictured: Mecha Morton
Roman Michael-Percil, pictured in action at Stowmarket Town in mid December, has been released from AFC Sudbury Pictured: Mecha Morton

Teenage goalkeeper Josh Blunkell, who was selected for the England Colleges FA Men’s National Team while on trial at Colchester United in November, has gone on a month’s loan to FC Clacton with a 24-hour recall clause.

“It is important for Josh as he wants to go out and play games,” explained Andrews.

“It is a good level for him and then he can get back in three or four weeks’ time and start pushing Alfie (Stronge) and it will be good competition for him.

Teenage goalkeeper Josh Blunkell has joined FC Clacton on loan but Sudbury have a 24-hour recall clause available Picture: Mecha Morton
Teenage goalkeeper Josh Blunkell has joined FC Clacton on loan but Sudbury have a 24-hour recall clause available Picture: Mecha Morton

“He has never let us down when he’s played and we’re blessed in that department.”

Reflecting on Saturday’s victory, which ended a five-game winless run with Jake Turner returning and completing 90 minutes, Andrews said: “In the first half we were excellent.

“We didn’t let them settle and we’ve hit the post twice and the ‘keeper has made one or two good saves.

“The only disappointing thing was to come in goalless.

“The second half was far more even, you could argue they shaded it but we were still dangerous on the break.

“We had to dig in at times but the boys did that really well and it was nice to get back to a clean sheet. Maldon will be up there, I’m sure.”

Saturday and Tuesday will now present different challenges with weekend visitors Romford bottom after not losing their last 12 while Canvey are a point off the joint leaders in third, having won 3-0 at the former in their last game.

“I hope it’s not lucky 13 for them,” Andrews quipped. “We will keep working hard in training and hopefully we can add some points to the board.”

Cruise Nyadzayo is likely to miss both games having tested positive for Covid.