FA CUP PRELIMINARY ROUND REPLAY
AFC Sudbury 3 St Ives Town 2 (after extra-time)
AFC Sudbury overcame lower-league St Ives at the second time of asking on Tuesday night, but needed extra-time to set up a reunion with former manager Mark Morseley’s Leiston in the next round.
After chucking away a two-goal first-half lead, it took a piece of fine individual skill from substitute Dan Emmanuel to prevent the tie going into a penalty shootout.
Manager Nicky Smith was left concerned by his side’s defensive frailties, but glad to have managed to progress past the preliminary round for only the second time since he was appointed manager at the beginning of the 2008/09 season.
“We did ever so well first half, knocking the ball around with good movement,” he said. “We stopped doing that second half and we were against a strong wind, but we caused our own problems again defensively with the two goals.
“In extra-time I just said we had to stick together and chances will come and we held out in the first half and in the second half the goal was fitting to win the game.”
Smith freshened things up from three days previously, making four changes that saw Ashley Sloots, Jack Wignall, James Baker and David Lorimer all start.
And it was the latter, making his full debut, who got the home start off to a flying start, putting them 2-0 up inside 19 minutes.
Dave Wareham’s left-wing cross caught the strong wind early on and came off the crossbar before AFC were ahead after 16 minutes.
Sloots made a darting forward run from left-back, exchanging passes with Baker before finding Lorimer on the right-hand side of the area. The former Bildeston Rangers striker created a bit of space out of nothing and fired a deadly low shot into the bottom left-hand corner.
Just three minutes later, he doubled his and AFC’s tally.
He kept his cool when receiving Wareham’s low left-wing cross with his back to goal in the area and calmly turned before again firing into the corner of the net.
St Ives were rarely troubling confident AFC, who had good chances to extend their lead through Baker’s placed shot and a Niall Conroy clearance, which cannoned off the back of Wareham and wide.
In the second half the tables turned with AFC’s passing football disappearing and St Ives using the wind to their advantage to get back into the game.
After 61 minutes, a long clearance from the back was latched on to by the impressive Conor Washington, who turned Tom Devaux in the box before firing low into the left corner.
After several warning signals were fired by the Cambridgeshire side, it was the same player who levelled the tie late on. Another long ball from the back after 84 minutes could only be back headed by a stretching Devaux and Washington rifled home to force extra-time.
Devaux had to clear off the line to prevent Washington’s hat-trick in the first period, which also saw Emmanuel and Howell go close.
But the game was won by lively substitute Emmanuel after 113 minutes of play when the ball fell to him just outside the box on the right and he shifted into space before rifling an unstoppable effort into the bottom left corner.
Free Press man of the match: Dan Emmanuel.
Danny Gay 6
Robbie Martin 6
Ashley Sloots 6
Michael Shinn 6
Jack Wignall 6
Tom Devaux 6
Richard Howell 6
Sam Clarke 5
James Baker 5
David Lorimer 8
Dave Wareham 5
Dan Emmanuel (for Lorimer 75) 8
Nathan Clarke (for Wignall 90) 6
SUBS NOT USED
Ryan Henshaw, Chris Sullivan,
Ashley Stoneman, Barri Twin
AFC St Ives
Shots on target 10 9
Shots off target 10 8
Woodwork 1 0
Corners 3 6
Offsides 0 1
FK conceded 18 19
Bookings: AFC: S Clarke (foul), Lorimer (foul), St Ives: McDougal (unsportsmanlike conduct), Newman (foul), Lambert (foul)
Red cards: none
Referee: Lloyd Wood