Jamie Godbold’s AFC Sudbury side took full advantage of title rivals AFC Hornchurch and Thurrock losing to go 10 points clear at the summit of Ryman League Division One North with an away success at Thamesmead Town, while Needham Market and Bury Town both took points from their games and Thetford and Newmarket were involved in an eight-goal thriller.
James Baker, back up front for the Yellows in the absence of Luke Callander, scored his first of the season to open the scoring in the 34th minute before attacking midfielder Craig Parker kept his cool from the penalty spot in the 66th minute to bag his 24th of the season in all competitions.
Thameasmead did pull a goal back via Theo Fairweather Johnson in the 76th minute, but could not stop AFC claiming another three points to extent their lead at the top of the table from seven to 10 points, though now second-placed Harlow Town do have two games in hand.
In the Barclays Premier League Norwich City plunged into the relegation zone after a 2-0 defeat at basement side Aston Villa, with Joleon Lescott (45’) and Gabriel Agbonlahor (51’) scoring for a much-needed three points for Remi Garde’s side.
Ipswich Town (7th) dropped out of the Sky Bet Championship play-off places after a 1-0 defeat at mid-table QPR, with Sheffield Wednesday leapfrogging them into sixth and holding a two point lead over the Tractor Boys.
Mick McCarthy’s side, who were cheered on by more than 3,000 fans in the away end at Loftus Road, could not convert their late chances and were hit by a Matt Phillips strike in the 88th minute, giving the hosts revenge for the Boxing Day late show that saw Town claim all three points in a late hurrah.
* For a full round-up of local results and fixtures to the weekend ahead, don’t miss the print edition out at the end of the week.
Premier Division: Lewes 0, Needham Market 0.
Division North: Barkingside 1, Soham Town Rangers 1; Bury Town 0, Phoenix Sports 0; Thamesmead Town 1, AFC Sudbury 2.
THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Premier Division: Thetford Town 5, Newmarket Town 3 (Friday); Hadleigh Utd 0, Long Melford 1; Kirkley & Pakefield 4, Walsham le Willows 3; Saffron Walden Town 2, Mildenhall Town 1.
First Division: Halstead Town 2, Wivenhoe Town 3 (Friday); Woodbridge Town 2, Debenham LC 0 (Friday); AFC Sudbury 1, Downham Town 2; Braintree Town 5, Haverhill Borough 0; Diss Town 2, Stowmarket Town 1; Ely City 0, Great Yarmouth Town 1; Leiston 1, Cornard Utd 0; Needham Market Res 1, King’s Lynn Town 10.
Monday. Division North: Aveley v Bury Town.
Tuesday. Premier Division: Needham Market v Grays Athletic.
Division North: Maldon & Tiptree v AFC Sudbury.
THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Tuesday. Premier Division: Ely City v Team Bury.
Friday. Premier Division: Hadleigh Utd v Haverhill Rovers.
First Division: Haverhill Borough v Needham Market Res; Wivenhoe Town v AFC Sudbury.