Parker’s hat-trick helps to extend leader’s advantage
DIVISION ONE NORTH
Redbridge 0 AFC Sudbury 4
Jamie Godbold’s table-toppers extended their unbeaten league run to 12 games, including 11 wins, with a convincing victory away at lowly Redbridge on Saturday.
A good day, which included a Craig Parker hat-trick, was topped off by other results going in Sudbury’s favour, to see their lead at the top extended to seven points (ahead of AFC Hornchurch’s 0-0 draw with Tilbury on Tuesday cutting it back to six).
The Sudbury victory would have been even greater but for a fine display by Sam Sargent in the Redbridge goal, but he had no chance when Sudbury opened the scoring in the second minute through Parker, who scored from the penalty spot after George Clarke had been fouled.
Throughout the game, Redbridge rarely threatened but Sudbury keeper Marcus Garnham had to be at his best to keep out an effort by Jay Knight before Sudbury doubled their lead after 20 minutes when Luke Callander netted after latching on to a fine pass from Clarke.
The above-average crowd of 93, swelled by the many travelling Sudbury supporters, saw mainly one-way traffic on the Redbridge goal and only a fine tip-over save by Sargent kept out a fierce drive by Clarke.
However, Sargent was powerless to prevent Parker from making it 3-0 with his second goal of the game six minutes before the break. He headed home from close range after a left wing corner was knocked back into the danger area by Jordan Blackwell.
Numerous fine saves by Sargent prevented further goals, yet he was beaten for a fourth time after 72 minutes when Parker converted his second penalty after a foul had been committed on Sam Clarke.
With seven minutes remaining, manager Godbold, who had named himself among the substitutes, came on for a cameo appearance for what was his first-team debut in Sudbury colours.
Redbridge had a great chance for a consolation goal two minutes from time when they were awarded a penalty after Reside Coxi-Sebastfao was adjudged to have been fouled as he broke into the box. But, keeper Garnham, who had been a spectator for long periods of the afternoon, went full length to his right to save Knight’s spot kick to ensure his clean sheet remained intact.
AFC Sudbury: Garnham, Mallardo, Wilkinson, Newman, Henshaw (Maybanks 46), Baker, Blackwell (Wales 72), S Clarke, Callander (Godbold 83), Parker, G Clarke. Unused sub: Reynolds (gk).
Free Press MoM: George Clarke – heavily involved throughout and unlucky not to get on the scoresheet. Yellow cards: Sam Clarke & Jack Newman (tackles).