Gallery: AFC Sudbury progress in FA Trophy, setting up Braintree Town tie, after St Neots win
- Credit: Archant
Lawrence Yiga’s stunning strike earned AFC Sudbury a date with East Anglian rivals Braintree Town, following last night’s absorbing FA Trophy third qualifying round replay.
Midfielder Yiga scored a candidate for goal of the season, his 30-yard shot swerving spectacularly into the top corner of the net. It was a goal worthy of winning any match.
Poor keeper Paul Bastock had no chance. The 44-year-old Bastock has seen most things in his long career, but the ex-Boston United stalwart could rarely have been beaten by a sweeter strike.
Yiga’s corker arrived early in the second half, on 48 minutes, but the Ryman Oneorth hosts then defended stoically to keep the visitors at bay.
AFC Sudbury’s reward is a first round proper tie, away at Conference club Braintree Town on December 13.
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Sudbury went close on a couple of occasions in a very even first half.
Jack Wilkinson, operating as a left winger, caused a stir with a rasping 25-yarder on eight minutes. Pouncing on a half-cleared corner, Wilkinson’s rocket was clawed over the bar by keeper Bastock.
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Just before the half-hour mark and the hosts threatened again. Wilkinson’s pinpoint cross was flicked on by Terry Rymer, the ball flashing across the face of goal and agonisingly wide of the far post, with the onrushing Jordan Blackwell arriving just a split-second too late to divert home.
St Neots had their moments as well. There was danger when Ryan Henshaw conceded a free-kick, 25 yards from goal, but the experienced Matthew Spring, who had netted an injury-time equaliser from a free-kick in the 1-1 draw in the first match last Saturday, curled this latest effort a yard over the top.
Marcus Garnham came to Sudbury’s rescue with a fine save in the 32nd minute. Ex-Luton midfielder Spring intercepted a stray pass by Wilkinson and quickly released Ben Mackey, who let fly with a low drive which Garnham did well to divert onto his far post, the ball rebounding to safety.
Three minutes into the second half and Garnham’s opposite number, Bastock, had no chance as Yiga smashed an unstoppable long-range shot into the top corner of the net.
St Neots tried to respond quickly. Mackey actually had the ball in the back of the net on 50 minutes, but not before the assistant referee had raised his flag for offside.
Another goalbound shot by Mackey was charged down by defender Lee Flynn, while Garnham showed superb reactions to keep out a well-struck effort by Drew Roberts.
Sudbury were being pushed further and further back, and another goalbound shot by Roberts, on 73 minutes, was superbly headed away by centre-half Craig Pope, who had an excellent match.
Mackey looked odds on to poach an equaliser in injury-time, when sneaking past Pope deep inside the Sudbury box, but he scuffed his shot wide from close-in, with Garnham diving at his feet.
n Maldon & Tiptree did Needham Market a favour by beating Ryman One North title contenders Harlow Town 1-0 last night. The Essex side were reduced to 10 men by Cliff Akurang’s 33rd minute dismissal, but the 10 men won thanks to Adalberto Pinto’s 61st minute lob