RYMAN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE NORTH: AFC Sudbury 0 Dereham Town 2
DIVISION ONE NORTH
AFC Sudbury 0
Dereham Town 2
Ben Robinson felt his new side were highly unlucky not to get a result on his full debut on Tuesday, as he bid to make the right-back spot his own.
There were always likely to be goals between two sides who both conceded six on Saturday, but it was only a harsh-looking penalty in the opening minutes, converted by Luke Tuttle, and a late close-range finish from Sam Borrer which settled the game in Dereham Town’s favour.
AFC, who had to play out the last 19 minutes with 10 men after Kris Newby lashed out at Ryan Hawkins, controlled possession but left Andrew Wilton with very little to do in the Dereham goal.
“The ball just did not fall to us in the box,” said former Cambridge City Reserves player Robinson, the 21-year-old who signed last Friday from Haverhill Rovers. “Sometimes they don’t and tonight it did not happen for us.
“We will all stick together and move on to Saturday and we will be fine.”
The sports coaching student at Anglia Ruskin University, who has James Baker as a tutor and Alex Archer as a fellow course mate, admitted to being bemused by the first of two penalties the Norfolk visitors were awarded, which immediately had David Batch’s side on the backfoot.
“Half of us turned around as our goalie had the ball and he gave a penalty,” said Robinson, who played in midfield at Haverhill but hopes to take the chance of nailing down a spot at right-back. “No-one really knew what happened.
“I have not spoke to Flynny (Lee Flynn), who gave it away.
“The second one was a bit more of a penalty and from my position I could see why he gave it.
“Popey (Craig Pope) just grabbed his shoulder a little bit and some would give it.”
Robinson was handed his first start along with recent addition Ryan Hervel, while Terry Rymer, whose capture from lower-league FC Clacton was only announced on the day, went straight in up front as part of four changes from Saturday’s 6-2 defeat.
Bad hold-ups on the A12 left Sam Clarke to start from the bench with Pope wearing the captain’s armband and Lawrence Yiga returning from an Achilles injury in an unfamiliar holding midfield role.
Ryan Maxwell (hamstring) and Michael Shinn were left out and Aryton Coley dropped to the bench as Kris Newby moved forward as part of a front two.
Another sparse home crowd saw their team got off to an opposing start to what they witnessed on Saturday.
There was only two minutes and 30 seconds on the clock when referee Jonathan Burridge surprised them by pointing to the spot after Hawkins had seemingly brushed inside of Flynn’s laboured attempt to keep pace with him before the ball broke for Archer to gather.
The Sudbury goalkeeper went the right way and got a hand to Tuttle’s kick, but could not keep it out.
Dereham continued to get early joy down their right-hand side and Batch replaced veteran Flynn, who it was later revealed had tweaked his hamstring, with Jack Wilkinson.
A Tuttle cheeky backheel was easily gathered before AFC carved out their first chance with the lively Correy Davidson seeing his fizzing angled drive deflected wide.
Payton Swatman had to make a good block after the visitors skipped through a host of defenders, while Rymer almost had a stunning opportunistic debut goal with his long-range curling shot on the turn whistling just over the angle of post and bar.
Ex-AFC man Craig Bussens should have doubled his side’s lead when breaking through from a home corner, but he lifted his shot over the bar.
The second half saw the hosts continue to dictate the game but Swatman blazed over from close range before Clarke, on for the restart, finally registered the side’s first shot on target two minutes before the hour mark, with Wilton blocking with his legs.
The visitors were awarded a second penalty to big AFC protests after 66 minutes, with Roberts going down before sending the kick well over.
The game had already taken on a nasty atmosphere from a Baker challenge on Wilton by the time Newby floored Hawkins off the ball, with the referee reaching straight for a red card.
Toby Hilliard headed over as Dereham looked to make their advantage count while Davidson found Wilton’s hands from a low volley at the other end.
But despite Rymer rattling the crossbar shortly after, the visitors put the game beyond doubt in the first minute of stoppage time when they were allowed to work a short corner too easily into the box for Borrer to convert from close range and condemn AFC to their third straight home defeat in all competitions.
alex archer 6
Not at fault for either of the goals.
ben robinson 6
Largely comfortable on first start.
lee flynn 5
Penalty seemed harsh. Poor start but soon went off with hamstring problem.
ryan hervel 6
Quiet performance from player who has graced much higher level.
james baker 8
Stood out at back, but missed upfront.
craig pope 6
Stand-in skipper faded as game went on.
kris newby 6
AFC’s most dangerous player up until his stupid sending off.
lawrence yiga 5
Didn’t look match fit. In unusual position.
terry rymer 7
All good debut lacked was a goal.
payton swatman 7
A box-to-box display from youngster.
corey davidson 8
Man of the match
Direct running and crosses caused panic.
(for flynn 9) 7
Linked up well down left with Davidson.
(for yiga 46) 7
Shame his journey prevented a start.
Shots on 2 5
Shots off 7 3
Woodwork 1 0
Corners 6 2
Offsides 2 1
FK conceded 10 7
Bookings: afc: none. dereham: Hilliard (foul).
Red cards: afc: newby (violent conduct).
Referee: jonathan burridge.
AFC have only won one game out of five (three defeats) at home in the league this season.