Relegation looking likely after 10-man AFC Sudbury hit for four by leaders Bognor Regis
Ten-man AFC Sudbury’s relegation fears deepened after a damaging 4-0 defeat at home to Ryman Premier leaders Bognor Regis Town on Saturday afternoon
Burgess Hill Town’s 2-0 victory at Harrow and Kingstonian’s draw at Worthing compounded Sudbury’s misery, Jamie Godbold’s side are now four points adrift of safety with just three games to play.
James Muitt scored a hat-trick and Darren Budd also scored for Town, who were given an extra helping hand when skipper James Baker was shown a straight red card in the first half.
The result was no great surprise in the end, but the hosts didn’t help themselves and lacked quality at both ends of the pitch, Craig Parker’s penalty miss and Rob Eagle’s wayward follow-up effort summing their afternoon.
Sudbury had their fair share of good chances, Danny Crow dragging a first-minute shot wide before finding goalkeeper Dan Lincoln in fine form shortly after the visitors had gone ahead in the eighth minute, the stopper superbly tipping the striker’s close range effort over the bar.
Sam Corcoran also saw a first-half corner hit the bar, Bognor’s James Wild nearly headed into his own net and Ollie Dunlop fired wide with the goal gaping, the latter, early in the second period.
Muitt scored twice in the first half, his first a free header, following a cross from the left by Wild and then, with a composed finish, after a left-wing ball from James Fraser had evaded the jump of Rob Eagle.
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Harvey Whyte also crashed an effort against the post for Bognor, the visitors being afforded far too much space, albeit against 10 men.
Sudbury lacked nothing in effort, but a goal down, their task was made a thankless one on 22 minutes, when Baker was sent-off.
The centre-back was caught for pace in a two-horse race with Wild and clipped the striker 22 yards out.
Muitt grabbed his third on 55 minutes, but the damage had been done by then and Sudbury were indebted to their goalkeeper Marcus Garnham, who stopped Bognor racking up a cricket score after that.
The visitors did score fourth on 70 minutes however, Budd crashing home a volley from the edge of the penalty area after a corner was not cleared sufficiently, before Parker won and then missed a penalty.