AFC Sudbury rue missed chances against stern Heybridge Swifts

AFC Sudbury skipper Sam Clarke congratulates Craig Parker on scoring against Soham Town Rangers earl

AFC Sudbury skipper Sam Clarke congratulates Craig Parker on scoring against Soham Town Rangers earlier this season. Parker was on target for the Yellows last night. - Credit: Archant

Heybridge Swifts 1 AFC Sudbury 1

AFC Sudbury were made to rue missed chances and rejected penalty appeals as they were held to a 1-1 draw with Heybridge Swifts last night.

Craig Parker cancelled out Raphael Duyile’s opener as Sudbury dominated for most of the Ryman North Division match, but couldn’t find a way past a Heybridge outfit made of stern stuff under new boss Jody Brown.

The hosts started the sharper with Duyile twisting and turning Jack Newman before forcing Luis Tibbles, making his first competitive start for the Yellows, with a sprawling sixth-minute save.

Duyile didn’t have to wait too long for his moment to come though as he opened the scoring in the 12th minute after latching onto Troy Williams’ through ball and easily rounding Tibbles to net.

Sudbury, who were heavily defeated 5-1 at Thurrock on Saturday, equalised in the 27th minute.

After Luke Callander couldn’t finish Wayne Blackman’s precise cross, referee Stuart Franklin awarded a corner kick, despite Callander appearing to get the final touch.

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Sudbury talisman Parker climbed highest from the set-piece to get his side back on level terms, and two minutes later, the Suffolk side were incensed after referee Franklin turned away strong penalty claims for handball.

Goalkeeper Sam Cowler flapped at Callander’s cross, with Taylor Hastings picturing a rather guilty face in the aftermath, but Franklin was uninterested.

A sublime piece of initiative and close control from Callander saw the striker arrow a dangerous 39th-minute half-volley goalwards, but Cowler was equal to the effort, with the stopper preventing Sam Bantick moments later as Sudbury ended the half on top.

Sudbury saw yet more penalty claims waved away when Bantick seemed to be sandwiched in the 48th minute, before Callander’s driving run and shot flashed wide shortly after.

Billy Hunt blazed an inviting opportunity wide for Heybridge in the 53rd minute, before Blackman spurned a good chance for Sudbury eight minutes later, with Callander also failing to find a one-on-one finish in the 60th minute.

A quick-thinking 40-yard effort from Hunt struck the post after Ben Robinson conceded possession with Tibbles absent, before Sudbury saw an amusing goal chalked off when an offside Blackman inadvertently blocked Parker’s goal-bound shot, with the Sudbury number 10 finding the net on the rebound.

Callander saw another penalty claim dismissed, before Robinson narrowly arrowed wide in the 78th minute, and Parker twice miscued as Sudbury couldn’t make their pressure pay in an entertaining draw.

Elsewhere last night, Maldon & Tiptree lost 2-0 to Thurrock, while Phil Kelly’s double helped Brightlingsea Regent defeat Needham Market 3-1 in the Alan Turvey Trophy.

Heybridge Swifts: Cowler, Hastings, Peters, Morrison(c), Thomas, Smith, Gayle (Andrew 84), Pinto, Williams, Duyile, Hunt (Barham 74).

Unused subs: Grimsey, Hayes.

AFC Sudbury: Tibbles, Robinson, Newman (Martin 45), Mallardo, Baker, Clarke (c), Bailey (Berquez 86), Bantick, Blackman (Wales 71), Parker, Callander.

Unused subs: Godbold, Bowles.

Attendance: 108.

Referee: Mr. Stuart Franklin.

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