Gallery & report: AFC Sudbury 3 Soham Town Rangers 1

AFC Sudbury v Soham Town Rangers.
Ryman League Division One North.
Sudbury celebrate their second

AFC Sudbury v Soham Town Rangers. Ryman League Division One North. Sudbury celebrate their second goal scored by James Baker. - Credit: Archant

AFC Sudbury secured a hard-fought 3-1 victory at home to Soham Town Rangers in Ryman League Division One North last night.

Goals from Ollie Berquez and James Baker gave the hosts a 2-0 lead, before Joey Abbs equalised from the penalty spot with six minutes of the first half remaining.

Kris Newby’s 51st minute strike secured the points for the hosts who recorded their first victory under caretaker manager Danny Laws.

The outcome looked routine but the result was in the balance at times, especially in the first half, and the hosts’ profligacy in front of goal would have been punished had it not been for an excellent display from Sudbury stopper Marcus Garnham.

On numerous occasions, Garnham had to be alert to rush off his line with Soham finding acres of space in behind the hosts’ backline.

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And, had the visitors got off to a dream start after just ten seconds, they may have been leaving Suffolk with the points.

Garnham failed to get enough purchase on a Lee Flynn back pass and Matt Simpson almost got a shot away in the six yard box but was blocked off.

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Garnham made amends moments later, tipping over a long-range drive from Luke Stanley.

From the resultant corner, the hosts continued their sluggish start and Stanley, unmarked at the back post, should have done better than drive the ball across goal, the ball hitting Simpson and going wide.

AFC finally woke up and took the lead on 13 minutes, Berquez firing past two defenders on the line after goalkeeper Enol Ordonez could only punch Sam Clarke’s cross straight to the goalscorer’s feet.

Baker almost fashioned a second two minutes later but could only direct his shot straight at Ordonez.

Berquez then missed a golden chance 15 minutes, heading over from four yards, with the goal gaping, and Ordonez in no man’s land.

Soham were lightning quick on the break and Garnham had to be alert to save Stanley’s long-range shot.

AFC went two ahead on 25 minutes through Baker, the striker converting Kris Newby’s cut back after Lee Flynn’s cross caused havoc in the box.

Baker then fired straight at Ordonez, the visitors’ defence looking decidedly shaky, while Garnham made a one-handed save to keep out Simpson’s shot at the other end,

Soham halved the deficit on 37 minutes, Abbs converting from the spot after Jordan Blackwell had impeded Alex Luque in the box.

It almost got even better for the visitors just before the break, but Craig Pope cleared the ball as Stanley’s shot trickled towards the line from another long punt forward.

Not for the first time, Garnham had to rush off his line to deny Soham, early in the second half as the visitors continued to find of space in behind the hosts’ backline.

While that theme continued, so did Ordonez’s shakiness in goal for Soham, the stopper almost spilling Blackwell’s routine long-range shot.

AFC turned the tables a minute later, breaking quickly and increasing their lead. Blackwell broke quickly, found Baker and his low ball was eventually turned by Newby.

For the first time the game entered a lull until the halfway point of the second half, Ordonez saving well from Blackwell, low to his left.

The goalkeeper then pulled off a great one-handed save to deny Newby, before Garnham twice pulled off fine saves at the other end, one from Simpson in particular, to keep his side’s lead intact.

AFC: Garnham, Robinson, Flynn, Yiga (Wilkinson), Henshaw, Pope, Newby, Clarke, Baker (Rymer), Berquez, Blackwell (Kemp). Subs not used: Doyle, Bevins

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