AFC Sudbury 1
AFC Sudbury stalwart James Baker conceded the Yellows were beaten by a more ruthless side in both penalty areas during Tuesday evening’s Suffolk derby.
In terms of possession there was very little to separate the two teams, but it was high-flying Leiston that created the better of the chances and until late on they limited their hosts to shots from outside of the box.
And the victors were also given a helping hand by Baker, who turned the ball into his own net to put the encounter out of Sudbury’s reach in the closing stages.
“Saying that they were more ruthless is probably a fair reflection, particularly in terms of them being better in both boxes,” said the versatile centre-back.
“We played well at certain points, but that bit of quality or rub of the green seemed to favour them at the key moments.
“They have done this for a number of years. At the minute, they are the yardstick for a team like us.
“The boys still believe in what we are trying to do and how we are going about it.
“We are learning all the time, but we do need to start turning that learning into points.”
Twelve minutes were on the clock when Leiston scored the goal that set Sudbury on their way to a third straight defeat in all competitions.
Full-back Oliver Brown made up plenty of ground down the right flank, before picking out Matt Blake inside the area. The striker burst beyond Baker and then drilled a shot through Marcus Garnham’s legs.
Garnham displayed good reflexes to deny Gareth Heath’s near-post header soon after, but there was no stopping the ex-Sudbury man 72 seconds after the restart.
A swift Leiston counter-attack ended with an overload at the back post, from where Heath stepped inside and curled into the bottom corner.
Presented with a two-goal deficit, Sudbury started to throw more caution to the wind. Midfielder Rob Eagle was particularly bright, twice forcing Leiston goalkeeper Jacob Marsden into action.
But committing more players forward always leaves a team susceptible to a sucker punch, and it arrived 12 minutes from time when Baker bundled in Patrick Brother’s cross.
Sudbury’s perseverance was at least rewarded in the 90th minute through substitute Liam Wales, who jinked into Leiston territory and retained his composure to get the better of Marsden.
Despite the defeat, Jamie Godbold’s side remain 16th in the table, three points above the relegation zone.
Sudbury: Garnham, Tann, Wilkinson (Blackwell 16), Williams, Henshaw, Baker, Bantick (Austin 50), Clarke, Callander (Wales 73), Parker, Eagle
Subs not used: Newman, Robinson
Free Press Man of the Match: Rob Eagle