Well the Ryman North Champions for 2015/16 are AFC Sudbury!!!!!
Well it was a day that promised so much and at the end of it the promise had been answered.
AFC went to Tilbury in search of the elusive point that would crown them as Ryman North Champions and they not only collect the point but came away with all three and the Championship with them. It was a solitary Craig Parker goal late in the first half that settled matters.
Manager Jamie Godbold was unable to select his Captain Sam Clarke who suffered a quad injury last week, Ross Bailey took his midfield role. Danny Cunningham was fit enough to come into the team and slotted into left back with Stefano Mallardo suspended.
The Chadfields pitch was rather dry and bumpy having missed the morning rain that had drenched Suffolk. AFC spurred on by the vast majority of the 151 spectators started brightly with Luke Callander prominent in the first ten minutes. Jordan Blackwell and Callander combined well and the move ended with Parker heading wide.
Tilbury eager not to have any celebrations on their pitch came more into the game and James got on the end of a cross but headed in the arms of Marcus Garnham.
At the other end from a corner Ryan Henshaw shot hard and low and Bogard in the Tilbury goal saved low down. The hosts responded and from a corner Carlile headed powerfully but thankfully wide of the AFC goal. Ollie Berquez was on hand to block another Tilbury effort this time from James.
AFC were not able to get their normally reliable passing game going mainly due to the uneven surface. The first booking of the day on forty minutes went to Tilbury’s Game for a trip on Cunningham. From the free kick out on the left the ball ended up on the right wing with Blackwell and Henshaw involved and played into Callander whose shot deflected to the far post and there was Craig Parker to score from close range. It was his twenty-seventh goal of the season.
Half time; - Tilbury 0 AFC Sudbury 0
With the lead it meant that AFC just needed to ensure they did not concede two goals to make certain of lifting the title.
In the first minute James Baker wearing the Captain’s armband was yellow carded for a trip on Babalola.
There was little goalmouth action in the first fifteen minutes and during that time Tilbury made a couple of substitutions. AFC’s Callander and Cunningham both picked up bookings in the next ten minutes as the game failed to sparkle, but it did not need to as far as AFC were concerned.
The Essex side threatened when Aiken headed a free-kick goalwards but Garnham collected and then made a great fingertip saves to deny the same player who hit a rasping shot.
Joe Maybanks went off with Liam Wales replacing him this with ten minutes of the game remaining and then Tyler French took over from Parker to strengthen the midfield area with Cunningham pushing forward. He was substituted on ninety minutes with Jack Newman coming on for the remainder of added time.
AFC easily saw out the rest of the game and when the final whistle went they were able to celebrate winning the Ryman North title.
There were plenty of joyous scenes as the players and managers joined together to share their emotions before going to the AFC supporters and together celebrating the title that their season’s performances thoroughly deserved.
The dreaded play-offs successfully avoided and so onwards and upward as CHAMPIONS!!!!