Not A Good Day
Two First Half Goals
On a snowy King’s Marsh 3G pitch AFC were able to get their game on when many around them couldn’t and nearly two hundred souls braved the cold, but only to see the home side slide to their third straight defeat and third game with scoring a goal.
The wintery conditions really played not great part in the game as the ball slid over the surface as well as on a wet day.
Sudbury Manager Mark Morsley decided to give another of the club’s Academy a first team debut as seventeen year-old Ollie Gravett came in on the right side of midfield. Left back Adam Dunnage, another Academy product made his first start having had one brief substitute appearance previously.
Three further Academy boys started, Tom Maycock and Tom Dettmar given another chance to show their abilities while Ben Hunter celebrated his eighteenth birthday by making his 32nd appearance.
The visitors in contrast came with a settled and much more experienced line-up and in the end it was probably the difference between the two teams, as the promotion seeking Hertfordshire side went away with the three points.
The wind was blowing towards the goal that AFC’s Paul Walker was defending and it was causing a few problems. Phil Kelly for AFC had the first cross but it went straight into keeper Berkley Laurencin’s arms.
With eleven minutes on the clock Potters Bar were in front from a free kick on the left side. The ball was chipped into the penalty area by Michael Murray and there Lee O’Leary headed home.
Kelly and Billy Holland replied for AFC, the first saved by the legs of Laurencin and the other a tame effort. Both Gravett on the right and Maycock on the left both had crosses but there was no end product from them. Will Crisell was able to get his head to a Holland cross at the far post but the ball went wide.
Twenty-three minutes in and AFC were two goals down, Sandro Costas Dias Fernandes put the ball at Murray’s feet and he delightfully fired home from outside the penalty area.
AFC countered and Maycock had a shot tipped over by Laurencin and Kelly put another over the visitor’s bar from a corner. Hunter will want to forget his birthday shot that went so wide it nearly struck the corner flag as he buried his head under his shirt in disgust.
The home side had plenty of the ball but were seemingly unable to cause any real concern amongst the visitors defence. Gravett did burst through but having no support was forced to shoot with the ball ending in the side netting.
On the stroke of half time Walker saved low down as Ben Ward-Cochrane shot from long range.
There was a let off for AFC as Crisell lost the ball and Fernandes took advantage of the mistake but was unable to score, shooting wide when well placed.
On sixty-seven minutes Sudbury made a double substitution with Mekhi McKenzie and Ryan Horne replacing Dettmar and Maycock, four minutes later Gravett ended his debut with Max Booth taking his place.
With play somewhat scrappy as the snow continued to sweep down the pitch Walker got down to parry a Fernandes shot and the ball was scrambled away to safety.
There were three minutes of normal time left when Kelly shot from twelve yards out but the ball found the arms of keeper Laurencin.
Time ran out and the visitors took the spoils and AFC could have no real complaints about the result as more young players got first team experience.