AFC close gap on leaders with hard-earned victory

SPOT ON: Craig Parker's second half penalty earned all three points on Saturday
SPOT ON: Craig Parker's second half penalty earned all three points on Saturday
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RYMAN LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE NORTH

Cray Wanderers 1

AFC Sudbury 2

AFC closed the gap on leaders Cray Wanderers, recording their sixth straight league victory in this top-of-the-table clash.

The winning goal came late in the second half, substitute George Clarke scoring his first goal for the first team.

Victory means AFC go into the Christmas period still in second place, three points behind Cray Wanderers, but crucially with two games in hand.

Victory also gave AFC revenge for their 6-2 home defeat at the hands of Cray in August.

Sudbury started brightly and took the lead after ten minutes.

Jordan Blackwell’s corner found Ryan Henshaw at the far post and he rose to head powerfully home.

Despite AFC having most of the play, Marcus Garnham, in the Sudbury goal, made two crucial saves to keep them in front at the break.

The hosts started second period with much more intensity and AFC were forced to defend the onslaught.

The pressure paid off as Garnham punched out a corner, and McCollin shot back into the penalty area, with the ball deflecting off Ollie Berquez and into the net.

It seemed that the Wanderers’ momentum might gain them maximum points but AFC stood firm, and grabbed the winner six minutes from time.

George Clarke, who had taken over from Joe Maybanks, collected the ball in the Cray half, and after an exchange of passes, drove into the penalty area, sliding the ball under the advancing home keeper to clinch all three points for AFC.

AFC Sudbury: Garnham, Robinson, Wilkinson, Berquez, Henshaw, Baker, Maybanks (G Clarke), S Clarke, Callander (Bailey), Parker, Blackwell. Subs: Newman, Mallardo, Clements.

Free Press man of the match: Marcus Garnham, who made made a number of crucial saves.

Attendance: 113