Good Game But A Defeat
Braintree Town Reserves came from behind to beat a youthful AFC Sudbury Reserves side at the Kings Marsh Stadium, on Boxing Day.
Visitors Braintree, in an orange and white kit, opened up the match with a good chance: Aaron Dyson’s cross was blocked well by Joe Walker. A resulting throw in found Dyson in the box, who saw his effort blocked, with the rebound effort from Jordan Sargent saved by goalkeeper Dan Joyce.
The Iron came close in the sixth minute, with an effort from outside the box flew past goalkeeper Joyce, and hit the post. The loose ball was claimed by Joyce under pressure from Alfie Cleal.
Despite continued pressure from Braintree, the young AFC side had a good effort as Josh Buckles retrieved the ball in the box, but Iron defender Farley-Hearn timed his tackle well to clear the ball safely, in the 17th minute.
Two quick-fire goals kept the game wide open in the 20th and 22nd minute: First, Milo Downey put the Yellows ahead with a close range finish. However, Jake Thompson drew the Iron level as he tucked home his effort past Joyce.
After the half-hour mark, Braintree continued to put pressure on AFC’s defenders. Joe James produced a powerful effort which was saved brilliantly by Dan Joyce; the loose ball fell to Alfie Cleal who struck his effort over the bar.
AFC responded with a good effort in the 36th minute, as the ball found Kane Munday who saw his attempt blocked, before Gravetti was unlucky as he shot wide.
Joe Jones saw his effort curve wide of Joyce’s goal, following Adam Dunnage’ block on 44, before Joe Walker cleared the ball after Sargent was unable to reach the ball.
In injury time, Isaac Skubich had a chance which was saved well by Hawley with his low shot.
Half-time: AFC Sudbury Reserves 1 Braintree Town Reserves 1
A half-time sub for the Yellows saw Ben Hammett take the place of Kane Munday.
The Iron started off strong with Alfie Cleal looping an early effort over the bar, while Oliver Gravetti produced a good pass to try and find Buckles, but the Braintree keeper was quicker to the ball.
In the 52nd minute, Adam Dunnage was taken off after picking up a knock, and was replaced by Adam Hanson.
Iron’s next free-kick from Farley-Hearn was headed down to Joe Jones who saw his effort knocked wide.
AFC made their last change with Joe Wright (pictured) replacing Isaac Skubich (59’) while Iron’s first sub saw Lewis Stataill on for Aaron Dyson (64’).
The hosts had another effort in the 68th minute when Ollie Gravetti made a run into the box, but Hawley denied the shot. At the other end, Joe James saw his effort blocked by Joyce. On 71, Farley-Hearn was replaced by Jack Martin.
The Iron took the lead in the 80th minute, as Mark Dallinger did well to beat the offside trap, and fire the ball home in a 1-on-1 position past Joyce.
Braintree’s second sub saw Jack Hurley replaced by Jett Hogan in the 81st minute.
A further chance for the Yellows saw Ollie Gravetti strike just wide of goal from close range, as the Yellows looked to draw level late on.
It was a good performance from the young Sudbury side, but Braintree held on for the win.
Sudbury: Dan Joyce, Joe Grimwood, Joe Walker, Milo Downey, Adam Dunnage (Adam Hanson, 52), Milo Grimes, Ollie Gravetti, Jack Colclough, Josh Buckles, Isaac Skubich, Kane Munday (Ben Hammett, 45). Unused Sub: Kie Dyer.
Braintree: Lewis Hawley, Regan Farley-Hearn (Jack Martin, 78), Matt Travel, Danny Nesbitt, Jack Hurley (Jett Hogan, 82), Jake Thompson, Aaron Dyson (Lewis Statail, 64), Mark Dallinger, Jordan Sargent, Alfie Cleal, Joe James. Unused Subs: Bailey Jones, Ethan Evison
Referee: Reg Barker
Match Report by Louis Byers