Benjamin bags a brace as Haringey Borough see off AFC Sudbury
AFC Sudbury 1
Haringey Borough 2
Two goals from former Bury Town striker Chris Benjamin set Haringey on their way to the three points at a freezing Kings Marsh Stadium, writes Dave Meeson.
A late penalty from Joe Whight gave the home side hope but a grandstand finish failed to materialise and the visitors from North London saw the game out fairly comfortably.
The game itself was preceded by a minute’s warm applause for popular club stalwart Pat Arbon, who passed away on Thursday afternoon.
Having started the clash at a fast pace Haringey took the lead in the eighth minute as a fine move ended with Ralston Gabriel unselfishly setting up Benjamin for a first time finish from 10 yards.
Borough were soon well on top and could have been out of sight in the first half hour. The impressive Gabriel outpaced the AFC defence only to roll his effort just wide of the far post.
Sudbury keeper Paul Walker was then called into action to deny Harrison Georgiou and it was Georgiou who went close twice more almost immediately as he headed against the post before lifting an effort narrowly over in the next attack.
The home side began to get a foothold in the game and a Jack Clowsley strike from distance clipped the bar.
The second half began with Haringey back in charge and Rakin Richards volleyed over. Benjamin then made it 2-0 on 62 minutes after Georgiou found him in space to eventually go round the sprawling Walker and finish into the bottom corner.
Sudbury boss Mark Morsley soon introduced Mekhi McKenzie from the bench and this certainly pepped up the home attack as the young striker drilled in a great cross from the right which eluded everyone.
Then it was McKenzie again who caused problems before forcing Haringey keeper Ashley Harris to tip his strike round the post.
Milo Grimes was shoved in the penalty area eight minutes from the end of normal time and Whight ignored lengthy protests to slot home the spot-kick.
Haringey then slowed the game down and Sudbury were unable to make any further inroads before the final whistle.