Saturday’s local football round-up
Mildenhall Town, Soham Town Rangers and AFC Sudbury all recorded Bostik League North Division victories this afternoon, but there was not such positive news for Bury Town after they were beaten at home to basement boys Cheshunt.
Following a lacklustre first half at Ram Meadow, Bury broke the deadlock in the 55th minute when Kyran Clements headed in Tevan Allen’s left-wing cross.
It seemed for a long while that Clements was going to be the match winner until the visitors struck twice in the dying embers.
Jason Hallett’s scuffed effort in the 85th minute restored parity, before Cheshunt stole all three points thanks to substitute Kyle Roberts’ back-post tap-in.
The defeat has put a major dent into Bury’s play-off aspirations, leaving them 10 points adrift of sixth-placed Maldon & Tiptree, having also played more games than the majority of the teams around them.
There was plenty of reason for former Bury man Tom Debenham to celebrate, though, as he netted four goals in Mildenhall’s 5-2 victory at Tilbury.
Debenham joined Hall in late November as a defender, but he has been moved up front in recent weeks and it proved to be an inspired decision today.
Gareth Simpson was also on target for Dean Greygoose’s men, who leapfrog their hosts into 16th place.
The neutral has certainly got their money’s worth from matches involving these two teams this term, with a total of 17 goals being scored across the 180 minutes.
One place above Mildenhall are Soham Town Rangers after they followed up last week’s victory at Canvey Island by defeat Haringey Borough 3-0 at Julius Martin Lane.
Loanee striker Craig Gillies opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time with his ninth goal of the campaign, while Callum Russell and Joe Carden made sure of the outcome in the second half.
And AFC Sudbury made it three wins on the bounce after they secured a 1-0 victory at Heybridge Swifts.
Fresh from scoring a stoppage-time winner at Maldon last time out, Phil Kelly was back among the goals at The Aspen Waite Arena.
His goal came in just the third minute and sees 11th-placed Sudbury move level on points with neighbouring Bury.
In the Bostik League Premier Division, Needham Market gave their survival chances a huge boost with a 2-0 win at Enfield Town.
Goals inside the opening 19 minutes from Adam Mills and Dan Morphew (penalty) got the better of the hosts, who had goalkeeper Joe Wright red carded in the incident that resulted in Needham’s second goal from the spot.
Richard Wilkins’ side are now 20th — five points clear of bottom-of-the-table Tooting & Mitcham United.
The result of the day in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division belonged to Long Melford.
Few would have given the Villagers much chance of collecting anything from their trip to promotion-hunting Brantham Athletic, but Jamie Bradbury’s side won through 1-0 to leave them 15th.
Michael Shinn made a positive start to life as Newmarket Town manager after they ran out 4-0 winners at Fakenham Town.
Lewis Whitehead (2), Jordan Lambert and Sam Gomarsall all found the net for the sixth-placed Jockeys.
A late goal from Sam Reed secured Ely City (10th) a 2-1 triumph over Walsham-le-Willows (19th).
Dan Brown’s first goal in Ely colours since his loan switch from Mildenhall put the Robins in front, before Jack Brame drew hosting Willows level.
However, Reed came up trumps to end the Robins’ four-game winless run.
Fifth-from-bottom Haverhill Borough suffered a 2-0 home defeat at the hands of Histon, while Haverhill Rovers lost by the same scoreline at Stanway Rovers on Friday night.
In the First Division, Cornard United (13th) made it four victories on the bounce as they overcome Little Oakley 2-1 at home.
AFC Sudbury Reserves (12th) won by the odd goal in five at home against March Town United, while Needham Market Reserves fought bravely against league-leading Woodbridge Town before losing 2-1 on Friday evening.
Halstead Town’s (9th) trip to Swaffham Town was abandoned early on due to floodlight failure, while Framlingham Town’s game at Braintree Town Reserves was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.
Meanwhile, in the Norfolk Senior Cup quarter-final, Thetford Town lost 2-1 to lower-league Wymondham Town.