GALLERY: Jamie Forshaw’s on fire for AFC Sudbury in win
- Credit: Andy Abbott
Jamie Forshaw’s superb brace gave new AFC Sudbury manager David Batch his first home win as a display of talent and commitment tore apart strugglers Waltham Forest at the MEL Group Stadium, writes Matt Stott.
A thunderbolt from 25 yards and a drilled effort doubled Forshaw’s tally for the season while the tireless Dave Cowley split the striker’s second-half heroics with a composed finish of his own.
It left Batch’s side seventh in the Ryman League One North table and Forest in despair at the bottom of the pits; goalless and pointless.
They were on the canvas and gasping for air at the end of this contest, one completely dominated by a Sudbury side hell-bent on delivering a knock-out blow early on.
They welcomed back skipper Sam Clarke and number nine Ben Thompson into the starting line-up, but a fierce wind soon curbed their attacks.
They were always the more efficient side, though, less prone to errors and far more skilled in piecing together constructive moves.
Yet the first 40 minutes passed largely without incident.
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But a thrilling finale to the half stoked the patient crowd. Matt Daniels squandered a glorious one-on-one chance, blazing high over, before Forest keeper David Myers produced the save of the match to deny him two minutes later, diving to his left to palm away a powerful strike.
Forest immediately counter-attacked and Nathan Mukuna saw his header blocked near the line. The hosts pounced and raced up the field. Daniels’ low cross found Forshaw two yards out but an inspired Myers smothered his shot.
But Forshaw, a trainee technician by trade, sparked Sudbury into life three minutes after the restart. He found room and unleashed an unstoppable effort that flew into the top corner and beyond the reach of Myers this time.
It settled the home side, who refused to withdraw from their offensive strategy, peppering the Forest box with dangerous crosses and shots.
Forest’s porous defence was exposed on numerous occasions, with only Myers repelling further efforts keeping his side in the game.
They had lost 4-0 and 5-0 prior to Saturday’s fixture, and the imposing triumvirate of Fairshaw, Thompson and Daniels, aided by the impressive Clarke behind, tormented the away defence.
And with 15 minutes remaining and the hosts cantering to victory, Cowley danced his way into the box after picking the pocket of an opponent on the edge of the area and coolly finished.
Even the rogue Forest fan with rattle in hand failed to inspire his troops. Still, he drew laughs from the stands with some eccentric antics.
He gave a rendition of Kylie Minogue’s ‘I should be so lucky’ after that second, but nothing was fortunate about the third.
The returning Thompson, who scored the first competitive goal of the Batch era in a 3-1 win away to Thurrock but missed Tuesday’s 2-1 home defeat to Soham Town Rangers through injury, was a reliable outlet in attack.
And it was the number nine’s knock-down that allowed Forshaw to fire home his fourth goal of the campaign late on to seal matters in an emphatic display.