AFC Sudbury 0-4 Colchester United: Suffolk side's dream run ends at hands of U's
- Credit: Richard Blaxall
AFC Sudbury's dream run in the FA Cup was finally ended by efficient Colchester United at the first round proper stage, at a packed King's Marsh tonight.
The stadium was awash with yellow, and there was the odd firework lighting up the sky in the distance, but there were no fireworks on the pitch for the Suffolk hosts.
AFC Sudbury gave their League Two visitors a good run for their money, and more than held their own for the first 35 minutes, in front of the glare of the BBC TV cameras.
But there was to be no fairytale ending as quickfire goals by Brendan Wiredu and Freddie Sears, in the 36th and 39th minutes, effectively killed off this tie.
Sylvester Jasper added a third in the 72nd minute, and Shawn McCoulsky netted an injury-time fourth. to secure the U's first win in the FA Cup since a victory over Charlton in 2016, which had led to an encounter with Tottenham.
For AFC Sudbury, with joint managers Rick Andrews and Angelo Harrop at the helm, it was the end of the road in the world's most famous club Cup competition.
They had played five games to get so far, having beaten Cockfosters, Potton United, Stowmarket Town, Cheshunt and Dartford.
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Wiredu prodded the U's ahead in the 36th minute. Noah Chilvers' delivery into the box skimmed off the head of a home player and Wiredu steered home at the far post.
Almost immediately, before AFC Sudbury could recover their composure, they found themselves 2-0 down.
This time Wiredu turned provider and Sears did the rest with an accurate shot from 20 yards out which flew past keeper Joshua Blunkell. Jasper's quality finish, midway through the second half, made it a very comfortable last 20 minutes for the Essex side, with McCoulsky bagging the fourth at the death.
Earlier, there were a few nerves during a feisty start to the match, perhaps understandable, although it was the League Two U's who looked the more jittery early on.
Keeper Shamal George ventured off his line but failed to catch a free-kick pumped into then box by Reece Harris, on three minutes. George was out of position, but the loose ball would not fall kindly for the hosts.
George did far better with a smart save in the 10th minute, stretching low to his left to beat away a goalbound shot by Marley Andrews.
At the other end, leading scorer Sears threatened first for the visitors just 60 seconds later as his cleanly-struck low drive was blocked by Blunkell.
The U's were forced into an early change when Ryan Clampin limped off, to be replaced by Cameron Coxe at left-back on 11 minutes.
But they nearly broke the deadlock following a slick run by Armando Dobra, which ended with Wiredu poking a shot wide from a promising position on the quarter-hour mark.
It remained a tight encounter until two goals in quick succession from Wiredu and Sears had the U's 2-0 up and coasting by the 39th mark.
That momentarily knocked the stuffing out of AFC Sudbury, although they did have a sight of goal in first-half stoppage time, only for a free-kick by Harris, fired in from near the touchline, to be easily smothered by George.
It was a rather subdued start to the second period. The U's were content to boss possession, although AFC Sudbury did come close to halving the deficit in the 70th minute.
Jake Turner pumped a long free-kick into the danger zone and Christian Frimpong so nearly got on the end of it, but could just not quite connect with his outstretched boot.
And it was game over, just two minutes later, Jasper curling his angled shot over keeper from Dobra's short corner. That was a quality finish.
AFC Sudbury were denied a consolation when George kept out Joe Grimwood's shot with his boot, in front of his near post, before substitute McCoulsky netted an injury-time fourth.
AFC SUDBURY: Blunkell, Keys, Harris, Turner, Grimwood, O'Malley, Nyadzayo, Frimpong, Shaw (sub Gilchrist, 78), Temple (sub Clowsley, 54), Andrews (sub Hipkin, 69). Unused subs: Adams, Askew, Girling, Mayhew.
COLCHESTER: George, Tchamadeu, Chambers, Eastman, Clampin (sub Coxe, 12), Skuse (sub Cooper, 73), Wiredu, Chilvers, Dobra (sub McCoulsky, 73), Jasper (sub Hannant, 78), Sears (sub Nouble, 73). Unused subs: Welch-Hayes, Smith, Kennedy, Turner.
Referee: James Bell