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Isthmian League and Southern League fixtures announced with AFC Sudbury and Bury Town derby games not on bank holidays again




The fixtures for Step 3 and Step 4 sides in the area have been released today by the Isthmian League and Southern League, with a familiar look about one league's opening games and there appears to be no league cup matches for either.

There had been some doubt if a proposed September 19 start date would materialise but that has been confirmed, while the opening two fixtures of 2019/20 and holiday period games have been reversed for 2020/21.

It means Mark Morsley's AFC Sudbury will begin their new Isthmian League North Division campaign at home to a Coggeshall Town side who were sixth in the table with games in hand when the campaign was abandoned in March. The Yellows lost at the north Essex club who have popstar Olly Murs as a director and backer 3-1 on the opening day of last season.

Liam Bennett (Y) and Tommy Smith (O) battle in AFC Sudbury 3-0 home win over Bury Town in ILN. Picture: Clive Pearson (41439212)
Liam Bennett (Y) and Tommy Smith (O) battle in AFC Sudbury 3-0 home win over Bury Town in ILN. Picture: Clive Pearson (41439212)

Next up will be a Suffolk derby at Felixstowe & Walton United the following Saturday, on September 26. AFC did not get to play the away league fixture at Dellwood Avenue last season but lost 1-0 at home.

The timings of the A134 derby with historic rivals Bury Town in the fixture list last season, both being on Tuesday evenings, caused anger and bemusement on their announcement last summer.

The first instalment of the fixture in 2020/21 will again be on a Tuesday evening with Sudbury hosting Bury in their fifth match on October 6.

Football - AFC Sudbury v Bury Town - Carlos Edwards gets round the back for Bury Town- Location - AFC Sudbury - Picture - Neil Dady. (41439228)
Football - AFC Sudbury v Bury Town - Carlos Edwards gets round the back for Bury Town- Location - AFC Sudbury - Picture - Neil Dady. (41439228)

But the reverse fixture, at the Denny Bros Ram Meadow Stadium, will take place on a Saturday on February 6.

Sudbury did not play on Boxing Day last season but will this term with their December 21 fixture at Dereham Town for their 'festive game' last term reversing to December 26 at The MEL Group Stadium.

They will then play their first game of the new year at home to Romford on January 2 and end the season at the same opposition on May 8.

Football - Bury Town v Soham Town - Lloyd Groves Shown Red for Soham Town - Picture - Neil Dady. (25209660)
Football - Bury Town v Soham Town - Lloyd Groves Shown Red for Soham Town - Picture - Neil Dady. (25209660)

Bury Town open up at Basildon United, a side who they had beaten 3-1 at home in the opening game of 2019/20 and who had been bottom of the table when the season was stopped.

The first league game at a new-look Ram Meadow – with the Jimmy The Rattle Stand currently in the process of being rebuilt as well as having new blue perimeter fencing put up and new floodlights installed – will be against Witham Town (who were 15th) on Saturday, September 26.

Bury will host their first Suffolk league derby with the visit of Felixstowe & Walton United on Tuesday, October 27.

FOOTBALL - Needham Market v Lowestoft Town..Pictured: Needham celebrate their goal...PICTURE: Mecha Morton ... (29302046)
FOOTBALL - Needham Market v Lowestoft Town..Pictured: Needham celebrate their goal...PICTURE: Mecha Morton ... (29302046)

The reverse fixture with The Seasiders then takes place on Saturday, January 16.

The festive games reverse from 2019/20, seeing Ben Chenery's side travel to Soham Town Rangers on December 26 before hosting Cambridge City on December 28.

FOOTBALL - Needham Market v Lowestoft Town..Pictured: Callum Page...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (29302048)
FOOTBALL - Needham Market v Lowestoft Town..Pictured: Callum Page...PICTURE: Mecha Morton .... (29302048)

The Blues' first game of 2021 will be a trip to Canvey Island on January 2, while the campaign will end at home to the same side on Saturday, May 8.

Soham Town Rangers begin at home to a Maldon & Tiptree side whom they lost 3-1 at on last year's opening day, while the Jammers were comfortably top of the table when 2019/20 was abruptly ended.

Robbie Mason's side who had been 13th themselves, then travel to Histon the following Saturday.

The Greens will start 2021 at home to Felistowe & Walton United on January 2, before travelling to The Seasiders to conclude the campaign on May 8.

The Southern League Premier Central is also due to kick off on September 19 but the there is no reversal of the opening day fixtures.

Needham Market, who were 13th when the 2019/20 campaign was stopped, will again open up away from home, at Worcestershire-based Redditch United, who had been bottom of the table.

The Marketmen's first home game will follow against Stratford Town on the following Saturday, September 26 - a side they won 2-1 at on the opening day of last term.

The first Suffolk derby, at home to Lowestoft Town, has been placed on a Tuesday night, on October 27 with the reverse fixture on Saturday, January 23.

Kevin Horlock's side will first meet Leiston in the league for their first game of 2021, on January 2 with the reverse fixture the penultimate of the season on Monday, May 3.

The final game of the campaign will then be at home to Nuneaton Borough on May 8.