DCSIMG

Sudbury’s promotion hopes dented following defeat to play-off rivals

RETURN TO ACTION: Alex Archer recovered from injury to return for AFC Sudbury but he could not help prevent defeat to Witham Town

RETURN TO ACTION: Alex Archer recovered from injury to return for AFC Sudbury but he could not help prevent defeat to Witham Town

AFC Sudbury’s promotion ambitions were dented on Wednesday night following a 2-1 defeat to play-off rivals Witham Town at the MEL Group stadium.

Sam Clarke had put the home side ahead in the 69th minute but a superb late surge from Witham saw James Stevens level with just three minutes remaining before Shamido Pedulu struck deep into added on time to snatch all three points for the visitors to end the Yellows 17 match unbeaten run in all competitions.

The result leaves David Batch’s side in eighth position in the Ryman League Division One North table, four points off Dereham Town in the fifth and final play-off place but importantly have six games in hand.

An early chance fell to AFC when Steve Spriggs broke but his chip just missed the target. From then on defences dominated a goal less first half.

Witham were soon out of the blocks in the second period and former AFC player Danny Emmanuel fired over with the goal at his mercy.

The home side took a 69th minute lead when substitute James Akintunde was sent away on a left wing run and his cross was met by skipper Clarke who hammered home the opening goal.

Witham piled on the pressure but got little change out of the home defence although keeper Alex Archer twice did well to deny Kris Newby.

But with two minutes remaining Stevens equalised for Witham when he scored from a 22 yard free kick that beat Archer after a deflection.

Witham went all out for the winner and it came with virtually the last kick of the game in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Newby’s cross from the right was headed back across goal and substitute Pedulu hammered in from close range to end AFC’s long unbeaten run.

AFC Sudbury: Archer, Mitchell, Cawley, Shinn, Henshaw, Crane, Spriggs (Akintunde 62), Clarke (Wilkinson 84), Baker, Daniels, Horne. Unused subs: Carus, Swatman and Hughes.

Free Press man of the match: Greg Crane

 

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