Stoppage Time Winner
Great Entertainment And Three Points
A. F. C. Sudbury welcomed Tilbury to the King’s Marsh Stadium on a cold November’s afternoon with the game being sponsored by Agribulk.
A minute’s silence was held to honour Remembrance weekend and was observed immaculately.
Tilbury kicked off the match attacking from left to right as viewed from the Brian Tatum seated stand. Both sides took time to settle and little in the way of goalmouth action accrued in the opening exchanges. A neat aerial ball into Adam Vyse saw the Tilbury number nine snap his shot wide of Paul Walker’s right hand post.
The dangerous Vyse was in the thick of the action with seconds, this time planting a shot well over the home crossbar. There was an early, enforced change when Sudbury’s Tom Dettmar was replaced by Ben Hunter on thirteen minutes following an injury picked up in an earlier challenge.
On the quarter-hour a well struck cross by Ollie Peters was headed wide by Jamie Eaton-Collins as the home side presented their first tangible danger. On seventeen minutes Ben Hunter sent a pass for Jake Clowsley (pictured) to chase, but Clarke Bogard raced off his line to block and needed treatment in lieu of his bravery.
Sudbury were growing into the game well and Mekhi McKenzie’s neat turn saw him slip the ball into Jamie Eaton-Collins whose shot was superbly tipped wide of his right hand post by Bogard at full extension. At the other end Lewis Jaggs had his shot superbly blocked by Joe Whight and the ball quickly cleared from danger by the home defence. Next it was Sam Mills putting in a fine sliding tackle to extinguish a Tilbury break away from Harry Honesty. Max Booth then did well to find Mekhi McKenzie whose swift turn allowed him to shoot just over the Tilbury crossbar.
On thirty-five minutes A.F.C. Sudbury took the lead. The ball fell to Ben Hunter comfortably outside the penalty area. His sublime shot crashed into the net via the underside of the crossbar to break the deadlock in dramatic fashion.
On forty-two minutes Max Booth picked up the remnants of a corner kick and shot over the crossbar for the home side before Emiel Aiken headed a deep cross wide for Tilbury. There was time for Adam Vyse to shoot wide for the Dockers before the referee called time on the opening half.
Half-Time:- AFC Sudbury 1 Tilbury 0
A.F.C. Sudbury were straight out of the blocks and two goals up within the opening minute of the second half. Mekhi McKenzie’s shot was half parried by Bogard and Jack Colclough was on had to tuck the ball away at the far post.
The visitors almost reduced the deficit from the re-start, Adam Vyse racing clear only for Paul Walker to execute a stunning block to deny the Tilbury front man. On sixty-one minutes Harry Honesty crossed for substitute Toby Aromolaran whose header was straight at Paul Walker and did little justice to the time and space he’d been afforded.
With twenty minutes remaining, A.F.C. Sudbury replaced Jamie Eaton-Collins with sixteen year-old Tom Maycock making his debut and with twelve minutes on the clock another sixteen year-old debutant, Panache Mundawarara came on for Max Booth.
Ollie Peters sent a shot over Bogard’s goal as the home side looked to put the points beyond reasonable doubt. The Dockers had other ideas and with nine minutes remaining substitute Toby Aromolaran found the net to set up a tense finale. From a Tilbury corner, Adam Vyse’ shot was brilliantly saved by Paul Walker and cleared by Milo Grimes. With a minute remaining Panache Mundawarara slithered free to brilliantly set up Jake Clowsley whose shot was screwed wide of the Docker’s goal.
With Sudbury fielding a number of walking wounded, it was all hands to the pump and in the first of five added minutes, Adam Vyse broke through the home defence to fire the ball into the net for a late equaliser.
A minute later and Ben Hunter thundered a header from Colclough’s fine cross against Tilbury’s crossbar with Bogard beaten. In the final minute of added time A.F.C. Sudbury grabbed a dramatic late winner. Jake Clowsley cut in from the right and curled a superb left-footed shot around two Tilbury defenders and into the back of the net to wrestle three valuable points for the home side and delight the home support.
A great finale to a match which only really came to life in the second half. Three points gained from a battling and defiant home side who refused to sacrifice points to their visitors.
Needham Market make the short journey to King’s Marsh on Tuesday evening in the Suffolk Premier Cup (7.45).