Saturday's local football round-up: Stowmarket Town score seven while AFC Sudbury leave it late in thriller, Bury Town up to second and good day in FA Vase for majority
There was plenty of entertainment to be had around the local football scene in steps 3-6 this afternoon, but perhaps none more so in the 90 minutes than for the 247 spectators at AFC Sudbury's MEL Group Stadium.
At home to a Romford side who sat bottom of the BetVictor Isthmian League North Division table without a point, things looked to be going perfectly to plan when Ben Hunter slotted home in the eighth minute.
But some haphazard defending cost them dear as two goals in under two minutes from 23 minutes (Jonathon Nzengo and Jimmy Cox) saw them trail 2-1, despite their dominance of the chances.
A screamer from just outside the area from 17-year-old full-back Liam Bennett after 36 minutes made it 2-2 at the interval, but a long ball caught AFC napping in the 53rd minute with Nzengo doing well from it to help himself to his second of the match for 3-2 to the visitors.
Teenager Tom Maycock was introduced from the substitutes bench by Morsley and soon had a big hand in turning the game for the hosts as he provided a low cross for Billy Holland to equalise from in the 73rd minute before capitalising on a defensive error to lift the ball over the goalkeeper for a 90th minute winner.
The 4-3 victory got AFC their first home league points of the season, having lost to Felixstowe & Walton United in their opener on their artificial pitch, but was their third straight win in a row in all competitions.
The manner of how it came about did not delight manager Mark Morsley (see video below) but he maintained in our post-match interview he was always very confident a winner would eventually arrive.
While that win moved Sudbury up to 8th in the table, Bury Town have hit the heady heights of 2nd after an excellent 2-0 win on the road at top five rivals Canvey Island saw them end their hosts' 100 per cent record and leapfrog them in the table.
Their summer signing from Soham Town Rangers, left-back Will Gardner put Ben Chenery's side ahead in the 38th minute. And they held on to that lead until late on when Cruise Nyadzayo, introduced from the bench, scored his first competitive goal for the club to wrap up the three points in the 87th minute.
It leaves Bury, who have won three and drawn one, two points off leaders Maldon & Tiptree after four matches.
Soham Town Rangers also had an enjoyable afternoon as they saw off Felixstowe & Walton United comfortably 3-0 at Julius Martin Lane.
Two goals inside a minute of each other, from Jake Andrews (37') and Sam Mulready (38') put the Greens firmly in control before Toby Andrews added a third 11 minutes from time.
Up a level in the BetVictor Southern Premier Central Needham Market also tasted victory, with a first half goal from Luke Ingram proving enough in a 1-0 scoreline at high-flying Hednesford Town to build on an impressive bank holiday Monday victory over Suffolk rivals Leiston.
A second victory from their opening six games, having drawn two and lost two, sees Richard Wilkins' side move up to 10th.
Stowmarket Town took full advantage of most of their divisional rivals being in the opening round of the Buildbase FA Vase by racking up their biggest win since December, 2016 by thrashing Kirkley & Pakefield 7-0 at Greens Meadow to stay at the summit ahead of Woodbridge Town.
The goal-fest incredibly featured seven different scorers and began in front of a crowd of 249 with summer signing Tom Bullard heading home a Robbie Sweeney corner in the eighth minute.
Striker Josh Mayhew doubled their advantage in the 19th minute for what is his 10th goal already in 2019/20 while Joe Jefford made it 3-0 shortly before half-time.
Four goals followed in the second 45 minutes with Robbie Sweeney, summer signing George Clarke, Dominic Docherty and Christy Finch - the last two in the last few minutes - all adding their names to the scoresheet on a memorable afternoon for the home supporters.
In the Buildbase FA Vase Hadleigh United repeated their 6-2 scoreline in their previous match (Haverhill Rovers H) to ensure their progress was in no doubt, at home to Stotfold. Kye Ruel and the returning Kyle Cassell both grabbed braces while Joel Glover and Sam Sharp were also on target for Christian Appleford's side at The Millfield.
Hadleigh will host Haverhill Borough in the second round qualifying stage after Guy Habbin's side came away from Thurlow Nunn League First Division South early league leaders Halstead Town with a 3-1 win, despite having five first-team players missing. Matt Harris put the visitors ahead before Jamie Baker's chip restored parity at the break.
But a further goal from Harris and a free kick from Ryan Phillips proved decisive for Borough.
Mildenhall Town will host Newmarket Town in a tasty west Suffolk derby in the next round with Hall continuing their upturn in form with a 2-0 home win against Swaffham Town while Michael Shinn's Jockeys were 2-1 winners at home to Gorleston. Jacob Partridge had fired in at a corner to give his side a 25th minute lead but Gorleston equalised two minutes later. Extra-time was not needed though as a Michael Shinn cross went in off a defender 10 minutes from time.
An additional 30 minutes was needed at Ely City though, following home captain Jamie Alsop's strike to make it 3-3 against Peterborough Northern Star.
But the visitors, who had dispatched of Walsham-le-Willows in the Emirates FA Cup, were able to win a pulsating extra-time period 3-1 to prevail 6-4.
There was better luck in exta-time for Debenham LC though, who overcame scored twice to overcome Wisbech St Mary 2-0 at Debenham Leisure Centre with Luke Taylor and Andrew Crowe on target.
After finishing up 1-1, Framlingham Town were put out 4-2 on penalties at home to Great Yarmouth Town.
After riding their luck with a depleted side, Long Melford will travel to Coggeshall United in the next round after hanging on to Nathan Rowe's 16th minute opener, while for Diss Town there will be no repeat of their 1994 triumph in the competition after losing 3-1 at home to Huntingdon Town.
Friday night's tie saw Walsham-le-Willows spoil Lakenheath's first venture in the FA Vase with a 2-1 home win meaning after today's results they will travel to lower-league March Town United in second round qualifying, after they won 2-1 at fellow First Division North side Norwich CBS.#
Kevin Horlock's Needham Market Reserves won 3-1 at home to King's Lynn Town Reserves in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North to make it four wins from six.
Finally, Thetford Town's miserable form continued in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division on Friday evening, losing 2-1 at manager Danny White's former club Wroxham to make it six straight defeats since their opening day win at Walsham-le-Willows.
SUNDAY FA VASE ROUND-UP:
Haverhill Rovers comfortably set up an FA Vase tie at Colney Heath on September 14 with an impressive 5-2 victory at lower-league First Division South side Benfleet.
Fergus O’Callaghan's side showed good character to come back with a goal blitz to lead 4-1 at the break, having conceded the first of the game.
Max Dinnell, a summer signing from Cornard United, drew them level before Alfie Carroll and a controversial converted penalty from Luke Haines, as well as an own goal forced by Haines put them in full control.
Dinnell then scored soon after play resumed as both sides found the back of the net in quick succession, which is how it ended.
Meanwhile, Cornard United made a swift exit from the competition at Great Wakering Rovers FC against First Division South side White Ensign, who prevailed 3-0.
* Vote for your Iliffe Media East Team of The Weekend on Twitter via @russclaydon on Monday and then read reaction to the weekend and midweek action in next week's papers, as well as previews to the week ahead.
More by this authorRussell Claydon