Easter Monday's Football Round-Up
Victories sparked promotion parties for Mildenhall Town, Haverhill Borough and Stowmarket Town in the Thurlow Nunn League, while AFC Sudbury showed their fighting spirit in the wake of relegation from the Ryman League's top flight.
'CHAMPIONE, CHAMPIONE, OLE! OLE! OLE!' bellowed out at Thetford Town's Mundford Road at 5pm as Mildenhall Town's 2-0 win landed them the Thurlow Nunn League's top prize.
Dean Greygoose's men had gone into the afternoon's match knowing they needed just a point to clinch the Premier Division title and confirm their promotion to the Ryman League with two games still to play.
After both sides exchanged chances, it was Mildenhall who went into the break with the advantage after Chris Bacon provided a composed finish after Arran Mackay had slipped him in in first-half injury-time.
The second half was short on chances in comparison to the first, but Hall's travelling fans were delirious when Dan Brown put the result beyond doubt with his team's second two minutes from time, leaving both goalscorers on the day with 13 in all competitions.
While Mildenhall will be leaving the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, Haverhill Borough and Stowmarket Town are set to enter it as both celebrated promotion with home victories - though Stowmarket's promotion is still subject to raising funds to sufficiently upgrade their floodlights.
Haverhill Borough did not spare the style for their fans on the way to confirming their first ever promotion to step five of the non-league pyramid as they fired in 13 unanswered goals against basement side Leiston Reserves on The New Croft 3G.
The margin of their victory even got them a mention by Jeff Stelling on SKY Sports News.
Incredibly, 10 of the goals came after the break, with Craig Pruden scoring in-between two strikes from their captainJarid Robson.
Aaron Forshaw (getting a touch on a Lee Hurkett free-kick) and Ryan Phillips made it 5-0 before Ryan Swallow's aerial backheel int he 56th minute.
Left-back Hurkett fired in a free-kick without any deflection in front of the 143-strong crowd before Rory Bone was felled by the goalkeeper for Sam Hawley to convert the resultant penalty for 8-0.
Further goals followed from Rory Bone, Robson, Swallow, Bone again and Forshaw to complete what is thought to be a club record win, with Robson claiming the hat-trick ball.
At Stowmarket Town's Greens Meadow, only a draw was needed against Debenham LC.
But a goal in each half, from Remi Garrett and substitute Jack Baker ensured The Old Gold and Blacks were left celebrating their first promotion (subject to off-the-pitch ground improvements) in their history, having previously started Eastern Counties League life before the inception of the First Division, which they were relegated to.
But the mood was not so jovial at AFC Sudbury's Wardale Williams Stadium where The Yellows' fans learned their relegation from the Ryman League Premier Division had been confirmed ahead of kick-off with Suffolk rivals Needham Market, after Burgess Hill Town claimed a point on the Sussex coast at Worthing.
Play-off chasing Needham looked to be set to end the day back in the top five after Luke Ingram's 19th goal of the campaign, just before half-time, gave them an interval lead.
Stand-in visiting goalkeeper James Bardbrook pulled off a great save from point-blank range to deny James Baker an equaliser.
But the AFC Sudbury player, who racked up his 300th appearance for the club in his last outing for them, was not to be denied and gave the home fans - in a crowd of 353 - something to cheer about with his 76th minute leveller.
It served to put a massive dent in Needham Market's play-off promotion ambitions with the Marketmen ending the day in 7th place and three points off Wingate & Finchley in fifth ahead of the final day shootout at home to big-spending Billericay Town on Saturday (3pm).
But Mark Morsley's last game as manager - before moving into a new chairman role akin to a director of football at Bloomfields - is likely to be at the weekend as the Marketmen would need to win and hope Wingate & Finclhey and Leiston both lose, as well as overturning a goal difference that is currently five worse off than Wingate, to extend their season in the play-offs.
Sudbury may have local derbies against both of the teams in action at Ram Meadow this afternoon as Bury Town played out a 1-1 draw at home to Soham Town Rangers in Ryman League Division One North.
Soham, who are battling for survival in the division, gave their hopes a massive boost by taking the lead through in-form Sam Mulready in the 31st minute.
But Ben Chenery's Bury side, who had won their last four straight matches on their home patch, levelled after the break through Josh Mayhew just before the hour mark, which was the way it stayed.
It leaves Soham with their destiny firmly in their own hands heading into the final weekend, going into the home game with second-placed Maldon & Tiptree (3pm) with two points separating them from Heybridge Swifts in the last relegation place.
Elsewhere, Long Melford's hopes of survival in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division were given a shot in the arm following a last-gasp 2-1 home win over fellow strugglers Hadleigh United at Stoneylands.
Captain Steve Adams sent the home contingent into wild celebrations with his header from a late, late Dan Swain corner.
It completed a much-needed comeback from Jules Mumford's side with Will Wingfield having equalised after the Brettsiders took the lead after the restart.
The three points saw Melford leapfrog opponents Hadleigh to the fourth-from-bottom spot and four points above the drop zone with two games to play, the first of which sees them host second-from-bottom side Swaffham Town on Saturday (3pm).
Stuart Alston's Hadleigh are worryingly just two points and a place above the relegation zone with two to play, but with Wivenhoe Town, who are directly below them, holding a game in hand,
Elsewhere in the division, Newmarket Town (3rd) won 3-2 at local rivals Ely City (13th) while Haverhill Rovers (16th & 7pts clear of the drop zone) lost their derby at Saffron Walden Town 2-0. Having lost 5-3 at Godmanchester Rovers on Saturday, Walsham-le-Willows (14th) lost 2-0 at relegated Swaffham.
In the First Division, Cornard United (14th) followed up Saturday's 2-1 home win over March Town United with a resounding 5-0 success from today's trip to Dereham Town Reserves, while Diss Town (6th) signed off at Brewers Green Lane with a pleasing 1-0 win over fourth-place Woodbridge Town with Ben Norman-Hugman on target in the first half.
Framlingham Town (8th) chalked up their first straight win with another high-scoring affair, winning 4-1 at home to Guy Hayes' Team Bury (17th) while Halstead Town (9th) celebrated a 3-1 home win over third-from-bottom Needham Market Reserves. Meanwhile, AFC Sudbury Reserves (18th) went down 4-1 at King's Lynn Town Reserves.
Stowmarket Town and Haverhill Borough were not the only two celebrating automatic promotion from the First Division, with Coggeshall Town's 4-0 home win over Wisbech St Mary meaning they will can also not be caught for a top three place.
With two games to go for Stowmarket (89pts) and Coggeshall (84pts) and one for Haverhill Borough (87) the title is still wide open but Stowmarket's to lose.
* For match reaction and a preview to the weekend's games, see this week's print editions.