AFC Sudbury almost blow a four-goal lead as Bowers & Pitsea come storming back
AFC Sudbury 4 Bowers & Pitsea 3
It certainly was the proverbial game of two halves with the new-look home side bravely holding on as Bowers & Pitsea roared back from being four goals down at the break to almost snatch a point, writes Dave Meeson.
It was a tremendous first-half showing from Sudbury with their youngsters playing some super stuff which left their high-flying opponents chasing shadows at times.
However, the Essex visitors, who arrived on the back of an eight-game unbeaten run, were a completely different side in the second half and dominated throughout only to run out of time.
AFC took the lead on 12 minutes when an inch-perfect diagonal ball from Tyler French reached Max Booth and he cut in from his left wing position to beat the keeper at his near post. The dangerous Farhad Nyanja then got clear for Bowers & Pitsea only for Paul Walker to produce a fine one-handed stop.
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The hosts were beginning to play some flowing football and from one such move Ollie Peters lifted his effort narrowly over.
Sudbury’s second arrived on the hour through a fine curling left foot finish from Reece Dobson after great interplay between Tom Maycock and Booth. Almost immediately it was 3-0 as Ben Hunter showed great strength to hold off two defenders before converting Booth’s cross.
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Just on half-time came the fourth with Hunter grabbing his second of the afternoon as he drove a low shot from distance which went in off a post to make it 4-0.
Bowers & Pitsea came storming out of the blocks after the interval and within a minute striker Lewis Manor crashed an effort against the woodwork.
Joe Walker was then deemed to have handled in the box and David Knight converted from the spot to reduce the arrears.
Midway through the half Maycock went close to putting Sudbury out of sight, only for the visitors to go straight down the other end where Ben Sartain converted a short pass from Nyanja to make it 4-2. Knight was then denied by a flying save from Walker though this proved temporary respite for Sudbury as hesitation in the home defence let Nyanja in for their third on 72 minutes.
Sudbury were now defending for their lives with Jamie Salmon going close to making it 4-4 and right at the death Bowers keeper Callum Chafer got his head to a corner but the ball went wide as Mark Morsley’s men hung on.