Bury Town saw their hopes of escaping relegation in the Ryman League Premier Division suffer a dent as their four-game unbeaten run came to an abrupt end in a 3-0 defeat at home to Kingstonian.
Josh Casey and Adam Doyle had the visitors 2-0 up inside 48 minutes before Bury’s task was made harder with the dismissals of striker John Sands and midfielder John Kennedy after 70 minutes.
And it did not take long for Kingstonian to capitalise on their numerical advantage as Dylan Casey struck after 79 minutes to leave Bury bottom of the league, six points adrift of safety.
After the match, manager Ben Chenery insisted the loss was just ‘a blip’ on their recent form.
In contrast, Needham Market remain six points adrift of leaders Harlow Town in Ryman League Division One North but with three games in hand after sealing a fifth straight victory by overcoming Thamesmead Town 2-0.
Meanwhile in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division Mildenhall Town lost 3-0 away at Whitton United, Thetford Town slipped to a 3-1 loss at home to Felixstowe and Walton United but there was a victory for Walsham-le-Willows who overcame Wivenhoe Town in a 1-0 success on the road.
In the First Division, Stowmarket beat Halstead Town 2-0 while Team Bury suffered a 3-1 defeat away at Dereham Town.
Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club slipped a point behind league leaders London Irish Wild Geese after sealing a hard-fought third straight win in a 25-17 success at Westcliff.
However, their failure to score four tries allowed the Wild Geese — who did — to move clear by a bonus point.
In the Sky Bet Championship Ipswich Town moved back into the top two automatic promotion places after a 3-1 victory at struggling Millwall.
Noel Hunt, who recently completed a permanent free transfer after agreeing to settle up the remainder of his contract at Leeds United, was the Suffolk side’s hero with two goals in the opening 14 minutes.
Magaye Gueye pulled a goal back for the Lions three minutes before the break, but the result was effectively sealed in the 77th minute, when substitute Jonathan Parr latched on to a clever pass from debutant Freddie Sears to roll past David Forde, to the delight of 2,5000 travelling fans.
If leaders Bournemouth were to slip up at Leeds United on Tuesday, Mick McCarthy’s side took take advantage to go top with victory at 19th-placed Brighton and Hove Albion on Wednesday (7.45pm), with The Seagulls having only won twice at The AMEX Stadium all season.
Norwich City manager Alex Neil got all three points in his first game in charge at Carrow Road, as the Canaries held on to win 3-2 at home to Cardiff City, having led 3-0 at the break after goals from Gary Hooper, Kyle Lafferty and Cameron Jerome, the latter against his former employers.
John Ruddy had saved a penalty from Peter Whittingham at 2-0, while Cardiff came back into the game in a tense second half, with Alex Revell and Kadeem Harris setting up a nervy last 26 minutes.