Saturday's local football round-up: Bury Town open up with a win, Mildenhall Town get off the mark and Halstead Town hit the summit
Bury Town got the new BetVictor League North Division campaign off on a winning note this afternoon thanks to a 3-1 home triumph over Basildon United.
The fit-again Cemal Ramadan got things rolling with his deadlock-breaking goal after just two minutes, followed by Ryan Jolland doubling the Blues' advantage seven minutes later.
It got worse for Basildon in the 33rd minute when centre-forward Adam Vyse was handed a straight red card for violent conduct, but within three minutes they managed to reduce the arrears via Ayomikun Odukoya.
With the game in the balance, it was Olly Hughes – playing through the pain barrier – who made the points safe for Bury in the 62nd minute with a smart volley.
The game did end on a sour note for Bury with goalscorer Jolland being sent off for retaliation, but it was nevertheless three points for Ben Chenery's side ahead of Tuesday evening's trip to Witham Town, who were 3-0 winners over Hullbridge Sports.
There was not such positive news for fellow North Division outfits AFC Sudbury and Soham Town Rangers though, with both suffering defeats on the road.
Sudbury found themselves two goals down at the break to Coggeshall Town, and although Tom Maycock got the Yellows back in the encounter 60 seconds after the hour mark, Conor Hubble wrapped up a 3-1 win for the hosts in the 90th minute.
Soham, meanwhile, lost by the same scoreline at Maldon & Tiptree. Danny Parish scored twice for the hosts alongside an effort from Hanza Kaid, with the Greens' Sam Mulready opening his goalscoring account for the season courtesy of an 89th-minute penalty.
Sudbury host Felixstowe & Walton United on Tuesday (follow @HannahDolman1 for updates) while recently-promoted Histon will be Soham's visitors to Julius Martin Lane (follow @liamapicella for updates) on the same night.
Up a level at Step 3 there was disappointment for Needham Market as they were forced to settle for a 2-2 draw at home against Redditch.
Goals from Craig Parker and Joe Marsden had the hosting Marketmen 2-1 up heading into stoppage time, but the visitors struck late in the day to deny Richard Wilkins' team a first victory of the season.
In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, Mildenhall Town came out on top against Hadleigh United in the battle between two sides that had lost all of their games so far this term.
Jack Brame was the match winner for the home side, scoring both goals in a 2-1 win for Ricky Cornish's men. Those goals took his tally for the season to three since his summer arrival from Walsham-le-Willows.
Joel Glover's late deflected effort set up a nervy ending at Recreation Way, where both sides ended the contest with 10 men. Charlie Howlett saw red for Hadleigh for a last-man foul on Brame while it was Mildenhall new boy Volter Rocha who saw red for the home team after two bookable offences.
Elsewhere, Haverhill Rovers made it three wins from three at the start of the season with a 4-2 triumph at the expense of visiting Whitton United.
Tyger Smalls, whose goalscoring exploits on Tuesday went viral on Twitter, was back on the scoresheet for Rovers alongside Max Dinell and Jordan Palmer.
However, Fergus O'Callaghan's side were also indebted to their goalkeeper Toby Egan, who saved a Whitton penalty when the scoreline was locked at 0-0.
After winning on the opening day it is now four defeats in a row in all competitions for Thetford Town after they lost 2-1 at Stanway Rovers.
Michael Campbell sent Town into the break a goal up, but Stanway hit back twice in the second half to sink Danny White's team.
Meanwhile, under the lights on Friday evening Long Melford continued a week to remember by winning 2-1 at Ely City.
Just 48 hours earlier Melford secured their passage through in the Emirates FA Cup via a penalty shootout win over Southend Manor, and this time around it was goals from Jamie Griffiths and Ben Judge that did the damage.
Experienced frontman Sam Reed pulled a goal back for the Robins, who saw their winning start to the season come to an end.
Halstead Town sit top of the First Division South following their 1-0 home triumph against Burnham Ramblers.
In front of a crowd of 168, Nathaniel Downes' late goal was enough to separate the sides on a day in which Charlie Pleace made his 100th appearance for the Humbugs.
In the First Division North, Diss Town boss Jon Abbott had called on his players to give the home support something to cheer about and the players responded with a 2-0 win over Haverhill Borough at Brewers Green Lane.
Ryan Fuller opened the scoring with his fifth goal since joining the club in the summer before fellow new addition Owen Betts made sure of the outcome eight minutes from time.
The win also marked a first clean sheet of the campaign for the Tangerines, while it is now back-to-back defeats for Borough after their opening-day win.
Debenham LC manager Guy Hayes wanted to see that his team had learned some lessons from last season's hefty defeat at Mulbarton Wanderers, but that did not appear to be the case as they lost 4-1 at Mulberry Park. Jac Garrod netted a consolation for the Hornets.
Framlingham Town had scored 10 goals in their first three games, but they were shut out this afternoon by Downham Town, who left Badingham Road with a 2-0 victory in tow.
As for Needham Market Reserves, they were on the receiving end of a 5-1 hammering at Norwich CBS, while Cornard United gained a credible 0-0 draw on the road at Great Yarmouth Town.
On Friday Rauf Kabangu helped himself to two goals in AFC Sudbury Reserves' 3-0 victory over their Felixstowe & Walton United counterparts and on the same night Kelvin Enaro (2) and Shaun Avis scored the goals in Lakenheath's 3-1 win on the road at Wisbech St Mary.
* For reaction, reports and pictures from these games, as well as covering all of the upcoming action on Tuesday, see this week's print editions.
More by this authorLiam Apicella