Saturday local football round-up: Walsham-le-Willows up to fourth while Soham Town Rangers continue to find form
Walsham-le-Willows' incredible season has continued into the New Year, with a 3-1 win on the road to Kirkley & Pakefield seeing them move up to fourth in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table.
In their first outing of 2019, they were able to follow up on last weekend's two-goal draw away at Histon, while also leapfrogging their opposition, who drop two places to sixth.
With the top three sides in the Premier Division all in FA Vase action this weekend (including Stowmarket Town, away to Biggleswade tomorrow), it was the top league match of the weekend between the sides in fourth and fifth in the table.
Walsham had found themselves a goal down five minutes from half-time but quickly got themselves back level with a Sam Peters score, from a rebounded free kick, to go in 1-1 at the interval.
George Bugg then headed in from a great cross from Ryan Gibbs in the 67th minute to go 2-1 ahead before Joe Boulter added the extras in the 85th minute from the bench with a nicely struck kick into the top corner.
Soham Town Rangers were also big winners on Saturday, beating Romford 4-0 at home in the Bostik League North to climb above them into 17th place.
Their recent form (over the past six outings) puts them in a mid-table 10th, with Robbie Mason's men finding an extra gear just when their Step 4 position seemed in serious jeopardy.
Sam Mulready (11') and Callum Russell (18') fired them into an early two goal lead before Milready added his brace from the spot in the 55th minute before Michael Baulk added the extras in the final minute of normal time.
And Needham Market regained their sixth position in the league, as they recorded the league double over Lowestoft Town in the Evo-Stik League Southern Premier Division Central this term.
Richard Wilkins' men beat their Suffolk derby rivals 2-0 away to remain in the fight for a play-off place, while also securing the bragging points over their divisional rivals.
They beat the side 1-0 at Bloomfields earlier in the season and backed that up with goals from Joe Marsden and Reece Dobson, to return from Lowestoft with maximum points.
Long Melford also picked up a vital win in the Thurlow Nunn Premier, beating Newmarket Town 1-0 on the road courtesy of a Steve Adams finish to remain just above the emerging relegation battle at the bottom.
The goal came from a Kieran Michael's corner to ensure the side made a good start to the year in 16th position, sharing the points with two teams above.
The Jockeys, on the other hand, have now lost their last three league fixtures.
Hadleigh United's heavy 4-0 loss away at Great Yarmouth Town saw them miss an opportunity to pick up vital points against the team that had been bottom of the league for the majority of the season so far.
It was not that easy, however, with The Bloaters having enjoyed a recent purple patch and they were able to secure their fifth successive win, while Hadleigh have not won since December 1.
The loss sees them remain in penultimate position in the league table in 19th, with two sides due to be demoted.
They were fortunate not to fall off the pace in the battle with losses for both Framlingham Town (20th) and Thetford Town (18th).
Despite a Wroxham player being sent off in the first half, Framlingham were unable to prevent a 3-0 loss on the road and remain rooted to the foot of the table.
And the Brecklanders are also not enjoying their current form, falling to a 3-1 away defeat to Woodbridge Town to see Danny White's men fail to secure any league points from their last six outings.
Valter Rocha, however, kept up his personal tally and remains top of the Thurlow Nunn League Top Scorers list with 20 goals, from his 21 appearances.
Ely City, meanwhile, remain just outside of the danger zone despite their 3-1 loss away to FC Clacton.
Brady Stone's men swapped places with their opposition, dropping a spot to 15th, after the defeat – Alex Brown putting Ely a goal up before the side were then caught and overtaken.
Only Haverhill Rovers walked away with a draw on Saturday, after a goalless encounter with Norwich United at The New Croft.
The result saw them remain a mid-table ninth.
In the Bostik League North Division, AFC Sudbury were unable to follow up on Tuesday's 3-2 derby success at Bury Town as they fell to a 2-0 loss at home to Aveley.
Facing the team a place above, rather a place below, in the league, Mark Morsley's men were outclassed by their experienced opposition – who climbed a place further to fourth in the league following the outcome.
And Bury Town were condemned to fall to back-to-back 3-2 defeats in the league as they were beaten by the same scoreline away to Grays Athletic.
Grays, who were a place below Bury, move a place above them into seventh.
Kyran Clements scored in the 72nd minute to bring the scores level but a second Kieran Bishop score minutes later, followed by an 82nd minute third from the home team put the score out of reach, despite a 90th minute score from Ryan Horne.
Mildenhall Town also lost and remain in the bottom two relegation places, following their 2-1 away defeat at Canvey Island.
It had looked like it might be new manager Ricky Cornish's day, with Abouhadje Kouassi scoring in the 25th minute to put Hall a goal to the good.
But two goals from Adam Vyse, a 38th minute penalty followed by 74th minute winner, sunk hopes of returning with anything from the match.
And in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, Harleston Town were beaten for only the fourth time this season as they fell to a 2-1 home loss to Lakenheath.
Ryan Weaver scored in the 54th minute to put the visitors a goal up, finishing calmly into the bottom right corner after intercepting in the area, before adding a second.
James McCabe scored in the 64th minute after the visitors broke from a Harleston corner.
Harleston's Nicky Howell pulled a goal back in the seventh minute of added time to end the match on a loss, but leave the side seven points clear at the league summit.
Cornard United took a point off sixth placed Norwich CBS, recording a 2-2 draw at home to sit in 14th position in the league.
Diss Town beat Leiston Reserves 5-2 away from home for a critical three points in the league.
Former assistant Mike Derbyshire oversaw the result following the departure of first team manager Jason Cook.
And Debenham LC, also without a manager following Leon Moore's departure last week, were narrowly beaten 3-2 away to Swaffham Town.
New Haverhill Borough chief Kevin Parsons will likely wish he could have another go at his first game in charge as he did not get off to the dream one, with his side falling to a 2-0 loss away to Fakenham Town.
And Needham Market Reserves remain rooted to the bottom of the league, suffering a heavy 5-0 loss at home to March Town United.
Meanwhile, Halstead Town were without a fixture in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South.