Bury Town 0
AFC Sudbury 1
by Russell Claydon
at Ram Meadow
AFC Sudbury laid to rest the ghost of last year’s 10-1 cup thrashing at Ram Meadow on Tuesday night to seal their progress in the Robert Dyas Isthmian League Cup.
Manager David Batch described the performance as ‘solid if unspectacular’ but was pleased to avoid exiting three cup competitions in succession.
Jamie Forshaw’s eighth goal in 19 games 13 minutes from time was a just reward for their efforts in a game where Ryman League Premier Division Bury were unable to test Alex Archer.
“We weren’t electrifying by any shakes but I think we looked hard to beat,” said Batch of knocking out Suffolk’s only winners of the competition, in 2012.
“It is a league cup so you are always going to have the thing of whether were we at the races or not.
“But it was a good response (after two defeats) to come away and win, it would have been easy to come to a team a league higher, play well and lose 1-0.”
Batch made only two changes from Saturday with Dave Cowley still suffering from flu and Michael N’Cho dropping to the bench for Ricky Spriggs and Ben Lewis.
AFC made a strong start with Marcus Garnham having to block a Ben Thompson shot while Forshaw rippled the side netting inside the opening 20 minutes.
Bury began to enjoy plenty of possession, but were not able to penetrate the visitors’ backline.
There was controversy in front of Sudbury’s goalmouth though in the 37th minute when Carus sold Archer short with a backpass and strong protests from the Bury players and fans were ignored when he dived on it.
At the other end, Garnham had to scramble across his goalmouth to claw out Thompson’s header and made a good block after Forshaw got clear.
It was more of the same after the break as Garnham had to push another Forshaw effort round the post and punch clear Ryan Henshaw’s header.
Bury were reduced to 10 men after 68 minutes when Adam Bailey-Dennis went through the back of Thompson to earn his second yellow card in four minutes.
Nine minutes later, Forshaw, who had struggled with the offside trap, profited from a poor throw out by Garnham as Scott Mitchell fed the striker to run to the edge box and fire beyond the Bury custodian.
It looked as though more would follow but after Ryan Semple fired past the left-hand post in a rare home chance, Thompson headed over from point-blank range.
Five minutes into stoppage time Bury threatened to force penalties when John Kennedy lashed over the bar from a late corner.
AFC: Archer, Lewis, Carus (Cawley 78), Mitchell, Crane, Henshaw, Forshaw, Clarke (c), Thompson, Daniels (Swatman 66), R Spriggs (Swallow 72). Subs not used: N’Cho, Shinn.
Free Press man of the match: Jamie Forshaw