Harlow Town 1 AFC Sudbury 2
DIVISION ONE NORTH
Harlow Town 1
AFC Sudbury 2
by Pat Arbon at
Barrows Farm Stadium
AFTER two Ryman League Division One North defeats, AFC Sudbury kick-started their league season when they came from behind to clinch a deserved victory at Harlow Town on Bank Holiday Monday.
But the win came at a cost with skipper Sam Clarke fracturing his right arm after a first-half challenge.
Manager Chris Tracey was forced into one change from Saturday’s win with Eljay Worrell replacing the injured Michael Shinn.
AFC had the better of the early play with some slick passing attacking moves, but with no end product.
Midway through the first half, AFC skipper Clarke went up for a high ball just in the Harlow half under the challenge of home player Stanley Muguo.
Clarke fell heavily to the ground and laid clearly in pain for lengthy treatment. He was eventually stretchered off after a six-minute delay and replaced by Ben Bowditch.
AFC continued to have the better of the play but the home side broke the deadlock from their first corner in the 44th minute. From it Fernando Manuel had a shot blocked but slotted home the rebound.
They came close to a second goal a minute later, but AFC deservedly equalised in the fourth minute of first half stoppage time when Worrell’s left-wing cross was headed down into the path of David Bryant, who hammered home an unstoppable shot.
Two minutes into the second period AFC had what appeared good penalty appeals waved away when Bowditch’s header seemed to strike an opponent’s arm.
But the AFC pressure was rewarded five minutes later when former Harlow player Dave Cowley took the return from a short corner and his squared pass into the box found Bowditch who slotted home what proved to be the winning goal.
Harlow tried hard to get back on terms but they got little change out of a sound AFC defence well marshalled by Adam Dalby.
Their only real effort on goal was well parried by Danny Gay while at the other end AFC created two good chances, both falling to Lee Boylan.
His second, three minutes, from time looked certain to be a goal when he was put through by substitute Danny Charge. But from very close range his angled shot was inches wide.
Fortunately it did not prove costly as AFC held on for a deserved win.
AFC: Gay, Pond, Martin, Worrell, Dalby, Cousins, Cowley (Charge 72), Clarke (Bowditch 31), Bryant, Boylan, B Smith. Unused subs: J Smith, Fergus and Webb.
Free Press man of the match: Adam Dalby