Darg’s attacking role makes the difference

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RYMAN LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE NORTH

Ware 0 AFC Sudbury 2

Pat Arbon reports from Wodson Park

A GOAL in each half gave AFC a comfortable victory against the lowly Hertfordshire side who had won just one of their previous 16 league games.

Manager Chris Tracey was forced to make changes from the previous game due to injuries to Richard Howell and Jon Docker, while Danny Emmanuel dropped to the bench.

James Baker returned to lead the attack and Robbie Martin to midfield, while the fit-again Nathan Clarke returned to central defence. This meant that Rhys Darg was moved into a more attacking midfield role.

This proved decisive as Darg was a constant threat to the home defence, scoring the opening goal, his second goal in two games, and was unlucky with two more efforts.

The game attracted a crowd of 120, Ware’s first three-figure attendance of the season, thanks to the many travelling AFC supporters.

Despite having by far the better of the first half, AFC had only one goal to show for their domination.

That came after 18 minutes when Darg headed powerfully home from a right wing corner which he had won having had a header tipped over.

Darg was only inches wide with a glancing header, and Martin was only just off target as AFC finished the half strongly.

AFC went close to doubling their lead early in the second period before the home side came close in a rare attack when Tony Martin broke to shoot narrowly wide.AFC continued to pile on the pressure and they increased their lead on the hour when home keeper Rhys Madden failed to gather Michael Shinn’s free kick and Nathan Clarke hammered home the loose ball.

The hosts were reduced to 10 men with 10 minutes remaining when Wesley Beckles was yellow carded for the second time.

A minute later Darg came close to extending Sudbury’s lead with a close-range header, but Madden made a fine reflex save.

AFC Sudbury: Gay, Dalby, Henshaw, Shinn, N Clarke, Lorimer (Sloots 56), Martin (Nicoll 89), S Clarke, Baker, Darg (Emmanuel 83), Wareham. Unused subs: Swain and B Tracey (gk).

l On Saturday Waltham Abbey are the visitors to the MEL Group Stadium (3.00). And then on Tuesday Potters Bar Town are hosted (7.45).