This hard fought and entertaining game ended honours even after two first half goals were shared and Sudbury keeper Marcus Garnham saved a second half penalty which he himself conceded.
It was a deserved result for two form teams and extended Sudbury’s unbeaten league run to ten games.
Suspensions meant that Sudbury once again fielded a very youthful side. There were two changes from the previous starting eleven. Skipper Sam Clarke returned having served his four match ban. He replaced teenager Stefano Mallardo who was playing for Suffolk U18’s in a County Representative game. Clarke played in central defence alongside 17-year-old Kyran Clements who made his debut in the previous game. The other change came wide right where Scott Kemp got the nod ahead of Ayrton Coley who dropped to the bench.
Games at Chadfields rarely attract three figure crowds and the average is only 71. But this game attracted 111, their best of the season thus far, thanks to the many Sudbury fans who made the journey.
Defences dominated the first half and there were few clear cut chances until Sudbury took the lead after 31 minutes when a defensive clearance from Clements caught the home defence square and Terry Rymer, who had tested home keeper Jack Giddens minutes earlier with a free kick, latched on to the loose ball to finish with a fine shot that gave the keeper no chance.
Two minutes later Giddens denied Sudbury a second goal when he was quick off his line to save at the feet of Rymer. Tilbury had looked dangerous down the flanks, particularly down their left where the speedy Emil Aiken made several threatening runs.
Four minutes before half time he was fouled to the left of the penalty area by Ben Robinson who became the first recipient of a yellow card. The resulting free kick to the far post was headed back across goal and found Jack Carlisle who scored with a header to send the teams in at the break on level terms.
Half time: Tilbury 1 AFC Sudbury 1
The second half followed a similar pattern with end to end football but few clear cut chances and neither keeper was tested until 11 minutes from time when Tilbury were awarded a penalty after keeper Garnham was adjudged to have fouled Aiken as he burst into the area. Garnham was duly yellow carded. But he made amends when he brilliantly saved Carlisle’s spot kick and the loose ball was headed for a corner that came to nothing.
Both sides went all out for the winner but defences continued to have the upper hand leaving the points deservedly shared.