On the face of it for a dozen or so Hillians fans who travelled to Sudbury last evening it was a pretty raw experience.
Dartford Tunnel queues are a national disgrace and the A12 was tailed back as far as the eye could see.
Then there is the final 20 miles through some dark and twisty country roads.
After a hard day in the office, personally I was a little bushed on arrival at Kings Marsh. But for my passengers Dan and Steve and I there was the sanctuary of the welcoming club house and some well needed beer and portions of chips.
For Chapman and his team that after three hours in a car they had to play a tough RPL match.
AFC Sudbury are new comers to the RPL and have settled in well.
Their ground is a statement of wealth with a brand new wooden based club house, lovely main stand, the shed (the best covered terrace in the league) and state of the art artificial pitch. You get the feeling these guys are here for the long run and will soon be having play off aspirations over the next season or two. Indeed the club are still in the FA Trophy which they were rightly proud of.
The Hillians started quite well but then you felt it was only time before the hosts got a break. That came after 20 minutes.
Hill failed to deal with a ball down the AFC left which allowed the winger a straight forward cut back to a marauding mid fielder who smacked a first time shot past Josh James in goal. Hill really should off held on for HT but two mins into injury time AFC played what looked to be 3 one twos before the ball ended up in the net off the far post. A quite stunning goal to be honest, Hill scratching collecting heads.
Chapman made changes during a turgid second half which prompted a better response. Jonah had a golden heading opportunity unmarked but the effort sailed over the bar. With that chance going begging the inevitable happened when the hosts broke through to score a third goal late on.
Many thanks to AFC for their warm welcome on the night and good luck for the rest of the season. As for Ian, Stuart, John and the team there are mitigating circumstances for a very tame display and in truth heavy loss. But they must go again at Staines FC on Saturday where there will be no excuses for such a repeat performance. We badly need to get our away vibe up and running ASAP!
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