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Saturday local football round-up: Thetford Town claims derby honours in season opener against Walsham-le-Willows (Plus VIDEO of Danny White reaction), Ely win while Stowmarket Town draw, Newmarket, Mildenhall, Hadleigh and Long Melford lose




The opening weekend of the Thurlow Nunn League season has thrown up some unexpected results, with title favourites Stowmarket Town only able to open up their campaign with a draw and Mildenhall Town, fresh from relegation from the BetVictor Isthmian League North, fell to defeat.

Woodbridge Town sit top of the standings after inflicting a hefty 4-0 defeat over hosts Long Melford in their season opener which, conversely, sees The Villagers, who are keen to avoid another relegation battle, at the bottom.

Their visitors proved too strong, with Woodbridge scoring twice within four minutes to leave Long Melford on the back foot from the off.

Long Melford FC v Woodbridge Town. Melford miss a second half penalty.. (14712766)
Long Melford FC v Woodbridge Town. Melford miss a second half penalty.. (14712766)

Two further goals in the second half ended any hopes of the home side taking anything from their first league match of 2019/20, with their fate further sealed by a missed penalty for Melford late on.

There was better news for Ely City on Saturday, as they returned home from Gorleston with three points in the bag via a 2-1 victory.

The side, who only secured their Premier Division league status in the penultimate game of last season, got this season off to a great start with goals from Steve Holder and Adam Capel.

Thetford Town also enjoyed a 2-1 win in their opening match, on Friday evening, in the home derby against Walsham-le-Willows.

An exciting first-half produced all the goals with Liam Hemming scoring in the 12th minute before Craig Nurse produced an equaliser in the 23rd minute.

Bradley Sandell scored, what proved to be the winner, in the 44th minute to take Thetford into the interval in the lead.

Despite heavy pressure from the visitors in the second half, Danny White's men held on for all the points.

Meanwhile Stowmarket Town, who many have tipped for the league title after signing a number of high profile, higher-league players this summer, failed to fire consistently as they drew 2-2 away to FC Clacton.

They had to twice come from behind to stay level, with Christy Finch pulling back a goal in the 60th minute before a penalty in the 81st minute, converted by Josh Mayhew, sparing the blushes of an opening loss for the visitors.

But Mildenhall Town, a side who have targeted an immediate return to Step 4 football after relegation last season, did not get that ambition off the ground, with a 1-0 away loss to Brantham Athletic.

Football action from Debenham LC vs Downham Market...Tobie Stollery..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (14710909)
Football action from Debenham LC vs Downham Market...Tobie Stollery..Picture: Mark Bullimore Photography. (14710909)

Despite Brantham keeper George Mutimer being sent off just before half-time to leave an outfield player between the sticks for 45 minutes, Ricky Cornish's men could not find a way through.

The home side then had a goal disallowed for offside in the 82nd minute before going on to find the winner three minutes later, to send Mildenhall home with nothing to show for their opening match efforts.

Hadleigh United were also sent packing with no points from their opening match, a 3-0 away loss to Kirkley & Pakefield while Newmarket Town fell to a 2-1 defeat away to Stanway Rovers.

A penalty in the sixth minute for Stanway gave them the advantage which the Jockeys cancelled out in the 35th minute with a score by Ben Robinson.

But the home team found their way through in the 86th minute to leave Newmarket empty-handed.

Long Melford FC v Woodbridge Town. Woodbridge keeper, Alfie Stronge makes a flying save from a Melford free kick.. (14712764)
Long Melford FC v Woodbridge Town. Woodbridge keeper, Alfie Stronge makes a flying save from a Melford free kick.. (14712764)

In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, Diss Town fired five goals past hosts Wisbech St Mary to signal their intent this season.

The away side went a goal down early on but came back fighting with four goals from Ryan Fuller proving the difference, with Charlie Webb scoring the second goal to put Diss 2-1 ahead.

Lakenheath also took victory in their first match of the season, recording a 2-1 home win over Sheringham.

Rafal Wozniak and Aaron Forshaw netted for the Heath.

Framlingham Town, meanwhile, took a point home from their away encounter with Fakenham Town.

The visitors, recently relegated from the Premier Division after finding life at Step 5 tough last season, drew 2-2 in their first game back in Step 6.

But it was defeat for Debenham LC and Cornard United, both teams suffering opening day home misery.

Debenham fell to a single goal loss to Downham Town while Cornard United were thrashed 7-0 by Mulbarton Wanderers.

Halstead Town were also made to suffer at home in their first game in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South, as they were defeated 5-0 by Wormley Rovers.

Finally, Haverhill Borough's first game of the season at home to Norwich CBS was postponed last minute, when their opponents' bus broke down enroute to the match.

* For more on each match, including pictures and comments, pick up a copy of our print editions on Thursday and Friday



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