AFC just hold on after squandering big lead

STEADY SHIP: Ben Hunter worked hard, scoring two good goals for AFC
STEADY SHIP: Ben Hunter worked hard, scoring two good goals for AFC

BOSTIK LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE NORTH

AFC Sudbury 4

Bowers and Pitsea 3

A game that warmed the crowd on a cold afternoon, and the home supporters went away happy that at the end of a seven-goal thriller their side had come out on top, but only just, writes Tony Simpson.

AFC had gone in at the break on Saturday leading by four goals, and had the half-time whistle not come would surely have scored more.

The break did the Essex visitors the power of good as they came out pressurising the young Sudbury side and scoring three times.

The ship was steadied in the final 15 minutes as AFC got their passing football back together and saw out the game for three points and a climb of two places in the table.

A 12th minute goal by loanee Max Booth, who collected a great diagonal ball from Tyler French and cut inside and fired past Callum Chafer, set AFC on their way.

Lewis Manor forced Paul Walker to fingertip a shot away to concede a corner before 16 year-old Tom Maycock and Gavin Peters combined for the hosts, with the latter shooting over the bar.

With 31 minutes on the clock, Reece Dobson showed why manager Mark Morsley recruited him as he finished off a great move involving Maycock and Booth.

Two minutes later Ben Hunter was on the scoresheet when he fired from distance, giving Chafer no chance.

David Knight, for the visitors, was endeavouring to get his side back in it, with a shot that was wide of the mark.

Booth and Dodson were both looking sharp for AFC but it was Hunter who put the icing on the first half cake as he again shot from distance, with the ball striking the posts and beating Chafer to put the home side four goals up.

As expected, Bowers came out with far more intensity and Manor struck the AFC bar. After 50 minutes Joe Walker was ruled to have handled in the penalty area. Knight duly dispatched the spot-kick, and 15 minutes later a ball into the box found the feet of Ben Sartain, who slid it past Walker.

Maycock had an effort saved before Walker had to make a fine save to deny Knight. Milo Grimes came on for AFC but allowed the ball to run past him for Knight to steal in and slide it past the advancing Walker.

AFC Sudbury: P Walker, Mills, J Walker, Holland, French, Whight, Hunter, Peters, Maycock (Grimes 71), Dobson, Booth (Eaton-Collins 88). Subs not used: Colclough, Mundawarara, Collins.

Attendance: 244

Man of the match: Ben Hunter. Worked hard all 90 minutes, and scored two good goals