Saturday's local football round-up: Stowmarket Town march on in the Buildbase FA Vase as Cornard United, Thetford Town and Newmarket Town all post victories in the Thurlow Nunn League
The road to Wembley remains firmly open for Suffolk's only remaining side Stowmarket Town after they got the better of Baldock Town in the second round of the Buildbase FA Vase this afternoon.
Ollie Canfer continued his positive form in front of goal this term by opening the scoring in the 15th minute at Greens Meadow, but the Old Gold and Blacks were pegged back before the break when Tom Matthews turned the ball into his own net.
The score remained one apiece throughout the second half, meaning extra-time was required to determine who would advance through to Monday's draw.
And it was Stowmarket that came out on top during the 30-minute period thanks to Max Melanson — his first goal for the club since his summer arrival – and another from Canfer, sealing a 3-1 win and their place in the last 64 of the competition for the first time since 1982.
Meanwhile, in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, spirits were lifted at Thetford Town after they put Whitton United to the sword with five unanswered goals.
As well as winning none of their last four outings in all competitions, the Brecklanders have had to contend with losing the services of captain Sam Bond and striker Andrew Wood in recent weeks.
However, in Valter Rocha they still have a talisman, highlighted by the fact that he scored all five of their goals at Mundford Road – four in the first half.
Elsewhere, 13th-placed Newmarket Town leapfrogged hosts Haverhill Rovers (15th) in the table following their 4-2 win at The New Croft.
The visiting Jockeys raced into a four-goal lead via Matt Hayden (2), Sam Gomarsall and Jack Watson, but while Rovers responded through a deflected Luke Haines free-kick and a Mitchell Burr penalty, it was a case of too little too late for Marc Abbott's charges.
Shane Wardley's Hadleigh United had not been happy travellers until today's trip to Norwich United, from where they returned back to base with their first away win of the campaign.
Goals in either half from Kyle Ferguson and Brett Crisp rubber-stamped the 2-1 win for the third-from-bottom Brettsiders.
Ely City are still waiting to rediscover that winning feeling, although they did halt a run of seven straight defeats in the league with a 2-2 draw at home against Brantham Athletic.
Tom Williams and Sam Reed twice had the Robins in front, but on both occasions they were pegged back – the second of which came three minutes from time to rescue Brantham a share of the spoils.
As for Long Melford and Framlingham Town, they had afternoons to forget as both lost 4-1 at home to Wroxham and away at Gorleston respectively.
In the First Division North, Harleston Town have stretched their lead at the top to 13 points following their 1-0 victory at AFC Sudbury Reserves.
A penalty from Nathan Stone was enough to wrap up a 13th straight win in all competitions for Adam Gusterson's side, who are enjoying their first ever season as a Step 6 club.
As well as their own triumph, Harleston also have Cornard United to thank for their advantage at the top being extended after The Ards beat second-placed Mulbarton Wanderers 3-2.
Andy Schofield showed the way by scoring twice, with his match-clinching goals sandwiching an effort from striker Sean Bartlett against a side that had scored 10 times last week.
The result means that having lost two home games on the trot in October, it is now back-to-back victories for Cornard at Blackhouse Lane.
Haverhill Borough started life without departed boss Scott Hiskey by winning 2-1 at bottom-of-the-table Felixstowe & Walton United Reserves.
Rigers Kabashi and Craig Pruden scored the goals as Borough posted a first league victory since September 29.
Diss Town and Needham Market Reserves suffered 3-1 defeats on the road at March Town United and Downham Town respectively, but Debenham LC fared better at Ipswich Wanderers on Friday evening.
Lamell Howell took his goal tally for the season into double figures, while Bradley Austin and Matt Poxon also netted for Leon Moore's Hornets in a 3-0 win.
On the same night Halstead Town moved to First Division South's summit thanks to a convincing 6-0 win over Braintree Town Reserves.
The Humbugs had never previously gotten the better of the Cressing Road side's second string, but they have now beaten them twice in a week. On October 27 they won through 4-1, while this time Callum Vincent (2), Kane Gilbert, Tom Cook, Chris Harris and Joseph Jones completed the rout.
In the Evo-Stik Southern League Premier Division Central, Needham Market were looking to become just the third side this season to take points off league-leading Kettering at Bloomfields.
And they looked to be on course to do just that at half-time with the game goal-less, but Kettering's quality shone through in the second half, scoring three times without reply.
It ended the Marketmen's four-match unbeaten run in all competitions ahead of next weekend's FA Trophy at Herne Bay, where the club will be bidding to advance beyond the second qualifying round for the first time in their history.
Mildenhall Town were also up against it in the Bostik League North Division as they played host to a Coggeshall Town side that had not lost since the second game of the season.
They made the perfect start when Jarid Robson scored his first league goal in Mildenhall colours inside two minutes, but high-flying Coggeshall were in front before the break through Curtis Haynes-Brown's deflected strike and Sam Bantick's seventh goal in six appearances for the club.
A back-post header from Ross Wall in the 63rd minute stretched the Essex side's lead further and while Mildenhall threatened a comeback when Emmanuel Osei scored a header of his own four minutes from time, substitute Tom Monk sealed a 4-2 win for Coggeshall in stoppage time with a breakaway goal.
For Mildenhall, they have now not won in the league since September 29 and perhaps more worryingly have shipped a hefty 22 goals in their last seven matches.
Bury Town recently won back-to-back home games 3-0 against Mildenhall and Tilbury, but they have now lost two matches on the spin at Ram Meadow after Aveley recorded a 2-1 win.
Goals from Andrew Freeman and Tom Richardson had already done the damage before Jake Chambers-Shaw added his name to the scoresheet for Bury, who are three points adrift of the play-off places having played more games than any other side in the division (12).
The situation remains bleak for basement boys Soham Town Rangers, who despite handing a debut to new signing Prince Mutswunguma from Haverhill, slipped to a 1-0 loss at Maldon & Tiptree.
The Greens have still won just once this term from their 11 outings, scoring only eight goals in the process.
There was at least some reason to be upbeat for AFC Sudbury after they came away from Great Wakering Rovers with a 1-1 draw.
An own goal from John Mbamarah earned the Yellows a share of the spoils and continued their positive record on the road this season – only two teams have collected more points than Mark Morsley's team on their travels.
* For reaction to all of this weekend's action, plus a look ahead at what is to come next, see this week's print editions.