DIVISION ONE NORTH
Haringey Borough 1 AFC Sudbury 3
League leaders AFC extended their advantage at the summit to 12 points by overcoming Haringey Borough at a windy Chadfields on Sunday.
The Yellows, facing Haringey at the home of Tilbury, with their opponents’ pitch having been deemed unfit, took full advantage of Harlow Town having dropped two points the previous day, though the Essex side do have two games in hand.
The win meant a record 11 straight away victories for Jamie Godbold’s side and 12 unbeaten on the road, last tasting defeat on October 10, when they lost at Thurrock.
Manager Godbold was absent due to work commitments so Andy Reynolds was in charge and the team saw a couple of changes with leading scorer Craig Parker only fit enough for the bench. Joining him there was Jack Newman and Jordan Blackwell with Ollie Berquez starting along with Liam Wales and George Clarke.
The Tilbury pitch was spongy and had a strong wind blowing down it, which AFC started playing against.
Haringey had the ball in the AFC net in the second minute but it was chalked off for offside, but it was a warning that the young side meant business.
The wind was proving difficult for the AFC defenders with long balls in the air causing problems, particularly for Stefano Mallardo.
The ‘home’ side went in front on 12 minutes when Willer cut in from the right and shot home, the ball curling in at the far post.
AFC thought they had equalised on 21 minutes after a long throw was headed down onto the goal line with keeper Harris clawing at the ball there. Despite claiming it was over the line the officials waved play on.
Marcus Garnham came to AFC’s rescue when a defensive mix up allowed McDonald to get away with a clear sight of goal, the keeper came out well and made a great save to deny him. The same player had another effort go over the bar before eventually Sudbury levelled.
With the half coming to an end, Joe Maybanks on the right put in a cross that Liam Wales ran onto and from close range got it over the line.
With the wind at their backs, AFC began to play some better football and Maybanks had a chance to score after a good ball from George Clarke, but it went over.
Garnham then produced a save of the highest quality to keep the scores even. A fierce shot from Aristidou was destined for the top right hand corner of the goal but the Sudbury keeper leapt to his left and finger tipped the ball away for a corner.
Luke Callander took over from George Clarke and few minutes later Sudbury were in front. James Baker headed the ball to Wales on the right and his cross found Maybanks, who side footed home.
Wales and Mallardo went off, with Newman and Blackwell replacing them.
Maybanks virtually sealed the game with his second goal on 79 minutes after Newman and Callander had got the ball to him. It seemed that Maybanks would get a hat trick a few minutes later when he was clear in front of goal but his shot struck the post and rolled away.
Haringey should have added a second goal just before the final whistle, but again it was Garnham’s agility that saved the day.
Three points gained as the season’s end is in sight, 10 games left to secure promotion.
AFC: Garnham, Robinson, Wilkinson, Berquez, Henshaw, Mallardo (Blackwell 72), Maybanks, Clarke S, Baker, Clarke G (Callander 66), Wales (Newman 72) unused subs: Bailey, Parker. Free Press Man of the Match: Marcus Garnham. Great saves at crucial times.