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Saturday's local football round-up: Victories for the likes of Stowmarket Town, Lowestoft Town, AFC Sudbury, Newmarket Town and Diss Town



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The wet weather did its best to wreak havoc with the schedule, but a number of pitches survived the deluge to host Suffolk News' Step 3-6 clubs at the weekend.

One of those grounds to pass a late inspection was Greens Meadow, where Stowmarket Town returned to winning ways in the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division during a topsy-turvy 3-2 victory at the expense of Witham Town.

The hosting Old Gold & Blacks – beaten for just the fourth time this term last time out at Dereham Town – were 1-0 down to their lowly opponents going into the break after Luke Stanley's 14th-minute opener.

Goals from Luke Brown (54') and Josh Curry (61') soon had Stowmarket in front after the restart, only for relegation-threatened Witham to hit back in the 71st minute through Ramiah Mills.

However, with nine minutes remaining Josh Mayhew popped up with what turned out to be the winning goal to keep second-placed Stowmarket level on points with table-topping Aveley.

Meanwhile, AFC Sudbury ended a five-game run in all competitions without a win by seeing off Maldon & Tiptree 1-0 at the MEL Group Stadium.

AFC Sudbury players celebrate Jake Clowsley's winning goal against Maldon & Tiptree. Picture: Steve Screech
AFC Sudbury players celebrate Jake Clowsley's winning goal against Maldon & Tiptree. Picture: Steve Screech

Jake Clowsley scored the only goal of the game with 15 minutes left on the clock – the forward having now found the back of the net in each of his last three appearances for the club.

The victory also boosts the seventh-placed Yellows' play-off hopes, moving them to within a point of the top five and having games in hand on the majority of the teams above them.

Yet it was not to be for the games involving Bury Town (away at Tilbury) and Felixstowe & Walton United (home to Barking), which lost their battles with the weather.

There was plenty of goals in the (Step 3) Pitching In Southern League Premier Central Division matches that survived, with six being shared evenly as Needham Market and Hednesford Town played out a 3-3 draw at Bloomfields.

Harvey Sayer and Kyle Hammond twice put the hosting Marketmen in front during the opening 45 minutes, only for the visitors to respond on both occasions.

Hednesford then went on to take the lead for the first time in the match in the 61st minute, but Ipswich Town loanee Callum Page rescued a share of the spoils for Kevin Horlock's side with his deflected 69th-minute effort.

It sealed a ninth draw of the campaign for the 16th-placed Marketmen – a joint division high.

Lowestoft Town moved off the foot of the table and up to 19th after running out 4-1 winners at Barwell.

Jake Clowsley was AFC Sudbury's match winner against Maldon & Tiptree. Picture: Steve Screech
Jake Clowsley was AFC Sudbury's match winner against Maldon & Tiptree. Picture: Steve Screech

First-half goals from Tai Fleming and Ryan Jarvis put the Trawlerboys in the ascendancy before Kieran Higgs and Ryan Hawkins completed the job after the restart.

The win was just a second Lowestoft have achieved on the road this term.

In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, Newmarket Town put back-to-back defeats behind them by running out 6-2 winners at home against basement side Swaffham Town.

The Jockeys shared the goals among six different players, with Lewis Whitehead, Jon Carver, Ben Robinson, James Seymour, Ben Landshoff and Dan Hobbs all finding the back of the net.

The victory has moved Michael Shinn's team up to eighth – and they have games in hand to make up ground on the teams immediately above them.

Lakenheath warmed up for next week's historic Buildbase FA Vase tie with an impressive 4-0 home victory over Fakenham Town – a result that sees Ben Cowling's side leapfrog their visitors into 11th place.

A brace from defender Sam Peters, which was accompanied by a Shaun Avis penalty, had the home side in command of proceedings at the break. And further gloss was added to the scoreline in the second half by Casey Underwood.

The result means Lakenheath have started 2022 with two victories, five goals and none conceded.

It was the same scoreline for Kirkley & Pakefield (12th) as they put Woodbridge Town (9th) to the sword at Walmer Road.

Goals from Miguel Lopez, George Barber, Kyle Haylock and Keenan Hutchings did the damage for Kirkley, who are now unbeaten from their last three outings, picking up seven points in the process.

In the lower reaches of the table, Whitton United (14th) put four points between themselves and the relegation zone following a 2-1 home win against fourth-placed Mulbarton Wanderers.

Liam Wales' early opener was cancelled out by a Mulbarton penalty, but Owen Betts struck three minutes from time to secure the home side the victory.

Lakenheath celebrate one of their four goals against Fakenham. Picture: Derek Leader
Lakenheath celebrate one of their four goals against Fakenham. Picture: Derek Leader

Meanwhile, towards the top end Mildenhall Town were left frustrated as they were held to a 0-0 draw at Hadleigh United.

Ricky Cornish's men would have been the outright leaders with a victory at the Millfield, but as it is they are second and a point behind Gorleston (4-1 winners over Walsham-le-Willows), who also have two games in hand.

Meanwhile, a second 0-0 draw in a row for 16th-placed Hadleigh means they are one of three sides in the division on 22 points – a couple clear of the bottom two.

Another of those teams to have 22 points to their name are Haverhill Rovers (17th) following a 2-0 defeat on the road at seventh-placed March Town United.

Jordan Foster equalises for Ely City at Long Melford. Picture: Mark Westley
Jordan Foster equalises for Ely City at Long Melford. Picture: Mark Westley

The victory completed a swift double for the Cambridgeshire side, who beat Rovers 2-1 during the reverse fixture at The New Croft on December 18.

Long Melford remain second from bottom after they played out a 2-2 draw with Ely City (10th).

Kyle Hurley and George Day found the back of the net for the hosting Villagers while the in-form Ryan Gibbs and Jordan Foster responded for the visiting Robins.

There was also Premier Division action on Friday evening when Thetford Town were sunk late on in their 2-1 defeat at home to Norwich United.

Long Melford celebrate George Day's goal against Ely City. Picture: Mark Westley
Long Melford celebrate George Day's goal against Ely City. Picture: Mark Westley

It is now just one victory from 13 fixtures in all competitions for Matt Morton's 15th-placed outfit.

In the First Division North, Diss Town (7th) moved to within three points of the play-off places after their come-from-behind 3-1 victory at Great Yarmouth.

The Tangerines found themselves a goal down at the break, but James Bemrose's second-half brace – along with a strike from midfielder Lee Sim – wrapped up the points for Diss, who have now won three of their last four league games.

However, it was not such a positive afternoon for Debenham LC as they went down 4-0 at home to Leiston Reserves.

Debenham LC suffered a hefty 4-0 home defeat to Leiston Reserves. Picture: Mark Bullimore
Debenham LC suffered a hefty 4-0 home defeat to Leiston Reserves. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Kai Fletcher did much of the damage for the Blues' second string with a hat-trick, with the result moving Leiston (12th) above Debenham (13th) in the standings.

On Friday, 14th-placed Needham Market Reserves were defeated 2-1 away at high-flying Sheringham, where Jose Santa de la Paz was on target for the Marketmen's youngsters.

On the same evening Ipswich Wanderers moved to the top of the First Division South table courtesy of a 5-1 victory at May & Baker.

Jack Baker, Matt Blake, Jacob Lay, Evan Bolt and Kris Rose all netted for Wanderers, who are two points clear of second-placed Halstead Town – and have six games in hand – after the Humbugs lost 2-0 at Frenford at the weekend.

The rain got the better of a few games, including Harleston Town versus Framlingham Town. Picture: Mark Bullimore
The rain got the better of a few games, including Harleston Town versus Framlingham Town. Picture: Mark Bullimore

Elsewhere, the league's basement boys Haverhill Borough moved to within three points of the side above them (Brimsdown) following a 2-2 home draw with Wivenhoe Town.

Borough found themselves two goals down to the Essex-based visitors, but rallied to earn themselves a point and in doing so made it two draws from their last three home league encounters.

Postponed games: Leiston v Bromsgrove Sporting, Tilbury v Bury Town, Felixstowe & Walton United v Barking, Wroxham v Brantham Athletic, Harleston Town v Framlingham Town, Harwich v Cornard United.

Midweek fixtures (Kick offs 7.45pm unless otherwise stated)

Tuesday, January 11

Pitching In Southern Premier Central Division

Alvechurch v Needham Market

Pitching In Isthmian League North Division

Brentwood Town v Bury Town

Felixstowe & Walton United v Great Wakering Rovers