U23s Defeated at Sudbury
Wednesday, 12th Jul 2017 22:09 by James Ager
A young Town XI were well beaten 3-1 at AFC Sudbury's Wardale Williams Stadium on Wednesday evening, Declan Daniels (pictured) scoring the Blues' goal in the second half.
After a quiet opening period, Town should have taken the lead midway through the first half. Armando Dobra broke forward and released Jack Lankester, but Sudbury keeper Callum Robinson was out quickly to block the frontman's effort. Ben Folami fired an effort just over the bar minutes later.
The Blues were made to pay soon after when the hosts opened the scoring just after the half-hour mark. A cross from the right wasn't cleared and although Michael Crowe kept Dave Cowley's first shot out, the Sudbury man netted the rebound.
On 38 the home side's lead was doubled after Ashton Henry had tripped Mekhi McKenzie in the box - one of four trialists in the Sudbury starting line-up - sent Crowe the wrong way from the spot.
Sudbury went further ahead four minutes after the restart when Rhys Henry's low cross from the right was met by the on-rushing Adam Mills at the back post, who gave sub keeper Harry Wright no chance.
Wright produced a fine save shortly after to tip Henry's effort over, before Town pulled a goal back on 65. Brett McGavin played a fine ball in behind the Sudbury backline and Kian Ronan cut the ball back to Daniels, who converted from close range.
With three minutes remaining Ronan's backpass sold Wright woefully short, and the keeper fouled Mills as he attempted to clear. In a competitive fixture the Town stopper would have seen a card, probably a red one, but he made amends by pushing Tevan Allen's penalty onto the bar and gathered the loose ball before a Sudbury attacker could connect.
After controlling much of the opening exchanges, it turned into a disappointing night for Town's youngsters - nine of the squad are just starting their two-year full-time academy scholarships - with none of the young pros ready stamping any authority on the game whatsoever.
McGavin was instrumental in a good spell of Town pressure after the break but the home side had already taken their chances well and could really have won by more.
Town XI: M Crowe (Wright 46), Fowler (Ronan 46), Clements (Ndaba 46), McLoughlin (D Crowe 61), Henry (Marshall 46), C Smith (Vega 61), Foudil (Wilton 46), McDonnell (McGavin 46), Lankester (Daniels 46), Dobra (Cahill 46), Folami (Barley 46 (Hughes 70). Att: 268.
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