Brightlingsea Beaten At Last
Through To Next Round
A. F. C. Sudbury welcomed Brightlingsea Regent to The King’s Marsh Stadium for a Velocity Trophy match. Velocity Elite Sports Surfaces are a company familiar to A.F.C. Sudbury being the company who installed the club’s 3G pitch.
A.F.C. Sudbury kicked off the match in front of a sparse crowd on a chilled autumnal evening. A Brightlingsea corner in the opening minutes fell kindly for Robert Harvey, but Julian Smith was excellent in taking the ball from the visitors’ number seven. On ten minutes Tom Richardson raced clear and forced a fine block from Paul Walker who was quickly off his line.
On fourteen minutes Dave Cowley sent a wonderful threaded ball through to Louis Blake who in turn released Adam Mills to drill his shot over the crossbar. The game had a nice ebb and flow to warm the September cockles and next it was Robert Harvey who unleashed an effort which was directed straight at a well-positioned Paul Walker in the home goal.
On twenty-one minutes great persistence by Adam Mills wrestled a free-kick for the home side and from Dave Cowley’s swinging delivery Daniel Beeson rose well to gather the ball above his head.
A.F.C Sudbury grabbed the lead on twenty-seven minutes. As the ball ping-ponged in the six-yard area, Adam Mills managed to stab home from close range.
The visitors responded with Tom Richardson’s clean strike from the edge of the penalty area sailing just wide on the half hour. Julian Smith was booked for what appeared to be an innocuous tangle of feet a minute later in what was certainly not an aggressive game by any stretch of the imagination.
With thirty-six minutes gone A.F.C. Sudbury made it two with a quite tremendous strike. If Adam Mills opener had been scrappy, this was a peach. Joe Claridge advanced towards the left edge of the Brightlingsea Regent penalty area and curled the ball into the top right-hand corner of the net to earn a standing ovation from the Brian Tatum Seated Stand. It was his first goal for the club.
Sudbury continued to work really hard with Alfie Carroll denying Richardson an opening and the straight runs of Jake Turner giving the Regent midfield and defence a lot to cope with. Right on the break Joe Bedford glanced a header just wide of goal, but the home side were well worth their two goal advantage as the sides left the park.
Half-Time:- AFC Sudbury 2 Brightlingsea Regent 0
The home side effectively killed off the tie only two minutes into the second half. Adam Mills shot along the left and cut inside to lash the ball with such force that the net could be heard rustling from the other side of the park. Another sublime finish from A.F.C Sudbury.
Just two minutes on and Dave Cowley’s cross was almost stabbed home by Louis Blake who was causing real concern for the Brightlingsea defence. Jake Turner’s forward runs were a problem for the visitor’s and he was unlucky on the hour when he latched onto a Cowley free-kick and saw his shot cleared from just in front of the goal-line. Joe Wright, part of a rejigged and successful defence for the home side, made way for Tom Dettmar to make his firstbteam debut on sixty-two minutes.
A fourth A.F.C Sudbury goal had looked eminently possible and came on sixty-three minutes. Adam Mills found Louis Blake whose ball into the path of Ollie Dunlop saw him take a touch before firing past Beeson for his first senior goal for the club.
Freddie Gard looked to reduce the deficit when he threatened the home penalty area, but was stopped by a superb tackle from Tevan Allen. Dave Cowley made way for Ollie Peters with twenty minutes to go, and, as with all of the home substitutions, the Sudbury number ten left to appreciative applause.
Ex-AFC man George Doyle slotted home a consolation for Brightlingsea Regent on seventy-two minutes when Paul Walker’s fine save rebounded kindly for the visitor’s substitute.
On seventy-five minutes Paul Walker uncharacteristically spilled the ball, but Billy Hunt inexplicably sent his shot wide. Ollie Dunlop was replaced by Sam Mills with twelve minutes of the match remaining.
Brightlingsea Regent had responded well, despite being four goals down at one point, but they were to concede again. Tevan Allen’s shot was stopped on the line and Louis Blake was adjudged to have been fouled as he went to stab home the loose ball. Adam Mills stepped up to score A.F.C. Sudbury’s fifth of the evening and complete his own hat trick of goals and spectacular back-flips!
Two minutes later and Jake Turner’s free-kick reached Mills, but Beeson blocked well as Louis Blake missed the loose ball as the Brightlingsea defence cleared the ball.
A very direct and emphatic performance by A.F.C Sudbury who took straight-forward chances well and entertained the crowd with two of the best goals you could hope to see anywhere with Joe Claridge and Adam Mills producing superb strikes.
On Saturday A.F.C. Sudbury return to King’s Marsh where Heybridge Swifts will provide the test to the in-form Yellow Boys.