Spirited team display sees Sudbury claim three points

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Billericay Town 2

AFC Sudbury 3

AFC Sudbury put in what was without doubt their best performance of the season to bring a much-needed three points back from an icy Billericay on Tuesday.

The Essex hosts had brought a raft of new players in following the recent announcement that businessman Glenn Tamplin is to complete a takeover, but it was AFC’s team spirt and team ethic which shone through as they halted a run of back-to-back defeats.

The visitors were without the suspended pair of Jordan Blackwell and James Baker, with Alfie Carroll and Aidan Austin again filling the full-back roles.

On a pitch which was coated with a layer of frost, the home side started well and took the lead in the 10th minute. A Krasniqi long throw-in was only cleared into the path of Sam Clarke tried to clear only to see it fall to Johnson who fired home.

Carroll was soon on hand to clear a Taaffe shot off AFC’s the goal-line.

Dylan Williams was a lick of paint away from pulling the visitors level when a curling effort came back off the post, while Sam Bantick had an effort cleared off the line.

AFC got their equaliser five minutes before the break when, after some good work by Rob Eagle and Luke Callander, the ball came out to Williams, who hit a low shot past Giddens.

Three minutes later, a long ball out found Parker and then Eagle, who waltzed into the penalty area before unselfishly laying off to Callander to score from close range.

AFC stood firm to Billericay’s pressure at the start of the second half and created further chances on the break through Bantick, Williams and Austin, the latter’s shot deflected wide.

A third goal was soon to come and what a goal it was, as captain Sam Clarke lashed home from 20 yards with a great strike into the top corner.

Monville and Hubble both had shots for the hosts, one wide the other well over, as AFC looked good for their lead, while Sobers nearly put through his own net.

But Billericay set up a nervy finish, with Bricknell’s close-range bundled effort in the 90th minute, with Carroll twice clearing off the line to preserve all three points in stoppage-time.

AFC: Garnham, Carroll, Austin (Newman 74), Williams, Henshaw, Tann, Bantick (Wales 84), Clarke (c), Callander, Parker, Eagle (French 57), Unused subs: Dunlop, Robinson.

Free Press Man of the Match: Eighteen-year-old Dylan Williams again showed maturity and scored another fine goal.

Attendance: 273

n The AFC Gold winners for week 31 are: £100 (288) Mrs S Wilkinson, Woodthorpe Road, Hadleigh; £10 (328) J Godbold, AFC Sudbury; £10 (126) D Cowie, Old Court, Long Melford.