Saturday's local football round-up

RELIEF: Soham Town Rangers players celebrate one of their two goals in this afternoon's 2-0 home win over Bowers & Pitsea, which saw them climb out of the Ryman League Division One North relegation zone  Picture: Phil Chaplin

RELIEF: Soham Town Rangers players celebrate one of their two goals in this afternoon's 2-0 home win over Bowers & Pitsea, which saw them climb out of the Ryman League Division One North relegation zone Picture: Phil Chaplin

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AFC Sudbury had a nightmare afternoon as they went down 4-0 to Hendon in their 'relegation six-pointer' but Soham Town Rangers continued their revival with another three points while Needham drew their big game.

Soham Town Rangers pulled off the result of the day locally with their 2-0 home win over play-off chasing Bowers & Pitsea moving them out of the Ryman League Division One North's relegation zone.

BACK OF THE NET: David Lorimer celebrates bringing Long Melford level against Walsham-le-Willows at Stoneylands   Picture: Mark Westley

BACK OF THE NET: David Lorimer celebrates bringing Long Melford level against Walsham-le-Willows at Stoneylands Picture: Mark Westley

Sam Mulready headed them into a half-time lead just before the interval, when he nodded in a spillage from a curling free-kick.

Soham's day got even better when striker Luke Brown doubled their lead in the 64th minute with a drilled shot from the right side of the box.

With Bowers unable to break through at the other end, it gave Robbie Mason his second win in charge of the Greens, with the first having coming a week previously at home to fellow play-off hopefuls Thurrock.

Elsewhere in the division, Bury Town went down to a 1-0 defeat on the road for the second consecutive Saturday, losing at Romford by the same scoreline as at leaders Brightlingsea the previous weekend.

TOP DAY: Diss Town's number 10 slides the ball under the Halstead Town goalkeeper in their 4-0 success at Brewers Green Lane   Picture: Al Pulford

TOP DAY: Diss Town's number 10 slides the ball under the Halstead Town goalkeeper in their 4-0 success at Brewers Green Lane Picture: Al Pulford

It leaves Ben Chenery's men, who had looked to be in the play-off hunt at the turn of the year, in 11th place.

In the Ryman Premier Division, AFC Sudbury remain second-from-bottom, following a horror show in front of their home fans, with the 4-0 defeat by fellow strugglers Hendon equalling their worst home defeat in the league (having also lost by the same scoreline against Merstham on January 28.

Hendon, who had seen the reverse fixture abandoned with AFC 2-1 up in injury time after a melee broke out, scored twice in each half to boost their survival hopes.

Kezie Ibe fired The Greens into a 19th minute lead, after cleverly rolling James Baker from James Hammond's pass, before an exquisite top corner free-kick from Matt Ball doubled their lead in the 32nd minute.

A third followed four minutes after the re-start from Keegan Cole's precise finish from the edge of the area and AFC's miserable day got worse when Ibe scored his second with an hour played, leaving some AFC fans to head for the exit.

They would not have seen their side reduced to 10 men for the second successive home game as young defender Tyler French, who has been on trial with both Ipswich Town and Crystal Palace this season, picked up his second yellow card with 12 minutes to play.

It was AFC's fourth straight defeat and their eigth in their last nine to leave them an extra point from safety, now four, than at the start of the day.

At the other end of the division, Needham Market came within a lick of paint of collecting a big three points in their play-off quest at home to second-placed Havant & Waterlooville.

Newly confirmed permanent signing from Colchester United, Callum Harrison, saw his late shot come back off the crossbar as Mark Morsley and Richard Wilkins' side played out a goalless draw that saw them drop a place to fourth, but four points clear of Dulwich Hamlet in sixth, who have three games in hand still.

In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, leaders Mildenhall Town were by far the last game to finish after an ambulance had to be called for midfielder George Tolliday, who appears to have suffered a broken arm.

The leaders went on to record a 2-1 victory at Kirkley & Pakefield on a day where the chasing pack dropped points.

After trailing 1-0, Dean Greygoose's side hit back with goals from Arran Mackay and Stephen Spriggs to 12 points, albeit with Felixstowe & Walton United in second having two games in hand and Gorleston, a point behind the Seasiders, having three less.

Hadleigh United's fine run came to an end at The Millfield with 157 watching on as Brantham Athletic scored three unanswered goals that leaves Stuart Alston's side one place and three points above Wivenhoe Town in the last of the relegation places, subject to a reprieve being made, with Wivenhoe holding three games in hand on the Brettsiders.

Long Melford are one place and two points above Hadleigh after their 2-1 home defeat to Walsham-le-Willows (12th) with David Lorimer having equalised after an own goal had put the visitors ahead.

Thetford (5th) and Ely City (13th) played out a 2-2 draw at Mumford Road, but that did not tell the true story of the game, with Thetford coming from 2-0 down at the break to rescue a point in the third minute of injury-time through their player/manager Danny White.

In the First Division, Diss Town ended their poor run in style with four unanswered goals at home to Halstead Town, who are now down in seventh and 16 points off the top three place they had been chasing this season. Diss, who had similar ambitions, are one place and one point below them after a brace from Shaun Hunsdon and Charlie Webb and Appleton.

Debenham LC have now set their best ever points tally for a Thurlow Nunn League First Division campaign with the 2-0 win over bottom side Leiston Reserves taking them to 42.

Haverhill Borough have been this season's surprise package and they are remain in second and a point off top spot after a 1-0 win at Wisbech St Mary.

Coggeshall remain top after beating AFC Sudbury Reserves 3-1, while Cornard United won 1-0 at Downham Town to leave them 15th with 11 wins this season.

Team Bury could not follow up their derby win over AFC as they went down to a 2-0 defeat to King's Lynn Town Reserves.

Woodbridge Town were the biggest winners in the Thurlow Nunn League, thrashing Dereham Town Reserves 10-1 at Notcutts Park.

* For match reaction and previews to the week ahead in the Thurlow Nunn and Ryman leagues, see our next print editions.