James Baker rescues a point for AFC Sudbury against Kingstonian
PUBLISHED: 15:15 12 February 2017 | UPDATED: 15:15 12 February 2017
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AFC Sudbury 1
Sudbury remain two points clear of the Ryman Premier League relegation zone after a 73rd minute strike from James Baker salvaged a point and ended a run of four consecutive league defeats for the hosts.
In a open game both sides created plenty of opportunities and provided good entertainment for the freezing spectators.
Sudbury had a great chance to go ahead as early as the fifth minute when hesitancy in the Kingstonian defence saw Baker burst clear only for keeper Rob Tolfrey to save with his legs.
Mid-table Ks then had a spell of pressure with Sean McAuley testing Sudbury keeper Marcus Garnham and Joe Turner cutting in from the left before firing over.
However, the hosts then had another gilt-edged chance as Craig Parker played a one two with Baker before scuffing his effort wide with only Tolfrey to beat.
The home side were already without key players Erkan Okay and Jordan Blackwell and their injury woes struck again as both Parker and youngster Tyler French limped out of the game before the break with leg injuries.
This could prove especially bad news for French as he was due to continue his trial with Crystal Palace later in the week. As Sudbury were down to 10 men having French assessed the visitors took advantage and former Dundee wide man Sean Bonnett-Johnson opened the scoring on 38 minutes with a fierce 20 yarder which may have taken a slight deflection before entering the net off the inside of the post.
Sudbury came out of the blocks quickly in the second period and skipper Sam Clarke pulled the ball back from the byline but Danny Crow failed to provide the finish.
Ks then had chances to extend their advantage with their top scorer Ryan Moss heading over from 6 yards and midfielder Lewis Taylor firing wide from a great position.
Garnham made a fine stop when Moss threatened again only for AFC to equalize against the run of play as substitute Sam Bantick made a surging 50 yard run before setting up Baker who rolled his defender and crashed home an angled drive into the top corner.
Sudbury seemed to gain confidence from the goal and almost immediately Clarke struck the bar from the edge of the area after more good work from Bantick.
Liam Wales then blazed over as the home side continued to press but there was no further score and a draw was probably a fair result in the end.