A Point Gained
Tibbles Makes Debut
Craig Parker’s first half equaliser earned AFC Sudbury a share of the spoils.
But, after a shaky start when they conceded an early goal, Sudbury went on to dominate, particularly in the second half, and had it not been for some indifferent finishing they would have taken all three points.
After Saturday’s heavy defeat AFC boss Jamie Godbold made five changes, one of them forced with central defender Ryan Henshaw serving a one match ban, Stefano Mallardo started in his place and the young defender had a fine game. There was also starts for defender Jack Newman and wide midfielder Wayne Blackman, while in goal Luis Tibbles (pictured), who is dual registered with Kirkley and Pakefield, made his competitive debut. He replaced Ollie Bowles who was named amongst the substitutes.
Heybridge started brightly and an early corner came to nothing. Tibbles was the first keeper in action when he did well to deny Raphael Duyile with a fine diving save. But the Heybridge pressure continued and they opened the scoring in the 12th minute when Duyile latched on to a fine cross field ball and made ground before easily beating Tibbles.
Having weathered the early storm Sudbury got more into the game and Parker had a shot tipped over before the equaliser came in the 27th minute. A fine ball from Blackman found Callander and the striker forced home keeper Sam Cowler into a scrambling save and from the resulting corner Craig Parker scored with a header.
Sudbury went on to have by far the better of the rest of the half but they were unable to find a way past the home defence. The first of three Sudbury penalty appeals were waved away before keeper Cowler did well to keep out a deflected shot from Sam Bantick at the expense of a corner.
Half time: Heybridge Swifts 1 AFC Sudbury 1
Sudbury made a change at the start of the second period with Newman being replaced by Robbie Martin.
It was mainly one way traffic on the Heybridge goal but the Suffolk side were guilty of failing to hit the target from some good openings, particularly Callander when he chipped over after a fine ball from Mallardo.
In a rare Heybridge attack Billy Hunt had a snap shot from wide left strike a post with Tibbles beaten before Sudbury replied with Parker having a close range shot blocked. He tucked the rebound home only to be ruled offside.
Two more penalty appeals for fouls on Callander and Bantic fell on deaf ears as Sudbury piled on the pressure. Defender Ben Robinson was next to go close for Sudbury when his surging run ended with a fierce low shot that was only inches wide. Bantick did get a fierce drive on target but a defender managed to deflect it for a corner which came to nothing.
Numerous other Sudbury efforts were off target and the story of Sudbury’s night was summed up in stoppage time when they were awarded a free kick on the edge of the penalty area only for Bantick to blaze high over.