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Non-league round-up: Leiston lose at Aldershot in the Isuzu FA Trophy, while AFC Sudbury continue their march to the title





Leiston's club-record run in the Isuzu FA Trophy came to an end after a 4-1 defeat away at higher-league Aldershot Town in the fourth round on Saturday.

The Vanarama National League hosts, who play two leagues higher than the Blues, went in front through Harrison Panayiotou's close-range strike after 39 minutes.

Ryan Glover doubled Aldershot's lead on 50 minutes, before Finlay Barnes pulled one back for Leiston with 20 minutes to go to give his side a lifeline.

Mildenhall Town ran out 5-1 winners against Ely City on Saturday Picture: Mark Westley
Mildenhall Town ran out 5-1 winners against Ely City on Saturday Picture: Mark Westley

But a brace from Inih Effiong put the tie out of the Suffolk side's reach and saw them bow out of the national competition at the last 32 stage.

Leiston will now look to renew their promotion push at Step 3, in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central, where they currently sit in third place – three points behind leaders Tamworth but with two games in hand.

Elsewhere at the weekend, AFC Sudbury's push for the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division title shows no signs of slowing down after they won 2-0 at Witham Town to stretch their run of victories to eight in a row.

In-form striker Josh Mayhew scored a goal in each half to keep up Sudbury's winning run and keeps them four points clear at the top of the table.

George Bugg takes aim for Mildenhall Town Picture: Mark Westley
George Bugg takes aim for Mildenhall Town Picture: Mark Westley

Lowestoft Town are up to third in the North Division after they ran out 3-0 winners at Stowmarket Town, in a game which was Paul Musgrove's last as Stow manager before stepping down.

First-half goals from Louis McIntosh and Adam Hipperson handed the Trawlerboys a commanding 2-0 lead, with Hipperson adding a third from the penalty spot just before the hour mark.

The result saw Stow drop out of the North Division play-off spots and to sixth, with Musgrove's assistant Richard Wilkins and goalkeeping coach Nathan Munson having now been put in interim charge.

Stowmarket's Marlon Agyakwa on a muddy pitch at Greens Meadow on Saturday Picture: Richard Marsham
Stowmarket's Marlon Agyakwa on a muddy pitch at Greens Meadow on Saturday Picture: Richard Marsham

Meanwhile, Ipswich Wanderers climbed up to third in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division after winning 3-1 at Norwich United on Saturday.

After a goalless first half, the goals arrived at Plantation Park in the second half with Joel Glover (two) and Nathan Read firing Wanderers into a 3-0 lead.

Alby Matthews grabbed a consolation from the spot for the hosts, but it was Wanderers who took home all the points and racked up an eighth win from their last nine matches in all competitions.

Stowmarket's Kane Munday was a second-half substitute at the weekend Picture: Richard Marsham
Stowmarket's Kane Munday was a second-half substitute at the weekend Picture: Richard Marsham

Mildenhall Town are up to sixth after putting five goals past Ely City in a 5-1 rout at the Riverside Stadium.

Josh Lee and Luke Butcher both found the target in the first half to give the Hall a 2-0 advantage by half-time, with Toby Salmon and Tanner Call (two) striking in the second half to seal a first win of 2023 for Phil Weavers' side.

Walsham-le-Willows are into the top half of the Premier Division as they continued their impressive run of form with a 4-1 victory at home against bottom side Haverhill Rovers.

A Scott Chaplin brace, along with goals from Kyran Cooper and Ryan Twinn, sealed a third win in four games for the Willows, who have moved up to 10th, while Rovers, who replied through Ryan Swallow, remain 12 points adrift of safety.

Needham Market Under-23s celebrate getting back on level terms at Diss Town Picture: Mark Bullimore
Needham Market Under-23s celebrate getting back on level terms at Diss Town Picture: Mark Bullimore

Newmarket Town also kept up their impressive start to the calendar year with a 4-0 triumph at Lakenheath on Saturday.

A pair of goals each from Matt Hayden and substitute Callum Chambers-Shaw completed a pleasing win on the road for the Jockeys.

Elsewhere, Sam Mulready's early strike for Soham Town Rangers was cancelled out by visiting Mulbarton Wanderers, who struck twice to win 2-1, while Long Melford fell to a 5-1 defeat at Sheringham.

In the Essex Senior League Premier Division, Tom White was on target for Halstead Town in their 1-1 draw at home with Clapton.

Diss Town's Rupert Graver and Needham Market's Flynn Crosthwaite contest for the ball Picture: Mark Bullimore
Diss Town's Rupert Graver and Needham Market's Flynn Crosthwaite contest for the ball Picture: Mark Bullimore

Into the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, where Framlingham Town closed the gap on leaders Heacham to one point after drawing 2-2 at AFC Sudbury Reserves.

The title chasers twice went in front through George Exworth and Will Aldis, but Sudbury, who had won their last five games, fought back to share the points.

Cornard United remain in the promotion hunt and sit in the last play-off spot in fifth after drawing 2-2 at home with Holbeach United.

Ben Stannard and substitute Jack Graham got on the scoresheet for the Ards, but a late penalty ensured the hosts had to settle for one point instead of three.

Diss Town's bid for a late push for the play-offs took a dent after losing 3-1 at home to Needham Market Under-23s.

The Tangerines had taken the lead after only 45 seconds when Ben Smith inadvertently put the ball in his own net, but the Marketmen responded with goals from Archie Exworth and Seth Chambers (two) to record their first win in 2023.

Haverhill Borough have their first point of the calendar year after drawing 2-2 at home with FC Parson Drove, but had led 2-0 through Callum Stone and Spencer Sykes before conceding twice.

Debenham LC fell to a 3-0 home defeat to promotion contenders Harwich & Parkeston with Joe Knight grabbing a hat-trick for the visitors.

Midweek fixtures (7.45pm unless stated)

Tuesday, January 17

Pitching In Southern League Premier Division Central

Needham Market v Barwell

Pitching In Isthmian League North Division

Brentwood Town v Lowestoft Town

Essex Senior League Premier Division

Halstead Town v Stanway Rovers

Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup

Ipswich Wanderers v Hadleigh United

Kirkley & Pakefield v Mulbarton Wanderers

Lakenheath v Mildenhall Town

Newmarket Town v Soham Town Rangers

Wednesday, January 18

Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup

Long Melford v Woodbridge Town