AFC Sudbury 1 Canvey Island 1 match report – Adam Mills strikes late to rescue a point for AFC

PUBLISHED: 14:17 13 August 2017 | UPDATED: 14:17 13 August 2017

George Sykes celebrates his opening goal for Canvey. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

George Sykes celebrates his opening goal for Canvey. Picture: ANDY ABBOTT

Archant

Bostik North

AFC Sudbury 1

Canvey Island 1

A late strike from Adam Mills salvaged a point for new-look Sudbury in their opening league game of the season against a Canvey side who went down with AFC at the end of last term.

Sudbury's Jack Newman and Jake Turner combine to halt James Walker Sudbury's Jack Newman and Jake Turner combine to halt James Walker

There was three minutes of normal time remaining when the home side were awarded a free kick on the edge of the Canvey penalty area and Mills stepped forward to drill a deflected low drive into the bottom corner.

In truth AFC rarely looked like levelling the scores in the second period but with the Essex side showing little inclination to push for a second an equalizer could never be ruled out.

The game itself was preceded by a moving tribute to former AFC youth team captain Zac Smith, who tragically lost his life in a road accident this week.

Sudbury included eight summer signings in their starting eleven with another two players making their debuts from the bench and as such it was always going to take time for them to jell.

L'Heureux Menga and Sudbury's scorer Adam Mills appeal a decision. L'Heureux Menga and Sudbury's scorer Adam Mills appeal a decision.

After the initial skirmishes Canvey were first to show and were inches away from breaking the deadlock on 15 minutes as George Sykes drove a James Walker cross against the bar.

Back came Sudbury with Dave Crowley’s mazy run setting up Jake Turner whose effort was deflected wide.

The game was now hotting up and Gulls’ Frankie Merryfield sent in a rasping goalbound drive which was headed clear by Sudbury defender Joe Claridge.

Almost immediately the impressive Tevan Allen burst through after an fine one two and drilled his shot against the foot of the post.

Julian Smith and 'keeper Paul Walker combine to stop George Sykes. Julian Smith and 'keeper Paul Walker combine to stop George Sykes.

As half-time approached Allen nearly blotted his copy book after a dreadful mix up with his keeper Paul Walker only for the ball to be scrambled away from near the goal line.

Right on half time Canvey took the lead through a wonderful strike from Sykes, who crashed home a volley from 12 yards after good work from Mitchel Gilbey down the right.

There was little meaningful action after the break. Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold made a double substitution on 65 minutes bringing on Jeremiah Kamanzi and Louis Blake to try and pep things up.

But it seemed that the match was drifting away from Sudbury until Mills’ final intervention.

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