AFC Sudbury’s good run ended by Grays Athletic

Grays celebrate their winning goal at AFC Sudbury. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Grays celebrate their winning goal at AFC Sudbury. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

Bostik North AFC Sudbury 2 Grays Athletic 3 AFC Sudbury were seeking to extend their winning sequence to three games following their impressive mid-week success over Brentwood Town.

However, despite the home side holding a two goal lead on 22 minutes, the Essex side pulled a goal back before half-time and then produced a second half masterclass that stunned the Suffolk team and stretched Grays’ winning streak to four matches, moving them into a play–off position.

It was really contrasting halves that saw Sudbury score two excellent goals, whilst the visitors’ winning goal would have graced any stadium in the country, such was its excellence.

Although the margin of victory was a meagre goal, the chasm between the sides in the second 45 minutes was vast.

Tom Monk watches his shot give Sudbury the lead against Grays. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Tom Monk watches his shot give Sudbury the lead against Grays. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

After an even opening spell, in front of 242 spectators, Grays were given a rude awakening when the hosts took the lead in the 10th minute.


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Tom Monk fastened on to a pass from the right, beating defenders with pace and finally rounding keeper Clarke Bogard before scoring into an unguarded net.

It was developing into a competitive match with Grays contributing with their neat passing game.

Tom Monk and Phil Kelly celebrate the former's opening strike for Sudbury. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Tom Monk and Phil Kelly celebrate the former's opening strike for Sudbury. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

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However, the ‘Yellows’ further surprised the visitors in the 22nd minute with another well-crafted goal. The ball was chipped into space, enabling Phil Kelly to take control and release a fine ball into the path of Ben Hunter, who drilled home.

But the visitors were beginning to assert themselves from a state of shock, and were looking increasingly dangerous with the pace and artistry of forward players Kieran Bishop, Joao Carlos and Mitchel Hahn.

Sure enough they pulled a goal back on 31 minutes. Sudbury will be disappointed in conceding what was a thoroughly sloppy goal, as Michael Toner tapped home following a corner.

Sudbury boss Mark Morsley watches on from the sidelines. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Sudbury boss Mark Morsley watches on from the sidelines. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

After the break Grays showed their promotion credentials with some outstanding football and largely dominated proceedings.

Nevertheless, the equaliser came in disputed circumstances on the hour, when Bishop drove powerfully home with a player appearing to be in an offside position interfering, but after consultation with his assistant the referee allowed the goal to stand.

The winning goal seven minutes later was sublime. Michael Finneran’s 40 yard diagonal ball was volleyed home first time by Michael Hahn.

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