Superb Sudbury gain replay with Bognor Regis after gritty FA Cup performance

AFC Sudbury's Callum Harrison, on target at Bognor. Picture: CLIVE PEARSON

AFC Sudbury's Callum Harrison, on target at Bognor. Picture: CLIVE PEARSON - Credit: Archant

Bognor Regis Town 1 AFC Sudbury 1

On a very wet and windy trip to the south coast AFC Sudbury ended the match the happier of the two teams as they drew 1-1 with Bognor Regis Town in the second qualifying round of the FA Cup, writes Darren Theobald.

Sudbury treated their opponents with the respect they deserved after their impressive start in the Premier Division, unbeaten in all competitions and coming into this match on the back of an 8-0 midweek win.

Sudbury travelled down early, the players meet for a pre-match meal and arrived at the ground early and refreshed.

Manager Mark Morsley wanted the players to experience a full cup match atmosphere and they certainly got that in front of a crowd of 433.

New signing Reece Harris went straight into the first team with FA Cup stalwart Paul Hayes on the bench, Sudbury travelled with a full squad, several of the team from Tuesday evening remaining in the squad.

However, after three minutes into the match this was all forgotten as Tyler French headed back what he thought was a safe ball across defence only for the Bognor striker Jimmy Muitt to nick it a break forwards, he slid the ball across the box to the unmarked Harvey Whyte to slot the ball past the Paul Walker in the AFC goal, not the start the Yellows manager was looking for.

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This also led to a period of concern for AFC as they were under a constant barrage of attacks from the home team. Walker was called into action on several occasions along with some careless shooting, but the score remained 1-0. During this period Jordan Blackwell was shown a yellow card for a tough challenge and will miss the replay on Tuesday.

Then on 11 minutes the tie changed, AFC Sudbury went on the attack with the impressive Baris Altintop and Blackwell, got the ball up the right wing, a high looping ball was delivered in and the home team keeper struggled twice to clear, the ball eventually falling to Callum Harrison who made no mistake in nodding the ball into the goal.

Sudbury had ridden the storm and got back into the match. The remainder of the half was mostly Bognor, they again had several good chances but with some good defending Sudbury managed to get to the half time whistle.

In the second period AFC started brightly, Harrison immediately testing the keeper from 25 yards, but he held it well.

Several bookings followed in the second period as the home team got increasingly frustrated. This was heightened when Altintop curled an impressive left foot shot only to see it return off the cross bar from 25 yards. Sudbury were now looking the more likely winners, Paul Hayes was introduced along with Isaac Skubich, who replaced Phil Kelly.

AFC continued to press as the home team floundered, it was in the last minute of injury time that Sudbury won a free kick 30 yards out, the travelling Sudbury supporters raised their voices for one last attempt, but it was not to be, the ball sailed over the bar, the refs whistle blew and it’s a replay on Tuesday night at King’s Marsh Stadium.

Attendance 433

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