AFC Sudbury good value for their late winner
- Credit: Archant
AFC Sudbury 2 Canvey Island 1
An 89th minute winning goal settled this match after the visitors had produced a smash-and-grab equaliser late in the second half.
This was AFC Sudbury's fourth league win of the season, moving them up to 13th in the table.
The re-structuring of the management/coaching team has provided fresh impetus and, although it proved to be a tight finish, the home side were by far the better team, having clearly benefited from a more positive style of play.
The squad personnel have changed little, but the subtle tactical approach against a far more experienced side proved significant, particularly on the eye, and was appreciably recognised by the 297 supporters who braved the relentless rain.
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Manager Mark Morsley has been brave in the changes to staff that he has implemented, particularly naming Danny Laws as his assistant, a master-stroke.
The hosts were in command from the outset with visiting keeper Lamar Johnson the busier by far. Callum Harrison went close on two occasions and Reece Harris sent a shot just wide, while Baris Altintop's free kick was headed wide by Joe Grimwood.
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There was greater emphasis on Morsley's team moving the ball far quicker than has generally been the norm, and keeping the Islanders under pressure.
However, when the visitors did break into wide positions, keeper Paul Walker acquitted himself with some excellent handling.
AFC Sudbury deservedly went ahead in the 34th minute when Harrison's free kick into the box resulted in an infringement by Alex Stephenson. Referee Aaron Farmer awarded a penalty, from which Tom Maycock converted.
They nearly extended the lead moments later when Sean Marks laid off a long clearance to Harris, who squared to Ben Hammett. He drilled a low shot which was blocked by the sprawling Johnson.
The Gulls exerted more pressure after the break, but the home side were resilient, although Walker was tested making a full length save to deny Albert Levett.
However, with eight minutes remaining, Kane Gilbert equalised with a header following Quwatobiloba Joseph's cross.
The Yellows intensified their efforts and were rewarded with what was a scrambled late winner from Grimwood, but it was the quality of performance that won the points.