BOSTIK LEAGUE DIVISION ONE NORTH: AFC Sudbury 1 Ware 3
This game had a real end-of-the-season feel about it and fortunately the result would have no real bearing on it. A defeat by two goals against a team looking to put their relegation worries behind them.
They were the better team on the day driven on by a discarded ex-AFC player in Dave Cowley who controlled the game in midfield.
AFC had to make a change after the teams were put in, as during the warm up goalkeeper Paul Walker was declared unfit. He was carrying a knock but thought he would be ok for the game but something else went.
There was no other goalkeeper on the team sheet, indeed Luca Collins who would have deputised was himself injured, while the only other registered number one, Curtis Child is at university in Bournemouth.
The dilemma was solved when Academy central defender Milo Grimes took the gloves and green jersey having played one game previously some time ago between the posts. He went on to have a reasonable game but will want to forget the goal he conceded a minute from time.
For once in bright sunshine AFC attracted an attendance of nearly 250, however the majority will have gone away not highly entertained by the home side.
The Yellows started on the front foot and indeed it was some eight minutes before Grimes actually touched the ball, but there was no penetration with experienced striker Phil Kelly missing through injury.
Ware attacked and Tyler French had to be alert to keep Dominique Njoya to a weak shot that Grimes collected.
A Cowley free kick led to the opening goal, the ball bouncing around in the AFC penalty area not being cleared and Louis Bowen shot home.
Jordon Watson had a shot saved by Grimes and Njoya cleared an Ollie Peters cross before Sudbury equalised. Loan signing Callum Harrison picked the ball up in midfield and waltzed his way through the Ware defence before letting go a low shot that Harry Voss had no chance of saving.
So level at the break it was all to play for, but in reality there was only one side in it as the visitors took control with Cowley seeing more and more of the ball.
Ollie Gravett for AFC had a chance but shot when Peters was in a much better position and Billy Holland caused Voss to tip the ball onto the bar following a Joe Whight free-kick headed on by Mekhi McKenzie.
Grimes made a saves from Watson and then Gareth Madden had a shot that he pushed away however his defence failed to help him out and Damian Green fired home the Ware second.
AFC made changes with Ryan Horne, Kane Munday and Tom Dettmar coming on but they made little difference as the visitors enjoyed far more of the ball.
With a minute of normal time left, Grimes will want to forget what happened as from long-range Josh Oyibo shot and the ball slithered slowly through the stand in hands into the net. It was a pity it ended that way as he had done well under trying conditions.
So a defeat with only three games of the season left and the next game, an away local derby at Bury on Thursday (7.45pm).
AFC; - Milo Grimes, Sam Mills, Darryl Coakley, Billy Holland, Tyler French, Joe Whight, Ollie Gravett (sub 62 mins Ryan Horne), Joe Wright (sub 73 mins Kane Munday), Mekhi McKenzie, Callum Harrison (sub 76 mins Tom Dettmar), Ollie Peters Unused sub Ben Hunter.
MOM: Milo Grimes under the circumstances he did well despite the last goal.
• See Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press for reaction to the loss as well as a preview to Thursday’s derby at Bury Town