Saturday's local football round-up: AFC Sudbury, Felixstowe & Walton United and Soham Town Rangers march on in FA Trophy while Haverhill Rovers' manager signs off with impressive draw
The AFC Sudbury bandwagon continues to roll on. Ahead of next weekend's big Emirates FA Cup tie with National League South leaders Dartford, the Yellows sealed progress in the Buildbase FA Trophy on Saturday.
Their home clash with equivalent level Cray Valley PM ended goal-less, meaning Rick Andrews' and Angelo Harrop's men have now kept nine clean sheets from 10 outings this term.
And goalkeeper Alfie Stronge went on to star in the subsequent penalty shoot-out as Sudbury came out on top 4-2 to book their place in this afternoon's third qualifying round draw (1pm approx).
Also in the hat after coming through on penalties are Felixstowe & Walton United, who won 7-6 in sudden death at fellow Pitching In Isthmian League North Division outfit Maldon & Tiptree.
The tie at Park Drive had ended one goal apiece after 90 minutes, with forward Ollie Canfer on target for the victorious Seasiders.
Soham Town Rangers also march on, and did not require spot kicks in their 1-0 home triumph at the expense of Shepshed Dynamo.
The visitors from Leicestershire had won the league meeting between the sides earlier in the season, but on this occasion Sam Mulready's goal three minutes from time saw the Greens come out on top.
It was the striker's second goal for the club since returning from Dereham Town early last month – and a moment that made club history as Soham advanced beyond the second qualifying round for the first time.
Yet, there will be no Bury Town in the next round after they suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Wisbech Town.
Danny Draper broke the deadlock just before the interval, while former Thetford Town forward Dylan Edge sealed the outcome with an eye-catching chip in the 71st minute (click here for Russell Claydon's match report).
Up at Step 3 in the Pitching In Southern League Premier Central Division, the wait for a first league win continues for Needham Market after they played out a 1-1 draw with Redditch United at Bloomfields.
Curtis Jemmett-Hudson put the away side in front early on in the second half, but full-back Jake Dye came to the Marketmen's rescue with an equalising goal 13 minutes from time.
It is now no victory in nine league outings for Kevin Horlock's second-from-bottom side, who handed a debut to new signing Emmanuel Machaya at the weekend.
What is more, Needham have now drawn their last five Central Division fixtures in a row – a run that dates back to September 11.
Elsewhere, Lowestoft Town put four points between themselves and Needham courtesy of a 2-1 home victory over Bromsgrove Sporting.
Goals from Jake Reed and Ryan Hawkins (penalty) got the job done for Jamie Godbold's men, who have now won three of their last four games in all competitions.
However, it was not such a positive afternoon for Leiston as they went down to a 2-0 defeat on the road at Alvechurch.
In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, a few hours before Haverhill Rovers played host to title hopefuls Wroxham, player-manager Marc Abbott announced that he would be standing down at the end of the encounter.
And the players sent him on his way on a positive note, battling back from being a goal down to record a 1-1 draw at The New Croft.
Ryan Weaver was the scorer, marking his first goal of the campaign a few days after he had told Suffolk News how he was not fazed by having not yet found the back of the net.
On top of that, second-from-bottom Rovers are just the second side to have stopped Wroxham from picking up maximum points this term.
Elsewhere in the division, Walsham-le-Willows also showed good powers of recovery during their 1-1 home draw with table-topping Gorleston.
Joel Watts put Gorleston in the ascendancy in the 57th minute, but a penalty from striker Jamie Smith secured a share of the spoils for Trevor Collins' team.
Sixth-placed Walsham are now unbeaten in their last six league matches, four of which they have won.
Another side coming from behind to collect a point was Newmarket Town, who found themselves 2-0 down at half-time against visiting Fakenham Town. In addition, the Jockeys had also seen player-boss Michael Shinn red carded before the break.
However, they rallied in the second half with two unanswered goals from Jon Carver and James Seymour, which in turn ended a five-game losing streak in the league.
In contrast, Ely City let a two-goal advantage slip at Norwich United, where the Robins had to ultimately settle for a 2-2 draw.
Goals from Ben Tait and Luke Crisp had put Ely in control at Plantation Park before the home team fought back.
More than half of the 10 Premier Division games ended in draws, and another of those came at the King George V Playing Field as Whitton United versus Thetford Town finished 1-1.
Ryan Fuller's effort had put Thetford in front at the break, while Ethan Clarke responded in the second half for hosting Whitton.
It was the same scoreline during Hadleigh United's trip to The Pit to take on Lakenheath.
Tom Thulborn got the hosts off to a positive start with his early strike before Kade Ivatt's header drew the Brettsiders level in the 30th minute.
One of the teams to win was Long Melford, who moved up to 15th after scoring three unanswered goals at Kirkley & Pakefield.
Hassan Ally, Jamie Griffiths and Will Wingfield (penalty) accounted for the Villagers' goals – and extended their sequence of form to just one defeat in eight.
Also collecting maximum points was Mildenhall Town – 1-0 winners at Woodbridge Town to move up to fifth place.
Dan Brown's first-half goal proved to be the difference between the two sides at Notcutts Park, with Mildenhall now having won their last three games in all competitions without conceding a goal.
Yet, it proved to be a day to forget for Mildenhall's opponents tomorrow night – Brantham Athletic – as they became the first side this season to lose to bottom-of-the-table Swaffham Town.
The Pedlars, who had lost all 11 matches and conceded 47 goals going into the weekend, won 2-1 at Shoemakers Lane.
In the First Division North, Harleston Town are five points clear at the top following their 1-0 victory from a trip to Huntingdon Town.
Harleston goalkeeper Ross Bilham saved a first-half penalty, paving the way for Nathan Page to score the only goal of the game five minutes from the end.
Framlingham Town have now won five of their last seven – including three in a row – after seeing off Great Yarmouth Town 2-1 at Badingham Road.
Danny Smith and Oli Mayhew scored for the Castlemen, who have moved up to sixth in the table, two points adrift of the play-off places.
And Debenham LC are also upwardly mobile after they won by the odd goal in five at Leiston Reserves.
Matt Aldis, Jay Cole and Sam Cole all found the back of the net for the 11th-placed Hornets, who have scored three times in back-to-back outings.
But the good feeling did not extend to Diss Town as they suffered a hefty 8-2 defeat from their trip to Sheringham.
Strikers James Bemrose and Ryan Gibbs scored a goal apiece for the travelling Tangerines, who struggled to contend with having Stephen Vennell red carded in the first half.
And they found it particularly tough to deal with the home side's Tim Cary as he fired in six of Sheringham's eight goals.
There was also a defeat for Needham Market Reserves as they slipped up 1-0 at FC Parson Drove.
Ipswich Wanderers tightened their grip on the First Division South summit following a 3-0 win at Frenford.
Matt Blake helped himself to a brace with Teon Leggett also on target – the pair now being the division's top two scorers this term with 14 and 11 goals respectively.
As for Wanderers, they are five points ahead of second-placed Wivenhoe Town with two games in hand.
Just outside of the play-off places are Halstead Town following their 5-0 home hammering of Park View.
There was five different scorers for the Humbugs – Jordan Blackwell, Alfie Cleal, Joe Thomas, Matthew Travell and Joshua Palmer – with Mark McLean's men having posted three wins from their last four First Division South encounters.
Like Brantham in the Premier Division, Cornard United became the first team to lose to a previously winless basement side in the shape of Brimsdown.
The home team, who play at Tilbury FC, had lost 10 of their 12 fixtures before running out 1-0 winners.
AFC Sudbury Reserves also lost without troubling the scoreboard, going down 2-0 at Barkingside.
Midweek Fixtures (Kick offs 7.45pm unless otherwise stated)
Tuesday, October 12
Pitching In Southern Premier League Central Division
Leiston v St Ives Town
Peterborough Sports v Lowestoft Town
Pitching In Isthmian League North Division
Felixstowe & Walton United v Heybridge Swifts
Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division
Ely City v Lakenheath
Kirkley & Pakefield v Norwich United
Mildenhall Town v Brantham Athletic
Whitton United v Walsham-le-Willows
Woodbridge Town v Hadleigh United
Thurlow Nunn League First Division South
Halstead Town v Haverhill Borough
Wednesday, October 13
Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division
Long Melford v Haverhill Rovers