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Easter Monday's local football round-up: Bury Town boss Ben Chenery proud of players after last-gasp derby win at AFC Sudbury while Mildenhall Town relegated despite impressive win at Felixstowe & Walton United




There was no doubt where the game of the day from the region's non-league football programme was as AFC Sudbury and Bury Town were involved in a seven-goal thriller that was only settled in stoppage time of a pulsating west Suffolk derby.

The two sides had served up a festive feast on New Year's Day at Ram Meadow, with AFC Sudbury hanging on for a 3-2 victory.

And today's fayre even put that into the shade with Sudbury looking dead and buried at 2-0 down before coming back to lead 3-2 in the second half, before eventually losing 4-3.

It saw Bury cement sixth place in the Bostik League North Division ahead of the final round of matches on Saturday, where they host the side one place above them in Heybridge Swifts, who have long been guaranteed their play-off spot with a 12-point gap down to the Blues.

At King's Marsh Stadium the sides went into the contest two places and seven points apart but on vastly differing form with Sudbury having lost four straight matches, including Good Friday's 6-0 thrashing at fourth-placed Aveley, while Bury's 4-2 home win over Grays Athletic on Saturday (Fenn 31', Chambers-Shaw 58', Machaya 73', 75') left them on a run of four straight wins.

Youngster Emmanuel Machaya, who is dual registered with lower-league Long Melford, picked up where he left off on Saturday, following two second-half goals, with the opener in the five minute. After Chambers-Shaw's shot was palmed out into his path his fierce effort could not be kept out.

It had come against the run of play but Bury soon began to dominate and it was no surprise when Tanner Call fired in from inside the area to double their lead 36 minutes in.

Sudbury were indebted to goalkeeper Paul Walker for preventing the scoreline being double by the break, with an outstanding reflex save to deny Olly Hughes.

The Yellows got their act together in the second half though and two penalties successful converted by former professional Paul Hayes, in the 53rd and 66th minutes, pulled them level.

An unstoppable Tyler French header, on the 20-year-old's first appearance back at King's Marsh since his League One trials at Barnsley and Charlton Athletic, put them ahead for the first time with 20 minutes to play.

Bury left it late but drew level in the 86th minute through a smart downward header from top scorer Hughes before the celebrations really kicked off for the travelling fans as the impressive Chambers-Shaw capped a fine afternoon's work by turning home from close range in the 92nd minute, following Walker's save from Call.

Elsewhere in the division, it was a strange day for Mildenhall Town as they won for the first time in 16 matches, but a 3-0 victory at seventh-placed Felixstowe & Walton United came as results went against them to condemn them to a relegation spot with one game to play.

Draws for Witham Town (1-1 at home to second-placed Maldon & Tiptree), and Romford (1-1 at Grays Athletic) consigned them to a return to Step 5 football next season as well as finishing bottom.

Jarid Robson's 30th minute penalty put them 1-0 up at half-time before Tom Debenham (54') and James Seymour (60') goals put them comfortably ahead by the hour mark.

Soham Town Rangers (16th) ended their home campaign on a winning note with a 2-1 scoreline over the side directly above them in the table, in Dereham Town.

Callum Russell's fifth-minute opener had been replied to by Daniel Beaumont on the half-hour mark before it was Russell sealed the three points by converting a penalty nine minutes from time for Robbie Mason's side.

It ensured they quickly put their 5-2 defeat (Mochalski, Lovell) to lowly Romford on Saturday behind them.

Up a division in the Evo-Stik League South Premier Division Central, Needham Market drew 1-1 at King's Lynn Town to make it six games unbeaten ahead of their season-ending home game with Avelchurch on Saturday.

Adam Mills' first-half strike had been no less than Needham deserved in front of an 800-plus crowd at The Walks, as the hosts looked to secure second place.

But the victory was snatched from Richard Wilkins' side in stoppage-time at the end of the second half with a header from defender Rory McAuley.

It leaves Needham, who beat St Ives Town 4-1 on Saturday in their penultimate home match, in 12th place with a chance of finishing as high as ninth, taking into account goal difference.

Today's Thurlow Nunn League results saw Ely City (2-1 at home to Godmanchester Rovers) and Hadleigh United (1-1 at Stowmarket Town) ensure themselves of another season at Step 5 football with one game to play.

Long Melford beat Haverhill Rovers 1-0 to register back-to-back wins, following their vital 2-1 win at relegation rivals Great Yarmouth Town on Saturday, that means their destiny is in their own hands heading into Saturday's match at Thetford Town (having a three-point lead over second bottom Great Yarmouth Town).

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, already relegated Framlingham Town ended their home campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Kirkley & Pakefield while Thetford Town saw off Walsham-le-Willows 4-2.

In the First Division North, Harleston Town regained top spot by ending their season with a 5-2 win at Cornard United but now have to wait anxiously to see if Swaffham Town can rob them of the title by beating bottom side Felixstowe & Walton United Reserves on Saturday in their final game.

Lakenheath were 6-0 winners at Diss Town while Haverhill Borough kept up their improved form with a 4-2 home win against AFC Sudbury Reserves.

It was also a good day for Halstead Town without playing in the First Division South, as a defeat for second-placed Coggeshall United at home to Holland (2-0) means they still have a chance of finishing second and earning promotion as one of the best runners-up in the country at Step 6, but only if they better Coggeshall's result on the final day. They host Wormley Rovers on Saturday while Coggeshall travel to champions Hashtag United.

* Vote for your Iliffe Media East Team of The Weekend on our Twitter poll (via @russclayon) tomorrow morning (Tuesday).

* For reaction to a busy bank holiday programme, as well as previews to the last weekend matches, see this week's papers, out on Thursday and Friday.



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