MATCH REPORT: Garnham saves penalty in a winning AFC Sudbury return

STAR MAN: Ryan Henshaw got our Free Press Man of The Match award
STAR MAN: Ryan Henshaw got our Free Press Man of The Match award

RYMAN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE NORTH: Barkingside 1 AFC Sudbury 3

Goalkeeper Marcus Garnham celebrated his return to the club by saving a first half penalty and 30-year-old birthday boy Luke Callander opened the scoring for AFC Sudbury as Jamie Godbold’s team battled hard to clinch their first away win for five games.

The wide open spaces of the Cricklefield Stadium is never the easiest of places to get a result. But after the home side levelled early in the second half Sudbury upped their game and goals from Ryan Henshaw and a last minute penalty from Craig Parker secured a deserved victory.

Godbold made five changes from the side that started in the midweek defeat. One of them was forced with central defender James Baker serving a one game ban, while Garnham started his second spell with the club after leaving Lowestoft Town.

This was a match that never rose to any great heights and neither keeper was tested until the 27th minute when Barkingside were awarded a penalty after Henshaw was adjudged to have fouled George Lutaaya. But Sudbury keeper Garnham celebrated his return by saving Lutaaya’s spot kick, fired down the middle.

Three minutes later Garnham was again in action when he made a fine save to deny Lutaaya and from the keeper’s long clearance up field Sudbury broke the deadlock. The bounce caught the home defence out and Callander latched on to the loose ball and fired past the home keeper who had left his line.

The second half was only four minutes old when Barkingside levelled following a left wing move when the ball was squared to the unmarked Michael Spencer who gave Garnham no chance.

From then on Sudbury upped their game and two good chances were squandered before they regained the lead after 71 minutes. A Henshaw header brought a great tip-over save from the Darren Bechet and from the resulting corner Henshaw netted from close range.

AFC sealed victory in the final minute when Parker scored from the penalty spot after being brought down by Alfie Wren, who was sent off.

AFC Sudbury: Garnham, Robinson, Newman, Bailey (Berquez 73), Henshaw, Mallardo , Blackwell, Clarke, Callander, Parker, Blackman (Wales 62) Unused subs: Martin, Gilbert, Godbold.

Attendance: 79.

Free Press Man of The Match: Ryan Henshaw. He was a rock at the back and looked dangerous every time he joined the attack for set pieces. Unlucky not to score more than one goal.

No AFC bookings.

* Jamie Godbold’s side (4th) entertain Dereham Town (12th) tomorrow (Tuesday 27, 7.45pm) before they put the league on hold to return to FA Trophy action on Sunday with a first qualifying round game at Hendon.

The Ryman Premier Division side, who were beaten earlier in the season at AFC Sudbury in the FA Cup, ground-share with Harrow Borough FC, so the game will be played at their Earlsmead ground, Carlyton Avenue, Harrow, Middlesex HA2 8SS, on Sunday (Nov 1) with a 3pm kick-off.

If a replay is necessary, it will be at The Wardale Williams Stadium, Sudbury on the following Tuesday (7.45pm), otherwise Brightlingsea Regent will be the visitors in a Ryman League fixture.