Non-league round-up

THERE were away defeats for Braintree Town in Blue Square South and for high-flying Ryman League sides Chelmsford City and AFC Sudbury in the Premier Division and Division One North respectively at the weekend, while Needham Market made it seven wins in a row in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.

THERE were away defeats for Braintree Town in Blue Square South and for high-flying Ryman League sides Chelmsford City and AFC Sudbury in the Premier Division and Division One North respectively at the weekend, while Needham Market made it seven wins in a row in the Ridgeons League Premier Division.


Newport County 2 Braintree Town 0

TEN-man Braintree Town suffered a third straight defeat on Saturday to Welsh side Newport County.

The Iron could have been ahead as early as the third minute when Mark Jones hit a volley just inches over the bar, but Newport then did most of the attacking in the first half.

Apart from a Nathan Davis shot hitting the Braintree bar, Newport rarely bothered keeper Nick Morgan and the turning-point came at the end of the half when Billy Burgis retaliated after a foul from behind and was shown a straight red.

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After the break a strong rearguard stand kept Newport at bay until the 81st minute when Julian Alsop stole in front of Morgan to head County in front.

Bradley Quinton could have rescued a point for the Iron in the 90th minute but he snatched at his shot to fire over. And Newport secured the win deep into injury time with Craig Hughes slotting home a low cross.


Horsham 2 Chelmsford City 1

CHELMSFORD City fell to only their second defeat of the season in Sussex courtesy of Jacob Mingle's late wonder strike.

With Kezie Ibe's header giving the Clarets a deserved advantage on the stroke of half time, John Westcott levelled terms the other side of the break and Chelmsford never recovered, Mingle stunning the visitors three minutes from time.

Right on half time a deep Chelmsford corner was volleyed goalwards by Ricky Holmes and Ibe was on hand a few yards out to divert past Mansfield with his head.

That lead soon dissapeared as Horsham equalised on 49 minutes. A deep free-kick was played to the edge of the area where John Westcott was able to strike a low, bobbling effort past Gay.

Ibe was not able to convert the chances which then came his way for the visitors and Chelmsford were made to pay just before the end when a lay-off on the edge of the area provided Jacob Mingle with ammunition to drive into the box and finish superbly.

AFC Wimbledon 1 Heybridge Swifts 0

A first-half Steve Ferguson goal handed AFC Wimbledon their first league win since August and condemned Swifts to the bottom of the Premier Division table as their torrid start to the season continued.

Wimbledon wideman Finn weaved into the box after 18 minutes and crossed for Ferguson to volley the ball into the roof of the net.

Keeper Stephen Northwood then produced a number of good saves to keep Swifts in the game, one from Butler particularly outstanding.

Swifts pressed for an equaliser and created a number of half chances after the break but not the clear-cut opportunity that they required. Heybridge have now gone eight league games without a win.


Dartford 1 AFC Sudbury 0

AFC SUDBURY dropped to second place after a first-half stoppage time Dartford goal inflicted a second league defeat of the season on the Suffolk side.

Dartford had the better of a hard-fought first half in which AFC keeper Munson saved well from May. AFC looked dangerous on the break though and they appeared to have been awarded a penalty when referee Smith pointed to the spot after Norman had handled at the far post. However, attention was drawn to the assistant who had already flagged for offside.

AFC manager Mark Morsley was incensed at the decision and he was sent to the stand for apparently speaking out of turn.

Just when it looked as if the teams would go in at the break on level terms a Dartford free kick was fed to McClements on the wide right and his cross to the far post was headed home by Flanagan for what proved to be the winning goal.

AFC upped the tempo after the break, winning eight corners, but they could not turn pressure into goals as Driver had a header scrambled off the line and a second penalty appeal was waved away.

Bury Town 1 Wivenhoe Town 0

BURY made hard work of beating basement club Wivenhoe by a single goal on Saturday.

The visitors had the better of the opening exchanges as Bury failed to settle into any rhythm and it was 25 minutes before the Suffolk side managed a strike on target.

This was a signal for further Bury pressure and Neil was again in action to deny Steve Bugg. Further chances fell to Shaun Bammant and Ian Cambridge when well placed, but both efforts cleared the bar. Wivenhoe also created chances but were unable to test Dean Greygoose in the Bury goal.

Bury started the second period brightly and only poor finishing denied them the lead. The best chance fell to Steve Bugg who shot high and wide when clean through.

The breakthrough was finally achieved after 72 minutes when, from a free-kick 25 yards out, Lee Smith curled the ball past Reid into the top corner.

Bury continued to dominate possession and had further chances to increase their advantage, but good goalkeeping and some wayward finishing meant that the result was in doubt until the final whistle.

Maldon Town 2 Enfield Town 2

MALDON Town remain unbeaten in the league this season following a tough match against Enfield Town.

Enfield put pressure on the hosts straight from the start and they finally got the lead they deserved after 24 minutes when Ricci Crase headed home from a free-kick. And Enfield could have finished Maldon off in the 41st minute when Ricci Crase saw his shot hit the crossbar and cleared away.

The second half started with Lee Perry replacing Yohance Lewis and it was Perry who broke from midfield to put the ball wide to Greg Oates whose cross was met by Ollie Berquez to give Maldon the equaliser after 49 minutes.

Then it was Maldon's turn to lay siege on the Enfield goal and they eventually took the lead when Steve Wareham picked up a loose ball and placed his shot past the keeper after 73 minutes,

Enfield equalised five minutes later, though, when an under-pressure Gould dropped the ball at the feet of Andy Jones who somehow managed to get the ball over the line.

Witham Town 2 Great Wakering Rovers 4

WITHAM are still without a league win this season following defeat to Great Wakering Rovers.

Great Wakering started the game strongly as Martin Tuohy and Neil Richmond both scored in the opening 25 minutes.

The Essex side soon made two early substitutions and improved as a result, but they had to wait until three minutes after the break to reduce the deficit, Jamie Ricks scoring from the edge of the area.

Within a minute of that goal however, Tuohy restored the visitors two goal lead when heading in a cross.

From then on Witham were well on top but squandered chance after chance until Cody McDonald scored, but well into added on time Witham keeper Stuart Crumpen went up for a corner and Great Wakering broke for Steve Butterworth to score in an empty net.


Needham Market 3 Lowestoft Town 1

NEEDHAM Market made it seven league wins out of seven with a good win over Lowestoft.

The hosts were unlucky not to take the lead in the second minute when Adam Rix made a great save to keep out Glen Snell's shot before Jamie Godbold then brought out a fine save by Liam Jones.

Lowestoft took the lead in the seventh minute, though, when Jamie Godbold's corner was headed in by Russell Stott to put the Bloaters in the lead.

Glen Snell saw a shot hit the bar before Needham equalised when Jon Thorogood scored from eight yards. Snell hit the bar again, this time with a 20-yard free kick, just on the half-time whistle.

Needham took the lead after the break when Pemberton and Snell did the hard work for Tom Smith to score. Jay Dennis made it 3-1 from a pass by Smith.

Mildenhall Town 3 Ipswich Wanderers 1

MILDENHALL Town rose to third place in the table following this win over basement side Ipswich Wanderers.

The visitors shocked the home side with a goal after four minutes, indecisive defending allowing Wright to fire home at the far post.

Mildenhall then attacked in numbers and equalised when a Blois corner found Pettit unmarked and he headed powerfully home.

Simpson then fired over a crowd of players in front of goal to beat the unsighted Hammond and give the home side a lead at the interval.

Mildenhall continued to attack after the break but only added one more goal as Cranfield converted a penalty after handball in the box in the 63rd minute.


FC Clacton 1 Downham Town 1

FC CLACTON are finding life in Division One tough as Downham Town pegged them back for a draw on Saturday.

With Clacton having already cleared the ball off the line, the Essex side took the lead after 19 minutes when a run and shot by skipper Paul Hillier was spilt by the keeper and Mark White followed up.

Downham almost levelled straight from the kick-off but Quinn saved again, while in the 32nd minute Clacton's new signing Sam Behnamnia saw a lob over the keeper cleared off the line.

Dereham equalised 10 minutes into a frantic second half when a corner was not cleared and Jason Cook smashed the ball into the net.