EAST MEN’S LEAGUE DIVISION TWO NORTH: Cambridge University III 2 Sudbury 3
An under-strength Sudbury first team built on last week’s battling point with three more in a very pleasing display at Cambridge University III.
Fielding a team with only three players over the age of 30 (one being over-50) was of great benefit to the travelling team as they faced a 16-man squad of students.
The game opened at a frantic pace with both sides scoring twice in the opening 15 minutes.
The home side took the lead with a close-range deflection after the officials missed a lifted ball into the D, but the response was immediate.
Tom Martin linked with Sam Clark down the right in a rapid counter-attack, which released Will Chrystal who, running across the D, unleashed a thunderbolt into the roof of the goal on his reverse.
The sides again exchanged goals, University scoring from a rebound after some scrappy play before the red and whites equalised.
Sam Humphreys played a quick free-hit through the centre of the pitch to Chrystal, who drew the goalkeeper out before squaring to Charles Apter, who made no mistake from all of a yard.
The remainder of the half was a midfield tussle and the Sudbury defence of Martin, Humphreys, Will Dudley and the evergreen Tim Blackburn restricted the Cambridge forwards to very few real opportunities.
Chrystal and Apter nearly combined on the stroke of half-time, but the ball crept past the post.
Sudbury dominated the second half with a professional showing and could have put the game beyond doubt early on, but some wasteful finishing and good goalkeeping kept Uni in the hunt.
When the home side were reduced to 10 men for a professional foul, Sudbury finally took the lead.
Chrystal scored his second from close range, but was then sinbinned himself after a coming together in the middle of the pitch.
The visitors played a professional half-court press for 10 minutes and Smith, in goal, was never tested as Sudbury took the three points.
n Sudbury II became the latest side to end up on the wrong end of a heavy scoreline at Divsion Three North East leaders Bury, going down 7-0 at Nowton Park.
In the first two minutes Bury took the lead with a solid reverse shot from an acute angle, catching gaolkeeper Sam Smith off guard.
Having gone in 3-0 down at the break, Sudbury started the second half solidly with some creative runs from Dan McGuinness up front, but he was not receiving the passes to get him through on goal.
Alfie Lawrence deservedly won the man-of-the-match award with a fantastic performance at right-back again, keeping the deficit to seven.
n In Division Six North East, Sudbury IV went down 4-3 at Norfolk Nomads.
In his first game for 20 years, Peter Thorogood produced a lively display.
Sudbury packed the midfield, but were still defending for most of the first 20 minutes before going 2-0 up, against the run of play, with goals from Alastair Ward and James Ward.
At half-time it was 2-1, but Nomads’ left winger — despite being injured — came back on to turn the game before Alastair Ward grabbed one back.
Harry Beard started to look the part in midfield, making the first goal, and David Partridge and Ben Appleby were excellent as always.