A Deserved Win Away From Home
Two Goal Margin
AFC's preparations were hindered by heavy traffic on the way to Mill Field Aveley, with the kit only arriving just prior to kick off.
ManagerJamie Godbold, without his assistant Andy Reynolds, at home with his new born daughter, decided to put out the same starting eleven as the first game of the season.
The Aveley pitch was in parts parched and not conducive to the good passing football AFC like to play. Early play was end to end, but it was AFC who took the lead in the ninth minute. A long ball into the six-yard box found Luke Callander and Sam Bantick and it came out to Craig Parker some twenty-yards out and he sent the ball back and it evade the Grays keeper an ended up in the back of the net.
Grays had a chance some nine minutes later when Wickham shot and Marcus Garnham saved low down and then he was in action again punching away under pressure to concede a corner.
The AFC lead was doubled on twenty-three minutes when after some good work from Sam Bantick, Parker and Callander the ball fell to Rob Eagle on the left of the Grays goal and he shot home for his first goal for the club.
Garnham again had to be alert when Mascoll fired in along range shot that he punched over. It was again the home side that had a chance to pull a goal back when Fallah got in at the near post but Garnham spread himself to deny the Grays man.
Half-time;- Grays Athletic 0 AFC Sudbury 2
Grays made a couple of substitutions at the break including bring on their player manager Stuart at the heart of their defence. The home side pressed more and James Baker slipped and let in Mascoll who fired just wide of the post.
Callander had a chance but saw his header from a free-kick go over the bar, before Grays pulled a goal back. The ball was played into the centre of the AFC penalty area and seemed to stick to the head of Menga and he turned and fired home from close range to reduce the arrears.
James Baker somehow picked up a booking on the half-way line when he appeared to cleanly get the ball, the referee disagreed. Liam Wales replaced Callander up front and showed some early promise doing well in the Grays penalty area. Osaba got in a shot that somehow just went passed the far post, no home player could get a touch to the ball.
The pressure was taken off the visitors when they added a third goal. The ball was played around the Grays box with Bantick being involved and crossing to find the head of Liam Wales to score.
Bantick and Jack Newman were taken off with Aaron Greene and Jordan Blackwell coming on with twelve minutes remaining
Garnham saved low down on his line before Sam Clarke became the second AFC man to be yellow carded and Parker shot wide as the game came to a successful AFC conclusion.
Three goals and three points meant a solid start to AFC's season.