Marks and Bennett on target as AFC Sudbury beat Seasiders in FA Cup tie
- Credit: Archant
AFC Sudbury 2 Felixstowe & Walton United 1
AFC Sudbury secured revenge for their league defeat to Felixstowe & Walton United, from four days ago, by making progress in the FA Cup at King's Marsh this afternoon.
Mark Morsley's men won this preliminary tie, to reach the qualifying round stage, with some good attacking football, although they should perhaps have won by a bigger margin.
Goals from Sean Marks and man-of-the-match Liam Bennett, in the sixth and 14th minutes, put AFC Sudbury in the driving seat, but they were pegged back by Tom Debenham's 52nd minute penalty until finishing the game on the front foot.
Felixstowe actually enjoyed the better of the first few minutes, and they were denied by the woodwork after just two minutes when Armani Schaar, who had bagged the winner in midweek against the same opposition, saw his shot from a tight angle take a deflection off home defender Baris Altintop and crash off the near post with keeper Paul Walker wrong-footed.
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However, it was the home side who took the initiative by taking the lead through Marks' close range effort on six minutes.
Liam Bennett created space for himself inside the penalty area before crashing in a shot that was palmed away by keeper Jack Spurling. However, Marks was quick to pounce on the loose ball and steer into an unguarded net.
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The Seasiders could have levelled just seven minutes later when the lively Schaar latched onto a through ball, only for Walker to deny him with an excellent save.
And Sudbury grabbed their second goal, in the 14th minute, to take a stranglehold of this cup tie.
Marks' presence in the danger area created hesitancy between defender Daniel Davis and keeper Spurling, and wing-back Bennett took full advantage by finding the back of the net from the narrowest of angles, the ball flying in off the inside of the far post.
Sudbury could have added to their tally before the half-time as they benefited from the Seasiders' fragile looking defence.
Marks won a header in the penalty area on 19 minutes and, although he lost control, Thomas Maycock capitalised and was only denied by a smart block from Spurling.
A one-two between Ben Hunter and Bennett sliced open the opposition rearguard again, although Hunter blazed his shot across goal and wide.
Left wing-back Reece Harris scuffed a shot wide from Maycock's cross in the 23rd minute, and Billy Holland then got in on the act with a shot that was cleared off the goal-line by Davis.
The Seasiders, although second best, did go close to halving the deficit in first-half stoppage time as Stuart Ainsley's well-struck 25-yarder flashed a foot wide of target.
But they did pull a goal back, early in the second half. Substitute Joe Grimwood clipped the heels of Schaar, just inside the penalty area, and Debenham converted the ensuing spot kick in clinical fashion.
A mistake by Ainsley, who lost the ball and then brought down Maycock inside the box, gave AFC Sudbury a chance to restore their two-goal lead in the 63rd minute. However, Marks' penalty was well saved by Spurling.
A minute later and a precise cross by Altintop fell to the feet of Maycock, although his shot was aimed straight at Spurling, who smothered with ease.
The Seasiders threatened on the break in the 73rd minute. Schaar ran half the length of the pitch and fed Callum Bennett, but his effort flew wide of the near upright.
Namesake Liam Bennett, very impressive for the hosts, capped a strong run across the edge of the box with a goalbound shot which was tipped over the bar by Spurling.
At the other end, a poor backward header by Reece Harris gave substitute Joshua Lee a sight of goal, but Walker made an important block.
Liam Bennett was denied by a fine double save by Spurling, down at his near post, during the closing minutes, but AFC Sudbury held on for a deserved victory.
AFC SUDBURY: Walker, L Bennett, Harris, Altintop, Bailey-Dennis (substitute Grimwood, 46), Whight, Holland, Hunter, Marks, Dettmar (sub Critchley, 84), Maycock (sub King, 69). Unused subs: Girling, Craigie.
FELIXSTOWE & WALTON UNITED: Spurling, C Bennett (sub Hanson, 90+1), Barley (sub Chaves, 45), Kerridge, Ainsley, Davis, Skubich, Powell, Debenham (sub Lee, 75), Matthews, Schaar. Unused subs: ollins, Hammond.