Non-league football round-up

THERE were derby wins for Chelmsford City, Witham and AFC Sudbury in the Ryman League on Boxing Day. Kirkley & Pakefield defeated Lowestoft Town 4-2 in front of 981 spectators in the Ridgeons League Premier Division while yesterday's Division One match saw Long Melford beat Cornard United 4-0.

THERE were derby wins for Chelmsford City, Witham and AFC Sudbury in the Ryman League on Boxing Day. Kirkley & Pakefield defeated Lowestoft Town 4-2 in front of 981 spectators in the Ridgeons League Premier Division while yesterday's Division One match saw Long Melford beat Cornard United 4-0.


Bishop's Stortford 3 Braintree Town 4

BRAINTREE took the points in an entertaining game as they won 4-3 at Bishop's Stortford in Blue Square South on Boxing Day.

Iron made the perfect start, taking the lead with a penalty by Bradley Quinton after Chris Sullivan was brought down after five minutes but Stortford were level after 10 minutes, Matt Jones finding space 10 yards out.

Braintree soon restored their advantage when a Lee Burns free kick was deflected past Young by Stanbrook for an own goal. After 20 minutes Stortford were again level, Pearson scoring with a neat finish.

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Braintree were back in the lead on the hour, Quinton getting to the byeline and putting a great cross into the box for Sullivan to score. Braintree made it four after 73 minutes, Sullivan finding space in the area to shoot past Young for his second of the afternoon.

Fizakerley fired through a crowded goalmouth for Stortford with five minutes remaining, but it was the Iron who took all three points.


Heybridge 1 Chelmsford 2

SWIFTS went into this match against the division leaders full of confidence, but this was dented in the early stages as Ricky Holmes missed a good chance in the first minute, then in the fifth minute, former Swifts striker Bertie Braley took advantage of a mistake by goalkeeper Richard McKinney to score from 30 yards.

Swifts responded well and Robbie King had a glorious chance to equalise but put his shot wide with the goal at his mercy after tremendous approach work from Stafford Browne. Chelmsford were dominating, their slick passing leaving a leaden footed Swifts on the back foot for a majority of they first half.

Jon Keeling was a constant threat and he strode past Stephen Good to cross for Holmes to score a second for Chelmsford. A long-range effort from Ollie Berquez was gratefully clutched by McKinney after his mis-directed clearance had allowed the opportunity, and it was the visitors who were the more composed on the ball. A free header by Holmes from a corner was cleared from the line by Adam Passfield, and substitute Dean Palmer headed high after McKinney failed to claim another corner, Swifts under pressure. As the half drew to a close it was Keeling once more who raced clear of Good, but a superb interception by Swifts skipper Ian Wiles, outstanding throughout, saved the day for his side.

Having been second best for much of the first half, Swifts needed to up their game, and they certainly did after the interval, having much more of the possession, but it took time for them to penetrate the Chelmsford rearguard. Dave Wareham was sent clear through on goal by King's pass but he blasted high and wide as the Swifts support held their heads in their hands. Lee Protheroe then prevented Wareham getting in a strike on goal after Reddaway's hard work to win the ball.

On as a sub, Sean Marks was sent clear but his first touch past Danny Gay in the City goal took him too wide but at the second attempt his effort was cleared off the line by Palmer, with the use of the hand according to the referee. Palmer was red-carded and Swifts awarded the lifeline of a penalty. Browne's kick towards Gay's right hand corner was well saved; again the failure to take their chances costing Swifts dear.

Swifts pulled one back after Wiles started a move through to Gary Burrell and then Browne, on the rebound Reddaway was on hand to crash the ball into the net. Swifts piled on the pressure but it was not to be, the 10 men of Chelmsford grimly hanging on.


Witham 2 Wivenhoe Town 1

WITHAM have not had much luck this season, but they had it all in this game against bottom of the table Wivenhoe, apart from two well-taken goals from Jamie Ricks.

The game did not start well for Witham as their keeper Paul Daley had to be replaced by Stuart Crumpen due to injury after a few minutes.

Ricks opened the scoring after 20 minutes when he headed in across from Dave Morgan but it was the visitors who had the best chances but wasted them with erratic kicking and wild shots, however soon after the break Darren Bethell equalized, he then squandered an easy chance and Michael Brothers who was a handful for the home defence missed a sitter.

The winning goal came in the 89th minute with a five-man build up finished off by Ricks with a shot into the roof of the net and worthy of winning any game.

AFC Sudbury 1 Bury 0

JAMES Rowe was the hero of the hour for the home side who bounced back after a disappointing defeat on Saturday, to claim victory in this west Suffolk derby on Boxing Day.

But it wasn't just Rowe who was in heroic form, Sudbury keeper Dean Neil saved a Lee Smith penalty as Bury lost the chance to take the lead. And Rowe punished them as Sudbury went to the top of the table.


Kirkley & Pakefield 4 Lowestoft 2

IN A thrilling Boxing Day local derby in front of a massive crowd of 981, Kirkley came back from a goal behind to win by a 4-2 margin.

The first half was goal-less but Kirkley had the best chances and Chris Henderson hit a post and went close on two other occasions.

Lowestoft came out in the second half with their sleeves rolled up and took the game to Kirkley and Carl Poppy got onto the end of a good three-man move to score with a swerving shot past Pauling.

An inspired Kirkley substitution saw Lee Hunter come on and with virtually his first touch he hit the equaliser with a skilful shot into the corner of the net on 64 minutes.

Then full-back Nicky Stockeld scrambled in a second for Kirkley before Town came back as centre-back Marcus Saunders looped a header over a desparing leap by keeper Pauling.

The final 10 minutes belonged to 17-year-old Ian Dawson, who netted twice to give Kirkley their first-ever victory over Lowestoft in the Premier League.

The first came from a well-taken Jamie Stockeld corner and a final nail in Lowestoft's coffin came with a sweet right-footed drive by the talented Dawson that flew into net past substitute keeper Neil Plaskett, who was in for the injured Andy Reynolds.

Felixstowe & Walton 2 Ipswich Wanderers 0

IT WAS the Seasiders who ended with a comfortable victory in this Christmas derby game with two second-half set-piece goals deciding the result.

There was plenty of endeavour from Steve Buckle's side, but they lacked a cutting edge to their game with their best opportunities falling to on-loan Glen Snell but on both occasions Danny Crump collected comfortably.

After a poor first half the home side stepped up the pace with Calver and Scopes taking control of midfield and forcing Wanderers on to the back foot.

Scopes was upended in the 56th minute on the edge of the area and Edwards' free-kick beat Hammond low to his right to put the Seasiders in front and from that point there looked only one likely winner.

The points were confirmed four minutes from the end when a rash challenge from the Wanderers' best player, Curtis-Hayes, on Edwards resulted in a penalty that Phillips dispatched to give a fair reflection of the game.

Leiston 1 Woodbridge Town 3

LEISTON were made to rue missing a host of first half chances as the lively visitors showed them how to do it in front of goal.

Danny George blazed over early on and Allen was twice thwarted by Garnham before Judd Chenery fired in a 16th-minute opener.

A minute later O'Neill rounded Stannard and fired in the equaliser. The home side were dictating the game and a fine move released Danny George but Garnham blocked with half-time approaching and the visitors quickly broke and O'Neill cleverly lobbed their second.

Early in the second half Jennings converted a great Seaman cross and only some outstanding saves from Stannard kept the score down.

Haverhill 7 Histon Reserves 0

SIX different scorers combined to give Haverhill their second win either side of Christmas with 11 goals being netted after their troubled spell in front of goal. The first came after 20 minutes, Adam Ben-Saud going past a defender before his 20-yard shot was well saved by away goalkeeper Ben Stone, only for Nick Impey to net the rebound as he ran in towards goal.

The second came three minutes later when a shot by Impey was deflected and Martin Westcott deceived Stone at his near post with a shot into the near bottom left corner from the edge of the area.

It was 3-0 after 43 minutes following a Jamie Thurlbourne corner, the ball coming out to Impey and his shot across goal taking a deflection off of Colin Vowden en route to the far bottom corner. Westcott grabbed his second, and Haverhill's fourth, three minutes after the break in the best goal of the match, a perfectly weighted ball by Ben-Saud met with a sublime touch by Westcitt as he steered the ball into the bottom right hand corner past Stone.

Richard Heller scored the fifth in the 56th minute after Stone had dropped a cross from subsitute Sam Green, fellow replacements Ryan Kent and Shaun Banham netting the final two goals, Kent scoring after 87 minutes when he got past defender Luke Upcott and put the ball between Stone's legs after being released by Green and Banham netting two minutes into added time following a defensive mistake from an Adam Ben-Saud corner.


Long Melford 4 Cornard Utd 0

LONG Melford beat Cornard 4-0 yesterday in the Ridgeons League First Division. Melford had crowd favourite Darren Pratt back from injury and Cornard introduced new signing Jordan Hutchinson. Swelled by some 60 ground-hoppers the crowd was the best of the season at Stoneylands.

After only seven minutes Walker's free kick was glanced home by Skeggs to give Melford the lead. The home team then endured a period of great pressure with keeper Croll making a fine save from Joseph and Hutchinson delayed his shot and Alder blocked the effort at the decisive moment.

The second half again saw Cornard having much of the ball and they missed a great chance when the ball seemed stuck on the Melford line and Cornard players fell over each other without being able to score and Croll retrieved the ball with his goal still intact. Croll made magnificent saves from Malecki and Russell and then, on 68 minutes against the balance of play, some clever play between Brind and Daw saw the final ball reach Skeggs, and his high goalward ball completely deceived keeper Holland and found the net. This spurred Melford on and Daw waltzed past defenders before making it 3-0. Skeggs set up the final goal for Brind.

Hadleigh 2 Halstead 3

TWO-goal Steve Daly paved the way for Halstead to avenge an earlier home defeat as the visitors secured all three points in a game that wasn't as close as the scoreline looked, Hadleigh's second goal was from the penalty spot with just five minutes left. Halstead had Paul Wood in goal for the supended Paul Rutherford, with the visitors defence in fine form frequently repelling the home front line in fine style, after conceding the opening goal to Chris Payne, only the second goal from open play in the last ten games.

With just ten minutes gone Halstead fell behind when a hard, low cross from defender Dan Oakes found its way across the goalmouth where Payne fired home for a yard. For a spell Halstead could not get their game together and underwent a period of home pressure including some usefull crosses from former Halstead winger Chris Dennett while Ben Goodchild rattled the upright with a good effort.

Gradually the visitors got their game together and Daly was on the spot to head home a Chris Bryan cross for a 27th-minute equaliser. Two corner followed as Halstead began to press with Hadleigh picking up two bookings for dissent.

Two goals in the last five minutes of the half put Halstead in the driving seat. First Daly cracked home a fine 25-yarder which left keeper Luke Whitwell well beaten and right on the halftime whistle Paul Abrahams showed all his experience as he calmly stroked home number three after being freed by Bryan.

Hadleigh resumrd strongly but could make little headway against the Halstead defence where Mark Emerson and Luke Passfield were supreme, and although the home side brought on their subs to get something back from the game, their sole reward was a harsh handball awarded against Andy Joslin with Payne converting from the spot, but it was too little, too late.

Diss Town 3 Fakenham Town 1

DISS had a shock in the 17th minute when Fakenham took the lead when goalkeeper Hilton dropped the ball to give Nick Haynes an easy chance to tap into the net.

It took just eight minutes for Diss to equalise when Robbie Lawrence beat Stockdale from 20 yards.

Diss continued to make endless chances until Gavin Norman scored when Fakenham were unable to clear a corner. Gavin Norman in the 57th minute scored again after Robbie Lawrence had done the hard work to put Diss clear at 3-1.

Ben Deacon's 78th-minute penalty was saved by the keeper as Diss continued to miss chances.