Saturday’s local football round-up
Bury Town were the side to claim bragging rights in their Bostik North Division derby against Mildenhall Town, in a game played in atrocious pitch conditions.
Ram Meadow was transformed into a quagmire as the game went ahead on the cold and wet afternoon, with a number of talking points emerging from the 2-1 home win.
There was a disallowed goal, an on-field brawl, plenty of chances and Dean Greygoose arguing the Bury Town winner did not cross the goal line — it was a derby that did not disappoint for entertainment.
Cemal Ramadan found the first for the Blues in the 39th minute with a skilful lob over The Hall’s Jake Hallett in goal to go in 1-0 at half-time.
But an energised reply at the start of the half by Mildenhall Town led to Tom Debenham pulling back an equaliser in the 58th minute, connecting well with the ball from close range as it pinballed about the Bury Town box.
The home side then responded, regaining a foothold in the game, after finding themselves struggling for much of the second half.
A robust tackle by Gareth Simpson in the 80th minute led a final 10 minutes of high tension, scuffles on and off the pitch and an unfortunate killing of a competitive but friendly atmosphere which had marked the first half.
And it also led to the winning goal from the subsequent free kick on halfway, Ramadan and Ollie Hughes both laying claim to it after getting touches during the scramble, but Mildenhall management claimed neither player managed to get the ball across the line.
Meanwhile in the North Division, Soham Town Rangers recorded an impressive 5-0 home win over Hertford Town.
Goals came at regular intervals with Joe Carden (15’) scoring first, with Callum Russell netting a brace with goals in both halves, Marcus Hall (37’) and Craig Gillies (61’) also scoring to record a comfortable victory.
And at Chadfields, AFC Sudbury were unable to extend their winning run to five victories as they took a 0-0 draw away to Tilbury.
It is, however, another clean sheet for Mark Morsley’s young and developing side.
In the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, Haverhill Borough were unable to prove Stowmarket Town’s bogey team again as they were hit for six at home.
Despite pulling off a 2-2 draw earlier in the season against the promotion-pushing side and having a better run of form in recent games, Borough never got going at The New Croft while Stow ran riot.
It saw Josh Mayhew take two further steps towards beating the record for most goals in one season, as he netted a brace to see him just eight goals — and 15 games — away.
The first goal for Stow was an unlucky own goal for Borough, after a shot by Amar Lewis in the ninth minute, before Mayhew hit his 41st and 42nd goals of the season. A further Ace Howell goal in the 43rd minute sent the visitors in at half time with a 4-0 lead.
The afternoon was only to get better for Stow — and worse for Borough —as Lewis scored a second-half brace to wrap the game up as a 6-0 win.
Meanwhile Kirkley & Pakefield hosted a visiting Hadleigh United, who took a crucial 1-0 victory on the road to keep their relegation fight alive as they chase the last safe spot in the league — currently occupied by Haverhill Borough.
The gap has now closed to just three points, while Hadleigh also have a game in hand.
And at Long Melford, a 5-1 victory for the visiting Ely City saw the mid-table side continue their return to better form after a dire run over the new year period.
Melford, on the other hand, lost their first fixture in five.
Dan Brown scored a hat-trick for Ely, one from the spot, with further goals for Alex Theobold and Lee Reed (penalty), while Long Melford managed to pull back a consolation despite their number 11 being shown red late on.
The Stoneylands side described it as ‘our worst display of the season’.
It was also bad news for Newmarket Town, who hosted league leaders Felixstowe & Walton United, who were shown why the visitors are so far ahead in the title chase as they fell to a 4-1 loss.
Despite Jamie Thurlbourn putting The Jockeys ahead from a free kick, Felixstowe’s relentless attacking eventually paid dividends as they broke Newmarket down four times on their way to their 27th win (of 35 games) of the season.
And Thetford Town could not claim maximum points against second-from-bottom Ipswich Wanderers, recording a 1-1 home draw.
Robbie Priddle put Thetford ahead for the half-time whistle but a persevering Ipswich did well to equalise.
In the Thurlow Nunn First Division, Debenham LC took a 2-0 win on the road over AFC Sudbury Reserves.
Goals either side of the half for Craig Jennings and Martin Westcott saw the Hornets end AFC’s four-game winning run.
And Team Bury’s search for a win continues, as they fall to their 18th consecutive league defeat.
Several games were postponed on Saturday, due to unplayable pitches, with the Bostik League Premier Division fixture between Leatherhead and Needham Market, one of the local victims.
The Marketmen will not go long without a game however as they host Felixstowe & Walton United in the quarter-finals of the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).
In the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, Walsham le Willows home game to Stanway Rovers was also postponed.
As was Cornard United’s away trip to Norwich United in the Thurlow Nunn First Division while Diss Town also saw their away trip to Holland called off until a later date.
There were also further postponements for Halstead Town’s home match against Framlingham Town as well as Needham Market Reserves home game to Whitton United.