The Mead progressed into the last sixteen of the Velocity Trophy with a hard-earned triumph over BOSTIK North side AFC Sudbury.
It was a cold wet night at Princes that didn’t start well as the visitors were held up on the M25 and didn’t arrive at the ground until twenty-five minutes before the scheduled kick off. With the Mead showing a number of changes for various reasons from the side that drew at Lewes, the delayed start seemed to unsettle both sides as both struggled to get going and it was on the stroke of half-time that Booth gave Sudbury the lead. A low drive from Bode Anidugbe then pulled the Mead level just after the break only for Sudbury half time sub Mundawarara restoring the visitors advantage within minutes. The home-side’s progress was sealed with two Paul Vines goals in the closing twenty minutes – the first a scrambled effort before a stunning header from an Ellis Green cross six minutes from time – to send the Mead into the last sixteen.
The Mead naturally enough created the better chances as Sudbury recovered from their trip as Vinesy just didn’t get enough on an early header to trouble Sudbury keeper Walker. Ellis then drilled a chance over the bar before Danny Parish rounded the keeper only to run out of room as he tried to pull the ball back. Sudbury then had their best chance when central defender French headed over when well placed at a corner, before Tom O’Connor did remarkably well but couldn’t just steer his shot inside the far post.
The visitors then took the lead in slightly fortuitous circumstances. Collins raced in behind the Mead defence looking suspiciously offside, but as the flag stayed down, he was denied by a great save from Max Ovenden. Sadly for Max and the Mead, the ball ran to Booth who gave the visitors the half-time advantage.
The home side responded well and Bode drove home the equaliser from the edge of the box only three minutes after the break. The Mead though were only level for two minutes as Mundawarara pounced at the far post to sweep Sudbury back into the lead.
It was a lead that began to look as though it would be enough but then almost out of nothing Vinesy pounced in a goal mouth scramble to prod the Mead level, before six minutes from time before any potential penalty shoot-out, the Mead’s top scorer powered home his ninth goal of the season as he headed Ellis’ cross powerfully into the net to send the Mead into the last sixteen and a home tie with Corinthian Casuals.
THE MEAD – Ovenden, Duyile, McIntyre, Taiwo, Avery, Denny (Mendy), Green, O’Connor, Vines, Parish, Anidugbe
Updated 12:20 - 24 Nov 2017 by MIKE GREEN
Subs – Adeniran & Laker