Saturday's local football round-up

SHOWING THE PASSION: New signing Adam Mills netted for AFC Sudbury in a 1-1 draw as the team target just 'a good season' following demotion disappointment last year
SHOWING THE PASSION: New signing Adam Mills netted for AFC Sudbury in a 1-1 draw as the team target just 'a good season' following demotion disappointment last year

The season is kicking off with a stutter rather than a bang, with few teams able to hit the ground running and record early wins.

But Haverhill Rovers bucked the weekend trend, as they walloped Kirkley & Pakefield FC away from home by four goals to one.

STRONG KEEPING: Luis Tibbles - who seems to have won the race to be first choice at Bury Town - played a good game, stopping several chances in the 1-1 draw

STRONG KEEPING: Luis Tibbles - who seems to have won the race to be first choice at Bury Town - played a good game, stopping several chances in the 1-1 draw

It signals the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division side's intent and drive this season, following up on a 3-1 win at home to Long Melford on Tuesday.

Luke Haines, Ben Bradley and Cameron Watson netted for the away team, followed by a successful penalty by Jordan Palmer. Although Kirkley scored a consolation goal, it was a comfortable second win from two for Rovers.

In the same league, Ely City recorded a one-nil win at home to FC Clacton courtesy of Sam Reed, while Newmarket Town travelled to Hadleigh United and came away with a 3-1 win. Thetford Town also beat Long Melford by two goals to nil as the latter have now lost the last two on the trot.

Goals from Max Melanson and Ross Bailey for Thetford Town and a straight red for Long Melford's Josh Collins for an elbow, was the difference between the sides.

Walsham-le-Willow also took victory in the Premier Division, as Joe Boulter scored the winning goal away at Fakenham Town FC.

The most impressive goal tally for a local team was in the Thurlow Nunn First Division as Debenham LC beat Little Oakley by five goals to give the side their first win at home. Goals from Clarke, Driver (two), Howell and Crisell eased the Hornets to a comfortable 5-0 victory.

But Needham Market Reserves, on the other hand, have gone from bad to worse in their first two games of the 2017/18 season, with the latest a torrid time away to Holland FC on Saturday.

The Marketmen's reserves - who play in the Thurlow Nunn (TN) League Division One - have limped away from their opening two fixtures with an incredible 15 goal deficit as they lost to Holland FC by 10 goals, including two hat-tricks.

The reserves are, perhaps unsurprisingly, lying at the bottom of the Thurlow Nunn First Division while the first team have taken one point from their opening fixture in the Bostik League Premier Division. The Marketmen travelled to Burgess Hill Town FC with both sides scoring a goal apiece.

AFC Sudbury Reserves are also struggling in the TN Division One as they lost away to Wisbech St.Mary FC by three goals to one.

And Haverhill Borough also failed to take any points, as they only managed a 0-3 loss at home to Stanway Rovers in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division yesterday evening. They recorded a big win in the FA Cup last weekend but have yet to get off the mark in the league, losing their opening two fixtures.

Mildenhall Town and Soham Town Rangers both lost away from home in the Bostik Division One North. Mildenhall travelled to Heybridge Swift and went 2-0 down. Despite managing to pull a goal back courtesy of Chris Bacon, they were unable to catch up and eventually lost 1-2.

Soham Town Rangers were completely outgunned as they lost by three away to AFC Hornchurch. They went in at half-time only a goal down but lost an early goal in the second half to end their challenge.

And Bury Town FC drew at home to Romford FC, despite having the majority of possession and looking the more dangerous of the sides.

New arrival Cemal (pronounced Jamal if anyone wants to know) Ramadan finished a good chance to equalise after Romford had capitalised on a rare chance in front of Bury's posts and gone one up.

The home team looked creative and dynamic at times, as defender Leon Ottley-Gooch produced an 'immense' performance - as described by manager Ben Chenery - to be crowned Man of the Match. But they were unable to convert this into goals this time, with hope to change their luck on Tuesday, away to Hertford Town on Tuesday (7.30pm).

AFC Sudbury drew their game at home to Canvey Island by a goal each in the division also. New signing Adam Mills demonstrated why manager Jamie Godbold was keen to bring him in, as he scored a crucial equaliser in the 89th minute from a free kick.

But the weekend was also tinged with sadness, with AFC Sudbury and Cornard United joined in paying tribute to Zachariah ‘Zac’ Smith, and Hadleigh United remembered club man Lee Day with a minute's applause.

There were moving scenes at AFC Sudbury and Cornard United as well, as Sudbury struggles to come to terms with the loss of Zac and Kye Mclean, who died after the silver Vauxhall Corsa car they were in crashed into a tree on the Great Waldingfield Road on Wednesday, August 9.

Both sides also observed a minute's clapping in honour of Zac, who was a well known member of the under-18 Cornard United team.

Cornard United recorded a 2-2 draw at home to Norwich United Reserves in the TN First Division while Diss Town drew with Halstead Town by a goal each.

Team Bury, meanwhile, lost their second of two games - away to Woodbridge Town - by two goals to one. They have now lost both opening games in the TN Division One.

And, finally, Stowmarket Town - who sensationally signed former Premier League defender Titus Bramble - lost away in the Thurlow Nunn Division One league, losing by four goals to three to Felixstowe & Walton United.

Meanwhile in the Championship, Ipswich Town travelled to Barnsley and took a great early victory - scoring two goals to Barnsley's one.

Norwich City will take on Sunderland at home on Sunday (1.30pm).

With a whole season ahead, perhaps only the manager at Needham Market Reserves need be concerned.