RYMAN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE NORTH: AFC Sudbury 2 Burnham Ramblers 1: Terry Rymer is targeting a surge up the table after AFC Sudbury halted a three-match winless run at home with a narrow victory.
The striker grabbed his first goal for the club since arriving from FC Clacton, with a further goal from James Baker helping to secure a welcome success at home and see off struggling Ramblers despite a late goal from Isaac Aubynn.
And having helped the Yellows seal a second successive victory, Rymer, who limped off with a hamstring injury, is keen to help the club clinch a play-off spot with Sudbury currently sitting in seventh place, two points adrift of the top five.
“I was very pleased with my performance, I think I was playing well before getting injured,” he said.
“It was great to grab my first goal for the club and now hopefully I won’t be out too long.
“It is always hard coming to a new club but it’s been good and I’m happy to help the club improve the home form.
“If we can keep a winning run going then we have to be looking at getting into the play-offs with the squad we have.
“There is a lot of quality here and fingers crossed we can do that.
“If we all apply ourselves, and I can keep scoring, then there is no reason why I can’t see us getting there.”
The home side started at a blistering pace and could have been out of sight in the opening 10 minutes.
Their first opportunity came in the fourth minute as Kris Newby raced away down the right-hand side but could not find a way past Matt Belcher who saved well from the forward.
Another chance arose just two minutes later with Rymer firing over a first-time effort from the edge of the area, before Newby did likewise in the eighth minute.
The visitors started to grow into the game and came close to opening the scoring in the 11th minute as Aubynn brilliantly controlled a long ball in the area but could not capitalise as his low left-footed effort was beaten away by Alex Archer.
Newby then fired another effort straight at Belcher after a fine solo run down the left-hand side before the hosts’ pressure finally paid off in the 16th minute.
A long clearance from defence was raced onto by Rymer who forced his way into the area before drilling a low right-footed strike through the legs of Belcher and into the net to break the deadlock.
The momentum continued with the home side with Newby spurning two further chances, shooting straight at Belcher in the 32nd minute before lashing wildly wide from the edge of the area two minutes later.
Belcher again had to be alert in the 42nd minute as he got down brilliantly to palm away left-back Jack Wilkinson’s stinging 30-yard strike which looked destined for the bottom right corner.
Burnham finished the half strongly and created the final chance of the period but Liam Burgess failed to really test Archer after Sudbury partially cleared the ball to the edge of the area.
The hosts started the second half as they did the first and opened up Burnham two minutes after the re-start.
Sudbsitute Correy Davidson was released into the area but his tame effort proved no problem for Belcher who saved easily.
For all of their dominance, AFC’s slender lead always looked perilous and they should have been punished after 63 minutes, but Marc Gorbell could only watch on as his header flew agonisingly past Archer’s post.
Davidson’s pace on the left-hand side was causing Burnham problems as the winger pulled the ball back for Newby on the edge of the box, whose curling effort whistled narrowly wide.
However, in the 72nd minute any nerves of the home fans were eased as the Yellows doubled their advantage.
A brilliant run down the right-wing from the impressive Ayrton Coley saw the winger’s cross fall at the feet of Baker, whose low powerful drive deflected off of Kye Jude and past the helpless Belcher.
However, Burnham refused to give in and created another opportunity with nine minutes remaining, but Aubynn could only fire into the side netting after racing away down the right wing.
With time dwindling down, Coley again tormented Tyler Hayes on the right before picking out Baker in the area, whose header went narrowly wide.
The visitors gave themselves a glimmer of hope in added time when Aubynn caught Lawrence Yiga in possession inside the area before sweeping the ball past Archer.
However, it proved no more than a consolation as Sudbury held on to secure victory.
n Week 22 winners in the AFC Sudbury Gold fundraiser: £100 T Crofton 192, Essex Ave, Sudbury; £10 B Andrews 213, Shelley Ave, Gt Cornard; £10 Mrs K Ford 247, Queens Rd Sudbury.