Suffolk Under-18s draw with Essex counterparts

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For the second time in four days Suffolk FA and Essex FA fought out a goalless draw.

Following the stalemate between the two counties’ Under-16 sides, the respective Under-18 sides were similarly unable to conjure up a goal in Thursday night’s East Anglian Counties Championship encounter at AFC Sudbury.

The visitors will wonder how they were not ahead at half time, but a combination of poor finishing and good goalkeeping ensured Suffolk retained parity.

In the second period it was the home side who were in the ascendency but they, too, were not able to make it count in terms of putting the ball in the net.

A point apiece means both sides draw level at the top of the table with Hertfordshire FA on four points, although Essex have played one fixture more.

The visitors missed a gilt-edged opportunity to take the lead on the stroke of half time when Matt Bentley was through one-on-one but dragged his shot wide of the near post.

Suffolk spurned their best opportunity on the hour when Wayne Blackman set Luke Mallett free and he took the ball around Bowles but his heavy touch forced him wide and the chance went begging.

Suffolk FA: James Philp (Haverhill Rovers), Ryan Yallop (Bury Town), Tyler French (AFC Sudbury), James Baughurst (AFC Sudbury), Rhys Shulver (Haverhill Rovers), Stefano Mallardo (AFC Sudbury), Lawrence Healey (Haverhill Rovers), Luke Mallett (Braintree Town), Wayne Blackman (AFC Sudbury), George Mrozek (Hadleigh Utd), Taylor Bannister (Needham Market. Used subs: Ollie Dunlop (AFC Sudbury), James Axcell (AFC Sudbury), James Gaffer (Hadleigh Utd). Unused subs: Jake Dye (Needham Market), Will Gardner (Haverhill Rovers).