Defeat But No Disgrace
Solitary Goal Win By League Leaders
It was not to be for AFC as they went to league leaders AFC Hornchurch and came away defeated but not disgraced as they suffered losing by only a solitary goal.
The side that started showed only one change from midweek with Milo Grimes taking over from Tom Maycock, while Sam Mills celebrated his nineteenth birthday by making his eighteenth first team appearance.
Although the very experienced home side had the vast majority of the play in the first forty-five minutes the sides went in goal less at the break.
AFC made a change for the second half with Jake Colclough taking over from Joe Walker and It took until the sixty-seventh minute for the host to break the deadlock with Nathan Cooper scoring.
Paul Walker (pictured) in the Sudbury goal kept his side in the game with a couple of stunning saves as Reece Dobson had AFC's best chance with an effort that struck the Hornchurch crossbar.
Late on AFC used their other substitutes with Jamie Eaton-Collins and Tom Maycock replacing Max Booth and Sam Mills, however there was no further score and the hosts took the points to remain top of the table.
The attendance at Bridge Road was 193.
The result meant a slip of two places down the Bostik North table for AFC to fifteenth.
Below with grateful thanks to www.afchornchurch.com is their match report.
Manager Jim McFarlane, celebrating a record 460 matches in charge, made two enforced changes from the side that won convincingly at Mildenhall on Tuesday, bringing in Matthias Fanimo for the suspended George Purcell, and Elliot Styles for Olumide Oluwatimilehin, who was also serving a one-match suspension.
With Sam Mott still out through injury, Simon Bloch made his home debut, keeping a clean sheet for the second match in succession.
Sudbury have their goalkeeper, Paul Walker, to thank for keeping them in the game, as he made a series of fine saves, especially in the first half, when Hornchurch threatened to overwhelm the visitors.
In the first minute the scene was set when Sean Roberts broke through, only to put his shot high over the bar. A minute later it was Roberts again, this time having his shot deflected around the post. Kenzer Lee headed powerfully at goal from Brad Warner’s corner, and Walker tipped the ball out for a follow-up corner, and Leon McKenzie header just cleared the bar.
Theo Fairweather-Johnson ran through the middle and although his shot eluded Walker, the ball went agonisingly wide of the far post.
As the pressure mounted, a Roberts header went wide, and it was not until 20 minutes that Sudbury managed to get in a shot at goal, which came after Nathan Cooper had conceded a free kick ten yards outside the area, and Joe Whight hit the free kick past the wall but into the waiting arms of Simon Bloch.
Walker made an excellent save to deny McKenzie, who ran on to a Warner centre, and a Jay Porter cross found Fairweather-Johnson, only for Walker to turn the goal-bound shot onto the underside of the bar, before it was scrambled away.
Walker saved from McKenzie and Warner in the space of a minute, and in a rare Sudbury sortie over the half way line Ollie Peters sent his shot wide of the goal. However as the match entered the final seconds of the half, a long-range shot from Reece Dobson cannoned back off the crossbar.
Fanimo went close a minute after half time, and on 50 minutes a Warner corner reached Cooper, whose header was scrambled off the line before the ball was eventually cleared.
Sudbury survived another goalmouth scramble, again from a Warner corner, and a Warner free kick floated tantalising away from Elliot Styles in front of goal. The pressure finally paid off when Warner sent another corner into a packed goalmouth, and the ball bobbled around, and was cleared off the line, only for Nathan Cooper to follow up and place it firmly into the net.
Walker saved well from Fanimo, and Roberts hit a first time volley too high and over the bar, before Walker again saved from Fanimo, who was then replaced by Jamie Hursit.
Tobi Joseph came on for Fairweather-Johnson in the final few minutes and created confusion in the visiting defence, with two direct runs at goal, and Dave Collis, whose last appearance was in October 2016, replaced Roberts to play out the final two minutes of stoppage time.