Saturday's local football round-up
Needham Market eased their relegation worries with an excellent home victory, while Haverhill Borough and Stowmarket Town enjoyed important wins in their seasons and Team Bury ended their barren run.
Needham Market gave their survival hopes in the Bostik League Premier Division a big shot in the arm with a 3-2 victory over second-placed Margate at Bloomfields.
Ex-Ipswich Town professional Jamie Griffiths put the Marketmen ahead in the 35th only for Jordan Chiedozie to equalise on the stroke of half-time.
But Griffiths struck again in the 71st minute and Dan Morphew put away an 84th minute penalty before Margate's Jay May pulled one back in the 89th minute to set-up a nervy finish.
The three points, which made it three wins from their last four, following a point at Staines last weekend, saw Richard Wilkins' side move up three places in the table to 18th and nine points, from six, above the relegation spot.
In the North Division, Mildenhall Town (13th) put a dent in Maldon & Tiptree's promotion push with a 2-1 victory in Essex to complete their five February fixtures with just one defeat (three wins).
The Jammers had take the lead through Joe Ellul's strike but Josh Curry pulled Hall level just before the break.
Defender-turned-striker Tom Debenham struck six minutes after the restart to put Mildenhall ahead and their task was made easier a minute later when Harvey Dailly was sent off the hosts.
AFC Sudbury's fine run of form - having won four of their last five and beaten the league leaders last time out - came to an end in a 2-0 defeat at second-placed Bowers & Pitsea.
The goals for the home side came either side of half-time with Ben Sartain breaking the deadlock 34 minutes in, before David Knight doubled their advantage four minutes after the restart.
Bury Town played out a goalless draw at home to out-of-form Waltham Abbey, who had lost eight of their last nine, with the point seeing the Blues leapfrog rivals AFC Sudbury into ninth place.
But their manager's hopes of rekindling a play-off push took another hit as Bury went from 11 points to 12 adrift of the top six.
Despite Bury having the better of the first half, defensive mistakes saw Shad Ngandu and ex-AFC Sudbury Aryton Coley, both hit the post for the visitors.
Chenery's side went closest to breaking the deadlock right at the death in an uneventful second half, with substitute Ollie Dunlop seeing his strike in injury-time come back off the crossbar.
Soham Town Rangers (18th) also claimed a point in a goalless home draw with 11th-placed Grays Athletic, with The Greens having gone close to winning it at Julius Martin Lane.
In the Thurlow Nunn League, Premier Division promotion-chasers Stowmarket Town bounced back from their first defeat of the year with a 3-0 home victory over Ipswich Wanderers.
The Old Gold & Blacks were 2-0 ahead at half-time courtesy of two goals in four minutes, with striker Josh Mayhew adding to David Kempson's 13th minute opener.
Mayhew struck again three minutes from time to move his season's tally to 45 and put him join second in the list of most goals scored by a player in a single Eastern Counties League campaign.
With Coggeshall Town drawing 0-0 at home to Kirkley & Pakefield, the victory leaves Stow in third place in the table and six points off the second place automatic promotion spot.
Haverhill Borough pulled off an important victory in their quest for survival at home to Thetford Town, winning 3-2 to capitalise on Hadleigh United losing 2-0 to nieghbours Havehrill Rovers on Friday night.
With new goalkeeper Naill Conroy making his debut, Borough took a 1-0 advantage into the break after Charlie Holmes scored on the stroke of half-time.
Andrew Wood pulled the Brecklanders level before Casey Phillips headed the hosts back into the lead Holmes claimed his second for 3-1 and Thetford scored late on. It sees Borough, in the last safe spot, open up a three-point gap from the bottom four.
Elsewhere in the division, Waslsham-le-Willows (18th), who had new signing George Bugg up front following his move from Stowmarket, held out with 10 men for most of the second half to claim a 1-0 victory at home to Newmarket Town (11th), via Ryan Clark's firs-thalf strike, while Long Melford (15th) lost 1-0 at FC Clacton.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division, Team Bury moved off the foot of the table with their first win since September 23, with the 2-0 victory at Diss Town (17th) ending a 12-game losing run for Bury Town's reserve side. Both goals came in the second half.
Promotion-chasing Framlingham Town (3rd) saw their winning run - which had stood at eight matches - halted at AFC Sudbury Reserves (11th), who held them to a 2-2 draw at King's Marsh Stadium.
Braces from Tanner Call and Craig Jennings saw seventh-place Debebham LC to a fine 4-0 home win over Holland FC, while Halstead Town (9th) played out a 0-0 draw at home to Downham Town and Cornard United (13th) were on the end of a 7-2 thrashing at fourth-place Swaffham Town.
* For reaction to the weekend's action, as well as previews to the week ahead and the latest transfer news, see next week's papers.