Saturday local football round-up: Big wins for Newmarket Town, Stowmarket Town and Soham Town Rangers
It was a high scoring afternoon of football, with Newmarket Town ending a winless run with an unanswered seven goals, Stowmarket Town hitting five past their opposition and Soham Town Rangers defying league positions with a 3-0 win away to AFC Sudbury.
Newmarket Town went into the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division clash on the back of three league games without a win, but played with confidence as they dispatched a visiting Gorleston 7-0.
Sam Gomarsall scored a hat-trick – which included the first goal for the side, which came after 19 minutes as the Jockeys blew their opposition apart.
Ben Robinson scored the first of his two after 24 minutes before Lewis Whitehead then netted a third for the team after 30 minutes.
Jack Whiting scored on the stroke of half-time for a 4-0 lead.
Gomarsall then scored again in the second half, after 75 minutes, as he was fastest to a rebounded Whiting shot before netting his third in the 80th minute.
Robinson had scored in between, in the 78th minute, as Newmarket took their opposition apart. Although 7-0 down, the Gorleston keeper did well to save a final penalty.
Stowmarket Town also had a point to prove as they bounced back from back-to-back defeats – including Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final disappointment – with a 5-1 home victory over FC Clacton.
It took the side 34 minutes to break the deadlock, before netting twice in three minutes.
Robbie-Lee Sweeney scored from a Ryan Clark cross before Josh Mayhew scored, drilling it into the bottom corner in the 36th minute.
But FC Clacton fought back, with a score in the 38th minute, for a narrow 2-1 lead for the home team at half-time.
Luke Read added a third score for Stow on the hour mark, getting on the end of a Clark shot to guide it in, before Mayhew netted his 25th goal of the season after 66 minutes for a 4-1 lead.
Scott Chaplin grabbed the team's fifth score in the 72nd minute for the 5-1 thrashing.
In the Bostik League North Division, Soham Town Rangers beat divisional rivals AFC Sudbury 3-0 on the road, courtesy of a Sam Mulready hat-trick.
Scores in the 33rd, 78th and 90th minutes sealed three points for the visitors while condemning AFC to a two place drop in the league.
They were leapfrogged by both Felixstowe & Walton United and Bury Town, who beat Brentwood Town 2-1 at Ram Meadow.
An Ollie Hughes brace in the 53rd and 60th minute, punctuated by an unfortunate Ryley Scott own goal in the 55th minute, was enough to see Bury back into sixth place.
A 3-0 home defeat for Mildenhall Town, meanwhile, has seen them drop to the bottom of the league table.
Back to the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, it was a 2-0 home victory for Walsham-le-Willows against relegation-threatened Long Melford.
It leaves Melford in a bottom two position while also halting a two-match losing run for Walsham.
Both goals came from the bench, with George Bugg putting the side a goal ahead at Summer Road before Ryan Twinn became the second substitute to find the net for the home team.
The result saw Walsham hold on to their fifth place in the league, from a resurgent Kirkley & Pakefield.
They hosted a Haverhill Rovers side struggling for goals, and Kirkley's first half score from a spot kick proved enough to send Rovers home with nothing to show.
The 1-0 defeat is now the third match in a row in which Haverhill have failed to score and their fourth consecutive defeat.
Basement side Framlingham Town also fell to defeat, despite giving third-placed visitors Godmanchester Rovers a run for their money to the final whistle.
The side with only six league wins under their belt this term fought back from a 2-0 half-time deficit with a Mason Ransome score, but ran out of time as it ended in a 2-1 defeat.
There was also defeat for Ely City, on the road to second-placed Woodbridge Town, as they lost by a 4-1 margin.
They had also hoped to follow up on success in their last but found themselves two goals down early on.
Despite a goal to keep them on terms from the penalty spot, it was the home team that scored two more.
Hadleigh United are also now at risk of being dragged back into the relegation fight after a 3-2 away defeat to Wroxham.
The 16th-placed side missed a chance to pick up some league points, after putting themselves two goals to the good after just 23 minutes.
But a reply from Wroxham just one minute later, followed by an equaliser in the 36th minute, left it all to play for in the second half.
Hadleigh found themselves increasingly on the back foot as the final 45 minutes played out, with the winner coming in the 76th minute.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, Harleston Town kept up their winning run and title chase with a single goal victory over a visiting Diss Town.
Harleston, who remain top of the league but with Swaffham breathing down their necks, stretched their winning run in all competitions to five matches.
They have conceded just twice in that time, while netting 20 goals, with Lawrence Cheese scoring the only time in the home defeat of Diss.
Diss, on the other hand, fall to consecutive league losses.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South, Halstead Town (2nd) took the honours in a crucial winner-takes-all match of second pitted against third in the league.
Halstead visited a White Ensign (3rd) side keen to close the gap on their rivals, but Halstead were able to hold their opponents to a 3-2 result.
Goals came from a Chris Harris brace and a Nick Miller score. Unfortunately, Peter Paoletti suffered a broken leg for the home team.
There was also another win for Needham Market Reserves as they beat Norwich CBS, who lie in seventh position, by a 3-2 scoreline in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North.
The reserve side have now won six (of their seven league victories all season) of the last eight league matches and the last two in a row.
They are now managed by former Northern Ireland player and current Colchester United U23 manager Kevin Horlock alongside a marked improvement in their results.
Needham Market, the senior team in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central, meanwhile, did well to record a goalless score at home to second-in-the-league Stourbridge.
They now lie 12th in the league.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, Lakenheath (6th) bounced back from their defeat to the resurgent Needham Reserves, as they hosted a midtable clash against Downham Town (8th)
A 1-0 scoreline was enough for three points for the side.
But Haverhill Borough's search for a first win of the year continues, with a 3-1 defeat at home to Fakenham Town.
The result sees them drop another place in the league to 17th, just two places off the bottom.
They find themselves closer to a bottom two spot due to previous basement side Wisbech St Mary's 3-1 home victory over AFC Sudbury Reserves.
* For reaction to these matches, plus a look ahead to what is to come next weekend, see this week's print editions.