AFC cruise past Grays
Double completed as Grays leave Suffolk pointless
AFC Sudbury stormed through Grays scoring a convincing win and in doing so lifted themselves 6 places up the Ryman League Premier Division table into 6th place.
The match was played in front of 185 spectators and sponsors The Walsham-Le-Willows Sports Club named Craig Parker as man of the match.
AFC started brightly with Wales breaking into the Grays box in only the 2nd minute forcing Callum Thomas in the visitors goal to race from goal to save. Thomas was soon in action again, producing a fine stop following a fierce volley from Parker and from the resulting corner Henshaw headed just over. Rob Eagle was cautioned for a foul on 12 minutes and it was 17 minutes before Grays had their first meaningful chance when Etienne Mukanya Kabobola cut in from the left before unleashing a shot which Garnham had to push for a corner.
Grays were now more in the match and Cole had a shot straight at Garnham on 25 minutes before Mukanya Kabobola cut through the AFC defense before shooting inches wide.
On 28 minutes Lheureux Menga was cautioned for a hard challenge on Parker and soon after he was involved in a lengthy conversaion with the referee for dissent. On 32 minutes Menga was shown a second yellow after Kwabena Osei had cleaned out James Baker. Osei escaped a card as Menga saw red. A minute later Wales became AFC's second player to see yellow.
It took AFC just 6 minutes to capitalise on their numerical advantage as Craig Parker delightfully glanced Rob Eagle's cross from the right into the bottom corner to open the scoring.
Ben Robinson replaced Anthony Furlonge before the break while Osei was cautioned for another foul, this time on Greene, was he the man who should have seen red?
AFC started the second period brightly as they had the first and should have added a second on 51 minutes when Robinson set up Wales for a tap in but the AFC frontman somehow managed to scuff the ball wide with the goal at his mercy.
Ngamvoulou fired over for Grays before 10 minutes into the half Jack Newman hobbled off to be replaced by the lively Jordan Blackwell. Henshaw headed another Eagle corner over and then another Eagle corner skipped across the face of goal with no-one able to apply the finishing touch.
Grays brought on Cunningham for Cole but it was Sudbury who doubled their lead on 64 minutes when Blackwell shot through goalkeeper Callum Thomas's legs after being set up by Liam Wales. Then Robinson played in Baker for AFC but his touch was heavy allowing Thomas the opportunity to smother.
The game was effectively in the bag on 68 minutes when Wales got the goal his industry had promised with a header after James Baker had flicked on Jack Wilkinson's long throw.
AFC made their final change on 70 minutes with Sam Bantick replacing Aaron Greene who was returning from injury and the substitute was soon in action when he appeared to be pulled back as he prepared to shoot after being played in by Blackwell. On 74 minutes Bantick produced a stunning dipping shot from the edge of the area that left Thomas with no chance as it flew into the bottom corner.
Baker picked up a caution for AFC while Grays made another change with Appiah-Kubi replacing Hornsley. Bantick set up Wales for AFC but somehow he again scuffs his shot wide before Blackwell netted his second of the night and Sudbury's fifth with a driven shot from the edge of the area that again nestled in the bottom corner.
In the final chage for Grays Pilbeam replaced Osei on 82 minutes but it was Sudbury who again went close as Blackwell, chasing a hat-trick just fails to get on the end of a cross by Eagle. Thomas in the visitors goal produced a fine double save to deny Bantick and Wales on 87 minutes while a shot from Parker in the final minute was straight at the Grays custodian.
In the first minute of stoppage time Grays did net a consolation as Etienne Mukanya Kabobola found space before firing past Garnham's outstretched arm to complete the scoring.