VIDEO: AFC Sudbury U18s push Swindon Town all the way in FA Youth Cup
Watch the goals from AFC Sudbury Academy’s 3-2 extra-time FA Youth Cup defeat at Swindon Town’s County Ground on Saturday.
Danny Law’s side twice took the lead against the Football League club through Callum Watson but ultimately fell just short of setting up a dream home tie with QPR after Scott Twine struck a decider in injury-time.
AFC Sudbury Academy had ensured they had the perfect big-match preparation by travelling down on Friday night for an overnight stay.
The hosts had the first chance after two minutes of play when Jordan Young put his chip wide of the post. AFC seemed to bounce back with some good spells of play and on six minutes good attacking play from AFC lead to a shot just over the bar.
The Suffolk visitors continued with their attacking play and on eight minutes Watson picked up a loose ball from the Swindon defence and slotted the ball home.
After the goal the game settled down with both sides having good spells.
On 19 minutes Swindon had their first corner of the match and with a scrap and bodies flying everywhere in the box, Christian Frimpong found the back of the net.
The goal lead to Swindon enjoying 10 minutes of good play with AFC being limited to counter-attacks.
On 32 minutes AFC had a deflected shot superbly saved by the Swindon Town goalkeeper as the half ended all square.
AFC started the brighter in the second period, having two or three half chances which could have led to goals on another day.
The first real chance of the second half came on 56 minutes when some good play from the Swindon attackers forced AFC goalkeeper Curtis Child into making a fine save.
On 59 minutes AFC saw Sam Mills’ header cleared off the line and minutes later a shot went just wide of the post.
On 61 minutes some good play in the middle of the park led to a fine strike from Watson which looped over the Swindon ‘keeper’s head, crashing in off the underside of the bar. Wild celebrations ensued; the giant killing was on.
Moments later Child was called in to action to pull off a fantastic double save. First onto the bar, then from the headed rebound against the post, with Tyler French making the final clearance from close to the goalline.
A Swindon corner then saw a Tommy Ouldridge header cleared off the line.
The next chance did not come until the 84th minute when the hosts equalised again, this time with a strike from Scott Twine from outside the box.
Swindon had another chance on 85 minutes which was wide of the mark with no further efforts on goal meaning the tie went into extra-time.
Two minutes in AFC’s Ollie Dunlop had a free-kick which forced the Swindon goalkeeper into making a good save.
On 100 minutes Swindon had an attack which led to them taking the lead with another Twine goal.
AFC had a number of chances which did not lead to anything and the clock ticked down to its conclusion with no further goals.
With a fantastic run in The FA Youth Cup and a great effort on the day, the AFC Sudbury Academy players and staff should be proud of what they have achieved. This is not the end, but the beginning of the journey.
n See Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press for further pictures and reaction.