DIVISION ONE NORTH
AFC Sudbury 1
Canvey Island 1
by Tony Simpson
at The Wardale Williams Stadium
Summer signing Adam Mills struck two minutes from time to earn AFC Sudbury a point in their first game back in the newly-sponsored Bostik League Division One North on Saturday.
Before the start of the game there was a tribute to former AFC youth player Zac Smith, who tragically died earlier in the week.
With many of his family present, the whole crowd joined in a minute’s applause before Sudbury manager Jamie Godbold and club captain Sam Clarke laid flowers on a number seven shirt in remembrance of Zac.
When the game got under way AFC produced a side with six players making their competitive debuts fro the club in Paul Walker, Joe Claridge, Julian Smith, Jake Turner, L’heureux Menga and Mills.
With the first half coming to an end, Canvey caught AFC out. Mitchell Gilbey got down the right side, crossed and there was George Sykes to fire home.
Godbold handed debuts to two more players in the second half as Jeremiah Kamanzi and Louis Blake came off the bench.
Although looking the more likely, the Yellows could not find a way through until two minutes from time.
The hosts were awarded a free kick on the tight edge of the penalty area, and up stepped Mills to fire the ball low through the Canvey wall and into the net for the equaliser.
Time ran out and it was a point apiece on the long road to next April.
AFC Sudbury: Walker, Allen, Claridge, Turner, Smith, Carroll, Cowley (Kamanzi 66), Newman, Menga (Blake 66), Henry, Mills (Dunlop 89). Subs not used: Clarke, Robinson. Attendance: 384.