DIVISION ONE NORTH
Leiston 1 AFC Sudbury 1
Pat Arbon reports from
MICHAEL Shinn’s equaliser deep into stoppage time deservedly earned Chris Tracey’s side a share of the spoils from Tuesday’s all-Suffolk encounter, to extend their unbeaten run to four games.
This match was a re-arranged after the initial fixture in September was abandoned through fog after just 26 minutes with free entery as a result seeing 327 fans turn up to witness an entertaining game.
Tracey made two changes. Defender Nathan Clarke, having served his one match ban, replaced Jemel Fox, who dropped to the bench, and midfielder Danny Emmanuel came in for the injured Robbie Martin.
Added spice to this fixture is that Leiston are managed by former AFC boss Mark Morsley and his team included numerous former AFC players.
There was little between the sides early on and with defences dominating chances were few and far between.
Leiston broke the deadlock after 22 minutes when AFC failed to defend a free-kick and the ball fell to Danny Smy who netted from close range.
Twice Michael Brothers wasted good opportunities to increase Leiston’s lead before AFC came close to getting an equaliser just before the break when Shinn’s free-kick was saved by the legs of Louis Johnson in the home goal.
Leiston had the better of the first half but AFC dominated after the break and they should have equalised after 52 minutes when Dave Wareham’s left wing cross found Jon Docker unmarked in front of goal but he headed wide when it seemed easier to score.
Leiston looked dangerous on the break and Rhys Henry was only denied by a great block from Steve Adams.
With 15 minutes remaining Leiston were reduced to ten men when former AFC defender Sheridan Driver was red carded for bringing down Emmanuel in full flight.
From then on, AFC piled on the pressure but they were unable to pierce the home defence. But with a minute of added time left AFC won a right wing corner. Keeper Danny Gay came up into a packed penalty area and the ball was partially cleared. It was put back in by Docker and latched on to by Shinn, who drove low from the edge of the area through a crowd of players to score a dramatic deserved equaliser off the foot of a post with almost the last kick of the game.
AFC Sudbury: Gay, Dalby, Sloots (Darg 80), Shinn, Adams (Fox 75), N Clarke, Emmanuel, S Clarke, Baker, Docker, Wareham. Unused subs: Henshaw, Howell and Wignall.