Sendall's Magic Helps Earn Redbridge Point
A brave second-half fightback from Redbridge earned them a deserved point against Sudbury in a highly entertaining season-opener.
The performance showed that Terry Spillane’s new-look side have alot of character and tenacity about them, two qualities that are certainly a good sign looking forward into the season.
The game got off to a quick start and after Sudbury’s Robbie Martin was booked for a rash challenge on Vinnie Durrant inside two minutes, Mark Nougher fired a shot over following good play by Ben Bradbury out wide.
Sudbury began to grow in confidence and on 14 minutes a moment of magic from their forward Dave Wareham put them ahead. A throw in from the right from Martin fell straight into his path just outside the box and on the turn he struck a first-time shot past James May that went in at the near post.
It was an opportunistic finish from Wareham who hit 14 goals last season, but it was one that Redbridge no doubt will have been annoyed at conceding. Dan Trenkel who signed for the Motormen after being released by Brentwood was working hard up front with young Billy Hunt.
The experienced midfielder was being played out of position by Spillane on his league debut, but he looked comfortable in the role and just after 20 minutes was unlucky not to get Redbridge on level terms but he could not keep a header down from a corner and much to the relief of the visitors the ball went over the bar.
Sudbury doubled their lead on 28 minutes and again it was a goal that certainly could have been avoided by the Motormen. A corner from the right was not gathered by May in goal and the ball fell to Tom Devaux inside the six-yard box who lashed the ball home.
At 2-0 down to a side ranked the second favourites to win the division by Sky Bet, most people in the ground would have thought in all fairness ‘game over.’
Redbridge however put some pressure on the Yellows in the final stages of the half with Durrant causing problems down his flank and Nougher shooting narrowly over the bar following good hold-up play by Trenkel. The last chance of the half though fell to Wareham but he shot over under pressure from Glen Golby inside the area.
HT Redbridge 0 AFC Sudbury 2
The second half started with a bang as Sudbury blew a great chance to wrap up the game three minutes into the half, but somehow from a corner Richard Howell blasted over the bar when it seemed harder to miss.
With Durrant working hard down his flank, Spillane made two inspired substitutions to add even more pace and trickery to Redbridge’s play. Billy Sendall and Shane Stamp were brought on for Aarun Best and Bradbury and the duo’s immediately made a difference.
Sendall who is a highly rated right-back caused the Yellows problems with his long ‘Rory Delap-like’ throw-ins and a long throw-in from the left on 67 minutes wasn’t dealt with by keeper Danny Gay and the ball fell to Lewis Dark inside the six-yard box who tapped home.
Minutes later Stamp felt he should have won a penalty after being brought down inside the area by Jamel Fox but referee Keith Yeo after consulting with his linesman failed to award the spot-kick. Not long after Stamp went down in the box again after being pushed in the back and missed out on Durrant’s ball that would have gone perfectly into his path. It looked like a penalty but the officials thought otherwise.
With the game drawing to a conclusion and Sudbury holding the ball up, it appeared that the game was over but in the third minute of stoppage time, Redbridge fought hard to win a corner. Durrant sent in a brilliant delivery into the box which Sendell met to head home at the near post to the jubilation of the home supporters behind the goal.
It was a terrific header from Sendall and with the hosts doing well to defend a corner in the final minute of stoppage time, a point from the game was a great way for the new-look Redbridge to start the season.
Redbridge: James May, Aarun Best (Billy Sendall 61), Tommy Spillane, Jonathan Wheatstone, Glen Golby, Mark Nougher (Andy Oxby 70), Ben Bradbury (Shane Stamp 64), Lewis Dark, Dan Trenkel, Billy Hunt, Vinnie Durrant.
After the game I caught up with our manager Terry Spillane and got his thoughts on our wonderful comeback. To hear the interview in full go to http://www.mediafire.com/?ead95gyuy3ktecs and download the interview.