Saturday's local football round-up

HEADS UP: Soham's Lloyd Groves attempts to force the ball goalwards during the crucial win over Thurrock
HEADS UP: Soham's Lloyd Groves attempts to force the ball goalwards during the crucial win over Thurrock
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The relief was there for all to see at Julius Martin Lane this afternoon as Soham Town Rangers ended their long winless run, but there was not such positive news for AFC Sudbury, who lost at home and remain deep in relegation trouble.

It had been a tough first three months in charge of Soham for Robbie Mason as 16 matches came and went without a victory.

DISAPPOINTING DAY: Sam Bantick tries to make inroads during Sudbury's home defeat

DISAPPOINTING DAY: Sam Bantick tries to make inroads during Sudbury's home defeat

However, up against Ryman League Division One North play-off contenders Thurrock, two Sam Mulready goals within the space of 60 second-half seconds sealed a 2-1 win and stopped the rot.

It was not quite enough to move The Greens out of the bottom three, but they now only trail 21st-placed Ware by virtue of having scored four less goals.

In contrast, Sudbury have dropped to second from bottom in the Ryman League Premier Division and three points from safety after they lost 3-1 at home to Harrow Borough.

Craig Parker hauled Sudbury level in the 39th minute, but they shipped two goals either side of the break and had Ryan Henshaw sent off late on to leave The Yellows in a precarious position.

KEEPER'S BALL: Penalty box action from Hadleigh's win at Ely.

KEEPER'S BALL: Penalty box action from Hadleigh's win at Ely.

Elsewhere in the Premier Division, Luke Ingram's goal was not enough to prevent Needham Market from losing 2-1 at Hendon, while in Division One North, Bury Town were beaten 1-0 at Brightlingsea Regent.

Mildenhall Town took full advantage of second-placed Felixstowe & Walton United's defeat at Stanway Rovers on Friday by beating Fakenham Town 5-0 to move nine points clear at the top of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

Stephen Spriggs (2), Chris Bacon, Dan Brown and an own goal did the damage at Recreation Way for Hall, who have played two more games than Felixstowe.

Newmarket Town (third) bounced back from recent league and cup defeats by winning 2-0 at Great Yarmouth Town, with both goals coming courtesy of Deaken Napier.

HAT-TRICK HERO: Steve Holder is congratulated after scoring one of his three goals for Stowmarkeg

HAT-TRICK HERO: Steve Holder is congratulated after scoring one of his three goals for Stowmarkeg

Sixth-placed Thetford Town, meanwhile, continued their fine season with 4-1 win at Ipswich Wanderers - a result that included a goal from Liam Wales, signed from Sudbury.

At the bottom, Hadleigh United gave their survival chances a huge shot in the arm by winning 2-1 at Ely City. The victory has moved The Brettsiders four points clear of the relegation zone.

Walsham-le-Willows won 4-1 at Wivenhoe Town, where Tom Debenham was among the scorers, while goals from Mitch Burr and Mason Neman saw Haverhill Rovers battle back for a 2-2 draw at Swaffham Town.

As for Long Melford, their long trip to title contenders Gorleston ended in a 3-0 defeat.

Stowmarket Town remain on course for the First Division title after they hammered Dereham Town Reserves 7-1 at home.

Steve Holder was the star of the show with three goals, with George Bugg helping himself to a brace as The Old Gold and Blacks maintained their five-point lead over Coggeshall Town in second - those two meet at West Street on March 28.

Today, Coggeshall overcome Framlingham Town 3-1, but Haverhill Borough remain in hot pursuit of the Essex side following their 4-0 home win over Holland FC. Ryan Swallow, Charlie Holmes, Craig Prudent and Jarid Robson all netted for Borough.

Diss Town's run without a win stretched to seven matches after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Whitton United, with Halstead Town and Downham Town sharing six goals evenly.

Debenham LC moved above Cornard United and into 14th after beating Chris Tracey's men 1-0 away from home, while AFC Sudbury Reserves were 2-0 winners at Woodbridge Town.

Ahead of hosting March Town United at Ram Meadow, Team Bury had lost five games on the spin, but they ended that sequence with a 1-1 draw.

*For match reaction and previews to next weekend's action, don't miss our upcoming print editions.