Sudbury lose 1-0 to Harlow but it doesn’t spoil their big day
- Credit: Archant
Harlow were party poopers on Sudbury’s big day, but despite the visitors’ late goal it was still all smiles in West Suffolk as the trophy was presented after the game to the league champions.
In front of a boisterous bumper crowd Sudbury made a tentative start and the visitors, who had already booked a play-off place, quickly gained the initiative and threatened through their wide players Joe Benjamin and Junior Dadson, but the home defence stood firm.
In contrast Sudbury struggled to make any offensive impact against an equally well-drilled Harlow defence.
Indeed it took 28 minutes for the first opportunity that saw Benjamin cross to Dadson whose low volley was smartly saved by Marcus Garnham.
Moments later Sudbury went close when Danny Cunningham’s corner to the near post picked out James Baker who headed fractionally over.
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A foul on Liam Wales resulted in Cunningham firing inches wide and a good home build up culminated with Ben Robinson shooting beyond the far post.
After the break the home side increased the tempo and nearly went ahead on 50 minutes when an inch perfect cross from Sam Clarke found the head of Luke Callander whose firmly struck effort was superbly saved by David Hughes.
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Callander then sent a fierce free kick just over whilst at the other end Garnham was quickly off his line to smoother Leon Antoine’s close range effort. This was both a competitive and fiercely fought game with both sets of supporters in full voice.
Sudbury made a triple substitution on 76 minutes introducing Stefano Mallardo, Joe Maybanks and George Clarke but were unable to breach the visiting defence.
Harlow snatched victory in the 90th minute when Piers Wixon hooked home Ryan Melaugh’s free kick, which was wildly celebrated by the visiting support but at the final whistle the real celebrations commenced.
Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold said: “This achievement represents the pinnace of my footballing career thus far.
“I’d like to say thanks to the fans for their considerable contribution both at home and away matches.”
Godbold added that he is already relishing the challenge of leading Sudbury in the Ryman Premier League next season.