Super Sudbury hit back in thrilling fashion to down the Dockers
AFC Sudbury 4 Tilbury 3
A thrilling and dramatic second half fight back, shocked Tilbury, as Sudbury responded to a Lewis Smith first half hat-trick for the Dockers, writes John Campany.
Tilbury the form side in the division having won both the November and December Bostik League awards, had lost just one of there last ten games, since the appointment of ex-Basildon boss Marc Harrison.
A second minute goal and a display of attacking football that followed from the Essex side in the opening 45 minutes to give them a 3-1 lead, would have suggested to the most ardent home supporter that this would be a bridge too far.
However, whatever Mark Morsley said to his side at the break, it was clearly of significance as the visitors’ were shell-shocked at the final whistle while home supporters rose as one to applaud Morsley’s heroic performers.
Tilbury’s second minute lead was as a result of poor defending permitting Smith to capitalise with ease.
Indeed it was a torrid opening for the home side in front of 230 spectators and were fortunate that the Dockers failed to extend their lead, in the opening spell.
Teenager Ross Crane, a product from the academy, making his debut, dispatched a fine shot that shaded the post, but then on 22 minutes Joe Whight headed home a deep free kick beyond Rhys Madden to equalise.
Sudbury seemed to recover composure from their early slumber and efforts from Billy Holland and Liam Bennett went close.
However, they fell behind again on 37 minutes when Smith teased defenders’ before whipping in a shot past Paul Walker, and he completed his hat trick in stoppage time, from the spot.
The introduction of Callum Harrison and Phil Kelly saw Sudbury take control and they pulled a goal back on 69 minutes.
The move began with Liam Bennett releasing Tom Dettmar who from a wide position fired across goal that Madden pushed away but, only to Reece Harris who rifled home.
Five minutes later a brilliant passing movement ripped open the Dockers defence and Dettmar struck a low shot to make it 3-3.
The visitors’ were visibly shaken, from a position of strength to disbelief, as the home side tore into them, and were further rewarded in the 81st minute.
Madden punched away a corner but, only to Harrison whose ball back into the box was superbly headed home by man of the match Holland to spark rapturous scenes.
Referee George Laflin.