RYMAN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE NORTH: AFC Sudbury 2 Thurrock 6
AFC Sudbury slumped to a heavy home defeat on Saturday at the hands of third-placed Thurrock who overcame conceding inside the first 30 seconds to run out comfortable winners.
Having served his three-match ban, defender Craig Pope returned as did midfielder Ryan Maxwell, while there was a first start for wide player Correy Davidson.
Sudbury kicked off and within 26 seconds they had taken the lead when visiting goalkeeper Andy Walker failed to gather Davidson’s cross and Michael Shinn pounced to set up Kris Newby, who made no mistake from close range.
Sudbury’s lead only lasted five minutes as Thurrock levelled from a swift counter-attack that ended with Ross Wall scoring the equaliser.
Thurrock took the lead after 28 minutes when the ball was chested down to Charlie Stimpson, who — seeing keeper Alex Archer off his line — beat him with a delicate lob from 20 yards.
Before the half-time whistle, Sudbury went close to an equaliser when James Baker’s header from a corner hit the crossbar.
Thurrock’s third goal was not long in coming as a fine build-up down their right ended with Brad Warner firing home an angled shot after 53 minutes.
Sudbury fell further behind six minutes later when Wall scored his second with a crisp finish from the edge of the box.
The hosts reduced the deficit after 66 minutes when Newby’s cross was headed home by Davidson at the far post for a debut goal.
But any hopes of a comeback were ended two minutes later when Thurrock restored their three-goal advantage after Warner was found unmarked to score his second of the game.
A sixth followed after 71 minutes from Mark Onyemah’s curled shot to complete a miserable afternoon.
AFC: Archer, Swatman (Robinson 72), Flynn, Shinn, Maxwell (Guyton 41), Pope, Newby, Clarke (Hervel 60), Baker, Coley, Davidson. Unused subs: Wilkinson, Blackwell.
Free Press man of the match: Correy Davidson.
AFC bookings: Clarke, Newby and Shinn.