EAST ANGLIAN COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP
Suffolk FA 2
Bedfordhsire FA 4
Suffolk FA Under-16s’ manager Andy Reynolds picked out the positives following his side’s 4-2 defeat to Bedfordshire at AFC Sudbury on Sunday.
The visitors raced into a 3-0 lead inside the opening 32 minutes in their opening East Anglian Counties Championship match.
But a second-half penalty from Ben Hunter and a 20-yard strike from substitute Caeal Casey reduced the deficit before Taz Andrews completed his hat-trick with virtually the last kick of the match.
Although Bedfordshire deserved their victory it was a much-improved second-half showing from the home team at AFC Sudbury on Sunday – something which AFC Sudbury’s assistant first-team manager Reynolds, in his county coaching role, was quick to acknowledge.
He said: “We were caught a little bit short in the first half and while we had lots of possession in the first two-thirds of the pitch we were a bit rash in the final third, and in terms of closing the door behind us we were not very effective and so they were good value for their half-time lead.
“We changed the system just before half time which gave the boys a short spell to get comfortable with it and this gave us another body further forward to do better because we had the tools but were not using them properly.”
It was announced on Friday, with the forecast continuation of the wet weather in mind, that the tie had been moved from Bury Town’s Ram Meadow pitch to AFC Sudbury’s 3G surface.
This meant a trio of Yellows’ players got to enjoy home comforts.
Joe Potter, James Carragher and Adam Dunnage were all named in Reynolds’ starting line-up, while AFC team-mate Milo Grimes was an unused substitute.
Although it was a disappointing result to start the season, Reynolds was optimistic about the future following his side’s first experience of Representative county football.
“It was good to get the process under way for the lads so that they understand the non-football bits like how they need to look and behave, and from the football perspective we know the players better now and that will help us structure the side for the next game,” he said.
“At half-time they showed that they could take on information and that will be really important as this group of players evolves in the next three years.”
County ties were presented to all 16 players who featured in the match by Suffolk FA Chairman David Porter.
Suffolk FA: Joe Potter (AFC Sudbury), George Exworth (Woodbridge Town), Ievin Turner (Woodbridge Town), Ben Hunter (Woodbridge Town), James Carragher (AFC Sudbury), Adam Dunnage (AFC Sudbury), Jack Mappleback (Ipswich Wanderers), Ethan Abrahams (Brantham Athletic), Adam Blades (Leiston), Tom Newman (Haverhill Rovers), Liam Brunning (Woodbridge Town). Used subs: Milo Grimes (AFC Sudbury), Lucas Naylor (Woodbridge Town), Harry Mitchell (Stowu