Kelly strikes to lift AFC to highest spot since August
Heybridge Swifts 0
AFC Sudbury 1
AFC Sudbury went into this game on the back of a victory on Tuesday just a couple of miles away, and another dogged display saw them again come away with all three points.
It was only three minutes into the game when the all-important goal came, with recently recruited striker Phil Kelly adding to the goal with which he opened his Yellows account in mid-week.
After Mekhi McKenzie was fouled in the Heybridge half, captain Joe Whight took the free-kick and hoisted it into the Heybridge penalty area where Kelly was the first to react, guiding his header wide of goalkeeper Danny Sambridge.
Juan Luque had the first chance for the home side but shot well over following the free-kick.
Ex-AFC man Luke Callander was trying to get his side into the game but Tyler French was coping well with the burly frontman.
The second period saw Ryan Horne return to the pitch, having limped off following a challenge by Thomas Cooney late in the first half, but he was soon replaced by Max Booth.
With the wind in their favour and being a goal behind, as expected the hosts pressed forward at every opportunity but the defence stood firm.
With 22 minutes left Kelly had to go off and Milo Grimes came on as Sudbury went to a very youthful back five.
Luque shot over before Guillem Ramon and Kreshnic Krasniqi combined on the right for the Essex side, but again their effort was cleared.
With seven minutes remaining, from a corner Krasniqi shot wide as the back line remained solid.
There were five minutes of added time shown and the Swifts were camped in the AFC half trying desperately for the equaliser.
They had a breakaway and Harrison Chatting raced towards the Sudbury goal with only Paul Walker to beat, but the AFC number one came out diving low down to keep a clean sheet. It was the only real save he had to make all afternoon but it was a vital one.
A series of corners saw Sambridge, the Heybridge ‘keeper, up in the AFC penalty area and from one of those he had to hurry to get back as Grimes burst away down the left with Timothy Monsheju pursuing him.
There was still drama in the final minute as Peters had to go off with breathing difficulties and, to the annoyance of the home side, AFC were able to get Tom Dettmar on to replace him for the last few moments.
The final whistle went and it was three wins on the bounce for AFC, lifting them to 11th place in the table, the highest they have been since the first game of the season.
AFC: Walker, Mills, Clowsley, Holland, French, Whight (c), Peters (Dettmar 90’), Hunter, Kelly (Grimes 68’), McKenzie, Horne (Booth 55’). Unused sub: Miller. Attendance: 241
Free Press Man of the Match: Joe Whight solid game, especially after early booking.
• AFC Gold week 39 winners: £100 (183) E Nicols, The Street, Assington; £10 (169) K Bloomfield, Bridport Ave, Ipswich; £10 (162) M Senior, Ash Grove, Gt Cornard.