Tilbury Hit For Four
Fifth Game Unbeaten
A.F.C. Sudbury welcomed nineteenth-placed Tilbury to The Wardale Williams Stadium looking to extend their unbeaten run to five matches.
Tilbury kicked off the game attacking from left to right as seen from the Brian Tatum Stand. It was a bright start by the visitors with Francis Babalola making good progress along the right flank and delivering a dangerous cross which Ben Robinson rose to clear ahead of the leaping Emile Aiken. Babalola then looked to break through the heart of the home defence, only to be denied by a brilliant tackle from Ryan Henshaw.
The visitors continued to pressurise the Sudbury defence, winning a fourth minute corner when James Baker was forced to thump the ball behind when under pressure. Ben Robinson produced a towering header to clear the set-piece.
The Essex side were forced into an early change when in the eighth minute Joe Nightingill limped off with a hamstring injury. Ross Owen making an early substitute’s appearance. A minute late and James Baker’s flicked header fell for Correy Davidson whose dramatic over-head kick sent the ball over the crossbar. Within a minute Ben Robinson had a shot blocked in a packed Tilbury penalty area, but calls for handball met with no response. Correy Davidson flicked a neat ball into Ayrton Coley whose dogged persistence won the home side a left wing corner. Ryan Hervel delivered superbly and the ball dashed across the six-yard box and out for a goal-kick.
Sudbury had more than weathered the early Tilbury pressure and were growing in stature in the match. Jack Wilkinson’s long throw from the left was half cleared to Jack Guyton who was bundled down on the edge of the penalty area. Sam Clarke struck a low shot through a forest of legs with Tilbury ‘keeper Ricky Milard doing well to fall to his right to gather.
A.F.C. Sudbury took the lead in the nineteenth minute. James Baker flicked the ball into the path of Ayrton Coley who won a left wing corner via a deflection off Alan Vezza. Ryan Hervel again delivered a superb corner kick which fell to Ryan Henshaw whose deflected header powered into the Tilbury net.
Within a minute, another long Wilkinson throw was hooked on by Sam Clarke in the Tilbury penalty area and a stretching James Baker was unlucky to see his touch take the ball over the Tilbury crossbar. Jack Guyton clashed feet with a Tilbury defender and, though trying to continue, was forced to leave the action with Lawrence Yiga taking his place on twenty-nine minutes.
Correy Davidson almost connected at the near-post from another long, long Wilkinson throw before Wilkinson was the architect of Sudbury’s second goal on thirty-four minutes. His throw from the right, level with the Tilbury penalty area, was met by the leaping Lawrence Yiga whose glanced back-header flew into the Tilbury goal.
A minute later and the possession-hungry home side sent a left wing corner via Ryan Hervel into the Tilbury penalty area to be punched clear by Milard. Tilbury’s efforts on goal had virtually dried up, and Ryan Flack’s thirty-yard shot spooned well wide of Alex Archer’s goal with five minutes remaining to the break. Things got a little better for Tilbury on forty-one minutes when the lively Francis Babalola broke free, but Alex Archer, largely unoccupied during the half, sprung from the goal-line to block brilliantly and the danger was cleared.
Half-Time; AFC Sudbury 2 Tilbury 0
A.F.C. Sudbury’s James Baker almost connected with a Wilkinson right wing corner on forty-eight minutes stretching at the far post. Tilbury again tried to press their hosts, but Sudbury remained very well drilled at the back. Jordan Blackwell came on in the fifty-sixth minute to replace Correy Davidson who had worked very hard in the match.
A fifty-eighth minute corner from Jack Wilkinson from the right saw Milard punch the ball at full stretch and somewhat fortunate to get meaningful purchase and distance on the ball. On sixty-two minutes a Sudbury free-kick was partially cleared, the ball rebounding across the face of the goal with James Baker just unable to get enough on the ball as it slid obligingly into the arms of Milard.
Lawrence Yiga was shown yellow on sixty-five minutes for a tackle on Ryan Flack in which the Sudbury substitute seemed to get full purchase on the ball. A long Wilkinson throw was half cleared to Yiga who thundered a shot wide of Milard’s goal as again Sudbury began to get a grip on the half. Despite this, Tilbury forced three quick corners, but the Sudbury defence never looked in any trouble. Lawrence Yiga, whose play was causing some difficulties for the visitors, flicked on to Robinson whose cross was blocked twice before he found Coley whose shot went over the crossbar.
This was Ayrton Coley’s last action in the game with Terry Rymer replacing him. Rymer immediately headed well into the path of James Baker whose snap shot was straight at Milard. In the seventy-sixth minute Jordan Blackwell was tripped, just outside the penalty area. Wilkinson’s drive hit the wall and when Yiga’s shot was blocked, the ball fell to Craig Pope whose superbly crafted curling shot was brilliantly tipped wide of the left-hand post by Milard.
On seventy-seven minutes Lawrence Yiga rose to a Hervel corner from the right and headed home the third Sudbury goal. A poor challenge on Jack Wilkinson saw the resultant free-kick blocked. The ball fell to James Baker whose goal-bound shot caused all manner of confusion in the Tilbury defence before falling to Sam Clarke who lashed home from close-range.
Sudbury saw out the match in comfortable control, the manner in which they had very professionally approached the entire ninety minutes.
A fifth game unbeaten for A.F.C. Sudbury who now move on to Kirkley and Pakefield on Tuesday evening in the Suffolk Premier Cup.