Good Performance But No Points
League Leaders Remain Unbeaten
AFC travelled to Victory Road to take on league leaders Leiston and although they slipped to a narrow defeat they did more than enough to show that this league really holds no fears for them.
Manager Jamie Godbold put out the same team that started in their victory at Harlow two days previously. There was however a twist to the formation with AFC’s two full backs switching sides.
The first action of the game saw Aaron Greene and Ben Robinson combine well down the left side, the former then having a shoot saved by Marsden. AFC then survived a scare when Ryan Henshaw, playing his last game before starting a three-match suspension, headed off the goal line.
A Blake header was blocked and Francis shot also stopped as the home side pressed and earned a corner. From it Marcus Garnham made a great save tipping over a close range header from Finch, then he got involved punching away the subsequent corner.
Luke Callander was up front and he shot side after some good work from Greene. In central defence James Baker (pictured) was solid and cleared a Francis shot as the leaders looked to get in front. Greene, Robinson and Callander combined well with the result a curling effort from the Sudbury striker going wide.
The match official who had been very lenient to both sides with some tough tackles not receiving yellow cards did not relent when Greene pulled back Brown and also kicked the ball away.
Leiston always looked dangerous and Francis and Lawrence took advantage of a slip in the AFC defence and Baker had to be alert to get to the near post to block the latter's shot and concede a corner.
Adam Tann then was fortunate not to be booked as he clattered into the back of Lawrence.
Blake should have put the North Suffolk side in front when he was allowed a free header, but it went wide of the far post. There was then another chance for them to lead, but somehow Finch fluffed his lines with the goal gapping in front of him the ball going out off a defender. From the corner Garnham was again in action saving well from Bullard and the ball coming back again to rest in the keeper’s arms.
Leiston 0 AFC Sudbury 0
So level at the break and deservedly so the second period saw AFC fall behind seven minutes into it as Brothers out on the left crossed and the ball end in the back of the AFC net. It surely was not a shot but it was goal.
AFC replied, following a long throw from Jack Wilkinson Sam Bantick was allowed time to shoot but Marsden went down to save.
Just after the hour mark the lead was increased as Finch cut in from the right hand side and fired passed Garnham.
There was concern a few minutes later as Callander went down and stayed down. He limped off but returned a few minutes later.
Godbold made a triple substitution with Callander, Bantick and Robinson going off and Wales, Parker and Mallardo coming on. The changes saw a difference formation as AFC went three at the back and with Baker playing in his old position up front along side Wales
It was a move that was soon to pay off as James Baker struck home from close range to net his ninety-third goal for the club. The goal gave the visitors hope of salvaging a point, however Blake should have increased Leiston’s lead as he was allowed a free headed but it went wide.
Tann was booked for a tackle from behind as AFC looked to get level and in the final minutes they had a great chance to do so. Another long throw from Wilkinson on the left caused panic in the Leiston defence and the ball fell to Henshaw just outside the six-yard box, he got his boot to it but the ball flew over the bar.
The home side took the points but it was probably one of their hardest games of the season as they remained unbeaten.