Three Points Closer
Maybanks Nets winner
Excellent passing football on a great pitch with plenty of goalmouth action, no, but at the end of ninety minutes AFC came away from Aveley with three points in the promotion quest.
A solitary goal in the first half scored by Joe Maybanks was enough to keep Sudbury on top on the table and in fact increase their lead as other chasing faltered.
AFC Manager Jamie Godbold had to make full use of his squad and augment it with a couple more of the club’s promising youngsters. With Sam Clarke and James Baker out due to suspension, George Clarke and Jack Wilkinson out injured into the side came Jack Newman and Danny Cunningham, the latter playing in an unaccustomed position at left back.
On a bumpy Mill Field pitch controlled passing football was at a premium and there was little of it played. In the first quarter Cunningham had his hands full as Aveley’s fast raiding Pindy saw plenty of the ball, fortunately most times his pace outshone his skill factor.
AFC first real effort came from Maybanks, a shot following a Luke Callander corner that was blocked, it went wide of the post. Dunn for the home side saw a header from a corner save by Marcus Garnham wearing the Captains armband for the day. The Millers then had a series of corners that were cleared with Okwera having the best chance with a shot that was blocked.
Sudbury countered and Maybanks was unfortunate to see a lob cleared off the line by Dunn with keeper Marrable beaten. Maybanks then put in Jordan Blackwell who saw his shot deflected wide for a corner. From it AFC produced one of their practiced corner routines, and this time it so nearly worked. The ball being played outside the penalty area with players stepping over it and there was Ryan Henshaw with terrific shot that was scramble away.
The decisive moment of the half, and the subsequently the match came just before the interval. Callander almost on the hallway line played a great long ball into the Aveley penalty area where he found Joe Maybanks. The youngster steadied himself before firing a shot that hit the nearside post and then cannoned back across the goal before struck the other post before rolling over the line despite the despairing dive of Marrable.
Half Time: - Aveley 0 AFC Sudbury 1
The second period was more of the same with neither side able to put together more than three passes before losing control of the ball. Pindy continued to be alert and Cunningham continued to control the danger man well.
Callander had a shot on the run go wide and then Craig Parker and the front man combined again but the effort was cleared. Ben Robinson tried a shot that went well wide as AFC looked more on top that in the first half.
On seventy minutes Ross Bailey and Liam Wales took over from two other AFC youngsters, Blackwell and Maybanks. Wales was soon in the action taking a long ball from Garnham and firing just wide.
The home side made their three substitutions to try and get the game back level but AFC maintained their concentration to keep in front. There was however a real moment of danger with nine minutes remaining. Pindy did get away and threatened right in front of the AFC goal but Garnham came out quickly and was there with a great save to snuff out the danger.
Wales was unlucky from a corner as he hit the bar in a scramble in the penalty area. Callander was replaced with six minutes left, Charlie Gilbert one of AFC’s promising young players came on for his second cameo appearance of the season.
AFC saw the final minutes out and and the end of the game had taken another step in the right direction.