AFC Sudbury

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AFC Sudbury was formed on Tuesday 1st June 1999 from the amalgamation of Sudbury Town (founded 1885) and Sudbury Wanderers (founded 1958) making it the newest senior club in East Anglia. The first ever game was played at The Priory Stadium on 17th July 1999 against a full Colchester United side in the Harwich Charity Cup Centenary Shield Semi-Final, and saw a 2-4 defeat after extra time in front of 397 spectators, who also enjoyed a Lomana Tresor Lua Lua hat trick.

The club plays at King's Marsh Stadium, Brundon Lane, Sudbury, which was purchased in 1972 from the water meadows, two pitches and a training area were created. The clubhouse was opened in 1985 and the dressing rooms in 1991. Floodlights were added in 1992 and the following year a 200-seat stand was built in addition to the two areas behind the goals being covered. In 2,000 a new stand, 'The Shed', was opened and caters for 300 standing fans.

The Shed!

The two clubs leave behind proud histories. Sudbury Town were one of the founder members of the Suffolk County Football Association in 1885. They reached the second round proper of the F.A. Cup in 1996-97 having defeated Brighton And Hove Albion in the first round after a replay and an exciting penalty shoot-out. The F.A. Vase provided the club with some memorable achievements. Finalists in 1989, 26,478 watched that final which the Borough drew with Tamworth. The replay was sadly lost the next week at Peterborough United. In addition, Sudbury Town reached the semi-finals twice and one quarter-final.

Sudbury Town played for seven seasons in the Southern League, three of these being in the Premier Division. They won the League Cup here (and were runners-up on one occasion). They also appeared in 22 finals of the Suffolk Premier Cup, winning 13 times. Wanderers won the same competition in 1997-98 after a replay.

Wanderers progressed through the Halstead League, the Essex And Suffolk League and the First and subsequently Premier Division of The Jewson League. On the way they were three times finalists of the Suffolk Senior Cup at Portman Road, winning the trophy in 1991-92. In the F.A. Vase the club twice reached the last 8 and once the last 16 and won the Jewson League Cup in 1999, defeating Felixstowe Port And Town 7-2 at Woodbridge.

200 seated stand

In their first season 1999-2000, A.F.C. Sudbury finished third in the Jewson Premier League and the Reserve side won the Premier League title in the Essex and Suffolk Border League. In the summer of 2000 the club won the first St. Nicholas' Hospice Charity Cup tournament at Bury Town's Ram Meadow ground, defeating Mildenhall Town 5-0.

In 2000-2001 the club powered their way to the Jewson League Premier title, reached the first round proper of the F.A. Cup (where they were defeated away at Darlington) and the Reserves won the Essex and Suffolk Border League Cup.

In 2001-2002 the club retained the Jewson League and reached the semi-finals of the F.A. Vase before losing 2-0 on aggregate to Tiptree United. They also defeated Felixstowe and Walton 3-1 in the final of the Suffolk Premier Cup at Hadleigh.

In 2002-2003 A.F.C. Sudbury again retained the Jewson League Premier title, and won the Suffolk Premier Cup with victory over Mildenhall Town. They also reached the final of the Carlsberg F.A. Vase at Upton Park, being beaten 2-1 by Brigg Town. After this the club’s first manager Keith Martin stepped down and was replaced by the reserve team manager Gary Harvey.

In 2003-4, Harvey led his team to the club’s fourth successive Ridgeons League title and also won the Suffolk Premier Cup again defeating Town 4-0 at Portman Road Ipswich. The club also reached the final of the F.A. Vase but lost 2-0 to Winchester City at the home of Birmingham City, St Andrews. The Reserves lost in the final of the Essex and Suffolk Border League Cup.

Improvements were made to the Brundon Lane ground with it becoming fully enclosed, new turnstiles and a fully automated sprinkler system installed. The pitch was also revitalised with a professional grounds man employed.

In 2004-05 the club were again successful, they won their fifth consecutive Ridgeons Premier League title (a record for the Eastern Counties League), and again reached the final of the F.A. Vase. This was the third year in succession another record, unfortunately they again lost. Didcot Town won 3-2 at White Hart Lane Tottenham in front of 8862 spectators. The semi-final of both the Suffolk Premier Cup and the Ridgeons League Cup were also reached.

In 2005-06 the club continued in the Ridgeons Premier League, finishing 3rd in the table and reaching the quarter finals of the FA Vase and winning the Ridgeons League Cup. The Reserve side played in the newly formed Ridgeons Reserve league, finished as the inaugural seasons league runners up, having already finished top of the Reserve Teams Southern Division league as well as winning the Suffolk Junior Cup, with the final held in April, at Portman Road.

It will be all change for the new season, with new 1st team manager, Mark Morsley taking over from the successful Harvey/Cheetham partnership, having joined us from Needham Market FC. He will, I’m sure, have a few of his own ideas on the playing staff front.

The club have also taken the decision to join the new Ryman League Division 1 North league under the FA’s new ‘Step 4’ proposals, for the 2006-7 season.

In 2005/06 the club continued to playing the Ridgeons Premier League and finished  third in the table after leading for the majority of it. The Ridgeons League Cup was won for the first time in the club’s history and the quarter finals of the F.A. Vase was also reached.

The Reserve side played in the newly formed Ridgeons Reserve League Southern Division and won that. In the play off between the North and South winners, they were runners up. The highlight of their season was winning the Suffolk Junior Cup at Portman Road Ipswich.

For the 2006/07 season the club decided to accept promotion up the non-league pyramid to Step 4, and a position in the new Ryman League Division One North.

The club also changed managers with Mark Morsley taking over from Gary Harvey, to become the club’s third manager since their creation. Mark joined the club after guiding Needham Market in the previous there seasons and brought with him a good backroom staff to King’s Marsh.

The season panned out to be a good one, reaching the play-off finals in the league and did well in other competitions. Pre-season was fairly ordinary but the start of the Ryman League saw the first four games won.

In the F.A. Cup AFC made it to the Fourth Qualifying Round going out to a last minute goal to Leatherhead. Success in that and the F.A. Trophy where the First Round was reached going out away at Newport County, meant the league games fell behind. Further progression in the Ryman League Cup saw the club reached the Quarter Finals before being defeated at Staines Town also slowed league progress.

From the end of December 2006 AFC played only League games (28) something that had not been done in previous seasons due to the F.A. Vase. The league position improved from thirteenth to eventually on the last day of the league season finishing in fifth to clinch the last play-off place.

A fine 4-2 away win in the first play off against Enfield Town, saw AFC have to travel to Harlow Town. Again the team showed its resilience going two goals down before leveling in the final two minutes. Extra time could not separate the two sides but AFC failed in the penalty shoot out, to miss out on promotion at the first time of asking.

The 2007/08 season sees Mark Morsley and his backroom staff remain in place as they chase the promotion dream to the Ryman Premier League, while the King’s Marsh ground is sure to see many changes to it’s infrastructure now that the sale of the old Priory Stadium has been completed.

 

CLUB COLOURS Yellow shirts with blue trim, blue shorts, blue socks with yellow trim. Away colours all red with blue and yellow trim.