NON-LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Back-up keeper Alex Rossis the shoot-out hero as Leiston knock Needham Market out of the Robert Dyas Cup

Needham Market Football Club

Needham Market Football Club - Credit: Su Anderson

Leiston’s second-choice goalkeeper Alex Rossis was the penalty shoot-out hero last night as the Blues edged past a youthful Needham Market in the First Round of the Robert Dyas League Cup.

Following a 1-1 stalemate during the 90 minutes, in which Joe Jefford cancelled out Ace Howell’s wonderful lobbed finish for the Marketmen, experienced Leiston trio Patrick Brothers, Stuart Boardley, and Scott Mitchell all dispatched their penalties with aplomb in the shoot-out while Rossis saved from youngsters Adam Mills, Jack Newman and Connor Ward.

Leiston’s narrow triumph means they face Ryman North Division side AFC Sudbury in Round Two of the competition, who overcame close rivals Bury Town last night, winning 2-1.

After Remi Garrett’s 20th-minute penalty gave Ryman Premier Division outfit Bury the lead, Sudbury turned the game on its head as second-half goals from James Baker, another penalty kick in the 54th minute, and skipper Sam Clarke, who headed home in the 62nd minute, completed the comeback and a mini-upset.

Elsewhere in the Robert Dyas League Cup last night, Witham Town and their boss Garry Kimble came out on top against his twin brother Alan’s new side in Maldon & Tiptree as Witham won 1-0.

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Ironically, the match was Alan’s first in charge of the Essex-based club.

In other parts of Essex in the competition, Heybridge Swifts lost 4-2 at home to Brentwood Town, but Brightlingsea Regent triumphed 3-1 over Burnham Ramblers on the road.

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Meanwhile, in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, Kevin O’Donnell’s Felixstowe & Walton grabbed some revenge over a heavy league defeat earlier in the season as they beat Kirkley & Pakefield away from home, 3-1.

Ben Cranfield scored a hat-trick for the Seasiders as they made up for a reverse 4-1 horror show at the Goldstar Ground in August. Ross Gilfedder grabbed the consolation for the Royals.

Godmanchester Rovers beat previously in-form Newmarket Town 2-0 last night, while Thetford Town beat Fakenham Town 3-0, and in the Thurlow Nunn First Division Paul Grainger’s Cornard United picked up their first win of the season, winning 2-1 away at Braintree Town Reserves.

Rounding up last night’s action, Ipswich Wanderers progressed into the FA Vase First Round Proper as they won their Second Round Qualifying replay match at Hadley 2-1 – Nile Francis and Jack Severy the men on target. A home tie against Cockfosters FC awaits them in the next round.

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