Disappointing Bank Holiday Performance
Two Goal Defeat
A. F. C. Sudbury welcomed local Suffolk rivals Mildenhall Town to the Wardale Williams Stadium for the first of a double-header as the same opponents will take to the park on Saturday in Emirates F.A. Cup action.
Sam Clarke made his first start of the season and donned the captain’s armband. Former A.F.C Sudbury players forward Danny Crow along with midfielder Jacob Brown lined up for Mildenhall Town, managed by former A.F.C. Sudbury (et al!) goalkeeper Dean Greygoose.
Mildenhall Town kicked off the game attacking from left to right as viewed from the Brian Tatum Stand. In the opening attack Shaun Avis sent a speculative effort straight at a well-positioned Paul Walker in the home goal. Jacob Brown was next to offer a threat on the left hand edge of the Sudbury penalty area, but Tevan Allen did well to first shadow him and then take the ball from him.
On nine minutes it was Jacob Brown again who offered a threat when his shot went wide of the right hand post. Julian Smith then sent a stunning ball across the pitch from left to right which Tevan Allen controlled with nonchalant skill before running inside to send a rasping shot just wide of the left hand post. The bustling Adam Mills burst forward on the left to cross for Mekhi McKenzie whose header flew just wide of the post as the home side took control of possession.
On sixteen minutes Jeremiah Kamanzi set out on a fine run through the middle of the park, exchanged a rapid one-two before firing past the right hand post as Sam Roach in the Mildenhall Town goal leaped spectacularly and posthumously as the ball disappeared behind the goal.
Jake Chambers-Walker managed to find space after cutting past Tyler French, but the Sudbury defender had done enough to deny him a good angle for his shot and Walker was excellently positioned to make a comfortable save.
There was real controversy on twenty-seven minutes in an incident that may very well have influenced the final outcome of this match. Mekhi McKenzie had his shirt pulled in the area before evading the challenge and being clearly tripped by Luke Butcher. Rather than being awarded a penalty, McKenzie found himself being shown a yellow card for simulation.
Sudbury’s dominance of possession continued and on twenty-nine minutes Dave Cowley released Adam Mills in the penalty area, but the well-drilled Mildenhall defence denied him any chance of a shot.
On the half-hour Adam Mills, proving a very difficult prospect for the Mildenhall defence, found skipper Sam Clarke in the penalty area and he smashed his shot against the crossbar with Mills picking up the scraps, but seeing his shot blocked.
Mildenhall responded with Jacob Brown’s cross hit wide by Daniel Brown. Again Adam Mills sprinted free along the left wing and his cross saw Ollie Dunlop shoot, but again the effort was blocked. Two minutes from the break Tyler French hit a shot on the run which Roach was able to gather with some comfort.
In injury-time Jeremiah Kamanzi sent a superb ball into the path of Adam Mills whose shot produced a stunning save from Sam Roach to keep the game scoreless at the break.
Half-Time :- AFC Sudbury 0 Mildenhall Town 0
The second half began with A.F.C Sudbury again controlling possession and looking to break down the resolute and well-drilled Mildenhall defence. Mekhi McKenzie got a feint touch on an Adam Mills cross with four minutes of the half gone, but the effort was easy for Roach to pick up.
Julian Smith made a rare error allowing Jacob Brown to hit a shot just wide of the post. There was a long delay on fifty-two minutes when Adam Mills and Sam Roach collided after the Mildenhall ‘keeper had made a brave and telling block to deny the Sudbury number three a certain goal. Roach received lengthy treatment from two physios resulting in his needing a bloodless shirt, but he was deemed fit to resume.
Immediately after the resumption Jake Chambers-Shaw whipped a fine cross in from the right and Jacob Brown headed home form the centre of the box. This looked hard on A.F.C. Sudbury whose inability to convert neat passing and possession into final third penetration looked to be putting them in danger of defeat.
On sixty-eight minutes Adam Mills shaved a post with a free kick from just outside the Mildenhall penalty area as the home side looked to find a way past this stubborn defence. Sudbury’s luck was in evidence again for the second Mildenhall goal which came on sixty-nine minutes. Jacob Brown found Daniel Brown whose clipped shot rebounded off the post and fell for Danny Crow whose task was easy from close range.
Jake Turner’s free-kick was flicked wide by Adam Mills before Roach gathered easily from a Mills speculative effort. With nine minutes left on the clock substitute Jack Newman’s corner was volleyed over the crossbar by Mills as the home side refused to throw in the towel.
Ollie Peters (pictured) was introduced to the A.F.C. midfield, it was his first team debut.
A rare fifteen minutes of stoppage time offered some semblance of hope for A.F.C. Sudbury and Jack Newman let fly a shot which sailed over the crossbar as the home side continued to find the way to goal a frustrating and fruitless odyssey. Jake Turner saw his shot go wide, before Adam Mills finally found the net only for the goal to be ruled offside when L’Heruerx Menga was adjudged to be interfering with play.
A frustrating Bank Holiday afternoon in the hot sun for A.F.C. Sudbury who will know what to expect on Saturday when Mildenhall Town roll back into town for the Emirates F.A. Cup (kick-off 3pm).