NON-LEAGUE ROUND-UP: Lowestoft edge Suffolk derby against Bury Town, Heybridge Swifts seal their Ryman North play-off place, while Needham Market slip out of the top five
- Credit: James Ager
Needham Market have slipped out of the Ryman League Division One North play-off positions, the Marketmen’s 2-1 defeat at Soham Town Rangers being punished by Thurrock, whose 1-0 win at Ware saw them leapfrog the Suffolk side.
The only way Needham can get into the play-offs now is if Thurrock lose both of their remaining games and the Marketmen win their final game of the season at home to Chatham on Saturday.
Mark Morsley’s side took the lead with 10 minutes remaining through Brendon Heath, but were pegged back four minutes later when Buster Harradine equalised. Their fate was sealed in the last minute when Matt Simpson scored the winner for the hosts.
Heybridge Swifts secured a play-off berth as they completed the league double over a very young AFC Sudbury side, 5-1, at the MEL Group Stadium.
The visitors took the lead on 10 minutes when former AFC player Chris Bryan headed in from close range.
AFC were level four minutes later when Jordan Blackwell side-footed home a cross by Jamie Forshaw that was missed by two Swifts defenders.
Five minutes before the break, Heybridge regained the lead when Michael Toner fired home from the edge of the area after Sudbury had failed to clear their lines.
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Five minutes into the second half Heybridge scored their third when a poor back header by Josh Carus was intercepted by former Needham Market Jamie Guy who shot home. Guy then added a second on 56 minutes, before Ben Newson sealed the win for the Swifts.
In the race for the title, leaders Witham and second-placed VCD will take their battle to the final day, following the former’s 4-1 home win against Wroxham and the latter’s 1-0 away victory at Redbridge.
In the Premier Division, Lowestoft Town edged the Suffolk derby at Ram Meadow, defeating hosts Bury Town 2-1, thanks to a double from former Ipswich Town defender Jack Ainsley and moved into fourth place in the table
In front of a crowd of 589 at Ram Meadow, play-off-chasing Lowestoft took the lead when Ainsley gave the Trawley Boys the lead on 20 minutes, only for Ross Bailey to hit back for the Blues. Ainsley struck the winner on 64 minutes.
As for Leiston, they lost 2-0 at home to Wingate & Finchley, conceding goals to Ahmed Rifat (45) and Leon Fisher (90).