Parker uses his head to lift Yellows up to third place
DIVSION ONE NORTH
AFC Sudbury 2
Thamesmead Town 0
Craig Parker’s brace of headed goals, one in each half, won Tuesday’s match for the hosts to move them up to third in the league table.
This game was dominated by strong winds that made for near farcical conditions. But nevertheless it was an entertaining game for the 145 fans,and Sudbury were well worth their win against a team who came into the game on the back of an away victory against higher opposition in the FA Trophy on Saturday.
Sudbury manager Jamie Godbold made two changes from the side that started in Saturday’s defeat. Recent signing Joe Maybanks was given his first start and Jack Newman took on a midfield role. They replaced Robbie Martin and Ross Bailey who dropped to the bench.
Sudbury had the strong wind at their backs in the first half, but Thamesmead created the first chance after five minutes when Theo Fairweather-Johnson broke clear and forced keeper Marcus Garnham into the first of many fine saves on his way to keeping a welcome clean sheet.
But Sudbury soon made use of the strong wind and twice Maybanks went close as they piled on the pressure.
Parker was denied by a goal-line clearance, and Jordan Blackwell had a shot well saved before the deadlock was broken after 33 minutes when a corner was cleared only as far as Blackwell whose pin-point cross found Parker, and his stooping header beat keeper Andy Walker.
Early in the second period Thamesmead failed to take advantage of two poor defensive clearances. From one Garnham did well to tip over Leslie Thompson’s fierce drive.
As the half wore on Sudbury began to enjoy plenty of possession but Thamesmead always looked dangerous on the counter, and with ten minutes remaining Garnham did well to parry away Aaron Jeffrey’s close-range header.
In the next minute Sudbury sealed victory. The lively Maybanks was fouled near the left corner flag and Newman’s free kick was headed back into the danger area by Ryan Henshaw, and Parker stole in to head home his second goal to seal the points for his side.
AFC Sudbury: Garnham, Robinson, Mallardo, Berquez, Henshaw, Baker, Maybanks (Wales 84), Newman Callander (G Clarke 65), Parker, Blackwell. Unused subs: Martin, Bailey, S Clarke.
Free Press Man of the Match: Craig Parker – two great headed goals and midfield dynamo.
n Ollie Dunlop scored the winner in the 89th minute to see AFC Reserves home 2-1 against ten-man Great Yarmouth Town in the First Division of the Thurlow Nunn League.
Yarmouth defender Tom Daniels was sent off in the first half for a two-footed tackle, and the Yellows capitalised by taking the lead through Charlie Gilbert, lobbing the keeper just before the interval.
Yarmouth levelled early in the second half through Mitch Forbes, but Wayne Blackman set up Dunlop for a tap-in to clinch the points.
n AFC Sudbury Ladies beat Ipswich Wanderers 2-0 in the Eastern Region Women’s League, taking the lead after 12 minutes when Marie Seabrook set up Skye Ramsey to score from a corner.
AFC were quickly into their stride in the second half, Holly Harrison slotting a perfectly weighted ball for Sophie Jeffery to run on to and slide past the onrushing keeper after 51 minutes. Charley Roach hit the bar twice as AFC kept the pressure on.
n Week 29 winners in the AFC Gold fundraiser: £100 Mrs S Yarrow, 208, Golding Way, Glemsford; £10 Miss V Paxton, 230, Jubilee Rd, Sudbury; £10 Ms D Smith, 263, Catesby Meadow, Sudbury.