Sublime Hayes goal sends AFC Sudbury through in FA Cup
- Credit: Archant
FA Cup First Qualifying Round AFC Sudbury 3 Royston Town 2 AFC Sudbury advanced to the Second Qualifying Round of this season’s Emirates FA Cup with an excellent performance against Royston Town, writes Kalvin Sargeant.
Sudbury were twice pegged back by their higher-league opposition after taking the lead, but a delightful chip from the experienced Paul Hayes mid-way through the second half was enough to take the Suffolk side through in a thoroughly entertaining encounter.
Paul Walker in the Sudbury goal was in action as early as 30 seconds when he pushed a crisp shot from Royston’s Bradley Bell out for a corner. Darryl Coakley curled a free-kick for Sudbury over on 11 minutes following a foul on PHayes but the Suffolk side were now building momentum and were rewarded with a penalty kick on 16 minutes when Jordan Blackwell broke into the box and was taken out by Jordan Norville-Williams.
Callum Harrison sent Welch the wrong way to open the scoring.
Against the run of play, Royston drew level on 33 minutes when Tyler French got the wrong side of Chris Assombalonga, who controlled a long ball by Welch well before firing low into the corner past a helpless Walker.
Welch, in the Royston goal, did well to block a fierce shot by Blackwell before on 41 minutes Sudbury regained the lead when Joe Whight scored with a super dipping free-kick from the edge of the area after Blackwell had again been fouled.
Royston came out battling at the start of the second period and their improved play paid off on 55 minutes when substitute Vance Bola, on the pitch for under a minute, scored with his first touch from a tight angle after a mix up between French and Walker.
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The decisive goal for Sudbury came on 66 minutes when a corner from Harrison broke to the edge of the area, where an unmarked Hayes sent in a sublime chip that cleared several Royston defenders and eluded goalkeeper Welch, a goal that was worth the admission price on its own.
Royston continued to press and Bola should have scored from a close range header but Sudbury were still dangerous on the break with Harrison and Kelly both forcing Welch into a number of fine saves.