No More SPC This Season
Two Goal Defeat
This was a competition that AFC have not done well in in recent years and so it proved the 2017/18 season saw them go out at the Second Round stage. There will however not be likely too many tears shed at their elimination as the management seeks to consolidate their league position over the coming months.
Two goals both conceded in the opening five minutes of each half condemned the Sudbury side to defeat and there can be no denying that the better, stronger, more experienced side deserved their victory.
Only four minutes minute were on the clock when the visitors got in front. Paul Walker came out to punch clear the ball came back and the AFC keeper tried to block Gareth Heath’s shot but the ball fell to Ryan Gibbs who fired home from close range.
Nine minutes later Needham thought they had gone two goals up but fortunately for AFC after Walker had made a save and the ball going to Adam Mills and then his shot being touched home by Danny Morphew who was flagged offside.
With new AFC signing Reece Dobson showing up well on the left side he saw Jake Clowsley break in front of him before finding Jamie Eaton-Collins and the Sudbury man forcing a save from Danny Gay in the visitors goal.
Another ex-AFC player Luke Ingram caused Walker to save before it was Mills blocking Mills, as the Needham one broke forward.
It seemed the home side might draw level with thirty-four minutes gone as Gay struggled to beat the ball away as Clowsley struck, the Needham number one had to be alert again a few minutes later as the same AFC man shot and the ball fell to Jake Colclough and his shot hit the crossbar.
A minute before the break Adam Mills for Needham was brought down on the penalty area by AFC’s Sam Mills. The visiting man, scorer of nine goals for AFC earlier in the season had to leave the field with a damaged shoulder that later required hospital treatment.
Half Time; - AFC Sudbury 0 Needham Market 1
Only five minutes after the break the lead was doubled, the visitors broke and Gareth Heath, scored at the second attempt after Walker initially saved.
AFC had a chance when Colclough crossed by the ball just eluded the outstretched leg of Clowsley. With an hour gone Tom Maycock and Panashe Mundawarara took over from Colclough and Eaton-Collins with later soon in the action with a dashing run down the right wing.
Another former Sudbury player came on for Needham as Jamie Griffith entered the field of play and good to see him nearing full fitness, while Rhys Henry for AFC came on for his first game for several weeks following injury.
The final chance for AFC to get a goal back was a header from Joe Whight from a corner but Gay comfortably saved it as the game came to a conclusion.
So no more Suffolk Premier Cup action for AFC, but the game put another ninety minutes into the players as they continue to knit together.