Home   Sudbury   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Reuben Swann lights up The MEL Group Stadium with super strike as AFC Sudbury draw Suffolk derby with Leiston





AFC Sudbury manager Marc Abbott hailed teenage talent Reuben Swann’s ‘moment of magic' for securing his side a share of the spoils in Tuesday’s Suffolk derby with Leiston.

The visitors had got themselves into the lead courtesy of former Yellows academy player Ross Crane’s angled strike mid-way through the first half.

But struggling for inspiration in their first all-county affair since promotion to the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central, it was the introduction of 17-year-old midfielder Swann that shifted the game in Sudbury's favour.

Reuben Swann wheels away to celebrate his equaliser against Leiston Pictures: Steve Screech/AFC Sudbury
Reuben Swann wheels away to celebrate his equaliser against Leiston Pictures: Steve Screech/AFC Sudbury

The Ipswich-based player, who ended up in AFC’s academy a year ago after being released by Colchester United, produced a spectacular arrowed finish after a driving run to level in the 68th minute.

It was the Yellows, who were humbled 5-0 at runaway leaders Mikleover on Saturday, who then looked the more likely to go on and win the game.

But Swann saw his excellent delivery for fellow academy team-mate Kaye Donohoe – on his first start for the senior side – header just over 15 minutes from time.

AFC Sudbury's Joe Tarpey heads away from Leiston goalscorer Ross Crane
AFC Sudbury's Joe Tarpey heads away from Leiston goalscorer Ross Crane

The 1-1 scoreline left Sudbury with a divisional high of five draws from their 10 opening matches, and with one solitary win to their name, leaves them in the relegation zone, now 19th.

But Abbott, who seems far from worried at this stage about the lack of points on the board, was left delighted by the contributions of the club’s emerging talent.

"I think for a young side to show the quality and capability of what we've shown tonight against an experienced team was a real plus,” he said.

"And I thought our willingness to run second half, fight and pick up second balls to stay in attacks was excellent.

Former Canvey Island and Maldon & Tiptree midfielder Philip Brown-Bampoe made his debut for AFC Sudbury against Leiston Picture: Steve Screech/AFC Sudbury
Former Canvey Island and Maldon & Tiptree midfielder Philip Brown-Bampoe made his debut for AFC Sudbury against Leiston Picture: Steve Screech/AFC Sudbury

"Overall I thought it was probably a fair result; both teams had a few half chances.

"The only real moment of magic came from Reuben Swann who we obviously know is a huge prospect.

"It was a really, really good goal. He showed his powerful side and attack mindedness and he executed a shot again that (Sam) Donkin, another top keeper at this level, could get nowhere near.”

The eye-catching finish came after Swann, who replaced largely quiet new experienced signing Philip Brown-Bampoe in central midfield, pounced on Leiston substitute Cameron Rayworth taking a poor touch on Donkin’s pass out.

He then drove well to the right apex of penalty area before firing a seemingly unstoppable low drive in at the far left-hand post.

It was reminiscent of a similar breath-taking finish in Sudbury’s 5-0 Emirates FA Cup victory at Mildenhall Town at the start of the month.

Leiston should have been further ahead by the break when a free kick delivery found Crane unmarked, but the former Ipswich Town professional volleyed it over from seven yards out.

The half had ended with both sides forcing saves in stoppage time with AFC’s James Bradbrook thwarting Eddie Jackson following a Jack Manly free kick before Romario Dunne saw his near-post effort well blocked by Donkin.

Darren Eadie and Chris Wigger’s side had less of the play in the second half but still looked dangerous with Crane screwing his shot wide from a late breakaway, having decided not to find the runners supporting him.

Joe Neal fired over a last-gasp free kick after Leiston’s Albie Armin had been shown a second yellow card.

Abbott, whose side will look to end a five game winless league run when fifth-placed Stamford visit on Saturday (3pm), added: "We were disappointed not to take three points because I obviously feel as though that's what we needed.

“But also we were at home and we know this place is hard for teams to come to and I think we've shown again tonight we can play a different way and we can sustain attacks.

"I thought the way we defended set pieces against a physical and experienced Leiston team was pleasing.

"But like I say, probably overall a draw is a fair reflection of the game if we're being honest."

Tuesday sees AFC host a young Ipswich Town side in the Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Second Round (7.45pm).

AFC Sudbury: Bradbrook, Cousens (Eveleigh 18’), Tarpey, Oluwatimilehin, Lewis, Dickens, Brown-Bampoe (Swann 55’), Hunter, Neal, Dunne (cpt) (Barek 87’), Donohoe. Unused subs: Edionhon, Bello.

Booked: Cousens (16’), Lewis (58’), Swann (73’), Hunter (82’).

Leiston: Donkin, Hill, Dunbar (cpt) (Rayworth 55’), Saunders, Casement, Jackson, Crane, Dronfield (Jarvis 59’), Armin, Manly (Higgs 69;), Loza.

Unused subs: Atkin, Spooner.

Booked: Hill (31’), Armin (66’, 90+3’), Jarvis (80’).

Attendance: 257

Suffolk News Man of the Match: Reuben Swann helped turn the came in his side’s favour with a bright cameo display that underlined his potential.

Meanwhile, AFC Sudbury will host Fakenham Town in the second round qualifying stage of the FA Youth Cup next Thursday (7.45pm).

The side managed by Danny Laws and Craig Power have played three games in the competition so far; 17-0 at Framlingham Town, 5-0 at Dereham Town, 8-1 win at Haverhill Borough on September 18. They would have to come through one more qualifying round to reach the first round proper.