Saturday's local football round-up: Soham Town Rangers and AFC Sudbury march on in the FA Cup while Ely City earn a replay
The road to Wembley remains open for Soham Town Rangers, AFC Sudbury and Ely City after today’s Emirates FA Cup preliminary round ties.
For Soham - defeated in their opening two BetVictor League North Division encounters of 2019/20 - their 2-0 win over lower-league Biggleswade United came courtesy of goals from twin brothers Toby and Jake Andrews.
It’s a victory that sends the Greens through to the first round qualifying for the fourth successive season, although they have not advanced beyond that particular stage since 2007/08.
Two early goals put Sudbury in the hat for the next round as they gained some quick revenge for Tuesday’s league defeat at the hands of Felixstowe & Walton United.
The Seasiders won 1-0 at King’s Marsh five days ago but on this occasion strikes from Sean Marks and Liam Bennett did the damage for AFC and rendered Tom Debenham’s second-half penalty a mere consolation.
Ely, meanwhile, will have a home replay to look forward to a week on Tuesday after they battled to a 2-2 draw with Wisbech Town, who are one step higher up the non-league pyramid than the Robins.
Brady Stone’s men, who have pulled off a number of upsets during their manager’s tenure, twice fell behind against the Fenman but goals from Steve Holder and defender Tom Williams kept Ely in the completion.
In contrast, there was disappointment for Bury Town as they bowed out of the competition in the preliminary round for the third time in the last four campaigns.
Histon, who beat Soham 3-2 in the league on Tuesday, were 2-1 winners despite having Evan Key sent off late on at the Denny Bros Stadium, where Ryan Stafford netted Bury’s goal.
Neighbouring Stowmarket Town are also out following a narrow 1-0 defeat at Step 3 outfit Cheshunt, while Long Melford and Halstead Town also exited without scoring, going down 2-0 and 5-0 to Colney Heath and London Colney respectively.
Framlingham Town did manage to score at Step 4 side Basildon Town, but they shipped seven up the other end on a tough afternoon for the Castlemen.
In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, Hadleigh United recorded their first win of the season in style with a 6-2 home thumping of Haverhill Rovers.
Summer signing Joel Glover helped himself to a hat-trick with further goals coming from Kyle Cassell, James Ross and Kris Rose.
While it marked a maiden victory for the Brettsiders, for Rovers it was their first league defeat of the term.
Elsewhere, player-manager Michael Shinn scored from the halfway line as his Newmarket Town side recorded a 4-2 home win over Thetford Town, who played more than half with 10 men after the dismissal of Bruno Tavares.
Goals from Michael Campbell and Elliott Gibson (Thetford) and Ben Robinson and Lewis Whitehead (Newmarket) had the scoreline level at two apiece when Shinn lobbed visiting goalkeeper Will Viner late on.
And the points were made safe soon after by Whitehead's second goal of the game, putting the gloss on Newmarket's second win of the season.
Newmarket's rivals Mildenhall Town made it back-to-back wins for the first time since September 2018 with a 1-0 triumph at previous leaders Norwich United.
Manager Ricky Cornish headed into the game without strikers Valter Rocha (suspended), Ollie Canfer (injured) and Jack Brame (unavailable), but a first-half header from youngster Ben Nolan was enough to seal victory against a side that had won all four of their league games up until that point.
For Nolan it was his second goal in senior football – his first having also come at Plantation Park during a Isthmian League North Division game in January 2018.
It is three wins from three in the First Division North for Lakenheath after they defeated visiting AFC Sudbury Reserves 3-1.
Main marksman Shaun Avis scored twice while Rhys Mazey's first goal for the club completed the scoring.
The match was also notable for Lakenheath's under-18 trio of Christian Bind, Alex North and Artur Visocanskis all making their senior debuts as second-half substitutes for Ben Cowling's team.
Haverhill Borough picked up a first victory since the opening day courtesy of a 5-2 thrashing of Leiston Reserves.
Ryan Swallow netted a hat-trick for hosting Borough and Ryan Phillips also got his name on the scoresheet alongside an own goal, but for Conard United there was frustration as they lost 3-0 at home to table-topping Downham Town.
Goals from Andrew Crowe and Jake Conway secured a 2-0 win for Debenham LC over Fakenham – a result that moves the Hornets up to third – while Needham Market Reserves won by the same scoreline at the expense of newly-promoted Sheringham.
There was not such positive news coming out of Needham Market's first team though as their wait for a first Step 3 win of the season goes on.
Richard Wilkins' team were beaten 1-0 at Nuneaton, who wrapped up the three points thanks to a second-minute penalty.
* For reaction to the weekend's matches, plus all of those being played on Monday and Tuesday, see this week's print editions.