AFC salvage point with last gasp goal

RYMAN LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE NORTH

Enfield Town 3

AFC Sudbury 3

DAN Emmanuel scored a late equaliser to earn AFC a deserved point in Saturday’s six-goal thriller against second-placed Enfield Town.

It was nothing more than Chris Tracey’s side deserved as they had shocked the high-flying home side by taking a two-goal lead in the opening seven minutes.

Enfield hit back and when they went in front early in the second half they looked to be heading for victory — but a spirited AFC comeback earned a share of the spoils.

Influential central defender James Smith was absent through illness. However, Tracey had at his disposal his two latest signings, Russell Pond, a 25-year-old defender or midfielder from Heybridge Swifts, and 20-year-old Jamie Griffiths, a midfielder, recently released by Ipswich Town.

Pond was named in the starting XI and Griffiths among the substitutes until striker Danny Charge was injured in the warm-up.

It proved a wise decision to put Griffiths in as he was instrumental in getting his team off to a flying start with two quick goals to the delight of the many travelling AFC fans.

After four minutes he won a left-wing corner and from his flag kick James Baker scored with an unstoppable glancing header.

Three minutes later a superb left wing cross into the danger area from Griffiths found Nathan Clarke and his stooping header doubled AFC’s lead.

It did not last long as a minute later Enfield pulled a goal back when Liam Hope’s right-wing cross into the box found Michael Ewang who sidefooted home.

There was little between the teams as the half progressed before Enfield equalised seconds before half-time when Jay Siva scored direct from a 25-yard free-kick.

Ten minutes into the second period Enfield went ahead when the AFC defence failed to deal with a free-kick into the box and Hope’s header was scrambled home by Adam Wallace from close range.

AFC went on to dominate the final minutes, creating several chances and only a point-blank save by Noel Imber in the home goal kept out Baker’s fierce volley with time running out.

But with almost 90 minutes on the clock, substitute Jon Docker’s throughball found Emmanuel. He had earlier failed to make the most of an easier chance but this time his shot went in off a post to earn his side a deserved equaliser to keep their play-off hopes very much alive.

AFC: Gay, Martin, Sloots (Henshaw 46, Docker 81), Pond, Dalby, N Clarke, Emmanuel (Wareham 90+2), S Clarke, Baker, Shinn, Griffiths. Unused subs: Charge, Howell.