AFC’s unbeaten run is ended at Aveley

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RYMAN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE NORTH: Aveley 3 AFC Sudbury 0: AFC Sudbury’s unbeaten start to the season came to an abrupt end on Monday evening when they were well beaten by Aveley.

Manager David Batch was back in charge and he made one change with striker James Baker making his first start.

Striker Ollie Hughes was playing his last game before moving abroad to work, while summer signing Kris Newby was on the bench, having served his three-match ban.

Aveley dominated the first half and they opened the scoring after 15 minutes when Lee Weemes broke down the right and crossed for Teddy Nesbitt to score the first goal from close range.

Sudbury were finding it hard to force an opening but Jake Reed forced home ‘keeper James Marrable into a comfortable save before Aveley doubled their lead after 31 minutes.

It looked as if the danger had been cleared but a headed clearance fell to Nesbitt whose cross from the left was headed home by Petrit Elbi.

Sudbury’s best chance of the half came in stoppage time when Reed broke through to bring a fine diving save from Marrable and although the loose ball fell to Baker his shot was too high.

Sudbury looked more dangerous after the break with introduction of Jordan Blackwell and Newby but the home rearguard was in fine form and little got through to keeper Marrable.

There was an unsavoury moment on the hour when home player Danny Frances went down under a challenge from AFC skipper Sam Clarke on halfway.

Clarke seemed to have won the ball but a free-kick was awarded and players on both sides confronted each other, resulting in the referee showing four yellow cards, three for Sudbury, when order was restored.

With Sudbury pressing to get back into the game, the home side looked dangerous on the counter-attack and twice Alex Archer in the Sudbury goal made one-on-one saves and on another occasion he saved a point-blank header from Elbi.

Sudbury’s woe was wrapped up in the third of seven minutes of stoppage time, when with defender Ryan Henshaw off the pitch receiving treatment after being injured in an attack, Nesbitt raced clear to score his second and Aveley’s third to seal a comfortable win for the home side.

AFC Sudbury: Archer, Pope, Flynn (Guyton 77), Shinn, Henshaw, Yiga, Maxwell (Newby 58), Clarke, Baker, Reed, Hughes (Blackwell 58). Unsed subs: Swatman, J Kerridge.

Free Press man of the match: Not easy from such a disjointed performance but in his first start of the season James Baker worked hard up front but lacked service to make a real impression.

AFC yellow cards: Pope, Clarke. Blackwell.