Boys Did Well
Youngsters In The Action
A.F.C Sudbury welcomed Romford to the Wardale Williams Stadium looking to consolidate their Play-Off position having climbed to third in the Ryman Division One North table on the back of an un-beaten league run stretching back to a New Year’s Day defeat at promotion rivals Needham Market.
A.F..C. Sudbury kicked off the match on a heavy, sanded pitch but in perfect weather conditions for football. Abs Seymour’s foul in the second minute on Josh Kerridge earned the Romford number eight an early lecture as both sides looked to settle in the exacting conditions.
The game’s opening chance was worked by Romford when Nick Reynold’s promising right wing run saw him send a cross flashing through the home penalty area where no visiting forward was on hand to apply a finishing touch and Kyran Clements cleared. Sudbury responded with their opening attacking salvo when Craig Parker wriggled past the Romford defence and found Ollie Berquez whose shot slid just wide of Aaron Omand’s goal.
Eddie Hart latched onto a long straight goal-kick and looked to have a great chance to open the scoring, but Marcus Garnham was quick off his line and Hart sent his effort well wide of the home goal. Callum Ibe then beat three challenges on the edge of the A.F.C. Sudbury penalty area before sending a shot just wide of the left hand post.
On twelve minutes Ayrton Coley found Jordan Blackwell with a long switched ball to the right wing, the Sudbury number eleven seeing his cross blocked for a corner kick. Coley’s corner was headed clear as the game continued in an understandably scrappy phase given the iniquities of the surface.
Nick Reynolds sent a twenty yard effort straight into the arms of Garnham, immaculately positioned as ever, before Seymour’s free-kick went woefully wide. Better followed from Romford when Ewenson chased a lost cause to the goal-line, fed Sam Kemp whose cross-come-shot angled towards the far post was grabbed by Marcus Garnham.
On twenty-one minutes Tyler Kemp’s fine tackle on Sam Kemp averted a dangerous situation before Reynolds headed wide. Ollie Berquez had a shot blocked on twenty-three minutes as the game continued to lack rhythm in the difficult conditions. Sam Kemp’s drive was blocked by Stefano Mallardo before, in the thirty-fouth minute Craig Parker was close to applying the finishing touch to a fine right wing cross flashed across the penalty area by Josh Kerridge.
Eddie Hart found space in the home penalty area, but fine defence by A.F.C Sudbury blocked and cleared the ball. Jordan Blackwell ran strongly at the Romford defence, his laid off pass to Ben Robinson who saw his shot sting the gloves of Omand. Reynolds was then fouled by Stefano Mallardo with the Sudbury man shown a yellow card as the half ended with neither side able to master the conditions and impose themselves on the game.
Half Time AFC Sudbury 0 Romford 0
The deadlock was however, finally broken on fifty-one minutes. Terry Rymer broke free through the centre of the park and finished cooly past Omand. If Romford were looking for a swift reply, it almost came two minutes later as Seymour rushed towards goal, but again Garnham was out to gather the ball and avert danger.
On the hour Sudbury applied a firmer grip on proceedings with a second goal. A fine bursting right wing run from Jordan Blackwell saw him cross from the right and the ball nestle in the net via a Romford boot.
Callum Ibe looked to get a shot away on the edge of the home penalty area, but Stefano Mallardo was on hand to block his effort. Reynolds then looked to prize open a frugal Sudbury defence, but Kyran Clements‘ excellent tackle denied any opportunity.
On seventy-five minutes Sudbury replaced Ayrton Coley with Scott Kemp coming into the action. Terry Rymer broke free once again and poked his shot just wide of the goal. James Ishmail volleyed wide of the Sudbury goal with ten minutes remaining as tackles rained in in a match that was no place for cowards, but never edged towards ill-discipline at any point.
Blackwell again broke free along the right wing only to be hauled down by Ishmail, earning the Romford defender a yellow card. Scott Kemp then had a close-range effort brilliantly saved by Omand before Garnham fell to his right to execute an equally brilliant save.
Terry Rymer and Jordan Blackwell, having given superb performances, were replaced by Gianfranco Mallardo and Mark Ray as injury-time loomed. Gianfranco Mallardo (pictured) made it a super-sub performance to be remembered as he added gloss to the Sudbury win in injury time with a good finish.
A patient, thoroughly hard-working performance ended 3-0 with A.F.C Sudbury maintaining their Play-Off push with three thoroughly deserved points.
There are some further photographs of the game courtesy of Louis Byers by clicking on the link below you can see them;-