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Back-to-back defeats for AFC Sudbury in the Bostik League North Division after losing 2-0 at Witham Town

By Sport Sudbury

AFC Sudbury slumped to back-to-back defeats in the Bostik League North Division for the first time in 2018/19 after losing 2-0 at Witham Town.

SENT OFF: AFC Sudbury striker Phil Kelly was given his marching orders in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Witham Town
SENT OFF: AFC Sudbury striker Phil Kelly was given his marching orders in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Witham Town

A goal in each half from John Watson proved to be the difference at The Village Glass Stadium on a frustrating day for the Yellows, which saw them finish with 10 men after Phil Kelly was shown a straight red card late in the first half.

Sudbury manager Mark Morsley was sent to the stands after protesting the decision, with the visitors also being denied a penalty early in the second half with the score still at 1-0.

After seeing their four-match unbeaten league run come to an end the previous weekend, at home to Grays Athletic, the Yellows were back on the road at the weekend for a trip to bottom side Witham.

The Essex hosts had only one league win to their name heading into Saturday’s clash, way back on August 18, but boosted their survival chances with a first home league victory of the campaign.

Boss Morsley made three changes to the side which started in the previous weekend’s 3-2 defeat to Grays, as the trio of Liam Bennett, Callum Harrison and Paul Hayes all returned to the line up.

Billy Holland (suspended) and Joe Whight (injured) were both unavailable for the trip, while Tom Dettmar dropped to the bench.

Watson broke the deadlock on 17 minutes for the home side, before the game’s big talking point came on the stroke of half-time when AFC striker Kelly was sent off for violent conduct.

Morsley was then sent to the stands by the referee after contesting the decision to dismiss Kelly, as Sudbury went into the interval a goal behind and also a man down.

With their backs against the wall, the visitors improved after the break, but were made to feel even more hard done by when Harrison was brought down in the box, but a penalty was surprisingly not awarded.

The crucial second goal of the game came on 73 minutes, and it was Watson again on target. The 35-year-old fired home from 25 yards out to make it 2-0.

With time running out, Witham were awarded a penalty by the referee, before the decision was reversed following a consultation with the linesman, and AFC remained two goals behind.

But the 10 men of Sudbury could not find a way back into the game, as they tasted defeat for the second weekend running and saw the gap between them and the North Division play-offs stretch from eight to nine points.

AFC’s run of games against the division’s bottom four sides continues with a trip to Soham Town Rangers (18th) on Saturday (3pm).

l The week 31 winners of the AFC Gold fundraiser are as follows: 1st £100 (181) Mrs M Booker, Sudbury Rd, Lavenham; 2nd £10 (119) T Bagness, St Marys Close, Sudbury; 3rd £10 (161) Mrs A Bolitho, Greys Close, Cavendish.

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