AFC Sudbury are denied all three points by Lowestoft Town
- Credit: Archant
Jake Reed scored a minute from time to rescue a point for Lowestoft Town in yesterday’s Suffolk derby at AFC Sudbury.
Dylan Williams looked to have secured all the points for AFC after his first-time shot put the hosts in front at the start of the second half.
But Reed headed home from Adam Smith’s free-kick in the 89th minute to earn the Trawlerboys a point at the Wardale Williams Stadium.
Both sides made three changes to their line-ups from the weekend, with AFC welcoming back Erkan Okay and Jack Wilkinson from suspension and injury respectively, while young winger Jordan Blackwell made his ninth start of the campaign.
Lowestoft welcomed back top scorer Reed from suspension, as well as Ipswich Town loanee Travis Cole and goalkeeper Jake Jessup, who was making his first start since September 3.
The two Suffolk rivals played out a four-goal thriller in the reverse league fixture back in late August, with Rob Eagle netting an injury-time equaliser to rescue a point for the Yellows.
Lowestoft were dealt a blow after just nine minutes when winger Chris Henderson was forced to come off with an injury, while Sudbury had to make a change after Blackwell left the pitch on a stretcher late in the first half.
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In a half of few chances it was Lowestoft who had the better of them. Harvey Hodd saw two efforts go over the target, the first of those which was blocked by the returning Wilkinson on 16 minutes, and the second a minute later flew over the crossbar.
Ryan Jarvis sent a free-kick wide of the Sudbury goal on 39 minutes, before AFC began to find some fluidity in the final third, with Williams and Eagle both having efforts go wide of the target.
During lengthy first-half stoppage time, Sudbury were calling for a penalty when Eagle went down in the box.
A neat move between substitute Alfie Carroll and Craig Parker released Eagle into the Lowestoft box, who went down under a challenge from the visiting defence but was deemed to have dived by the referee.
AFC have been susceptible to making slow starts after half-time in recent games, none more so than when they conceded two goals and had a player sent off in the first five minutes of the second-half in the 2-1 defeat at Needham Market on Boxing Day.
But barely 60 seconds had elapsed after the restart when Sudbury were celebrating taking the lead. A corner from Eagle was dummied by Parker and went into the path of Williams, who fired an unstoppable strike into the corner.
The goal was just what the game needed and both sides began to play with more freedom. Sam Bantick, who came on at half-time for Aidan Austin, made a driving run into the Lowestoft box and pulled the ball back for James Baker.
With Jessup having been called out to the danger of Bantick’s run, Baker fired at goal but was denied by the head of Harry Barker, who cleared the ball off the line.
Lowestoft never gave up and grabbed an equaliser with just one minute of normal time left on the clock. Smith’s free-kick was headed home by Reed.