Very Young Side Get A Point
A.F. C. Sudbury welcomed Aveley to The King’s Marsh for a second time this season following their 4-0 home win in the F.A. Cup against the Millers back in August.
The home side kicked off the game on a cool evening carrying the threat of rain. A.F.C. Sudbury were attacking from left to right as viewed from the Brian Tatum Stand. The first threat of the game came in the shape of Jamie Eaton-Collins at pace along the right wing and delivering a low, hard cross which evaded defensive and attacking boot alike.
The home side had started strongly and a ninth minute attack was repelled, only by way of a clearance headed off the line. On eleven minutes A.F.C. Sudbury took the lead with a fine goal. Ben Hunter, stepping up to to first team duties, threaded the ball through to Joe Whight. Whight laid the ball into the path of Billy Holland who struck a sublime shot into the roof of the net from a central position just outside the penalty area.
Aveley settled and the game allowed few chances for either side. Sam Mills found Tyler French on twenty-five minutes and his superb cross was cleared by the Aveley defence with Sudbury’s forward men unlucky not to make the connection. Within a minute, the Aveley side, growing in confidence, saw a cross just evade Nathan Koranteng whose toe contact could only divert the ball past the right hand upright.
Joe Whight delivered a fine free-kick on thirty-three minutes which Aveley again responded well too clear. The set-piece had been awarded for a poor challenge on the unfortunate Jake Clowsley who received lengthy treatment before hobbling to the dug-out to be replaced by Jake Colclough on thirty-three minutes, he was making his first ever first team appearance for the club.
Debutant Ben Hunter was booked for a foul on thirty-nine minutes as the game approached the break with chances rare and both defences efficient and well organised.
Half Time;- AFC Sudbury 1 Aveley 0
Nathan Koranteng produced the first incident of the second half when his fierce drive from outside of the penalty area thumped off the right hand post and was cleared. The Aveley number ten clearly served notice on the home defence and a minute later he found space again to unleash a fizzing drive which Paul Walker leapt to push away for a corner with an excellent save. Walker then rose to punch a teasing corner well clear of the home penalty area as Sudbury were posed questions by Aveley after the break.
Billy Holland had a rare second half shot blocked following a free-kick on fifty-eight minutes, but it was the youthful rear guard of the home side that were having to put in the busier of the shifts.
On sixty-seven minutes Paul Walker rose well to make a swirling, dangerous cross his own. Ben Hunter made way to Callum Watson a minute later, and left the park to warm applause. Aveley almost gained an equalising score on seventy-two minutes when substitute Adam Bolle broke clear, but his shot was straight at Paul Walker and the Aveley man was left with head in hands as the chance evaporated.
A rare shot on goal from the home side saw Jamie Eaton-Collins’s shot easily gathered by Rhys Madden. Sudbury then rang the changes with Joe Maybanks taking the place of Jamie Eaton-Collins before Ollie Peters was cautioned for a foul.
Aveley drew level with nine minutes of the game remaining. George Doyle delivered another dangerous free-kick which Jordan Watson stabbed home from close-range amidst a crowd of players.
Shortly after the goal there was concern for all A.F.C. Sudbury fans when they were reduced to ten men when, having used their quota of substitutions, Tyler French limped off. The defender, with whom excellence comes as standard, will be wished a very speedy recovery which will be extended to Jake Clowsley whose earlier injury also looked worrying.
A battling point for A.F.C. Sudbury whose young guns battled long and hard, but were just pipped in their efforts to secure the three points. A.F.C. Sudbury travel to league leaders Canvey Island on Saturday in what is sure to be a stern test of the evolving squad.