AFC Sudbury 1

Tilbury 0

RYMAN ONE NORTH: PAUL Vaughan’s Dockers were unlucky to lose out in their tough clash with AFC Sudbury at the weekend.

The result saw the Chadfields outfit chalk up its third loss on the trot and slump to 16th place in the league. The difference between the two teams was a single James Baker goal early in the game. Tilbury boss Vaughan was without Mitchell Gilbey – who returned from his loan spell to local rivals East Thurrock – and the Dockers gaffer was forced to reshuffle his pack.

His Dockers team, included Joe Nightingill in midfield and Jake Pooley and Elliott Johnson returning to the side to bolster the defence. On a pitch that was extremely heavy – hardly a platform for passing football – the match opened quietly. But things sped up after eight minutes when Nightingill was adjudged to have jumped in on an opponent and the Tilbury player was shown the red card by the referee.

Despite being a man short the Dockers did not initially let this affect their game. Great play between Sam Cutler and Ryan Blackman saw them go close. The only goal came in the 13th minute. A long AFC throw was looped into the congested goalmouth and Baker was on hand to slam home. But Tilbury came close. In the 20th minute Francis Babalola produced a good effort in front of goal but the shot scudded wide. AFC came close when Spriggscame close to scoring with a shot from just six yards out. Tilbury were let off the hook in the 30th minute when a mistake in defence by West saw Baker successfully hit home again. But this time an assistant referee spotted that the ball had already gone out of play. Spriggs was again in action in the 35th minute.

But his shot was blocked by James Marrable. Just before the break Tilbury had their best chance. Piers Wixon’s great ball found Sam Cutler – but, as he went to shoot, he fell on the difficult surface. There were some good runs from Babalola early in the second half and Cutler went close in the 59th. But as time ticked away Tilbury failed to make their efforts count and the score stood.

For all the borough's non league see today's THURROCK GAZETTE