Below-par AFC Sudbury suffer poor defeat at Hullbridge Sports
- Credit: Archant
Hullbridge Sports 2 AFC Sudbury 0
AFC Sudbury delivered their second successive below-par performance, in defeat at newly-promoted Hullbridge Sports at Lower Road this afternoon.
Mark Morsley's side, knocked out of the FA Cup at home to Deeping Rangers in midweek, were undone by a goal in each half from Luke Hornsey (30) and Timo Monshejo (63).
The visitors rarely threatened to score, in hot sunshine and on a bumpy pitch, despite having a lot of the ball.
Certainly, they will have to improve dramatically on Tuesday night, if they are to avoid defeat at Suffolk rivals Bury Town in the local derby.
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The Bridge, who won the Essex Senior League title last season, were clinical in their finishing on the break, and have now won two on the spin following their victory at Cambridge City.
AFC Sudbury bossed the possession in the first half, without playing any fluent football on a tricky surface, and they found themselves trailing at the break.
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After a scrappy opening, Sean Marks volleyed the ball down into the path of Tom Maycock, on the edge of the six-yard box on 12 minutes, but a defender stuck out a boot to clear behind for a corner, before the Sudbury youngster could pounce.
Three minutes later and a frustrated Marks volleyed an optimistic 20-yarder high over the bar, as the Suffolk side struggled to really hurt their hosts.
At the other end, Paul Walker pulled off a fine reflex save to deny the Bridge an opening goal in the 17th minute. He kept out Joe Wright's close-range, goalbound shot with an instinctive save.
AFC Sudbury actually had the ball in the back of the net, in the 25th minute, thanks to Harry Critchley's spectacular volley at the far post, but the assistant referee had already raised his flag for offside.
Five minutes later and Hullbridge took the lead. An unmarked Hornsey met Tim Monshejo's pinpoint cross with a flying header that proved too powerful for Walker to keep out.
That goal arrived against the run of play, but the visitors never threatened an equaliser for the rest of the first half, while Bridge right-back Courtney Homans was unlucky to see his cross-cum-shot fly narrowly over the bar and onto the top of the net, in the 43rd minute.
It didn't get much better in the second half, either, for Morsley's men, and Wright very nearly doubled Hullbridge's lead in the 52nd minute with a header that looped only inches over the bar.
Morsley made a triple substitution, just before the hour mark, and shortly afterwards Marks flashed a powerful header narrowly wide of target with what proved to be Sudbury's closest attempt to a goal all afternoon.
The Essex side showed Sudbury how to finish, in the 63rd minute, when Monshejo doubled their lead to effectively wrap up the points.
Monshejo latched onto a long through ball and turned inside defender Joe Whight before curling his shot beyond the reach of keeper Walker. It was a terrific finish.
Only a fine diving save from Walker, to thwart substitute Bertie Brayley, prevented a third goal in the 86th minute.
HULLBRIDGE SPORTS: Greene, Homans, Rose, Okah, Gumbs, Okunja, Monshejo (sub Sotoyinbo, 73), Wright (sub Adelani, 89), Whitby, Salmon (sub Brayley, 84). Unused subs: Baxter, Salako.
AFC SUDBURY: Walker, Bennett, Critchley, Althintop, O'Malley (sub Harvey, 59), Holland, Dettmar (sub Whight, 59), Hammett (sub Girling, 59), Marks, Maycock, Hunter. Unused subs: King, Grimwood.
Meanwhile, BURY TOWN were held to a 1-1 draw by Brentwood Town in an Isthmian North clash at Ram Meadow.
Cemal Ramadan slotted home a fourth minute penalty to put Bury 1-0 up, and in the driving seat - they had begun the day in second spot in the table.
However Brentwood, who had lost their first four games of the season, equalised just four minutes later through Andrew Freeman to earn their first point of the campaign.
Also in the Isthmian North, FELIXSTOWE & WALTON UNITED beat Cambridge City 3-1 at home.
It wasn't until the second half that The Seasiders really imposed themselves after what was a scrappy first 45 minutes.
The battling second-half performance, however, saw all three points going Felixstowe's way.
It was Cambridge who took the lead when Matt Sparrow lobbed keeper Jack Spurling on the half-hour, but a Nick Ingram conversion from the spot just before the break saw the teams go in level at the break.
The second half was better from Felixstowe with Jordy Matthews adding a second on the hour mark and captain Dan Davis adding to the goal count five minutes later for a 3-1 success.
On balance Felixstowe deserved the win but it wasn't a game for the purists to be fair.
There were defeats for both NEEDHAM MARKET AND LEISTON in the Southern League Premier Central.
Basement dwellers Leiston were well-beaten 5-1 at Stourbridge in the West Midlands, despite taking the lead via Quevin Castro's 25-yard opener.
Needham lost 3-2 at home to Barwell. Putmore scored for the visitors on the stroke of half-time, and although Joe Marsden equalised through a 55th minute penalty, Barwell netted twice more before Gareth Heath netted an 87th minute consolation.