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Saturday's local football round-up: Felixstowe & Walton United, Needham Market and Leiston advance in FA Trophy while AFC Sudbury and Stowmarket Town win away in the league



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Three Suffolk clubs were in Buildbase FA Trophy action on Saturday – and all of them will be in the hat for this afternoon's second round proper draw after racking up impressive victories.

The most eye-catching of the wins came at the Goldstar Ground, where hosting Felixstowe & Walton United pulled off a major shock.

Higher-level opponents Peterborough Sports were top of the Pitching In Southern Premier Central Division going into the tie and when Ryan Fryatt put them in front in just the fifth minute, it seemed like it could be a routine afternoon for the visitors.

Henry Barley celebrates scoring for Felixstowe & Walton United against Peterborough Sports on November 13, 2021. Picture: Dave Francis
Henry Barley celebrates scoring for Felixstowe & Walton United against Peterborough Sports on November 13, 2021. Picture: Dave Francis

However, the Seasiders were soon level through ex-Ipswich Town youngster Henry Barley and then got themselves in front five minutes after the restart via another former Tractor Boys trainee – Zak Brown.

Sports attempted to pile on the pressure in search of an equaliser as the half wore on, but Felixstowe held firm to match the achievement of last term's run to the second round of the national competition – with National League North and South teams now set to enter.

Needham Market, who play in the same league as Sports, will join Felixstowe in today's draw after they came out on top 3-2 at home against Margate.

Hans Mpongo wheels away to celebrate his stoppage-time winner for Needham Market against Margate on November 13, 2021. Picture: Ben Pooley
Hans Mpongo wheels away to celebrate his stoppage-time winner for Needham Market against Margate on November 13, 2021. Picture: Ben Pooley

First-half goals from Colchester United loanee Harvey Sayer and Ben Fowkes put the Marketmen in command at Bloomfields, but goals in the 62nd and 82nd minute got the visitors from Kent level.

But with the prospect of a penalty shootout looming large, deep into stoppage time Needham's Hans Mpongo headed home a cross from Kyle Hammond to send Needham through.

Leiston also advanced courtesy of a 3-0 home victory at the expense of Harrow Borough.

Will Davies helped himself to a brace during the second half at Victory Road, which added to Brendan Ocran's opener in the third minute.

Needham Market's Harvey Sayer celebrates his opening goal against Margate on November 13, 2021. Picture: Ben Pooley
Needham Market's Harvey Sayer celebrates his opening goal against Margate on November 13, 2021. Picture: Ben Pooley

The victory made club history for the Blues, who will appear in the second round on November 27 for the first time ever.

Lowestoft Town (19th), meanwhile, were in league action and suffered a 2-1 home loss to Coalville Town.

In the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division, the good feeling shows no sign of letting up at AFC Sudbury after they dished out a 5-0 hammering on the road at Heybridge Swifts.

First-half goals from Joe Grimwood, Joshua Stokes, Jake Clowsley and Reece Harris (penalty) ended the game as a contest, while Ethan Mayhew's 76th-minute effort added some gloss to the scoreline.

The win has moved the Yellows up to third in the table, four points adrift of table-topping Canvey Island with a game in hand.

They also have the best defensive record in the division having shipped just seven goals from their 10 outings – the next best record is held by Grays Athletic (10).

Also into the play-offs are Stowmarket Town after they put a third consecutive 2-0 victory on the board, this time at fourth-placed Grays.

Recent arrival Luke Brown made it two goals in as many games for the Old Gold & Blacks before Joe Jefford's 85th-minute header made sure of the points.

Eighth-placed Bury Town were unable to make it a clean sweep for Suffolk sides though as they settled for a 0-0 draw at Hashtag United.

Defender Will Gardner went closest to nabbing the spoils for the Blues with a header that cannoned against the foot of the post.

Having played out their second draw of the campaign, Ben Chenery's team are now three points outside of the play-off positions.

In the equivalent level Pitching In Northern League Midlands Division, Soham Town Rangers dropped into the bottom two after losing 3-1 at Belper Town.

Ollie Ward's 17th-minute goal gave the Greens the lead at half-time, but Craig Nelthorpe (penalty), Nathan Curtis and Brodie Litchfield all found the back of the net for the home side in the second half.

It condemned Soham to an 11th league defeat of the season – no team in the division has been defeated more.

A total of 40 goals were scored in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, with six of them coming at The New Croft, where hosting Haverhill Rovers were on the receiving end of a 5-1 defeat to Mildenhall Town.

Second-half substitute James Hall was the stand-out performer with an eight-minute hat-trick, which added to goals from Natty Stewart and Tanner Call earlier in the contest.

Mildenhall forward James Hall is all smiles after making a big goalscoring impact from the bench. Picture: Mecha Morton
Mildenhall forward James Hall is all smiles after making a big goalscoring impact from the bench. Picture: Mecha Morton

Second-from-bottom Rovers, who scored a consolation in stoppage time, remain in the relegation zone, while Mildenhall have jumped up to fourth.

There was also six goals in the encounter between Hadleigh United (14th) and Woodbridge Town (7th), with the visitors coming out on top 4-2 despite losing Kelsey Trotter to a red card after just 10 seconds of play and finding themselves 2-0 down at one point.

Goals from Kade Ivatt and Jake Eady put the Brettsiders in the ascendancy, but the 10-man visitors roared back to take an unlikely three points.

It was the same scoreline at the Tristel Stadium as Newmarket Town (9th) made it back-to-back league wins by overcoming Whitton United (18th).

Natty Stewart fires Mildenhall in front early on at Haverhill. Picture: Mecha Morton
Natty Stewart fires Mildenhall in front early on at Haverhill. Picture: Mecha Morton

The Jockeys' Lewis Whitehead scored twice – the first goals he has scored since the second game of the season. Ryan Swallow and Joe Robinson also found the back of the net for Michael Shinn's men, while Owen Betts and Ethan Clarke netted for Whitton, who had to contend with a red card being handed to Ollie Dunlop.

The 4-2 scoreline proved to be somewhat of a theme on Saturday, with Ely City (8th) losing by that margin during their trip to table-topping Gorleston.

Jordan Foster opened and completed the scoring at Emerald Park, but in between a hat-trick from Connor Ingram and a Mitchel McKay goal earned the Greens the victory.

Tom Lawson's goal was enough to earn Brantham Athletic (16th) a 1-0 home win against Norwich United, and in the process moved his side five points clear of the relegation zone. Meanwhile, Long Melford (17th) are a point worse off than Brantham after becoming just the second team this term to lose to bottom-of-the-table Swaffham Town, going down 2-0 at Shoemakers Lane.

Mildenhall's Ben Nolan hooks the ball forward under pressure from Rovers' Josh Ambrose. Picture: Mecha Morton
Mildenhall's Ben Nolan hooks the ball forward under pressure from Rovers' Josh Ambrose. Picture: Mecha Morton

Lakenheath (12th) suffered a 2-1 home defeat to Mulbarton Wanderers – the fifth time in six fixtures that a game involving Heath has ended in that scoreline.

Shaun Avis was the home side's goalscorer, but it did not come until late on and ended up being nothing more than a consolation.

It was also the fourth time Heath have met Mulbarton this season and they have won none of those contests – losing three and drawing one.

Elsewhere, Jamie Smith's goal was not enough to prevent fifth-placed Walsham-le-Willows from losing 3-1 at home to March Town United, while the wait for a victory goes on for Thetford Town (15th) after they lost narrowly 2-1 at home to second-placed Wroxham.

Kristian Dixon was on target for the Brecklanders, who have not won any of their last eight games in all competitions.

It was also an afternoon to forget for Kirkley & Pakefield (13th) after they failed to trouble the scoreboard in a 3-0 loss at Fakenham Town.

Harleston Town won the big game at the top of the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, seeing off second-placed Sheringham 2-1 to extend their lead at the summit to nine points.

Young midfielder Josh Durham and Nathan Russell scored the goals for Harleston, who have played two games more than their opponents.

Harleston celebrate one of their two goals during the top-of-the-table clash with Sheringham. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Harleston celebrate one of their two goals during the top-of-the-table clash with Sheringham. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Diss Town (9th) also enjoyed a positive weekend thanks to a 3-1 home victory over fifth-placed Whittlesey Athletic.

Recent signing Lagshan Sivakumar took his tally for the Tangerines to four goals in two matches with a brace, with Spencer Cawcutt accounting for the other goal.

The result at Brewers Green Lane ended a sequence of five winless game for Diss – a run that dated back to October 2.

Fellow First Division North sides Framlingham Town and Needham Market Reserves were pitted against each other in the opening round of the CNet Training Suffolk Senior Cup, with the latter coming out on top 1-0 at Badingham Road.

Match action from Harleston's win over Sheringham. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Match action from Harleston's win over Sheringham. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Debenham LC were also in first-round action and left it late to overcome hosting Benhall St Mary.

Trailing 1-0 with 10 minutes to go, goals from Sam Cole and Jay Cole completed the turnaround and sealed a 2-1 victory.

However, it was a much more straightforward affair for Ipswich Wanderers as they racked up a 10-2 win from their trip to lower-league Leiston St Margarets, but Haverhill Borough were on the receiving end of a 2-1 loss at East Bergholt United.

Elsewhere in the competition, AFC Sudbury Reserves advanced with a 4-0 home win over Westerfield United and Sudbury Sports are also through after seeing off Coplestonians 3-1.

Match action from Harleston's win over Sheringham. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Match action from Harleston's win over Sheringham. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Meanwhile, Halstead Town are up to second in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South after winning 4-1 at home to Harwich & Parkeston.

A crowd of 310 – the eighth highest attendance at Step 6 across the country – watched on as Jordan Blackwell, Jake Brown, Adam Hampson and Callum Tracey all found the back of the net for the Humbugs.

As for Cornard United, they remain third from bottom after suffering 2-1 home defeat at the hands of Holland FC.

Match action from Cornard's home defeat to Holland FC. Picture: Mark Westley
Match action from Cornard's home defeat to Holland FC. Picture: Mark Westley

Midweek fixtures (Kick offs 7.45pm unless otherwise stated)

Tuesday, November 16

Pitching In Southern League Premier Central

Leiston v AFC Rushden & Diamonds

Lowestoft Town v Hitchin Town

Nuneaton Borough v Needham Market

Pitching In Northern League Midlands Division

Soham Town Rangers v Yaxley (follow @liamapicella on Twitter for updates)

Read more: All the latest Suffolk sport news