Rutland 5 Sudbury 3
SUDBURY’S Jekyll and Hyde season continued with defeat to league strugglers Rutland.
Undefeated at home, Sudbury have found it tough on the road this season and travelled with a squad depleted through injury and unavailability, and Stuart Kevis drafted in at centre-back.
Playing a young and energetic Rutland side, Sudbury were once again slow to start, were pressurised early on and struggled to retain the ball. However Sudbury created the first chance as Ed Griffiths deflected the ball at close range only to see a defender clear off the line.
The home side retained possession well and were dangerous going forward, and from their first real attack the ball crept over the line off Sam Humphreys’ stick.
Sudbury had a number of chances to level, Leigh Bevan’s short corner strike was deflected wide of the post and the home keeper made some good saves to maintain the lead.
The home side extended their lead after a swift passing move bypassed the midfield and a first-time shot flew in at Smith’s near post before some poor marking found a Rutland forward clear in the D to make it 3-0. It could have been worse as the home side won a penalty corner on the stroke of half-time but Gavin Underhay proved his worth again running strongly to block the strike.
The half-time team talk emphasised Sudbury were still in the game and, had they taken their opportunities could easily have been level. After some stirring and colourful language from Burton the visitors flew out of the blocks, winning the ball and within 30 seconds Griffiths had squared to Charles Apter to touch home from two yards.
The visitors then scored a second as good work from Nick Keefe, who stepped in at right-back in the second half, found Bevan who released Griffiths to score from close range. Bevan then came close to equalising but his vicious strike flew over the crossbar.
The visitors were then reduced to 10 as Bosman was sin binned. The home side pressed but excellent work from Clubb, Burton and Apter supported by the forwards helped shore up the defence to give the visitors a chance of taking something from the game. But as Bosman returned the home side won a penalty corner and a crisp routine found the net via a far post tap-in.
Sudbury surged forward and Apter scored his second, touching home from close range. Bevan then saw his strike saved by the keeper who knew very little about it. With minutes remaining the home side put the game beyond Sudbury as a straight strike was deflected past Smith from point-blank range.
This week Sudbury entertain Cambridge City III knowing a win against the team directly below them will create some daylight to the four teams in the relegation places.