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Non-league round-up: Felixstowe & Walton United miss out on Isthmian League North Division play-offs on the final day of the season

Felixstowe & Walton United missed out on a place in the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division play-offs after losing 1-0 to Heybridge Swifts on the final day.

The Seasiders were looking to join fellow Suffolk clubs AFC Sudbury and Lowestoft Town in the end-of-season play-offs and went into Saturday’s last round of fixtures sitting in fourth place.

A draw against fellow top-five hopefuls Heybridge would have been enough for the home side, but in front of an impressive crowd of 805 it was Sam Park’s 33rd-minute winner which ensured the Swifts went home with all three points.

FOOTBALL - Stowmarket Town v Bury Town PICTURED: Tom Bullard leads Stowmarket in greeting Bury Picture: Mecha Morton
FOOTBALL - Stowmarket Town v Bury Town PICTURED: Tom Bullard leads Stowmarket in greeting Bury Picture: Mecha Morton

The defeat, coupled with Grays Athletic’s 2-0 home win over bottom side Hullbridge Sports, saw the Seasiders drop from fourth to sixth and narrowly miss out on a second consecutive play-off appearance.

Elsewhere in the North Division, a much-changed AFC Sudbury side, who went into the final weekend already assured of second place, lost 2-1 at Great Wakering Rovers.

Joe Grimwood’s 11th-minute opener fired the Yellows in front, before Ibrahim Kamara equalised for the relegation-threatened hosts on 43 minutes, and James White grabbed a winner 12 minutes from time.

AFC will host fifth-placed Grays in the play-off semi-finals on Tuesday, while third-placed Lowestoft Town entertain Heybridge Swifts (both 7.45pm).

Jack Ainsley opens the scoring for Stowmarket Town on Saturday Picture: Mecha Morton
Jack Ainsley opens the scoring for Stowmarket Town on Saturday Picture: Mecha Morton

The Trawlerboys signed off their league campaign with a 2-0 home win against East Thurrock United on Saturday, thanks to goals from Adam Hipperson and Chris Henderson.

Stowmarket Town (7th) took the bragging rights over Bury Town (11th) again with a 2-0 victory in their league meeting at Greens Meadow.

The Old Gold & Blacks won 3-0 when the two Suffolk sides met in the Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup semi-finals, at Needham Market’s Bloomfields, on Wednesday.

And Chris Casement’s side came out on top again with second-half goals from Jack Ainsley and Jack Wilkinson, while the Blues played most of the game with 10 men after Ethan Flack was shown a red card after 12 minutes.

Stowmarket Town players celebrate Jack Wilkinson doubling their lead against Bury Town Picture: Mecha Morton
Stowmarket Town players celebrate Jack Wilkinson doubling their lead against Bury Town Picture: Mecha Morton

Up into the Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central, third-placed Leiston made sure they head into the play-offs on a winning note after beating Hednesford Town 1-0.

Finlay Barnes grabbed the winner for the Blues on 57 minutes, with all the focus now on their play-off semi-final at home to Nuneaton Borough on Wednesday.

Needham Market (17th) closed out their league fixtures for 2022/23 with a 2-0 defeat at Barwell.

The Marketmen now turn their attention to a clash with Stowmarket in the Suffolk Premier Cup final, at Bury Town, on Friday.

Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division champions Ipswich Wanderers signed off their historic campaign with a 1-0 win at home to Harleston Town.

Jamie Eaton-Collins was the match winner for Wanderers, who have secured promotion to the Isthmian League for the first time in the club’s history, while Harleston have finished third in their debut season at Step 5.

Premier Division runners-up Thetford Town got back to winning ways with Emmanuel Machaya’s strike sealing a 1-0 triumph at Brantham Athletic (13th).

The Brecklanders take on a side from Step 4 in a relegation/promotion play-off (opponent TBC) on Saturday, where a victory would also secure Thetford an historic move up the pyramid.

Soham Town Rangers (15th) also closed out their Premier Division campaign on a winning note, as Joe Carden struck the winner in a 1-0 victory at fourth-placed Woodbridge Town.

Lakenheath clinched fifth place and their highest-ever finish with goals from Shaun Avis and Luke Young helping them to a final day 2-2 draw at home with Norwich United.

Mildenhall Town ended the season in sixth place after a 0-0 draw at Kirkley & Pakefield (16th).

Hadleigh United (9th) came from a goal behind to beat Newmarket Town (12th) 2-1 on the last day, with Jordan Patrick grabbing the winner for the Brettsiders.

Jacob Brown and Hassan Ally were both on target for Long Melford (11th) in their 2-2 draw at Mulbarton Wanderers, while Scott Chaplin netted for Walsham-le-Willows (14th) in a 2-1 home defeat to Fakenham Town.

Haverhill Rovers (19th) need a reprieve to avoid relegation from the Premier Division, but signed off on a high with a 3-0 win at home to Sheringham, thanks to goals from Ryan Weaver and Samuel Adetiba (two).

Bottom side Whitton United were beaten 4-1 on home turf by Ely City (18th), with Ardened Hida, Josh Townshend and Aaron Hamer among the goals for the Robins.

Halstead Town finished 15th in their first season back in the Essex Senior League Premier Division, with Kane Gilbert on target in a final day 2-1 home defeat to Romford.

In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, Framlingham Town secured home advantage in their play-off semi-final after a 1-1 draw at Downham Town on Saturday.

The third-placed Castlemen needed to match Harwich & Parkeston’s result and the Shrimpers drew 2-2 at home with Swaffham Town.

Max Willett fired home his 30th goal of the season for Fram, who finished with 10 men after Josh Lucraft received a second yellow card.

Liam Abraham’s side will host Harwich at Badingham Road on Tuesday, while the other semi-final sees Downham entertain Whittlesey Athletic on Wednesday.

Cornard United (6th) secured their highest finish for 30 years and closed out a pleasing campaign with a 5-1 thrashing of Needham Market Under-23s (15th).

Jordan Blackwell (two), Sam Cheetham, Charlie Lindoe and Connor Tucker were all on target for the Ards, with Ed Baker replying for the Marketmen.

AFC Sudbury Reserves (8th) signed off their First Division North fixtures with a 4-2 defeat at play-off hopefuls Whittlesey, while a Charlie Atkin brace helped Leiston Reserves (16th) to a 2-1 win at FC Parson Drove.

That result, coupled with a 9-1 defeat at champions Heacham, saw Haverhill Borough drop into the bottom three of the table on the final day.

A heavily-depleted Borough (17th) lost out to a Heacham side who sealed the title and promotion on Saturday, while Darryl Tate’s men are likely to avoid the drop with 32 points from their 36 games giving them a superior points per game on the reprieve table.

Midweek fixtures (7.45pm unless stated)

Tuesday, April 25

Pitching In Isthmian League North Division play-off semi-finals

AFC Sudbury v Grays Athletic

Lowestoft Town v Heybridge Swifts

Thurlow Nunn League First Division North play-off semi-finals

Framlingham Town v Harwich & Parkeston

Wednesday, April 26

Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central play-off semi-finals

Leiston v Nuneaton Borough