DIVISION ONE NORTH
AFC Sudbury 1
Enfield Town 2
by Pat Arbon at
The MEL Group Stadium
AFC Sudbury’s four-match unbeaten league run ended on Saturday when high-flying Enfield Town scored a brace of first half goals.
But they squandered numerous chances during the first period to put the result beyond doubt before the break.
The home side upped their game in the second period and got a late goal back but Enfield held for victory to extend their unbeaten run to seven games.
AFC boss Chris Tracey made two changes from the side that had drawn at Leiston. Recent signing Rhys Darg came into the centre of defence in place of the injured Steve Adams while midfielder Richard Howell replaced Danny Emmanuel.
The match attracted a crowd of 327, the best at The MEL Group Stadium this season and they saw the visitors make an impressive start.
Home keeper Danny Gay was soon in action, punching clear a free-kick and going full length to keep out a close range header from Jon Moore.
But the Enfield pressure paid off after 13 minutes when AFC failed to clear a right wing corner and Leon Osie had time and space to score at the far post with a shot on the turn.
Apart from a couple of left wing runs by Dave Wareham, little was seen of AFC as an attacking force while the home defence were being kept busy by the dangerous Enfield attack.
AFC were living on the edge but Enfield’s second goal after 25 minutes came from a harshly awarded penalty when Darg was adjudged to have fouled just inside the area and Liam Hope made no mistake from the spot.
Little was going AFC’s way and Tracey made a change by replacing Howell with Emmanuel with 15 minutes left in the first half, and they managed to hang on to only be trailing by two goals at the break.
Early in the second half Enfield squandered two more good chances before AFC got more into the game.
Sudbury were unlucky not to get a goal back after 65 minutes when Darg, up for a right wing corner, volleyed a shot on to the underside of the bar and the ball was cleared.
This was the start of a good spell for the home side, particularly after Tracey made more changes, with Darg moving to an attacking role.
With six minutes remaining, AFC got a goal back from the penalty spot after Darg was fouled as he broke into the area and James Baker scored from the spot to set up an exciting end to the game which included five minutes of stoppage time.
But Enfield held on for victory which they should have sealed in the first half when they were much the better side.
AFC Sudbury: Gay, Dalby, Sloots (Lorimer 76), Shinn, Darg, N Clarke, Howell (Emmanuel 30), S Clarke, Baker, Docker (Fox 66), Wareham. Unused subs: Swain and Henshaw.
l AFC Sudbury Gold weekly winners: 1 £100, 385 D. Nickells Rugby Road, Great Cornard; 2 £10, 122 C. Rimmer, Acton Lane Sudbury; 3rd £10, 225 N. Booth, Walnutree Lane, Sudbury.