Replay On Wednesday
A. F. C. Sudbury began the second Mark Morsley era with a Buildbase F.A. Trophy Preliminary Round encounter with Aylesbury United. New signings Jamie Eaton-Collins and Jake Clowsley came straight into the starting eleven with Callum Watson and Sam Mills stepping up from the Reserves both making their full debuts. Non-League Day saw Jazz at King’s Marsh in the shape of The Lady Killers and also an excellent showing from the region’s youngsters coming to lend their vocal support to the Yellows.
Aylesbury United kicked off the tie attacking from left to right as viewed from the Brian Tatum Stand. The home side started strongly with Ollie Dunlop finding space out wide to send a cross via an Aylesbury defender behind for a corner kick. Dunlop’s third minute left wing corner was tipped behind for a further corner by Jack Sillitoe as the home side pressed hard.
On four minutes it really should have been advantage A.F.C. Sudbury. Jake Clowsley sent a clinical ball into Ollie Dunlop who hit the ball over the crossbar when it seemed easier to score from such close range. A.F.C Sudbury continued to pose questions for their opponents, Ollie Dunlop fouled just outside the penalty area and Joe Claridge sending his free-kick straight behind for a goal-kick.
Sudbury gained the lead on twelve minutes. Sam Clarke made ground along the right wing and his cross fell for Callum Watson to head beyond Jack Sillitoe. It was his first senior goal for the club. Sam Mills’ fine run on twenty minutes saw his cross scrambled clear as Sudbury continued to pose their visitors questions at the back.
Five minutes on and Joe Claridge sent a fine free-kick into the business area which Sam Clarke met with his head, sending the ball wide. Jamie Eaton-Collins almost made it a debut goal when his angled drive struck the base of the right-hand upright with Sillitoe well beaten. It was the former Canary who again came to the fore when Callum Watson sent him through with an excellent pass, his rapid shot fired just wide of the post.
Aylesbury United were restricted in chances due to the usual efficiency from the Sudbury defence in which Mills, Claridge, Wright, Smith and French again excelled. A Ryan Kinane speculative effort from distance was an easy take for a well-positioned Paul Walker in a rare Aylesbury raid, but A.F.C. Sudbury held firm to take a narrow advantage into the second half.
Half -Time ;- AFC Sudbury 1 Aylesbury United 0
Aylesbury United started the half in a manner which suggested a tough half-time conversation. Tyriq Hunte managed to get past Tyler French, but Paul Walker’s superb finger-tip save pushed the ball onto the post and finally away to safety.
Sudbury were slow out of the blocks as Lea Coulter’s shot was again met by a fine Walker save. Sudbury’s first chance since the resumption saw Jamie Eaton-Collins release Callum Watson who struck his shot well over the crossbar. There was a quick substitution, just ten minutes into the half, for Aylesbury United as defender Ollie Staybridge made way for Sonny French.
Greg Williams did well to partially block Jake Clowsley’s shot at the expense of a corner, Dunlop delivering for Sam Clarke whose snap shot was deflected behind for a further corner kick. Jamie-Eaton Collins made way for Alfie Carroll and Aylesbury then replaced Lea Coulter with Ben Seaton.
On sixty-four minutes Aylesbury United turned their improved possession and performance into an equalising goal. A long ball pierced the home defence and fell for Tyriq Hunte who finished cooly with a low shot past Paul Walker into the corner of the net.
Jake Clowsley was replaced by Jake Turner on seventy-three minutes and immediately he played in Ollie Dunlop who was only stopped from restoring the Sudbury lead when Sillitoe rushed off his line to block bravely at his feet. Turner further announced his presence with a long-range shot which slid well wide.
AF.C. Sudbury fell behind with just two minutes of normal time remaining. Harry Jones found the difficult Tyriq Hunte with a fine pass after a rare mistake at the back by the home defence. He finished with aplomb past Walker as the home side looked set to be exiting the F.A. Trophy at the first hurdle.
To their immense credit the A.F.C. Sudbury side fought back and gained an equaliser with two of the three minutes of injury-time already over. Joe Claridge got away on the left and sent a superb cross into the area where Watson chested the ball down to Ollie Dunlop who lashed a stunning drive into the back of the net. A late effort from Aylesbury was repelled by a fine Joe Wright challenge as the whistle sounded to end the match.
Honours even in an entertaining Non-League Football Day tie which sees the sides compete to a finish at Chesham United' s ground (HP5 1NE) in Wednesday evening’s replay.