First League Win Gained
Three Goal Margin
A. F. C. Sudbury returned to the Wardale Williams Stadium after a fine F.A.Cup replay win a week earlier at Mildenhall Town and a narrow defeat at Cheshunt in which club captain Sam Clarke made his 377th appearance for A.F.C. Sudbury, thus taking the appearance record from Paul Betson. Sam was given a special award from the club prior to kick-off to mark this great achievement.
The home side kicked off the game on a blustery night in which rain soon set in. It was almost a perfect opening for the home side as Adam Mills went on a blistering run along the left and fired his cross towards the on-rushing Tevan Allen whose shot flew wide of goal.
Brentwood’s first goal-threat materialised in the twelfth minute when Andrew Freeman evaded his marker to whip a shot across the bows of Paul Walker in the home goal and wide of the right hand upright. Mills again showed the Brentwood midfield a clean pair of studs as he raced along the left and sent a cross with a little too much pace for Rhys Henry to make contact.
Alfie Carroll stopped Freeman with a fine block on sixteen minutes as Brentwood looked to unlock the stubborn home defence. Tyler French sent a sublime ball across the park from right to left to find Tevan Allen in space, but his progress was blocked by the equally determined Brentwood back line.
Sam Clarke was a little unfortunate on twenty minutes when he was shown yellow for a challenge on half-way as the game continued at frenetic pace. There was a blow a few minutes later when it became clear that Rhys Henry would be unable to continue after going to ground with an injury, Mekhi McKenzie coming on in his place.
Chances were few and far between in a game where both defences were determined and well-drilled. Matt Price sent a shot wide of the home goal on twenty-nine minutes while Adam Mills warmed the fingers of Anthony Page in the visitors’ goal with a firm drive two minutes later which was gathered at the second attempt.
There was an escape for A.F.C Sudbury on thirty-four minutes when Ryan O’Rawe beat Paul Walker to a well-delivered free-kick, but headed wide. In the nip-and-tuck of this entertaining half, Jake Turner played a fine ball into Mekhi McKenzie who looked odds on to find the net, but O’Rawe timed his tackle to perfection to deny the home side the lead.
Sudbury’s flowing football was almost rewarded on thirty-eight minutes. Mekhi McKenzie’s strong run set up Dave Cowley whose shot was charged down for a corner. Cowley’s delivery fell for Adam Mills who crashed his shot against the crossbar. A fine run by Joe Claridge saw his shot fly wide of the far post as the home side continued to press hard. Mills again caused problems when he crossed and saw his delivery gratefully smuggled clear by the now busy Brentwood defence.
Half Time:- AFC Sudbury 0 Brentwood Town 0
Adam Mills pace again looked to break the deadlock when four minutes after the resumption he crossed for Tevan Allen whose shot rattled the side-netting. On the hour Mekhi McKenzie had a good chance in the area in a central position, but he missed his kick and another opportunity slid away.
A.F.C. Sudbury finally wrestled the lead they so thoroughly deserved when, on sixty-eight minutes, Jake Turner shot from the edge of the penalty area past Anthony Page. Score one goal an another follows almost immediately. Anthony Page saved once again from Adam Mills, but the well-positioned Mekhi McKenzie was able to drill the loose ball home before the visitor’s defence could react. It was his first senior goal for the club.
Joe Wright took the field of play on sixty-nine minutes to replace Tevan Allen who had put in another hard-working display for the home side. It was almost three for A.F.C. Sudbury with ten minutes left when Jake Turner’s slide-rule pass released Adam Mills whose shot was saved by Page with Dave Cowley following up and hitting his shot wide of the right hand post.
Mills again caused real problems for Brentwood when his thunderbolt flew just over the crossbar. Adam Mills caused more alarm in the Brentwood penalty area when he beat Page to the ball, but the Brentwood ‘keeper did well to smother his shot. Mills then crossed the loose ball for Mekhi McKenzie to head onto the crossbar and away for a goal-kick. Ollie Peters came on with a couple of minutes left to play, the busy Dave Cowley the man to make way.
The home side made it three with just a minute to go. Adam Mills’ superb performance was capped by an audacious lob into the goal which he celebrated with his now-customary back-flip as the first three-point haul of the season was gained by A.F.C. Sudbury.
This was a fine all-round performance in which all players played their part on a difficult night of swirling wind and rain. The young players continue to look capable at this level and the defence is looking more assured with every game.
Adam Mills was voted a very worthy Great Waldingfield Garages Man of-the Match for another defence-splitting, energy-fuelled performance of some quality.
There was news after the game that the AFC management duo of Jamie Godbold and Andy Reynolds had been relieved of their duties.