AFC Sudbury 1
Brightlingsea Regent 5
Jamie Godbold conceded his side were brought back down to earth after being dumped out of Robert Dyas League Cup by Brightlingsea Regent.
The Yellows were aiming to maintain their perfect start to the new campaign, in which they have only conceded once from their first three matches, but found themselves on the end of a mauling, despite taking an early lead through Ben Robinson.
But after seeing his side capitulate and be second best for most of the encounter, Godbold has warned Sudbury they must respond ahead of a return to Ryman League Division One North action with a visit from Cray Wanderers on Saturday (3pm) before travelling to Soham Town Rangers on Tuesday (7.45pm).
“We have certainly been brought back down to earth after our great start to the season,” said a disgruntled Godbold.
“The biggest lesson we have learnt is that we can’t just expect to turn up and win games.
“We were nowhere near as good as we have been and in truth it should have been a bigger defeat.
“However, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves because if we do we will get punished by Cray and Soham.
“We have always bounced back strongly from a defeat in the past and that is certainly needed now.
“I’m looking for a response from the players and for me it is a great way to find out a few things about my players.”
Sudbury could not have wished for a better start against Brightlingsea as within three minutes they opened the scoring when Robinson’s shot-cum-cross from the right eluded Andrew Plummer in the Brightlingsea goal and the ball dropped over his head into the back of the net.
Five minutes later AFC goalkeeper Ollie Bowles made his first of many fine saves when he denied George Clarke as the visitors pressed.
Sudbury failed to take advantage of two corners before Brightlingsea equalised after 19 minutes when the ball was given away and Luke Read raced into the box to beat Bowles with an unstoppable shot.
The home side enjoyed plenty of possession but got little change out of a sound visiting defence before Brightlingsea took the lead after 36 minutes when Clarke seized on a miss-placed pass to score with a shot on the run that easily beat Bowles.
That pressure continued and just five minutes later Brightlingsea scored again when a left-wing cross was turned into the net by Josh Mayhew from close range to give them a 3-1 lead at the break.
Any hope of a Sudbury comeback in the second period failed to materialise as Brightlingsea always looked the more threatening and Bowles was by far the busier of the two keepers.
For the hosts, Liam Wales battled hard up front but he got little support and Brightlingsea clinched a comfortable win with two further goals in the final three minutes.
Clarke scored his second when he burst clear to give Bowles no chance and in the final minute Jake Gordon chipped the Sudbury keeper to seal a resounding win for the Essex side who will be away to Soham Town Rangers in the next round.
AFC Sudbury: Bowles, Robinson, Newman, Canfer, Henshaw (Clements 80), Mallardo, Wales, Clarke (Parker 57), Baker, Bailey, Blackman (Axell 46).
Unused substitutes: Godbold, Blackwell.
Free Press man of the match: Liam Wales - ran non-stop up front without any support.