A GOAL by 10-men Harlow Town five minutes into stoppage time left AFC Sudbury empty-handed at The MEL Group Stadium on Saturday.
Nicky Smith’s men suffered their second straight league defeat after Robbie Martin’s fine solo effort was wiped out by strikes from Luke Marshall and then a dramatic winner from Rhys Henry to leave the Yellows eight points behind leaders Grays Athletic, before they travel to face them on Wednesday (7.45pm).
Halstead Town had the pick of the local results in the FA Vase first qualifying round, with a 6-2 win at Ridgeons League Premier Division side Wivenhoe Town.
Hadleigh United lost to lower-league Stowmarket Town 3-1 at Millfield, in front of a crowd of 101, while Long Melford went out of the competition after a 2-0 defeat at Thetford Town.
Cornard United, not in FA Vase action after receiving a bye, drew 1-1 at Ipswich Wanderers in the Ridgeons First Division.
In the rugby, Sudbury got off to a winning start following relegation last season, narrowly overcoming Wanstead at Whitome Field 15-13.
In the cricket, Sudbury’s penultimate league game saw them lose at leaders Cambridge Granta, who batted first, by 64 runs.
Oversea professional Hasantha Fernando was the star man for the Talbots, taking five wickets and scoring 75 runs, but Sudbury’s reply of 150 proved to be not enough.
In the Premier League, Norwich City lost 1-0 at home to West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, despite young Declan Rudd pulling off a fine penalty save.
Ipswich Town lost 2-0 at Blackpool in their Championship fixture on Saturday, only registering their first shot on target in second half injury time, leaving little cheer for the 1,500 fans who had taken up the club’s offer of free coach travel following the shambolic 7-1 defeat to Peterborough.
* FOR a full round-up of results, including match action, reaction and previews for the week ahead, see Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press.