Weekend round-up: AFC Sudbury blow chance to keep pace with top five

ON TARGET: Payton Swatman
ON TARGET: Payton Swatman

Frustration greeted the final whistle at AFC Sudbury on Saturday as David Batch’s side created enough chances to win several games but ended up losing 3-1 to Romford.

It means The Yellows are now a whooping nine points off the play-off places with nine games to go.

After 12th-placed Boro scored twice from their only two shots in the first half, a Nick Reynold’s header and Paul Clayton’s sweeping finish, it took a goalkeeping error, dropping Sam Clarke’s shot to Payton Swatman to get AFC back in the game.

But they could not find the all-important equaliser and pouring forward, were hit on the counter in injury-time with Tom Richardson confirming the three points.

There was a positive on the day though as 17-year-old attacking midfielder Tom Wingfield came on for his first-team debut.

The former Long Melford player, who had started off in the AFC Sudbury youth ranks before switching to Stoneylands, showed some neat touches.

In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division Hadleigh United saw their lead at the top cut to eight points after losing their top two clash at Felixstowe and Walton United 4-1.

After first-half goals for the Seasiders’ from Danny Thrower and Ben Cranfield, Tom Dew and Rhys Barber add further strikes before Duane Wright netted a consolation.

In the First Division, Cornard United lost 5-1 at home to Swaffham Town (att 23), while promotion-chasers Halstead Town won 3-0 at home to Downham Town (att 107).

Long Melford beat Needham Market Reserves 3-2 at Stoneylands (att 50).

The Suffolk FA Under-18s team, featuring players from several local clubs including AFC Sudbury and Haldleigh United, reached the FA County Youth Cup Final by beating the Amateur Football Alliance 2-1 at Hadleigh United on Sunday afternoon.

Suffolk now play Lancashire at home in the final, scheduled for Ipswich Town’s Portman Road on Saturday, April 26.

Norwich City eased their relegation fears in the Barclays Premier League thanks to strikes from Robert Snodgrass and Alexander Tettey in their 2-0 triumph over Sunderland.

Ipswich Town’s bid to join them in the top flight earned a boost as second-half goals from Tommy Smith and Daryl Murphy helped them overcome Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 at the Amex in the Sky Bet Championship.

Ipswich have a crucial game at home to fellow play-off rivals Derby County on Tuesday (7.45pm).

In the rugby Sudbury lost 39-22 at Campion in London Three North East, but they keep hold of fourth place with two games to play.

* For a full round-up of local sport, including match action, reaction and previews to the week ahead, as well as our Talk of the Town Ipswich Town column, see Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press.