Saturday's local football round-up: Newmarket Town continue unbeaten home run at expense of Walsham-le-Willows, AFC Sudbury bow out of FA Trophy, Long Melford back up to third and Stowmarket Town claim Mildenhall derby honours.
Newmarket Town put an end to new Walsham-le-Willows manager Fergus O'Callaghan's unbeaten start to his reign with a heavy 5-1 defeat at the Tristel Stadium, while also ensuring their unbeaten home record for this season remains.
It was a Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division clash between two teams with records both were keen to protect and it was The Willows who struck first, Craig Jennings opening the scoring in the 40th minute.
Against the run of play, Jennings scored from a great counter attacking move, as he chased down the left to draw the keeper away from goal, before rounding him and sending the ball goalbound from the edge of the area.
Player-boss Michael Shinn came on at half-time for the Jockeys and proved a vital addition as he dominated the midfield play and added zip to the Newmarket attack.
It took almost 15 minutes for Newmarket to find their rhythm but, when they did, the goals started to flow.
Ross Paterson equalised in the 59th minute after wonderful fluidity from Newmarket to quickly get the ball forward, with short, snappy passes before laying off to Paterson who struck well to beat the keeper.
A second goal came minutes later, with James Seymour making sure to convert a Shinn cross that looked destined for the top right corner anyway, in a breathless spell of the game.
Walsham were unlucky not to pull level in the 65th minute as a header hit the post and ricocheted off the crossbar before going out for a corner before Paterson was judged to have been brought down in the box at the other end for a penalty in the 69th minute.
Jack Watson smashed the spot kick into goal for a 3-1 lead.
Ross Paterson found his second minutes later as Walsham's squad were ripped apart by a ruthless home team with their tails up; Ben Landshoff's 84th minute score completing the humiliation for O'Callaghan's men.
Stowmarket Town – alongside Newmarket as the only two league teams still unbeaten at home this term – were also derby winners in the league, with a narrower 2-1 win at home to Mildenhall Town.
Robbie Sweeney opened the scoring in the ninth minute from long range before an Ollie Canfer penalty for Mildenhall in the 49th minute cancelled things out.
But Josh Mayhew finished a good cross from Seb Dunbar in the 57th minute to seal another three points for the runaway league leaders.
Former professional Dean Bowditch made an appearance in the 65th minute, for his Stow debut.
Long Melford's top form has also continued as they return to third in the league with a 2-1 win away at Swaffham Town.
Ben Judge opened the scoring for the Villagers after just 10 minutes, with the scoreline doubled by Tom Blackwell shortly before half-time.
A Swaffham penalty in the 90th minute made for a nervy finish, but the visitors held on for their 10th win of the season, from 17 outings.
Thetford Town, meanwhile, had to settle for a 3-1 defeat away at Brantham Athletic.
It was their first defeat in six in the league having enjoyed a resurgence in form under new player-manager Matt Morton.
Brantham scored two goals in two minutes in the first half and Thetford never recovered, with a 61st minute penalty sealing the result; Tanner Call scored an 89th minute consolation.
Haverhill Rovers also fell to defeat, via a 5-1 loss away to FC Clacton, as they continue to struggle with recent form.
The loss, their fourth in a row in the league, sees them sitting 19th of 20th in the standings over the past seven fixtures; only Hadleigh United have been worse off.
Ely City lost 2-0 away to Wroxham, for their third league defeat in a row.
Meanwhile, BetVictor Isthmian League North side AFC Sudbury bowed out of the third round qualifying of the FA Trophy away to Isthmian Premier side Kingstonian.
Callum Harrison put the visiting team a goal up in the 47th minute but the Step 4 side's advantage did not last long with Kingstonian equalising in the 53rd minute.
Dan Bennett found a winner for the home side in the 88th minute to end AFC dreams of a place in the next round.
Divisional rivals Soham Town Rangers salvaged a 1-1 draw away to Coggeshall Town in the league, despite spending the majority of the game on the back foot.
Coggeshall's Ross Wall struck in the 18th minute, but Matt Allan found the equaliser in the 71st minute to see Soham record just their second draw of the season so far.
And it was honours even for Needham Market in the BetVictor Southern Premier Central, as they conceded late at King's Langley for a 2-2 draw.
A 92nd minute score from the hosts will be a huge disappointment for Richard Wilkins' men, who seem to have shipped late goals – and points – on a number of occasions.
Jordan Parkes put Langley a goal up after seven minutes, but Craig Parker's goal one minute into added time of the first half made it 1-1 at the break.
Luke Ingram put Needham 2-1 up in the 63rd minute, before Parkes found his second to rescue his side a point, while leaving the visitors feeling it was a chance missed.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, Framlingham Town beat AFC Sudbury Reserves 2-1 on the road for just their third win of the season.
Daniel Smith and Anthony Johnson scored for Framlingham.
Diss Town made the most of their visit from league strugglers King's Lynn Town Reserves, with a comprehensive 5-0 home win keeping them in the battle at the top of the standings in fifth.
It was the Charlie Webb show as he netted four of his side's five goals, with Angus Mackie scoring the other.
Lakenheath also put a big score past their opposition as they beat Felixstowe & Walton United Reserves 4-0 away this afternoon.
Shaun Avis, Rafal Wozniak, Kelvin Enaro and Dean Grogan were all on target for Heath.
Debenham LC have moved up to sixth with their 1-0 home win over Leiston Reserves, Marcus Taylor netting the winner.
Needham Market Reserves drew 1-1 at home to Ipswich Wanderers while Haverhill Borough lost in an eight goal home thriller.
Hosting title challenger Mulbarton Wanderers, Borough were up against it and, despite their best efforts, lost 5-3 in the high-scoring encounter.
Goals came from Tom Thulborn and Ryan Swallow while Michael King scored his maiden goal for the club.
It was also defeat for Cornard United, as they lost 2-1 away to Fakenham Town.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South, Halstead Town beat Wormley Rovers 1-0.
Bury Town were not in action in the BetVictor Isthmian League North this weekend, with their match at Aveley postponed due to the latter's involvement in the FA Trophy.
And Hadleigh United's game at home to Whitton United in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
More by this authorHannah Dolman