Saturday's local football round-up: Stowmarket Town exit FA Vase as Bury Town celebrate late penalty joy while Long Melford, Ely City and AFC Sudbury Reserves celebrate big wins
Stowmarket Town's road to Wembley in this year's Buildbase FA Vase ended in their fifth round tie (last 16) at Wroxham this afternoon, with a red card to experienced centre-back Tom Bullard proving a turning point.
Following a goalless first half of few chances, Stowmarket were well on top against their fellow Thurlow Nunn League hosts when Bullard was given his marching orders in the 66th minute for a second yellow card, after bringing down Charlie Clarke in the penalty box. Former Norwich City striker Grant Holt despatched the penalty.
Ten-man Stow came close to an equaliser with Matt Blake hitting the post in the 82nd minute but Wroxham exploited the increasing gaps at the back to put a seal on things with a second goal, from Shaun Taylor, five minutes into stoppage time.
Needham Market, who remain 15th in the BetVictor Southern Premier Central, saw their winning run come to an end as a new era began with a 1-0 defeat at mid-table Barwell.
There was fairy tale start for former Manchester City and West Ham United midfielder Kevin Horlock in his first game in charge, following the surprise sacking of Richard Wilkins during the week, following a run of three straight wins.
The match had looked like heading for a goalless draw, but Kai Williams came up with a piece of magic two minutes from time as his shot from outside the area found the back of the net for a 1-0 home win.
Last weekend had seen Bury Town come from behind with two late goals to claim three precious points in their BetVictor Isthmian League North Division promotion challenge – and they repeated the trick this afternoon to bounce back from their midweek derby defeat to AFC Sudbury.
Against eighth-placed Histon, they trailed to Danny Gould's 48th minute finish, following a long ball catching out the defence.
Joe Hood got the Blues back on level terms on the hour mark after firing in a loose ball following the goalkeeper clawing away Tommy Smith's cross.
It looked like the injury-hit side, without nine first-team players and having had to register Ben Mayhew to play in goal, were going to take a point from their FA Cup conquerors.
But in the seventh minute of added time, after four had been signalled, the referee pulled back a Histon attack to give Bury a penalty and send off the Cambridgeshire side's goalkeeper Sam Roach after kicking out at Olly Hughes off the ball.
Cemal Ramandan, who scored a late penalty from the penalty spot at the same ground last week, did likewise once again by converting his 10th spot-kick of the campaign to hit 20 goals for the season. The 2-1 victory keeps Bury in fourth place.
AFC Sudbury were unable to build on that derby victory against Bury as they went down to a 2-0 defeat at 16th-placed Cambridge City.
Two stunning strikes, from Luke Knight in the 36th minute and from Tom Wood in added time at the end of the 90, saw the Lilylwhites repeat the scoreline of the reverse fixture.
Mark Morsley's side will be looking to bounce back in a quick turnaround at promotion-chasing Aveley on Monday (7.45pm).
A late goal at Julis Martin Lane saw Soham Town Rangers move up a place to 11th following a 2-1 victory over Brentwood Town (18th).
Robbie Mason's side took the lead through Charlie Johnson in the 25th minute to continue the feelgood factor after winning 2-1 at local rivals Cambridge City on Tuesday.
But Andrew Freeman levelled affairs in the 76th minute, only for top goalscorer Sam Mulready to claim all three points with a second goal for the hosts in the 81st minute.
Ely City gave their chances of staying in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division a shot in the arm with a thumping 4-1 win over basement side Gorleston at their Demcom Stadium.
Harry French was hero as the number nine claimed a hat-trick, taking advantage of a defensive mix-up to put the Robins 1-0 ahead at half-time.
After doubling their advantage an own goal accounted for Ely's third before he completed his treble before Gorleston pulled one back.
It leaves Luke McAvoy and Ben Farmer's side remain 18th in the table but stretch their advantage over the Norfolk side to seven points, having played four games less.
Hadleigh United (18th) could not take advantage of bottom side Gorleston losing as they went down to a late goal 2-1 at mid-table Whitton United.
Christian Appleford's side had been looking to build on their first win in seven, 3-0 at Walsham-le-Willows, which lifted them off the bottom last weekend.
After trailing to a 13th minute opener, they equalised within a minute of the second half kicking off with Mason Ransome firing in a fine volley.
A red card to Darcy De'ath for dissent in the 69th minute did not help the Brettsiders' cause, but they had looked on for a valuable point until Jacob Lay struck in the 92nd minute.
Long Melford (7th) returned to action by heaping further misery on Walsham-le-Willows (17th) with a 5-0 victory for Jamie Bradbury's side as they chase a top eight club record finish.
After a goalless first half that failed to spark the imagination, Melford gave a youthful Walsham side a lesson in finishing in a turbo-charged second period.
Ashley Skeggs scored two quick fire goals before, the first a header and the second a sweeping finish, before Callum Hemson headed home in the 49th minute for 3-0.
The fourth arrived in the 76th minute from Ben Judge before Kieran Michaels fired in from close range three minutes later to complete the rout.
It was a fifth straight defeat for Fergus O'Callaghan's Walsham side to see them remain seven points off the bottom.
Newmarket Town slipped to consecutive defeats with a 3-1 reverse at home to top 10 side Woodbridge Town seeing them drop a place to third.
Jack Watson scored a penalty to send the Jockeys into the break at 1-1 but Woodbridge profitted from two penalties thereafter with dual registered Bury Town player Carlos Edwards dispatching both to claim all three points of the Woodpeckers.
Newmarket will look to bounce back when they host lower-league March Town United in the semi-final of the Cambridgeshire Invitation Cup on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Mildenhall Town (6th) bounced back from the disappointment of exiting the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup 4-1 at home to Norwich United on Tuesday with a 3-2 win at eighth-placed FC Clacton.
Ben Yeomans gave Hall the lead in the 32nd minute but Wayne Chapman equalised in first-half stoppage time.
After Kyelan Marvell put the Essex hosts in front, Mildenhall came from behind to claim all three points, following Alex Steed levelling in the 62nd minute, James Hall struck eight minutes later for a fourth straight victory.
Haverhill Rovers moved up two places to 14th following taking a point from their home game to top five side Stanway Rovers in a 1-1 draw.
After a 25-yard free kick had given Stanway the early advantage, Ben Bradley equalised, with both goals coming in the first half.
It was a fifth draw from seven league outings for player-boss Marc Abbott since his return to the club.
Thetford Town went a seventh game without victory in a 3-1 defeat at Godmanchester Rovers to drop a place to 16th.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South, Halstead Town, who started the day in ninth, jumped back into the fourth automatic promotion spot as they returned to action with a 1-0 victory at Burnham Ramblers (14th).
A Kane Munday low cross was turned into his own net by a defender to put the Humbugs into an early lead but goalkeeper Jack Cherry had to come to the rescue to save a penalty before the first half was out, while he also made a crucial save in the second half to keep them in front.
In the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North, AFC Sudbury Reserves (13th) hit seven goals for the second week running, following up their 7-1 success over Diss Town with a 7-2 thumping of bottom side Wisbech St Mary, also at the MEL Group Stadium.
A Ryan Weavers second-half header earned Lakenheath three precious points in their promotion push with a 1-0 win at Ipswich Wanderers pushing them up a place into second.
Debenham LC leapfrogged opponents Great Yarmouth Town into the top 10 with a 3-1 success at Friends Meadow, while Framlingham Town (16th) saw off visiting Cornard United (15th) 2-0.
Elsewhere, Needham Market Reserves (12th) lost 4-2 at home to fifth-placed March Town United while fourth-placed Norwich CBS beat visiting Haverhill Borough (17th) 2-0.
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More by this authorRussell Claydon