Cruel defeat for Sudbury as Bantik buries penalty in injury-time
AFC Sudbury 0 Heybridge Swifts 1 AFC Sudbury were denied the point that they richly deserved at the Kings Marsh Stadium when a penalty in the fourth minute of added time gave the Essex side a fortunate victory in this clash, writes John Campany.
Mark Morsley’s side were unchanged following their win at Tilbury last week, but were hosting a vastly-experienced Scraley Road outfit whose exploits in the FA Cup last season were well-documented.
Indeed Jody Brown’s side, one of the favourites for promotion this season, had the edge in the first period whilst the young and polished home side held the advantage after the break.
In an absorbing contest, the crowd of 285 warmed to the quality football played throughout that saw the home side go close when Phil Kelly‘s header was saved by Danny Sambridge, whilst at the other end Paul Walker tipped over Harrison Chatting’s shot cum–cross.
Jey Siva struck a powerful effort against the bar and Walker saved well from Abouhadje Kouassi. Moments later the same player shot wide of the far post and Walker then denied Sam Bantik from close in as the visitors looked the more likely, but it was all square at the interval.
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Recent new signing Paul Hayes replaced Joe Grimwood for the second half and showed class, particularly when Kelly released him and from the edge of the box he shot narrowly wide.
Hayes then crossed for Jordan Blackwell, who went close as the home side tested the visitors with some attacking football and little was seen from Swifts as a real threat against a resilient and organised home team.
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A well-taken free kick from Callum Harrison was brilliantly saved by Sambridge and then an inch perfect ball into the box was met with Kelly’s timely run whose ensuing header beat the advancing keeper only for the ball to strike the bar.
The tireless Kelly, through on goal, was again thwarted by the keeper as Morsley’s men searched for the winner and then in added time Harrison again tested the visiting custodian.
However, with seconds remaining the unfortunate Ben Hunter fouled Sam Bantik, the-ex Sudbury favourite, who then stepped up to beat Walker from the spot.