Saturday's local football round-up: Bury Town hit the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division summit while the likes of Long Melford, Soham Town Rangers and Mildenhall Town also win
Earlier on this month Bury Town passed up the opportunity to move top of the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division when they were beaten at home by Tilbury.
However, with Maldon & Tiptree playing – and winning – in the Emirates FA Cup this afternoon, the Blues were granted a second chance and on this occasion they took it with both hands, winning 2-1 at Suffolk rivals Felixstowe & Walton United to move two points clear having played three games more than the Essex outfit.
Bury had already beaten Felixstowe comprehensively in both the Velocity Trophy and Suffolk Premier Cup this term, and while it was a closer affair at Dellwood Avenue, a goal in either half from full-back Will Gardner put the visitors in command.
Armani Schaar – formerly of Bury – halved the deficit deep into stoppage time but it proved to be little more than a consolation as Ben Chenery's men secured their place at the summit, with bottom-of-the-table Romford up next in the league on October 26.
Elsewhere in the division, Soham Town Rangers' Lloyd Groves had an eventful afternoon as his side won 4-2 at the MEL Group Stadium – home of AFC Sudbury.
The centre-back's 65th-minute own goal put the visiting Greens 2-1 behind, but he responded with the equaliser just four minutes later before scoring again to make it 4-2 after Sam Mulready had got Soham in front for the second time.
Earlier in the game Soham midfielder Lewis Clayton had broken the deadlock – a goal that was cancelled out in the 17th minute by Tom Maycock, who has now found the net eight times in his previous seven appearances.
The win has moved Robbie Mason's side up to eighth while Sudbury sit 15th with three wins from their opening nine league fixtures of 2019/20.
Up a level in the Step 3 BetVictor Southern Premier Central, Needham Market collected a much-needed 2-0 win from their Suffolk derby at Lowestoft Town.
Earlier in the season the Trawlerboys, who are managed by former Sudbury boss Jamie Godbold, thrashed Needham 4-0 in the Emirates FA Cup, but the visitors gained some revenge thanks to goals from Joe Marsden and Luke Ingram.
It has moved Richard Wilkins' charges up to 14th in the table, seven points outside of the play-off places.
There was a surprise in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division as leaders Stowmarket Town were held to a 1-1 draw at home by Swaffham Town.
The Old Gold & Blacks had won their last six games in all competitions and looked to be on course for a seventh when Josh Mayhew headed them into the lead just before the break.
But a second goal failed to materialise and they were duly punished midway through the second half when a mistake from Curtley Williams presented a chance to the visitors' Joe Jackson, which he duly converted.
Yet, while Stowmarket boss Rick Andrews is likely to be disappointed with the result, his side actually ended up extending their lead at the top to 12 points after Norwich United (previously second, now third) were beaten 3-2 at home by in-form Long Melford.
Goals from Jamie Griffiths and Ashley Skeggs either side of the half-time whistle had seemingly put the visitors in command but that lead was wiped out within the space of a couple of minutes as Liam Jackson and Haydn Davis struck for the hosts.
But Jamie Bradbury's men showed some good character and they eventually got their reward via Callum Hemson's deflected effort, sealing a 3-2 win and a result that moves Melford, who have won five of their last six, up to 10th.
Walsham-le-Willows – now under the management of Fergus O'Callaghan – were also impressive away winners as they recorded a 4-1 victory at Whitton United.
Sam Peters (2), Craig Nurse (pen) and Ryan Clark secured just a second triumph of the season for Walsham, who despite remaining bottom of the table are now just one point adrift of the team ahead of them.
The side in Walsham's sights is Gorleston after they were beaten 1-0 away at Thetford Town, who are up to 17th after the recently-appointed Matt Morton chalked up his second win at the helm.
It was a long time coming, but Elliot Smith scored the all important goal late on for the hosting Brecklanders.
Mildenhall Town are up to 12th following their convincing 4-0 win at home against Brantham Athletic.
Ricky Cornish's team had already faced their visitors twice this term and lost on both occasions without scoring a goal, but they put the record straight at Recreation Way.
Scott Chaplin, Matt Green, Ollie Canfer and Ben Nolan shared the goalscoring responsibility for Mildenhall, who are just one of three teams in the division not to have lost at home this season.
Another of those sides is Newmarket Town, although today they were on their travels at fourth-placed Wroxham, where they picked up a credible 0-0 draw.
It was the first time Michael Shinn's Jockeys (7th) have kept a clean sheet away from home in any competition this term.
James Bloomfield is still waiting for his first win as manager of Haverhill Rovers (14th) after they were beaten 5-2 at Woodbridge Town, who moved up to second place in the standings in the process.
Former Ipswich Town player Carlos Edwards scored twice from the penalty spot against Rovers, who have shipped 11 goals during Bloomfield's three games in the hotseat vacated by now Walsham chief O'Callaghan.
Also on poor runs are Ely City and Hadleigh United, both of whom were dealt hefty defeats.
A goal from Steve Holder had Ely level at the break against Kirkley & Pakefield, but the Robins hit the self destruct button after the restart and ended up losing 5-1.
Brady Stone's men have now not won a league match since the second game of the season's victory over Mildenhall, and sit 16th.
Hadleigh, meanwhile, are a couple of places lower after they were beaten 4-0 under the Friday night lights at Stanway Rovers' Hawthorns ground.
It has been a tough start to the campaign for Christian Appleford's side, with eight points collected from the 36 on offer.
In the game between two sides battling towards the top end of the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North it was Lakenheath (3rd) that come out on top at Diss Town (4th), running out 3-0 winners at Brewers Green Lane.
Leading marksman Shaun Avis kept up his positive form in recent months with a brace that took his tally for the season to 14, while Rafal Wozniak was also on target for Ben Cowling's men.
Lakenheath, who have won their last nine matches in a row in all competitions, are now five points adrift of table-topping Downham Town with three games in hand.
As for Jon Abbott's Diss, their winless run of form in the league has stretched to four outings.
Debenham LC are up to fifth and level on points with neighbouring Diss after they eased to a 3-0 win at the expense of King's Lynn Town Reserves.
James Watling, Baden Holmes and Luke Taylor all found the back of the net for the Hornets, who were victorious for just the second time on home soil this term (five wins have come on the road).
Sixth-placed Needham Market Reserves are on Debenham's coattails after they got back to winning ways by scoring three unanswered goals against AFC Sudbury Reserves (14th) at Bloomfields.
The Marketmen's second string had lost their last four games in all competitions – conceding 15 goals in the process – but Kai Fletcher, Macauley Bell, Konnor Fletcher all scored against their Sudbury counterparts to stop the rot.
Framlingham Town made the trip to Cornard United having collected seven points from the previous nine that had been up for grabs, but they were brought back down to earth by the hosts, who ran out 2-0 winners at Blackhouse Lane.
The Ards have moved up to 13th as a result of their victory while Framlingham are three places further back.
Haverhill Borough, who are two points behind Framlingham, are still looking for their first victory since late August after they were beaten 3-0 at home by Great Yarmouth Town.
Tom Hunter (2) and Cameron Wing scored the goals for Yarmouth on a day in which Borough's Ryan Swallow made his 200th appearance for the club.
In the First Division South on Friday evening, fifth-placed Halstead Town's patchy form continued as they lost 1-0 to Holland FC in bizarre circumstances.
The game was not even 20 seconds old when a long clearance from Holland goalkeeper Nick Wilson deceived his opposite number Jack Cherry and bounced in. It was a moment that ended up being the difference between the sides on the night.
* For more on these games, plus a look ahead at what is to come next weekend, see the forthcoming print editions.
More by this authorLiam Apicella