Non-league football round-up

PUBLISHED: 16:30 14 April 2008 | UPDATED: 13:51 04 March 2010

BRAINTREE'S hopes of a play-off place suffered a setback in Blue Square South on Saturday, but AFC Sudbury confirmed home advantage in the Ryman League Division One North play-offs, where they may be joined by Bury Town.

BRAINTREE'S hopes of a play-off place suffered a setback in Blue Square South on Saturday, but AFC Sudbury confirmed home advantage in the Ryman League Division One North play-offs, where they may be joined by Bury Town.

BLUE SQUARE SOUTH

Braintree Town 0 Newport County 0

BRAINTREE Town's play-off hopes hang in the balance after this disappointing stalemate with Welsh side Newport County.

The Iron have now taken just two points from their last three matches and are down in tenth place but are incredibly still only three points adrift of the fifth place required for the play-offs.

Still suffering a lengthy injury list, the Iron found goals in short supply against the former football league side.

In a dour first half the only shots of note were a Micky Shinn effort that went wide for Braintree and an Alsop effort that Billy Burgess cleared off the line at the other end.

With frustration growing for both sides the tempers began to fray and, after 75 minutes, the referee sent off Braintree's Andy Porter and Newport's Craig Hughes after a midfield skirmish.

In the last 15 minutes Braintree captain Bradley Quinton was unlucky with a 25-yard free-kick, while Newport's Sam O'Sullivan forced Nick Morgan into a fine save.

RYMAN LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Heybridge Swifts 4 Borehamwood 1

A SUPERB all-round display from Heybridge Swifts earned them a crucial three points in their battle to avoid relegation.

The Essex side took the lead after 14 minutes when Sean Marks slid the ball home after an incisive long ball forward from Ryan Hull.

The visitors were then gifted an equaliser after a poor throw in from Jordan Collins led to Adam Passfield being robbed of the ball and Leon Archer notching a well-struck leveller. Heybridge went back in front through another Marks goal, the striker this time losing his marker to meet Hull's well-flighted free kick and head Swifts home.

Just before the interval George Lay was allowed the freedom of the penalty area to score with ease after another fine run and cross from Wareham.

The result was confirmed after the break when Wareham struck powerfully from 25 yards for a fourth Swifts goal after King's long throw had been headed on well by the impressive captain Gillespie.

Hendon 2 Chelmsford City 1

CHAMPIONS Chelmsford City lost only their sixth game of the season at play-off contenders Hendon.

The Essex side had gone in front after 15 minutes when Ollie Berquez struck from the edge of the box to deceive goalkeeper Richard Wilmot.

After Bertie Brayley's goal-bound effort was cleared off the line by Danny Dyer, Hendon equalised after 32 minutes, Davis Haule's headed effort flying in despite keeper Danny Gay getting a touch.

Ibe headed onto a post as Chelmsford threatened to go back ahead after the break but they surrendered parity five minutes from time when Haule bagged his brace with a rebound finish from a tight angle.

RYMAN LEAGUE DIVISION ONE NORTH

AFC Sudbury 1 Edgware Town 0

AFC SUDBURY skipper David Head produced the goal that guarantees his side home advantage in the play-off semi finals.

The man-of-the-match's goal came in the fourth minute of the second half after close ball skills by Bethell earned the corner that Hammond swung perfectly into the goalmouth for Head to rise above the defence and find the corner of the net.

Edgware failed to take advantage of two early chances before Simon Head sliced well wide from an easy chance before Munson pulled off two good saves to keep the scores level. After David Head's goal only a timely tackle by Fernee stopped Bacon increasing the lead before a slip by Simpson let in Hart but, with only Munson to beat, he shot over.

Waltham Forest 0 Bury Town 2

BURY Town continued their march towards a play-off place by recording their fifth straight win.

Playing at Witham Town's ground, due to a problem with the lease of Waltham ground, Bury had more of the possession, while the hosts always looked dangerous on the break.

Bury were kept out in the first half thanks to a fine double save from Waltham keeper Cagllardi La Gala. However the deadlock was finally broken after 74 minutes when, after a period of sustained pressure, Bury's Lee Reed fired home from ten yards.

Bury then appeared to be content to sit back and play out time, but in the second minute of stoppage time Danny Cornwell made the game safe when he unleashed a stunning drive from well outside the box to seal another important win. This takes Bury back up to sixth place and one point off a play-off place with two games to go.

Brentwood Town 2 Maldon Town 1

MALDON Town's play-off hopes were dealt a severe blow with this defeat to closely-placed rivals Brentwood Town.

The visitors enjoyed the best of the first-half chances, Dean Parrott losing control of the ball in the six-yard box with the goal at his mercy, while a couple of minutes later the same player was unlucky to just clear the bar when he tried to cleverly lob the goalkeeper.

The second half saw Maldon pushing forward but, after 62 minutes, their defence was caught square when Sean Thomas beat the offside trap. Darren Gould was quick off is line to parry Thomas's shot back into the path of Thomas, who this time squared to Joao Carlos, who blasted home.

Maldon fell further behind after 68 minutes when Thomas ran onto a through ball and placed it beyond Gould in the Maldon goal.

In an all out effort to get into the game Maldon really piled on the pressure and deservedly halved the deficit when Kevin Hawes out jumped everyone to head home.

However, try as they might, the Essex side just couldn't get the equaliser.

Aveley 1 Witham Town 2

A THREADBARE Witham Town recorded a good win at Aveley.

With five regular players missing due to suspensions and injuries there were many positional changes for the Essex side whose young replacements all acquitted themselves very well.

Witham did have to come from behind, however, Ben Bradbury giving the home side the lead after just seven minutes when he caught keeper Rhys Madden off his line.

The visitors equalised in the 24th minute when Cody McDonald turned and shot past home keeper Adam Rafis.

Witham were much the better team after the break but squandered many chances before the all-important goal came in the 69th minute when McDonald made a strong run down the right and his cross was swept into the net by the jubilant Julian Edwards.

Canvey Island 1 Wivenhoe Town 0

WIVENHOE Town are back at the foot of the table after this defeat at Canvey Island.

Canvey Island had the upper hand from the start but Wivenhoe keeper McKinney twice denied Curran as the home side dominated the first half.

Just as it appeared that the Dragons had got into the break unscathed, Wall headed home from close range in first-half stoppage time.

The second period saw the home side dominate the possession again but Wivenhoe defended well without creating any of their own chances.

RIDGEONS LEAGUE PREMIER DIVISION

Mildenhall Town 1 Needham Market 4

NEEDHAM Market will travel to Norwich United tomorrow night in their quest to win the Ridgeons League Premier Division title boosted by Saturday's 4-1 win at Mildenhall.

Needham opened the scoring courtesy of a James Evans corner into a crowded six-yard box which looked as though it came off a Mildenhall player before entering the net, but the home side were back on level terms when Paynter struck home well.

Nathan Szyszlyk was on hand shortly after to put Needham into a 2-1 half- time lead. Mildenhall were forced to replace keeper Nower at half-time, who was carrying an injury for most of the first period.

Soon after the restart Mildenhall were awarded a penalty but Liam Jones in the Needham goal made a superb stop and further second-half goals from Scott Wark and substitute Danny Thrower secured three crucial points for the visitors.

Ipswich Wanderers 1 Walsham-le-Willows 2

ROCK-bottom Ipswich Wanderers were denied a point thanks to a late, late Walsham winner. In a half first half containing little incident, Wake's two misses were the stand out moments. The first came when Hammond just got his foot to the ball, while the second saw Haynes-Brown race in for a last ditch tackle.

Walsham took the lead after 71 minutes when, faced with overwhelming numbers, the Wanderers defence could not stop Holden from side footing the ball into the net from close range.

Ipswich hit back though and after Barber had hit the bar from a free kick and the post had been hit in a goalmouth melee, Jennings forced home an equaliser from a corner after 82 minutes.

However, with just seconds to go, Holden grabbed the winner for Walsham from a breakaway after Brown had hit the foot of the post.

Lowestoft 1 Soham Town 3

LOWESTOFT Town's erratic league form returned to haunt them once again as two first half goals from Scott Carter helped edge leaders Soham closer to the title.

Scott Johnson added a third just after half time to wrap the game up, with Neil Plaskett grabbing a consolation soon after as Town's abject first-half performance proved decisive.

Despite the Blues starting brightly, it was the visitors who took the lead with their first attack of the match. Johnson's free kick was devilishly floated in and Carter rose to glance home.

Callum Kearns and Andrew Furnell both should have added a second to the visiting side's tally, before Carter added his second on 38 minutes by latching onto Jimson's flick to lob a hesitant Rix.

Johnson added a third four minutes after the break following a neat move involving leading scorer Charles Libam and Simpson, and it was only the heroics of Rix that prevented Carter from completing his hat-trick as the keeper saved bravely at close quarters.

The visitors' third goal seemed to spark Lowestoft into life and Carl Poppy saw his venomous free kick parried round the post by Jordan. From Reece Hunn's resulting corner, the goalkeeper saved Plaskett's first attempt, but the defender's rebound was deemed to have crossed the line.

Haverhill Rovers 3 Swaffham 0

HAVERHILL Rovers notched up their second win in three matches following a run of four straight defeats to leave Swaffham still battling just above the bottom three of the division.

The hosts netted their first after 19 minutes, Joe Harvey's long ball down the right found Ryan Kent, who cut back inside before crossing low for Paul Shaw to fire home first time.

The second came 12 minutes into the second period, Kent playing in Shaw 25 yards out and right of goal and the latter's square pass gave Sam Green the chance to slide in ahead of his marker, the ball taking an age before rolling over the goal line and into the bottom left corner.

The scoring was completed with the third and final goal after 89 minutes, Robert Palmer's attempted back pass to Norris allowing substitute Paul Stokes to win the 50-50 challenge and scoring into the unguarded goal.

Leiston 1 Kirkley & Pakefield 0

MARC Lowe's sixth league goal of the season gave Leiston a first ever league victory over Kirkley & Pakefield.

The visitors started well and Henderson but failed to take advantage of Blyth's inviting cross after three minutes, while Stone and Blyth were both guilty of squandering good chances.

Leiston responded with Danny George shaving the outside of Pauling's right hand post twice in as many minutes before the opening goal was recorded after 32 minutes, Lowe firing home from 12 yards after Judd Chenery had headed Boyland's cross back across goal.

The second period saw both sides having chances but the home side completed their sixth 1-0 victory of the season and their ninth clean sheet in 13 matches.

Stanway Rovers 2 Woodbridge Town 0

A SPECTACULAR strike from Sam Newson set Stanway on their way to a league double over their visitors.

Newson received the ball 35 yards from goal on the right wing and let fly with a wind-assisted dipping volley that flew into the top corner of the net.

It needed something special to beat Marcus Garnham, who before and afterwards pulled off fine saves to deny Rob Thorne, twice, Ray Turner, who also struck a post, and Michael Burch.

Substitute Ben Seaman inspired Woodbridge to their best spell of the match and he forced Michael Church into two good saves while Lee O'Neill should have buried his header from Seaman's cross.

Woodbridge were caught on the break in the 75th minute and Newson squared for Turner to stab home and settle the outcome.

RIDGEONS LEAGUE FIRST DIVISION

Ely City 0 Halstead Town 1

DANNY Rochester's first-half goal saw Halstead pull off a tremendous double and postpone second placed Ely City's promotion to the Premier Division.

Halstead rose to the occasion in style with a superb defensive display against the home side that piled on the pressure, particularly in the second half.

The Essex side took the lead against the run of play when a neat headed flick on by John Pollard allowed Rochester to deftly lob home.

Ely came back strongly but Halstead stood firm at the back, with keeper Paul Rutherford handling confidentially with all that came his way.

Again Halstead went close when Lou Harper's goal attempt was turned onto his own bar by Pacey, while in the first minute of the second half Rochester found the net again, courtesey of a Cooper flick on, but the flag was raised for offside.

Ely piled on the pressure, Andy Chatters going close with a header that clipped an upright, but the visitors' rearguard rose to the challenge magnificently.

Thetford Town 0 Tiptree United 4

TIPTREE United have finally been confirmed as champions with this victory at Thetford.

The small band of Tiptree supporters that were determined to create a carnival atmosphere were rewarded with a goal in the first minute when Arlick attacked down the left flank to win an early corner and, from his low kick, Richard Manning volleyed first time into the corner of the net.

Tiptree extended their lead after 16 minutes when a cross from the left by Arlick found Lee Owen in oceans of space in the area and he had time to control the ball and pick his spot in style.

The visitors further extended their lead in the 27th minute when yet another cross from the left by Arlick was headed on by Noble to release Tommy English, who calmly beat a defender before taking his total number of league goals for the season to 32.

With four minutes remaining Tiptree finished the scoring when Owen's corner kick was headed home by Manning for Tiptree's 100th goal of the season in all competitions.

FC Clacton 3 Godmanchester Rovers 0

FC CLACTON were emphatic winners over Godmanchester Rovers.

The Essex side threatened throughout and took the lead as early as the fourth minute when Sean Hillier tapped home Liam Springett's cross after keeper Gavin Armitage had missed the ball.

After squandering a number of chances, the Seasiders finally doubled their lead in first-half stoppage time when Godmanchester failed to deal with a corner and Ashley Howard headed home his first goal for the club.

The third goal came within 50 seconds of the restart when White placed the ball in the bottom right hand corner.

Despite being awarded a penalty on the hour Clacton were unable to add to their lead, substitute Terry Rymer seeing his kick saved by Armitage after Michael Lyness was fouled.

Diss Town 1 Long Melford 4

BASEMENT side Long Melford recorded the shock result of the weekend by putting four past promotion chasing Diss Town

The result was only Melford's fifth win of the season and means Diss Town, who turned down an offer of resignation from their manager Paul Tong earlier in the week, are now two points off of the top three.

There was little sign of what was to come in the opening half hour as Ben Deacon gave Diss the lead after seven minutes, capitalising on a mistake by Melford keeper Floyd Croll.

Deacon and Gavin Norman then missed chances to extend the advantage only for Melford to equalise out of the blue through Scott Chisholm who converted Chris Tracey's knock down.

Melford visibly grew in confidence, with player-manager Tracey heading against the bar before Danny Grindrod took advantage of poor defending to put the visitors into the lead just after the hour.

Chisholm grabbed his second two minutes later when left in space six yards out.

Diss's misery was complete a minute from time as 17 year-old substitute Carl Daw produced the goal of the game, crashing the ball home after outpacing the defence. Unfortunately, by taking his shirt off to celebrate, he picked up a second yellow card and was sent off.

Fakenham 3 Stowmarket 2

STOWMARKET'S six-match unbeaten run came to an end as an impressive Fakenham avenged their 7-1 defeat in this reverse fixture.

After a goalless first half, the visitors were rocked as Fakenham scored three in quick succession.

In the 53rd minute an intended clearance by Graham fell into the path of home striker Delicata whose shot somehow found the back of the Stow net through the legs of Charters.

The home side quickly doubled their lead when Whitbread headed into the back of the net before an almost replica goal followed when Darby headed home the third.

Cracknell came off the visitors' substitutes bench and it was him who brought his side back into the game when he first scored from the penalty spot after his initial header had been handled on the line, an incident which saw the home side reduced to 10 men. Cracknell then turned provider in the 70th minute when, following his persistence, he laid the ball into the path of Bernard to score his first senior goal.

Try at they might the Suffolk side were unable to force an equaliser as they suffered only their second defeat in the last 11 matches.

March Town United 4 Whitton United 2

WHITTON United were taken apart by a very well disciplined March side who laid to rest their 8-1 defeat in the reverse fixture.

Always the first to the loose ball, March went ahead through White who zipped through a static Whitton defence, won a foul and slotted home the resultant free kick.

The visitors took a long time to settle and finally a Canfer cross from the far wing was caught between two defenders and Hyde blasted it past Benney to level the scores at the break.

March went back into the lead through a Pepper penalty after keeper Moyes had fouled Brand as he followed up a blocked shot.

Whitton were level within a minute when another Canfer cross saw Colson head past his own keeper.

After that the March team dug deep and smothered their opponents. A screamer from over 40 yards from substitute Wayte and a daisy-cutter from Pepper, which was allowed to dribble in off the near post from all of 30 yards, sewed up the points for the Hares who fully deserved the victory.

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