East Gwent Senior League Division 2  - Sudbrook CC 6 Tintern Abbey 3

TINTERN manager Martin Woodford took full responsibility for a “costly gamble” in the top-of-the-table clash at Sudbrook CC.

With central defender Darren Luff late arriving, he decided to start the match with only 10 players instead of putting a substitute on.

But by the time his side were at full strength, seven minutes after the start, they were 3-0 down.

“I thought we could hold them,” Mr Woodford said. “I suppose it was a little naive of me but I didn’t want to waste a substitution so early in the game. It proved to be a costly gamble.

“We thought we would only have to wait a couple of minutes but to be fair to them, Sudbrook took full advantage.”

They certainly did and the result goes a long way towards clinching the title and promotion to Division 1 as Sudbrook are now 10 points clear of Tintern with a vastly superior goal difference.

Richard Lund scored twice to put Sudbrook 2-0 up after five minutes and Gareth Huntley made it 3-0 a couple of minutes later.

But once at full strength, Tintern were stronger and home keeper Ian Parker denied the division’s top scorer Geraint Reynolds a goal before being beaten by Philip Seabury’s 25-yard free-kick.

Lund again broke clear on the left with Tintern’s defence appealing in vain for offside and as keeper Stuart Williams charged off his line, Lund squared the ball for Matthew Phillips to tap into an empty net.

Tempers were frayed and a series of niggling and late fouls had players from both sides angry and frustrated.

Huntley scored his second soon after half-time, running onto a through ball before firing low into the far corner and within minutes, Lund completed his hat-trick.

His first effort was blocked by Williams but he pounced on the rebound to score with the keeper grounded.

Tintern refused to roll over and kept plugging away in search of more goals. They had a penalty appeal turned down; a shot hit a post and bounced clear before Luff - who had been moved into midfield and was named Man of the Match by his manager - scored twice to earn some respectability.

Sudbrook manager Gary Vaughan wasn’t too happy with the victory.

“I thought it was a poor performance really,” he said later.

“We went to sleep in the second half and it became end-to-end and we conceded two sloppy goals.

“We have the advantage in the promotion race but there’s still a long way to go.”