Sudbury hit for six ahead of semi-final

JEWSON SOCCER: A full round-up of the local action from the Jewson League Premier Division.


AFC Sudbury 2 Lowestoft Town 6

Jewson League leaders AFC Sudbury crashed to their second home defeat of the season and dropped their fourth league point in a week.

Lowestoft had already beaten AFC twice in the three previous meetings this season and they maintained their command over their Suffolk rivals.

Whether AFC players had one eye on next Saturday's FA Vase semi-final or not, they were outplayed and out- battled by their north Suffolk rivals. They inflicted the worst home defeat on the Sudbury side since the club was formed three years ago, the previous being a 4-2 beating by Histon in December 1999.

Lowestoft's hero was Paul Thompson, who helped himself to a well-taken hat-trick.

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Thompson was involved in the first goal, scored after only four minutes, when he combined well with Sean Norman and Stewart Roach.

AFC keeper Ben Nower made a fine save from Norman, deflecting the ball onto the bar, but Roach was there to head home the rebound.

The home side levelled six minutes later from the penalty spot after Grant Pierpoint had felled Paul Betson. Lee Norfolk coolly stroked the ball passed Jimmy Bligh.

For the next period of the game AFC took the game to Lowestoft.

Gary Bennett shot over, Sam Banya got through but conceded a needless free kick and John Bishop had a couple of efforts saved by Bligh.

Norfolk went off injured and Simon Hyde replaced him midway through the half.

Lowestoft then went in front on 25 minutes when Roach crossed the ball, Nower failed to gather it and Thompson was there to head the ball home.

Seven minutes later they were 3-1 up when Jamie Godbold was put in by Roach and he calmly walked the ball around Nower to score.

Lowestoft did not seem to care as they went further ahead six minutes after the break. A corner was floated in and again Nower failed to get to the ball and Thompson was at the back post unmarked to head in.

Banya then gave the home fans something to cheer about when he let fly from the edge of the box to pull a goal back.

This did raise AFC's game but the visitors stood firm as first Bennett, then Hyde and Devereux had chances to reduce the deficit.

With eight minutes of normal time left Thompson completed his hat-trick, much to the delight of the travelling fans. AFC were caught on the break, Roach fed the ball to him on the right and his shot hit a divot to go over the diving Nower into the net.

With 96 minutes on the clock Jamie Stokeld compounded AFC misery with Lowestoft's sixth of the match.

AFC's fans in the crowd of 263 must hope that players now re-group in readiness for their next two vital Vase games against Tiptree and for the run-in for the Jewson championship.

Tiptree United 2 Woodbridge Town 2

A TOWERING header 10 minutes from time from new signing Colin Wall earned Tiptree their first league point of the year.

Tiptree had taken a first-half lead through Phil Battell 10 minutes before the interval. Adam Gillespie had found Steve Wareham on the left wing, his cross went behind the Woodbridge defence and Battell headed home from the penalty spot.

The Suffolk side equalised shortly afterwards when a free kick was deflected goalwards with the final touch coming off Wayne Houghton for an unfortunate own goal.

This spurred Woodbridge on and they looked to be heading for victory when, at the midpoint of the second half, Andy Coote broke through the Tiptree defence to power a shot past Sid Haygreen.

However, just when another league match seemed to be slipping away from the Essex side, a long corner from Wareham allowed Wall to rise high above the visitors' defence and place an unstoppable header past Dean Garnham and into the corner of the net.

Swaffham Town 1 Ipswich Wanderers 3

WANDERERS' first visit to Shoemakers Lane for four years saw three welcome points added to their total.

In warm, spring sunshine Wanderers took the lead after just five minutes when Aaron Howell's free kick was beaten out by keeper King and the lively Marc Lowe side-footed home.

Simon Burman had to be replaced after eight minutes with a leg injury but this didn't seem to affect Wanderers' shape and it came as no surprise in the 32nd minute when Aaron Howell headed home from a left-wing cross.

On the stroke of half-time, Danny Smy broke through on goal and his cross-shot was partially stopped only for the ever-alert Aaron Howell to finish off for his 20th goal of the season.

Wanderers kept possession in the second half with man-of-the-match John Coupe controlling things.

Swaffham did finally score when Andy Back capitalised on a moment's indecision and to take the shine off the day, Smy picked up a needless second booking to get himself sent off in the final minute.

Stowmarket Town 1 Wroxham 3

THE visitors' chances of gaining the Jewson League Championship were greatly improved after this victory at Greens Meadow, coupled with the defeat for AFC Sudbury.

Wroxham included former Stowmarket keeper Phillips in goal, and the Yachtsmen drew first blood in the 21st minute when a long-range effort from Gill beat Nunn in the Stowmarket goal.

In the 40th minute, a shot from Yeomans was pushed away by Phillips and from the resultant corner, Stowmarket levelled when Phillips missed the ball and Darren Barnard headed his side on terms.

However, Barnard was again involved moments later when the referee adjudged that he had pushed down in the area and the resultant spot-kick saw Stock beat Nunn to his left.

Nunn denied Neale but Wroxham got the goal their second-half dominance deserved when a header from Carus was adjudged to have crossed the line before being cleared.

There was worse to follow for the home side when Yeomans was shown the red card for an elbowing offence.

Gorleston 2 Felixstowe & Walton 0

The Seasiders' relegation worries got no respite on Saturday as Gorleston scored at the beginning and end of the game to secure the points.

The visitors had to play the final 25 minutes with 10 men after Clarke was red-carded for pulling back Ingram on the edge of the area.

The opening goal came after just 63 seconds as Turner was allowed space on the right to put in a deep cross that Ingram headed back across goal for the unmarked Lindsay to turn past Charters.

The second half was far more even with Charters producing an excellent save to turn Ingram's shot over in the 51st minute and then Solomon in the home goal excelling with a brilliant save to deny Ager.

After 76 minutes Gilling upended Howard as he ran through with a clear sight of goal but although the Gorleston player looked to be the last defender a yellow card was his punishment for an identical incident to the one that had seen Clarke sent off 11 minutes earlier.

Gorleston's best player Glen Turner finally made the game safe for the home side eight minutes from the end when he collected a loose ball on the edge of the area and sent a low shot past the unsighted Charters.

Harwich & Parkeston 0 Mildenhall Town 2

TWO goals scored in as many minutes were enough to finish off any hope of victory for a Harwich side that turned in a below par performance at the Royal Oak.

Mildenhall have enjoyed a fine league run in recent weeks and this win made it five in a row.

Harwich started the game brightly but were caught out after 14 minutes when Andy Chatters opened the scoring. A long ball from the centre of midfield found Chatters unmarked on the left and he made no mistake with a low drive.

Worse was to follow for Harwich as just a minute later Mildenhall increased their lead. A cross from Chatters found Andy Salmons and he beat the advancing Rob Tanner with a clever lob.

Harwich's best chance of the first half came when new signing Glen Driver raced clear of the Mildenhall defence only to steer an angled effort inches wide of the far post.

In the second half the home side introduced recent signing Ray Wigham for his debut, along with Matt Stace and took the option of pushing defender Lee Neale into the front line but they still failed to trouble a Mildenhall defence which held firm.

Clacton Town 0 Diss Town 0

CLACTON were hoping to continue where they left off last week against Swaffham by collecting three points against Diss. Unfortunately, the visitors had different ideas.

Neil Shade saw his header go agonisingly wide, before Diss almost broke the deadlock when a neat cross from Key narrowly scraped the crossbar. On 23 minutes a long-range strike from outside the box rocked a Clacton upright before being cleared.

The home side then began to settle, and superb set-up play by Paul Hillier and Neil Shade left Sean Hillier with a strike that went just wide. Straight afterwards a good build-up involving four players ended with Jimmy Clewley's diving header scraping the outside of a post.

The second half saw the two sides battle it out in midfield, but neither side really made their mark.

The game came to a climax when Sean Hillier deceived the visitors defence, only to see his neat chip cleared off the goal-line.

Maldon Town 3 Great Yarmouth 2

MALDON went ahead on 10 minutes with a vintage goal from Scott Witney. On receiving a pass from Judd Coe, Witney saw the visitors' keeper off his line and produced a volleyed lob from 25 yards.

It was a wonderful piece of individual skill and it appeared to kick-start Maldon into life.

However Yarmouth drew level on 37 minutes when Maldon were caught on the break as Danny Brown fired home.

Maldon were lethargic at the start of the second half and it was no surprise when Yarmouth went ahead when Pillar lobbed Mahoney in the Maldon goal.

With 20 minutes remaining Coe, returning from injury, was replaced by Tracy and Owers gave way to Daly. Within minutes Maldon were level. Neil Cousins cut in and his shot came back off a post and there was Perry Prudence to slot the ball home.

As Maldon looked for the winner it was again Cousins who was the provider. The Maldon striker squared the ball to Witney, whose control deceived a defender, before drawing the keeper and putting the ball in the opposite corner off the net. It was a classic forward's goal on a day where the goals were of much higher quality than the game itself.

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