AFC Sudbury took their unbeaten run to eight matches with a 1-0 win at fellow promotion-hopefuls Tilbury on Saturday.
James Baker’s first half penalty, his 24th goal of the season, proved the difference with former Heybridge Swifts and Chelmsford City striker Chris Bryan making his debut alongside him.
Sudbury, who dispensed with Jon Docker and Danny Charge on deadline day ahead of Bryan’s arrival, are still sixth in the league but have closed the gap on the play-off places to one point behind Tilbury.
AFC host fourth-placed Grays Athletic at The MEL Group Stadium on Saturday (see Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press for the big match preview).
In the Ridgeons LEague Cornard United suffered a 5-0 home defeat to league leaders Thetford Town in front of a crowd of 35, while 73 people witnessed Halstead draw 1-1 with Ipswich Wanderers to move them back up to fourth.
Hadleigh United were without a game and next play at home to strugglers Newmarket Town on Saturday (3pm), while Long Melford, who played a friendly on Friday night, are at home to second-bottom Stowmarket Town in the First Division on Wednesday (7.45pm).
In the Premier League Norwich City beat relegation-threatened Wolves 2-1 thanks to a brace from skipper Grant Holt — who was later sent off — as the Canaries moved up to 11th in the table.
Ipswich Town’s hoodoo against Watford continued at Vicarage Road with the Hornets coming from 1-0 down to a Jay Emmanuel-Thomas close-range strike at half-time to win 2-1. The result leaves the Tractor Boys 15th in the table and nine points off the play-offs.
In the rugby, Sudbury lost 18-14 away to South Woodham Ferrers to leave them just seven points and two places above relegation.
Suds have two crucial games to go against the two sides currently below them (East London at home on Saturday (3pm) and followed by an away game finish at Wanstead).
In the hockey, Sudbury Men’s first team were without a game and cannot win East League Division 1N but can still go up as the second promoted team, which has come down to a straight fight with Harleston Magpies III to be decided over the last game.
Sudbury Women’s first team lost 3-1 at Saffron Walden to leave them fighting for their Division 1N status on the final day.
*FOR a full round-up of local sports results, including match action reaction and previews for the week ahead, including our Talk of the Town Ipswich Town column, see Thursday’s Suffolk Free Press.