Heartbreak in Hertfordshire for young Sudbury side

SO CLOSE: Mekhi McKenzie saw this header clip the crossbar during Saturday's draw at Ware in the Bostik League Division One North
SO CLOSE: Mekhi McKenzie saw this header clip the crossbar during Saturday's draw at Ware in the Bostik League Division One North

BOSTIK LEAGUE

DIVISION ONE NORTH

GOLDEN CHANCE: Captain Joe Whight sends the rebound from his saved penalty over at Ware

GOLDEN CHANCE: Captain Joe Whight sends the rebound from his saved penalty over at Ware

Ware 1 AFC Sudbury 1

by Tony Simpson

Only a stoppage-time equaliser prevented AFC Sudbury from leap-frogging their 15th placed hosts in Hertfordshire.

A sixth-minute goal from Jamie Eaton-Collins had seen the Suffolk side in front, and they looked good enough for all the spoils until the home side’s heartbreaking stoppage-time leveller from Murat Karagul, which came shortly after Tyler French received his marching orders for a second yellow card.

Sudbury manager Mark Morsley again had to go with just a couple of senior players and gave a debut to another academy youngster, in central defender Milo Grimes.

Playing on a testing pitch, following heavy morning rain, AFC quickly got their noses in front when Eaton-Collins, playing as part of a front three with Mekhi McKenzie and Max Booth, went through the heart of the Ware defence and goalkeeper Tom Coulton before sliding the ball home for his third AFC goal.

Barely five minutes later and AFC were awarded a penalty after Coulton up-ended Eaton-Collins, who was shown a yellow card.

AFC captain Joe Whight saw his penalty saved before firing over the rebound.

In-form AFC goalkeeper Paul Walker was called into action to push away Yannick Kamanan’s header before saving a fierce drive from Ahmed Abdullah.

It was the visitors who dominated the second period, with their lead a lick of paint from being doubled when the impressive Peters beat two defenders before finding loanee Booth, whose shot hit the Ware post.

From a Peters corner McKenzie then saw his header bounce off the crossbar.

Just past the hour mark Walker had to again be alert as he pushed away a long-range shot from Alaa Oudji and then had to watch as Marcus Milner fired narrowly wide of the AFC post.

Karagul fired in a cross-cum-shot that saw the ball pinged against Paul Walker’s left-hand post and bounce away late on.

But after Sudbury were reduced to 10 men in the 90th minute, following defender French’s two yellow cards, they were denied all three points deep into a long stoppage-time period when Karagul headed in Oudji’s cross from within a crowded box.

AFC: P Walker, Mills, Clowsley, Grimes, French, Whight, Dettmar, Peters, Eaton-Collins, McKenzie, Booth (Carroll 90’). Unused subs: Henry, J Walker, Hunter, Mundawarara.

Attendance: 101

Free Press Man of The Match: Ollie Peters showed some nice skills in midfield.