GALLERY AND REPORT: AFC Sudbury 3 Ware 2
- Credit: Archant
AFC Sudbury cemented their position in the top five with a thrilling victory in a topsy-turvy encounter at King’s Marsh on Tuesday night.
The match had everything – a feast of goals, a flurry of cards and both sides taking turns to sit in the driving seat.
In the end, goals from James Baker, Kris Newby and Terry Rymer clinched all three points.
It had looked like being a regulation win at half-time, with Sudbury in control thanks to Baker’s 26th minute penalty.
Baker slotted home calmly from the spot, after Jordan Blackwell had done well to charge down Jack Fowler’s attempted clearance, and then reach the loose ball before keeper Thomas Coulton, who brought down the young winger.
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But there was little indication of what was to come in a second half of high drama, featuring four goals and two red cards, with a spate of yellow cards for good measure.
Ware poached an equaliser, against the run of play, in the 56th minute as Anthony Thomas crashed home an unstoppable shot.
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Sudbury were caught napping from a free-kick and Thomas held off the challenge of Tyler Kemp before blasting into the roof of the net.
The hosts were reduced 10 men on the hour mark. Baker was given his marching orders for a late challenge on goalscorer Thomas, although referee Darren Stobbart did not produce the red card until after consultation with his assistant.
The game seemed to be slipping away from Sudbury when Ware took the lead, just six minutes later, centre-half Fowler heading home unmarked from a free-kick.
But the Suffolk side showed terrific character, and resilience, to bounce back.
It was 10 versus 10 from the 69th minute. Ware centre-half Ajet Shehu was dismissed for two yellow cards, his second caution for needlessly kicking the ball away.
That was just the lift that Sudbury needed, and from the ensuing free-kick, Newby found the back of the net with one of his trademark thunderbolts to make it 2-2 on 70 minutes.
Five minutes later and Rymer pounced with the winner. Great work by right-back Ben Robinson created the chance, and his low cross was swept home by Rymer, the ball rolling in at the far post – it was no more than Sudbury deserved.
The game had survived two pitch inspections, at lunchtime and again at 3pm. The surface certainly crackled underfoot, but was perfectly playable, and Sudbury were good value for their 1-0 lead at half-time.
Ware had one good chance to break the deadlock, on 16 minutes. Striker Thomas charged clear of the Sudbury back-line, and had just Garnham to beat, but he could not direct his shot past the home keeper, who saved well.
That missed opportunity seemed to stir Sudbury into action, and they dictated the rest of the first period.
Livewire Blackwell squandered a chance to score on 24 minutes when stabbing wide from a mere six yards out. However, two minutes later and Blackwell’s perseverance won his side a penalty, for Baker to score.
Into the second half and there was hardly time to catch your breath as the goals, and cards, arrived at regular intervals.
With Sudbury 3-2 up, they were still indebted to a fine late save by Garnham, who pulled out all the stops to beat away a goal-bound free-kick by Thomas in the 81st minute.