Bury Town’s Kyran Clements is relishing his return to rivals AFC Sudbury and believes their 3G pitch will play into his team’s hands as they look to get their play-off charge fully back on track.
The Blues managed to record only their first win in 10 Bostik League Division One North matches on Boxing Day, with the 2-1 home win over Soham Town Rangers.
The result moved them up a place in the table to 10th — though still six points from a guaranteed play-off place with rivals holding games in hand.
But Clements, who made 25 appearances for AFC Sudbury after coming through their academy, including picking up the Young Player of The Year award in 2014/15 — believes two games in three days, with 11th place Witham Town visiting tomorrow (3pm) ahead of Monday’s trip to Sudbury (3pm), can put them right back in the mix.
“The next two games are crucial. If we continue this form over the festive period and pick up points then we are right back amongst it,” said the player who had a season on loan from AFC before making his move permanent in the summer.
With Bury having laboured on a heavy home pitch on Tuesday, the 20-year-old says Monday’s artificial surface can play into their hands as they look to bring back the three points.
“They are two big clubs in this area and with the proximity they are in relation to each it is a big derby. I am looking forward to going back,” he said
“The fans will be there singing and supporting us and it’s on a 3G and we are very capable of playing well on a good surface.
“Hopefully we will be able to provide them with something to cheer about.”
Clements has recently been moved from his natural position of centre-back to cover out at left-back, on his weaker side, but says he is enjoying the challenge.
“It has been a bit of a problem area for us but I have sat in there and we have started to get a few clean sheets and as a back four I think it has worked well,” he said. “I’m more than happy to play there. It is helping me develop.”
Mark Morsley’s much-changed AFC side find themselves down in 15th place.
Manager Ben Chenery has called for ‘calm and cool heads’ in derby and said three points tomorrow are just as important.
But the Blues go into the pair of matches with a substantial injury list, with recent signing from Sudbury, striker Ollie Dunlop, having aggravated a knee injury he was returning from in the warm-up on Saturday that could now see him sidelined long-term along with ex-AFC Ricky Spriggs.
Another ex-Sudbury man, Tevan Allen, could be sidelined for a couple of weeks with an ankle injury while captain Bradley Barber (back) and David Cooper (knee) are doubts.