Down Before The Start
AFC knew things would be tough even before the game was due to start, but when Burgess Hill Town got a point from an early kick-off Sudbury’s fate was sealed; Relegated after only one season in the Ryman League Premier Division.
It has been a season that started so promisingly but somewhere along the way things went wrong and since January have worsened. So it will be back to Ryman North (hopefully) and better times.
With the side knowing they had been relegated those that turned out against neighbours and play-off chasing Needham performed very creditably and were certainly worth the point they gained.
Before the game James Baker was presented with the Supporters Club Player of the Year Award and then he went into a front two with Liam Wales.
AFC went on the front foot and Dylan Williams had an early chance and this was followed up by a Craig Parker header going wide from a Jack Wilkinson long throw.
Needham’s first two efforts came from ex-AFC man Luke Ingram, the first heading wide a Simmons cross and then screwing a shot wide of the Sudbury goal. Ingram was proving a handful and then headed a Coakley cross onto the post.
Wales, Parker and Williams for AFC went close but the game remained scoreless. Williams had a shot that struck the Needham post and Marcus Garnham in the AFC had to get out and smother an attempt from Holland.
Garnham then had to be alert to deny Ingram and then Baker had a shot saved by Bradbrook. Needham then took the lead. The ball was lost in the Needham half of the pitch and Ingram took control and ran toward the AFC goal some sixty odd yards away shaking off defenders before scoring from close range.
Half-Time; - AFC Sudbury 0 Needham Market 1
AFC were than to show their supporters just what that could do over the next forty-five minutes as they showed effort and determination all over the pitch.
Williams had a chance set up by Parker, before Wales fed Baker and the fan’s favourite forced Bradbrook to come out and block at his feet.
Simmons and Ingram were a handful up front for Needham but Ryan Henshaw and Adam Tann were coping well.
Manager Godbold made a couple of changes with Mekhi McKenzie and Wayne Blackman replacing Wales and Sam Clarke, as AFC continued to dominate proceedings. Ollie Dunlop then took over from Williams and showed some nice touches combining well with Baker.
Sam Corcoran took a free kick that was close before on seventy-six minutes AFC were level. McKenzie did well and he set up
James Baker to score from close range. This came soon after an earlier mix up between three AFC men inside the six yard box when it seemed the ball must going to the net but somehow went wide.
Press as the might AFC could not find a winner in normal time and indeed in four minutes of added time but showed great endevour in doing so.
So one game to go and although there is nothing to play for from a Sudbury point of view, AFC supporters will hope to see the form shown in this game carried on.