Jammers left with 'Easter egg on their faces' - Maldon & Tiptree suffers Good Friday defeat against Sudbury

By Lee Witney

8th Apr 2023 | Football

Jammers manager Peter Taylor frustratedly remarked the team was 'second best' in everything it did against Sudbury. (Photo: Roy Warner)
Jammers manager Peter Taylor frustratedly remarked the team was 'second best' in everything it did against Sudbury. (Photo: Roy Warner)

Maldon & Tiptree 0 - AFC Sudbury 3

Report by Lee Witney.

A first half hat trick from AFC Sudbury's Nnamdi Nwachuku left Maldon & Tiptree with Easter egg on their faces on Good Friday at Park Drive.

Having seen their game away to Wroxham rained off last Saturday, the Jammers were looking to build on an impressive win against Lowestoft a fortnight ago as title-challenging Sudbury visited the Home of Football on a picture perfect early spring afternoon.

The team news dealt the hosts a blow, with two-goal hero Sam Ayoola missing through injury. He was replaced by another scorer against Lowestoft, Louie Remi, with the other change being Toib Adeyemi coming in for Danny Nesbitt at centre back.

The visitors started the game like a house on fire and with just three minutes on the clock, Sudbury's Harrison Chatting beat the offside trap, his shot drawing a smart save from Rob Budd.

A couple of minutes later Nwachuku was off and running for the afternoon. A cross in from Josh Stokes on Sudbury's right right found the Yellows front man inexplicably unmarked at the back post. He had the simple task of nodding home, leaving Budd with no chance.

With one goal to his name already, like a shark, Nwachuku smelled blood in the water. Nine minutes in, Maldon fell asleep from a Sudbury throw-in. Nwachuku took the ball about 25 yards out and drove inside with the ball, unleashing a powerful drive and was only kept out by another brilliant diving save from an already overworked Budd in the Jammers' goal.

The Jammers finally showed some attacking intent with 20 minutes played. Midfield man Sam Carter shot from 25 yards out, his effort was spilled by David Hughes, but his blushes were spared by his defence, who reacted quickest to hammer the ball to safety.

On 24 minutes, Sudbury and Nnamdi doubled their tally for the afternoon and it was largely through the Jammers' own doing. Conceding possession form their own freekick, the former Jammers man pounced and after wriggling free of his defender fired a bouncing shot from distance that clipped the post on the way past a helpless Budd and leaving the hosts with an almighty mountain to climb.

But for the assistant's flag, things might've been even worse for Maldon, ruling out an effort from Josh Stokes on 27 minutes.

Just before the half-hour mark, Budd again was called into action. A long ball forward from Hughes put Sakariya Hassan through on goal, the Maldon defence just about recovered their defensive positions and after players from both sides had air swings at the ball, it eventually broke again to Hassan whose shot draw another fine save to push the ball away.

Ten minutes later and the game was officially over as a contest when the League's cheat code Nwachuku struck again to complete his SIXTH hat trick of the season and take his tally to 40 goals. A freekick on Maldon's right was whipped in by left back, Reece Harris seemed to float all the way in (to me anyway!) but on closer inspection, it was the man of the hour (or just over half an hour, in this case) who just glanced the ball home with his head.

Half time came, and the game was already over. Sudbury must have wondered why they weren't further ahead, and Budd must have wondered why he'd got out of bed.

The second half began in much the same manner as the first had played out. Josh Stokes missing two chances within three minutes to inflict further pain on the Jammers.

With 55 minutes on the clock, Maldon showed some signs of life. Terrell played Harry Phillips down the left hand side, Harry in turn laid the ball back to an overlapping Chris Gregan. His cross into the box found Terrell who had carried on his run, but he couldn't bring the ball under control and Hughes gathered.

Just before the hour, we nearly pulled one back courtesy of a Michael Finneran header from a Phillips corner. The skipper's header drew a great save at point blank range from Hughes, who pushed the ball wide. A succession of corners followed as we asked some real questions of the Sudbury defence for the first time.

As the game drifted towards its conclusion, both sides had chances to add to the scoring. Stokes got in behind the Maldon defence before dragging a right footed shot past the post. Michael Salako nearly got the Jammers on the board, but his shot cannoned into the side netting.

Maldon's nemesis, Nwachuku, nearly got in again following a poor back pass, but alert goalkeeping from Budd thwarted the Sudbury man on this occasion. A header that just went wide from Gregan was the last of the chances as the final whistle was blown.

Speaking to Olly Martinez after the game, manager Peter Taylor was frustrated at the slow start.

He said: "We started very poorly and allowed a very good team to do even better."

Taylor added: "We were second best in everything we did".


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