DIVISION ONE NORTH
AFC Hornchurch 1
AFC Sudbury 1
League leaders AFC Sudbury extended their positive away form to 12 matches unbeaten thanks to a 1-1 draw against AFC Hornchurch on Saturday.
The pitch at Bridge Avenue was deemed playable by the match officials after the recent bad weather, yet it was bumpy in places and that did not allow for much passing football.
Joe Maybanks had Sudbury’s first effort before Purcell for the hosts fired well over.
Marcus Garnham in the away side’s goal came to the rescue with twelve minutes played after a defensive mix up let in Purcell.
Sudbury’s Luke Callander was then in the action having a shot deflected over and then shooting just wide.
Garnham made another save at his near post after St Aimie broke free of his defenders, and then James Baker blocked a goalbound effort from May.
Sudbury should have taken the lead four minutes into the second half when Blackwell’s cross found the unmarked Parker, who somehow headed wide.
However, he atoned for that miss a few minutes later when following a long throw from Jack Wilkinson he was there to guide in his 26th goal of the season.
The hosts responded positively to having fallen behind and after the Sudbury post had been struck, Collis on the right crossed and there was Knight to head into the net from close range.
Parker then went close for the visitors, before Garnham was in the thick of it saving a shot from Bentley after he had broken away.
Garnham then became the hero of the hour when somehow he denied Knight. The Hornchurch man had sped away and only had the Sudbury stopper to beat, but Garnham managed to delay him by advancing quickly and other defenders got back before the keeper smothered the ball to deny him.
A minute later Garnham was again called into the fray when substitute Luke was in on goal, but again the AFC man came out on top to keep his side in the contest.
In the final minutes Ross Bailey took over from Ollie Berquez in the midfield as Sudbury came away with a well deserved draw in a hard fought game to leave them 10 points clear at the top.
One negative note for Sudbury was that Sam Clarke and Baker picked up their 10th bookings of the season during the game, which means that both will now serve two-match suspensions.
AFC Sudbury: Garnham, Robinson, Wilkinson, Berquez (Bailey, 90) Mallardo, Baker, Blackwell, Clarke, Callander (Newman, 81), Parker, Maybanks (Blackman, 46) Unused subs: Henshaw, Godbold
Free Press Man of the Match: Marcus Garnham
n Elsehwere, Suffolk FA Ladies were crowned champions of the East Anglian Counties Championship thanks to a 2-1 victory over their Kent counterparts.