Saturday's local football round-up: Stowmarket Town book place in next round of FA Vase with 4-0 win, Walsham-le-Willows bounce back with win at Mildenhall while Newmarket Town and Hadleigh United pick up big three points
Stowmarket Town have booked their place in the Fourth Round Proper of the Buildbase FA Vase, with a comfortable 4-0 home win over Stansted.
In front of a booster crowd of 429 – the highest attendance for a competitive fixture at Greens Meadow – goals from Matt Blake, Josh Mayhew, Dean Bowditch and Luke Read sealed the victory and put their name in the hat for the next round.
Blake got the goalscoring going in the ninth minute, finishing a Mayhew header on from a Robbie Sweeney corner.
Mayhew added his name to the scoresheet with a tap in at the back post in the 24th minute from a Seb Dunbar cross before Bowditch made it three goals after just 30 minutes with his powerful strike through a crowded box.
Stow dominated the first half, limiting their visitors to just one shot on target, and were unfortunate not to score more.
But they found the tempo hard to maintain in the second period as Stansted got into it a little more and had a few chances from corners.
The Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division runaway leaders defended well to hold on for a clean sheet at home for the eighth time this season, from 12 fixtures in all competitions.
And they even added a fourth score with the final kick of the game, as Luke Read headed in from a Dave Cowley corner.
Read all the key moments in our live blog: here
But Bury Town had to settle for a draw in the BetVictor Isthmian League North at home to Coggeshall Town.
It was a point apiece at the Denny Bros Ram Meadow Stadium with the hosts' close-range opener from top scorer Cemal Ramadan (13th of the season in all comps) answered midway through the second period from Robert Harvey's similar tap-in.
On the balance of play and good chances, a draw was a fair reflection with both sides having half chances to win.
On a difficult heavy surface it was a day for the defenders and goalkeepers in front of 435 spectators, with Bury Town just holding on to top spot in the standings on goal difference.
Read sports editor Russell Claydon's updates from the game: here
Meanwhile in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, Walsham-le-Willows moved up to 14th place in the table with a 3-1 away win at Mildenhall Town.
Boss Fergus O'Callaghan's unbeaten run since taking over at the helm came to an end in their previous outing, a heavy 5-1 defeat at Newmarket Town last weekend, and the manager had spoken of a need to 'get a result' at Mildenhall.
Mildenhall were looking to bounce back from a loss at Stow last time out, and it was the home side that scored first.
But an equaliser from The Willows Sam Peters, followed by further goals from Lee Hammond and Charlie Norman, sealed three points for the visiting side.
Hadleigh United also picked up a vital three points with their odd goal in five victory away to Ely City in a clash between two teams caught up in a relegation battle.
Ely opened the scoring after 18 minutes, Ben Harnwell going on good run before squaring across for an easy tap in for Luke Crisp to put hosts in front, before Hadleigh quickly got back on terms six minutes later.
A run from Joel Glover ended with him shooting straight through the goalkeeper's legs for the Brettsiders' equaliser.
Hadleigh went ahead in the 39th minute as Glover's shots was parried by the keeper but falling to Brett Crisp to score.
The visiting side found their third goal in the 63rd minute from a cross in from the left, eventually reaching Glover for an easy finish.
Ely then found a consolation goal five minutes into added time.
Hadleigh remain at the foot of the Premier Division standings but now equal on points with Gorleston and four points adrift of Ely in 18th.
Newmarket Town kept up their unbeaten run at home with a 3-1 win over Godmanchester Rovers, to see them move up to third in the league standings.
Ben Robinson netted a brace with a further goal from Jack Chandler to secure another three points at their Tristel Stadium base.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, Lakenheath have also moved up to third with their 3-1 home win over Norwich CBS.
A Shaun Avis brace and Sam Hawley header proved enough to secure the home team three more points.
Avis' 16 goal tally in the league, from 21 appearances, places him fourth in the top scorers standings.
It was three points for Haverhill Borough as well, as they recorded a 3-1 win away to basement side Wisbech St Mary.
A hat-trick for Tom Thulborn secured a big win for Borough after back-to-back matches against the top two teams.
Both AFC Sudbury Reserves and Needham Market Reserves were facing those two top teams, managing to both hold them to three-all draws, and help Lakenheath close the gap to six points between second and third.
AFC Sudbury Reserves (15th) were away to second-placed Mulbarton Wanderers, while Needham played host to league leaders Downham Town.
But it was defeat for Cornard United, falling to a 4-2 home loss against Leiston Reserves.
In the First Division South, Halstead Town held top of the table Lopes Tavares to a 2-2 draw at home.
Needham Market's trip to third-placed Coalville Town in the BetVictor Southern Premier Central was postponed due to a frozen pitch while Haverhill Rovers' visit from Gorleston in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division was rescheduled for a later date due to an unplayable pitch.
Rovers announced four new signings ahead of the match, but will now have to wait until December 7 and their next fixture to make their debuts.
AFC Sudbury were not in action in the Isthmian League North with a weekend off fixtures, nor were Long Melford or Thetford Town in the Thurlow Nunn Premier and Diss Town did not have a game in the First Division North.
In a Friday night Diss Express derby, Debenham LC won out in an epic eight goal match in the 5-3 win at Framlingham Town.
More by this authorHannah Dolman