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Saturday's local football round-up: Needham Market off to a flying start as Bury Town seal FA Trophy progress while Lakenheath extend lead and Stowmarket Town leave it late





Needham Market only took maximum points from five of their 16 matches at Bloomfields in the abandoned 2019/20 campaign. But Kevin Horlock's new-look side got things off to a winning start on home soil this afternoon with a 4-2 victory against Stratford Town in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central.

Two quickfire goals from summer recruit Ben Fowkes, in the 12th and 15th minutes, had the Marketmen firmly in control at the interval.

Captain Gareth Heath's fired in a low free kick five minutes into the second half before Callum Page's eye-catching solo effort within a minute made it 4-0.

Stratford, who had won their opening league game, with Needham having drawn theirs, managed to pull two back inside the last 20 minutes to salvage some pride.

The six goals were in start contrast to things at Crown Meadow where Jamie Godbold's Lowestoft Town played out a entertaining goalless at home to Hednesford Town.

But Darren Eadie's Leiston ended the day soundly beaten following a 4-1 defeat at Coalville Town.

Ben Fowkes scored two goals for Needham Market Picture: Terry Hunter
Ben Fowkes scored two goals for Needham Market Picture: Terry Hunter

Baris Altintop's first goal for Bury Town made the 334-mile round trip to north Shropshire-based Market Drayton Town a happy one as the Blues progressed in the Buildbase FA Trophy First Qualifying Round 1-0.

Norwich City loan keeper Joe Rose saved a first half penalty in a goalless first half before former AFC Sudbury defender Altintop fired in from the edge of the penalty area in the 52nd minute.

Ben Chenery's side were said to be good value for the win, which was their fourth in fourth matches in all competitions this season.

AFC Sudbury failed to claw their way back from 2-0 down at home to equivalent-level Barking as they exited the Trophy 2-1.

It came just four days after they were soundly beaten 4-0 in the Emirates FA Cup at Stamford AFC, leaving Mark Morsley's side with just the league and Suffolk Primary Cup to concentrate on.

Livewire Junior Dadson beat 17-year-old accademy keeper Josh Blunkell - in for the injured Paul Walker – twice within three minutes just before the half-hour mark to quickly change the complexion of the tie.

There was a decent response from the home side in the second half and Joe Grimwood's 60th minute header got them right back in it.

Baris Altintop netted Bury Town's winner in their FA Trophy tie Picture: Ben Pooley
Baris Altintop netted Bury Town's winner in their FA Trophy tie Picture: Ben Pooley

But despite Ben Hunter having a fierce effort cleared off the line there was to be no equaliser to warm the home fans who braved the cold at the MEL Group Stadium.

Soham Town Rangers also saw their FA Trophy campaign not get past the first hurdle after going down to a 3-0 home defeat to Southern League Division One Central side Corby Town.

The Greens had been looking to bounce back from their penalties defeat at Hashtag United in their BBC streamed FA Cup match on Monday.

But they were made to suffer from a slow start, with Curtis Hartley putting the visitors ahead in the seventh minute before Cameron Watson put through his own net five minutes later.

Stephen Diggin converted a penalty just before the hour mark to put the tie beyond the reach of Robbie Mason's side, who misery was compounded with Callum Russell received a second quickfire yellow card in the 73rd minute.

Ethan Mayhew wins a header for AFC Sudbury against Barking on what was a disappointing afternoon for the Yellows Picture: Mecha Morton
Ethan Mayhew wins a header for AFC Sudbury against Barking on what was a disappointing afternoon for the Yellows Picture: Mecha Morton

Elsewhere in the Trophy, a second half brace from Ollie Canfer securing Felixstowe & Walton United their first ever win in the competition in a 2-1 scoreline at home to Great Wakering Rovers.

In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, there was late drama at Stowmarket Town who rescued a point at home to Godmanchester Rovers with a 94th minute penalty from Jack Ainsley to leave the scoreline at 2-2.

Rick Andrew's title-chasing side had trailed 2-0 at the interval after Michael Hyem's third minute opener was followed by Charlie Bowen's 29th minute effort.

But the Old Gold & Blacks halved the deficit with a goal from Luke Read 20 minutes from time. The last twist in stoppage time saw them stretch their unbeaten league, incorporating the abandoned campaign, to 35 games.

It leaves them sixth in the early table with two wins from their four matches and two draws.

Newmarket Town got their first win on the board with a 2-1 come-from-behind success against visiting Hadleigh United.

The Brettsiders, who had three wins from their opening four matches to sit fourth prior to kick-off at the Tristel Stadium, got into an early lead after Kade Ivatt converted Mason Ransome's 13th minute cross.

Only some smart saves from visiting keeper Nick Punter preserved their lead going into the break.

But Ross Paterson stabbed home player-manager Michael Shinn's cross early in the second half before the Jockeys took the lead through a great volley from summer Joe Maybanks.

It proved enough to see them take three precious points to add to their opening day draw.

Goals failed to materialise at Ely City who would have been pleased to keep high-flying Norwich United out for a share of the spoils.

Thetford Town are now the only team in the division without a point, following a 3-2 defeat at FC Clacton in what was worryingly their fifth match.

Max Melanson (7') and a Ross Bailey screamer (25') had twice seen Matt Morton's side lead on the Essex coast but with Clacton replying twice before the interval it was a solitary second-half goal going the hosts' way which proved to be decisive.

It was a day to forget for Marc Abbott's Haverhill Rovers as they went down to a 4-0 defeat at Whitton United.

The hosts were 2-0 up inside the opening 24 minutes thanks to strikes from Remi Garrett (11') and Reece Dobson (24').

Former Needham Market and AFC Sudbury man Dobson made it 3-0 by converting a penalty five minutes into the second half.

But unlike last week, when they came from 3-0 behind to beat Woodbridge Town 4-3, there was to be no way back as George Day made it 4-0 and game, set and match 10 minutes later.

It leaves Rovers in 15th with just four points from their opening five matches, while Whitton jump into a top-half 7th spot.

It was also a disappointing afternoon for Long Melford who are still looking for their first league win after a 1-0 defeat at a Swaffham Town side who had previously lost all four of their matches. The only goal of the game came in the first half.

Woodbridge Town earned their first point of the season at the fourth attempt with a 1-1 home draw with Mildenhall Town.

Both goals came in the first half with AFC Sudbury Women's manager Luke Mallett equalising for the Woodpeckers in what was a second draw in three league games for 'Hall.

Wroxham made it four wins from four with a last-gasp stoppage time goal sealing a 2-1 victory at home to Walsham-le-Willows while Brantham Athletic kept up their unbeaten start with a 2-1 victory over visiting Gorleston.

Kirkley & Pakefield remain top of the early table following a 3-3 draw at home to Stanway Rovers in what was their sixth match of the campaign, putting them ahead of most other teams in terms of games played.

In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, leaders Lakenheath made it five wins from five with an emphatic 4-0 victory against Great Yarmouth Town.

Ryan Weaver, Casey Underwood and Tom Thulborn were all on target in the first half at the Pit as they pressed home their numerical advantage with Jordan Attree sent off.

It was Weaver who was on target again after the break as Heath took advantage of March Town United not being in action to extend their lead to five points.

Ryan Weaver scored twice for Lakenheath Picture: Mark Westley
Ryan Weaver scored twice for Lakenheath Picture: Mark Westley

Ipswich Wanderers moved into second place after drawing 1-1 at Fakenham Town to leave both sides on 10 points.

Framlingham Town (10th) overcame Wisbech St Mary 2-1 with Jamie Brooks coming up with a 79th minute winner after Danny Smith's opener had been cancelled out on the stroke of half-time.

Another defeat for Haverhill Borough, 2-1 at home to Debenham LC leaves Guy Habbin's side as the only side, along with Wisbech St Mary, yet to register a point.

AFC Sudbury Reserves won an epic encounter 4-3 at King's Lynn Town Reserves to move them up to 5th while Cornard United lost 4-2 at Leiston Reserves and Needham Market Reserves were thumped 7-0 at Mulbarton Wanderers.

Halstead Town were not in action today ahead of hosting Little Oakley in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South on Tuesday (7.45pm).