Three First Half Goals Settle It
Two For Horne
A. F. C. Sudbury welcomed Barking F.C. to King’s Marsh on a wet and cold afternoon in South Suffolk.
Barking kicked off the game attacking the town end of the ground. It was four minutes into the game before any shot was fired in anger, Phil Kelly sending a low shot towards the visitor’s goal which former AFC goalkeeper Ollie Bowles gathered comfortably.
On eight minutes A.F.C. Sudbury took the initiative when Max Booth received a fine pass from Jake Clowsley and ran brilliantly along the left wing, beat a defender and squared for Ryan Horne to finish neatly past Bowles.
Jordan Peart looked to cut inside as Barking responded, but Tyler French was on hand to put in a well-timed tackle.
Sudbury doubled their lead on twelve minutes when a Clowsley pass found Ryan Horne whose persistence saw him turn Bowles and roll the ball into an empty net.
Two minutes later and Steve Willis thumped his header from a free-kick off the top of the crossbar with the visitors claiming a touch by the leaping Jake Jessup in the home goal. Barking pressed their hosts with a succession of corners. The first was conceded when Jessup pulled off a superb save from an Izzy Bademosi header which he pushed around the left hand post. Sam Mills was well-placed to head clear at the near post as the second corner was fizzed into the home box as A.F.C. Sudbury remained resolute in defence.
On twenty-six minutes a lovely pass whipped into the path of Phil Kelly saw the flag raised for offside, before another Ryan Horne pass saw Ollie Peters flagged for the same infringement.Albert Jones met a pin-point cross by Ricky Tabard, but Jake Jessup gathered his header at the second attempt.
On thirty-four minutes A.F.C. Sudbury stretched their lead further. Billy Holland was brought down in the Barking penalty area and Joe Whight thumped the ball into the net.
In a very entertaining half, Sudbury continued to work hard to repel the Barking forwards with some comfort and went into the half-time break three well-taken goals to the good.
Half-Time:- AFC Sudbury 3 Barking 0
On forty-six minutes Phil Kelly struck a shot against the side-netting after a long goal-kick from Jake Jessop had been missed on half-way by Hussain Jaffa. Half-time substitute Dan Gilchrist sent a shot off the flanks of Sam Mills for a corner from which Steve Willis hit a shot straight into the arms of Jessup.
Barking started to ask serious questions of the home defence with possession largely in their hands, but the organisation and determination of A.F.C. Sudbury was excellent. Tabard crossed well for Willis who struck a volley over the crossbar just shy of the hour as the home defence remained solid.
On the hour a double substitution from A.F.C. Sudbury saw Ian Miller came into the action to replace Max Booth and Mekhi McKenzie take over from Tom Dettmar.
The home side weathered the Barking storm and on sixty-two minutes McKenzie sent Billy Holland free whose shot was very well saved by Bowles. Mekhi McKenzie’s next play was even sharper. He strode at pace along the right wing and, under pressure, delivered a fine whipped cross which Phil Kelly met at the far post only to see his shot cannon off the crossbar and away to safety.
On seventy-eight minutes Kelly sent a shot high over the Barking crossbar before the visitors pulled a goal back. A foul in the penalty area saw the award of a penalty and Billy Jones fired low and hard into the corner of the net.
With seven minutes remaining Joe Wright returning from injury came on for two-goal number ten Ryan Horne who was warmly applauded from the field in recognition of his excellent afternoon’s work.
Barking continued to work the Sudbury back line hard, Gilchrist and Willis having shots in injury-time, but A.F.C. Sudbury rarely looked likely too succumb in this match once they’d engineered their three goal lead.
Three very well won points against an excellent Barking side, gained through hard work and determination which must rate as one of the best home performances of the season.