Clarke double sends AFC on way to convincing FA Trophy win

Latest sport news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter
Latest sport news from the Suffolk Free Press,, @sfpsudbury on Twitter



AFC Sudbury 5

Crawley Down Gatwick 0

by Pat Arbon

at The MEL Group Stadium

AFC Sudbury set up a trip to Hastings United in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy thanks to a convincing victory over their Ryman League Division One South opponents on Saturday.

With Josh Carus not available, Jack Cawley came into the defence while Payton Swatman started with Ricky Spriggs on the bench.

The hosts got off to a great start with inspirational skipper Sam Clarke scoring the opening goal with a looping header from Ben Lewis’ long throw-in from the right after five minutes.

Crawley looked dangerous on the break, but they got little change out of a sound AFC rearguard.

It was a different story at the other end where Sudbury continually looked threatening.

Jamie Forshaw did get the ball in the Crawley net, but it was disallowed for offside.

The pressure eventually paid off and they doubled their lead three minutes before the break when Jack Eden in the Crawley goal parried a shot and Clarke nipped in to score his second with a close-range tap-in.

Sudbury completely dominated the second half, forcing 13 corners to just one from the Sussex side.

Home keeper Alex Archer, who had been a spectator for long periods, tipped over Tom Howard-Bold’s shot to keep his second consecutive clean sheet.

Sudbury should have sealed the result within two minutes of the start of the second period when Forshaw broke clear with just keeper Eden to beat, but he shot tamely and the keeper saved.

This failed to stop a rampant home side from netting three further goals, all tap-ins from corners.

Ryan Henshaw made it 3-0 with the ball trickling under Eden and then Ben Thompson netted a fourth after Eden had blocked Swatman’s shot.

Eight minutes from time substitute Ryan Swallow sealed a convincing Sudbury victory when made it 5-0 with his first senior goal with a tap-in at the far post from a right-wing corner.

AFC: Archer, Lewis (N’Cho 73), Cawley, Mitchell, Crane, Henshaw, Forshaw (Cowley 68), Clarke (Swallow 79), Thompson, Daniels, Swatman. Unused subs: R Spriggs, Baker.

Free Press man of the match: Sam Clarke. Attendance: 181.