This was a much better performance. In fairness it would not have taken much too have been better than the last game. At least in this one all fourteen players that pulled on an AFC shirt put effort into their game.
The pitch survived a mid-morning inspection, but was sticky in places. It was certainly very bumpy and did little to allow good passing football to be played.
Changes yet again for the AFC line up, with Chris Howlett unavailable, Shane Wardley came in at the back. He took over his normal left back place, with Pip Boyland switching to the right side, and Brett Girling playing in the centre with David Head. In midfield, Luke Hammond returned and Michael Brothers started for the first time alongside Gareth Heath. Tommy Noble was the lone front runner, with Andy Claydon, Terry Rayner and youngster Chris Cowan on the bench.
AFC kicked off into the wind and into strong winter sunshine, that forced Nathan Munson to wear a cap. The visitors were first to show when a long ball from James Rowe saw Noble chase it goalwards and keeper Hayward came out to head away. Hammond got the ball from a Boyland throw and then fed Rowe who cut in and shot well over. He should have done better.
The break through came in the eighth minute. Neil Calver and Brothers did well in midfield, got the ball to Rowe and then it fell to Tommy Noble who turned and shot low passed Hayward I n the home goal.
AFC were doing well and earned a corner that came out to Heath and then Hammond who got the ball to Noble but the ball flew well over, this in the twelfth minute. Three minutes later. AFC should have increased their lead. Heath, who was prompting well in midfield put Rowe away and he took the ball around Hayward, then leant back and hit the ball well over when it looked easier to score.
Potters Bar then had a chance when Howard and Harding combined well down their right hand side and earned a corner. From it Munson punched clear and Noble and Brothers raced clear, but the ball came back and the AFC keeper seemed dazzled by the sun as palmed a shot from Toner.
With AFC pushing forward, Girling had to be alert as Howard broke away, the AFC man covered well and only gave away a throw in. Hammond and Winger clashed in midfield and there was the usual rushing in of players from both sides. The quick thinking Daniel Talbot, the son of ex Sudbury Town and Ipswich Town man Brian, took the free kick quickly and nearly caught everyone out but Funibanyan was offside.
Just after the half hour mark Hammond set Rowe away down the right, he cut in and forced Hayward to give away a corner, but AFC wasted it. Then home side earned a corner from which Munson got two hands to and punched away. The AFC were doing well and hunting the ball down and not allowing their hosts time on the ball. It was certainly something not seen in the previous game.
The half ended with AFC having the better of things, but only holding a slender one goal lead.
Half time; Potters Bar Town 0 AFC Sudbury 1
The home side started as though they were intent on getting the equaliser early on. Howard had a shot that struck David Head came back to him and the same player hit the ball against his own player, Fanibunyan and it went over the AFC bar. Howard again was in the action when he got the ball to Harding but he wasted the chance.
On 53 minutes Noble won a corner on the right, but Wardleys cross went straight into Haywards arms. Around the hour mark the Potters were getting forward well, but the visitors were working hard to deny them real space. Rowe was delivered the ball on the right hand side from a Heath and Brothers move, but he again shot wide.
Terry Rayner came off the bench with 71 minutes gone, replacing Hammond, who had spend a lot of the game trying to flick the ball passed opponents instead of getting stuck in. For Bar, Talbot took a free kick from wide on the right that went deep to the far post and Munson and Howard went for it. The AFC keeper stayed down, but fortunately he was only winded and was soon up and playing.
There were 74 minutes gone when Noble left the game to be replaced by Andy Claydon to take up the lone front runner role. Four minutes later it was Rowe who had taken a knock, who went off and Cowan came on.
The Parkfield side won a corner on the right hand side, that Harding crossed, Claydon headed only half clear and Ledger headed over. With then minutes left AFC attacked and Brothers and Claydon worked well together and the ball fell to Cowan, but the youngster shot was tame and straight at Hayward.
The final few minutes saw Potters Bar on the attack as they tried to get something out of the game. The Sudbury side held it together well and when referee blew the whistle right on ninety minutes adding no stoppage time at all, the three points made their way back to Suffolk.
The attendance of 110 was not great and again there were at least half of the crowd from Sudbury.
The game itself was certainly an improvement on Tuesdays, with everyone seemingly wanting to be part of the team, and it is teamwork that will see them climb the table.
|Man of Match ||Votes |
|Pip Boyland || |
|Shane Wardley || |
|Michael Brothers || |
|Chris Cowan || |
|Gareth Heath || |
|Terry Rayner || |
|Brett Girling || |
|Luke Hammond || |