AFC hold off a fightback to secure hard-fought victory

WINNING GOAL: Summer signing Liam Wales scored what proved to be the winning strike for Jamie Godbold's Yellows at a wet Wroxham on Saturday

WINNING GOAL: Summer signing Liam Wales scored what proved to be the winning strike for Jamie Godbold's Yellows at a wet Wroxham on Saturday

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RYMAN LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE NORTH

Wroxham 1 AFC Sudbury 2

AFC Sudbury made it back-to-back league victories at a very wet Wroxham on Saturday, thanks to two first-half goals.

Wroxham upped their game in the second half, and after the hosts got an early goal back Sudbury defended well to hold on for a hard-fought win.

Wroxham’s pitch passed a morning inspection following heavy rain, and despite rain and hail throughout, held up well.

Yellows boss Jamie Godbold made two changes from the side that started the previous game. One was forced with striker Luke Callander serving a one-game ban. James Baker, who has been playing in defence, moved into the attack to lead the line and, in a reshuffled defence, there was a welcome back for left-sided defender Jack Wilkinson who has been re-signed having been released by St Neots Town. Skipper Sam Clarke returned from injury at the expense of Jack Newman, who dropped to the bench, and Liam Wales replaced the rested Jordan Blackwell.

Sudbury had by far the better of the early play and Nathan Pauling in the home goal twice made good saves with his legs to defy Craig Parker and James Baker, who combined well together up front. The return of Wilkinson meant that his long throw-ins were going to cause problems to defences, and from one Joe Maybanks went close with a shot that hit the side netting.

The Sudbury pressure paid off after 26 minutes when recent loan signing Joe Maybanks scored his first goal for the club. Maybanks broke down the left, cut inside and unleashed a right foot shot that gave Pauling no chance.

Sudbury doubled their lead after 38 minutes when a free kick from the right was headed back into the danger area by Baker and Wales slotted home from close range.

It was a different story in the second half. Wroxham came out with all guns blazing and they went close in the first minute of the restart and forced two corners that came to nothing before they reduced the deficit after 53 minutes when Nathan Stone latched on to a right wing cross and slotted the ball under Garnham who had left his line.

The hosts continued to have plenty of the play but Sudbury defended well and Garham was only tested once again when he did well to keep out a snapshot from Stone.

With 12 minutes remaining Sudbury came close to making the game safe when defender Steffano Mallardo joined the attack and his goalbound header from a corner was cleared off the line.

In stoppage time Wroxham had a great chance to level when they won a free kick just outside the penalty box but former Sudbury player Jamie Forshaw failed to hit the target.

AFC Sudbury: Garnham, Robinson, Wilkinson, Berquez, Henshaw, Mallardo, Wales (Bailey 85), S Clarke (G Clarke 82), Baker, Parker, Maybanks (Blackwell 68). Unused subs: Newman, Godbold.

Attendance: 117

Free Press Man of The Match: James Baker – led the line well and unlucky not to get on the scoresheet.

Yellow cards: S Clarke (tackle), Berquez & Baker (dissent).

n Because Saturday’s opponents Tilbury are involved in the FA Trophy the first team have not got a game until Saturday, December 5, when they travel to Harlow Town (3pm).

However, on Saturday AFC Sudbury Reserves have an attractive game when they travel to Beccles Town for a Suffolk Senior Cup fixture (3pm).

n Week 30 winners in the AFC Gold fundraiser: £100 Mrs W Malone, 267, Gaol Lane, Sudbury; £10 Mrs A Park, 148, Alton Hall Lane, Stutton; £10 Mrs P Webb, 179, Melford Rd, Sudbury.