Great Start On New Pitch
By Tony Simpson
Good Crowd See Five AFC Goals
Well this was the day every AFC supporter had been looking forward to ever since the announcement that the old King’s Marsh pitch was to be ripped up and replaced by a new state of the art 3G pitch, the first game on it.
Romford came to the Wardale Williams Stadium with large number of new signings looking to spoil the Sudbury party; they were however put to the sword with a devastating first forty-five minutes. The Essex side did net twice in the second half, in the first and last minutes to give the scoreline some respectability.
AFC Manager Jamie Godbold had a full squad to select from, himself excluded as he hobbled about with an attack of gout. There were four debutees in the starting eleven; goalkeeper Ollie Bowles, defender, Jack Newman, midfield men, Liam Wales and Ollie Canfer, while on the bench Ross Bailey and Wayne Blackman waited their turn.
The pitch was looking resplendent as the teams came out in bright sunshine to christen the new surface and it was not long before the crowd of 312 saw the first goal on it.
On seven minutes Liam Wales got in a shot that Romford keeper Omand punched away to the left hand side and from their Newman crossed and the ball found the head of Craig Parker and into the net it went.
The lead was doubled on eighteen minutes with another headed goal this time from the right hand side, Ben Robinson crossing and Captain Sam Clarke stooping to head home at the far post.
New AFC goalkeeper drew applause from the crowd twice in quick succession, firstly when he caught the ball cleanly and secondly when he came out to punch clear.
The third goal came as a result of s defensive mix error from Romford defender Cooper as he and Luke Callander (pictured) went for the ball with the Sudbury getting the better of him and placing the ball passed Omand.
Romford had an effort from Bricknell from outside the area but it was easily saved by Bowles.
A fourth goal came eleven minutes before the interval when Wales took the ball forward and tried to go around keeper Omand with the ball going to Jordan Blackwell who shot home.
There was nearly a fifth when Ollie Canfer threaded the ball through to Callander but the in-form striker struck the ball against the post and Clarke chasing the follow up was ruled offside.
Half time; - AFC Sudbury 4 Romford 0
The berating that the Romford manager gave his side during the break obviously worked as they pulled a goal back with thirty-two seconds. A defensive mix up saw the ball put over the line eventually by Cosson seemingly kicking the ball out of the hands of the diving Bowles.
Blackwell and Omand collided heavily but both players survived the collision before Robinson did well getting in across that found Callander’s head but Cooper just managed to deflect the ball away for what should have been a corner but it was not given.
The real highlight of the game came in the sixty-fifth minute. Luke Callander received the ball in the box back to goal, shook off the defenders turned and curled the ball high into the top corner of the net giving Omand no chance.
The heat was taking its toll and the AFC management made their first change with Ollie Berquez taking over from Clarke. Berquez was soon in the action drawing a foul from Bricknell who was booked for his trouble.
Blackwell was full of running and he was fouled by Cooper who received a yellow card for it.
Two other debutants came on for AFC as Ross Bailey replaced Canfer and Wayne Blackman took the place of Blackwell.
In added on time Romford were awarded a penalty when Berquez upended Akpele, Bricknell stepping up to score from the spot with the last kick off the game.
So a comfortable win for AFC on a great new 3G surface and some pleasing passing football from the home side sent the home supporters away happy and expecting more from a team of experience and youthfulness.