Injury-hit AFC caught on the break by Leatherhead
AFC Sudbury 1
AFC Sudbury suffered back-to-back defeats in the league after Jimmy Bullard’s visitors made the trip back to Leatherhead will all three points in tow on Saturday.
Sudbury defender Ryan Henshaw was suspended and Stefano Mallardo stepped into the defence alongside Adam Tann, while Craig Parker started the game after his recent ankle problem.
The lowly visitors belied their recent form to go away from Suffolk with all three points, giving their new celebrity manager Bullard his first victory, despite getting himself sent off.
Early action saw Mallardo booked for a trip on the visitors’ experienced ex-Ipswich Town man David Norris.
Leatherhead had a good chance to go ahead on seven minutes when Tom Bradbrook got away, but AFC keeper Marcus Garnham made a great save to deny him.
Sudbury countered, and from a corner Tann headed wide of Taylor in the visiting goal. Rob Eagle put in a delightful diagonal ball to Sam Bantick on the right wing, and he crossed to find Jack Wilkinson, but the full-back fired over.
Leatherhead took the lead in the 21st minute when Evan Lopes took advantage of a slip by James Baker and found room in the penalty area to shoot home.
Eagle cut into the box and shot, but Taylor stuck out an arm to deny him. Parker shot wide after a free kick, and Mallardo headed over from a corner.
AFC got more momentum into their game in the second half, and a goal came on 56 minutes. Eagle clipped a ball into the box, and Liam Wales beat a defender before lobbing the advancing Taylor in the visitors’ goal.
Tann found his way into the referee’s notebook for pulling over Healey.
There was controversy in the 73rd minute as Tann tackled Callum Davies in the penalty area. Play was waved on, but Bullard came onto the pitch to remonstrate, along with the club’s coach. Bradbrook, who had been already been substituted, took off his shirt and threw it on the pitch. He was sent off, and Bullard and the coach sent to the stands.
The visitors were not deterred, and with the home side pushing forward they scored the decisive goal. A breakaway found Davies up against Wilkinson, and the tricky forward found a way past, slotting the ball wide of Garnham.
AFC Sudbury: Garnham, Robinson, Wilkinson, Tann, Mallardo, Baker, Bantick (French 74), Newman, Wales, Parker, Eagle. Subs not used: Clarke, Greene, Callander, Robinson
Free Press Man of the Match: Adam Tann. Used his experience on a bad day at the office for others.