Non-league round-up: Ryman Premier leaders Leiston suffer heavy defeat at East Thurrock

Leiston manager Richard Wilkins

Leiston manager Richard Wilkins - Credit: Lucy Taylor

Leiston could be replaced at the top of the Ryman Premier Division this evening, following their crushing 4-0 defeat at struggling East Thurrock last night.

Grays Athletic, in second, can take advantage of Leiston’s slip by winning at Leatherhead.

East Thurrock dangerman Sam Higgins gave the hosts the lead last night on 36 minutes, with a spectacular 30-yard volley, and it was nothing more than they deserved, the Essex side having made the early running and had a goal chalked off.

John Sands almost levelled for Leiston before the break, however his header crashed off the bar.

East Thurrock went further ahead just before the hour, Lewis Smith doubling the home side’s lead.

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Smith made it three on 65 minutes as East Thurrock made a mockery of their lowly status, they were fifth-bottom before the start of play.

Higgins grabbed his second of the night with five minutes of the game remaining.

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At the other end of the table, Needham Market, who were going in search of their first Ryman Premier victory of the season, fell to a single-goal defeat, courtesy of Paul Goodacre’s strike on eight minutes, at Brentwood Town.

The Marketmen are now second-bottom of the division.

In Ryman North, ten-man Bury Town won 3-0 at Soham Town.

Bury led 2-0 at the break, thanks to quickfire goals in the 34th and 37th minutes from Noel Aitkens and Joe Maybanks.

Ollie Hughes grabbed a third for Ben Chenery’s side on 70 minutes who, three minutes later, saw Maybanks dismissed.

AFC Sudbury, who also finished with ten men, moved up to second after a Sam Bantick hat-trick inspired them to a 4-2 home win against Heybridge Swifts.

The first half saw four goals scored and a red card distributed at the Wardale Williams Stadium.

Billy Hunt gave Heybridge a 25th-minute lead, only for Bantick to grab an equaliser.

Then AFC were reduced to ten men when Ryan Henshaw handled on the line and Josh Fagbohun scored from the spot.

However, Bantick once again got Jamie Godbold’s team on level terms before the break.

The hosts took the lead 12 minutes after the break, when Luke Callander scored, before Bantick grabbed his hat-trick on 68 minutes.

Brantham Athletic lost 2-0 at FC Clacton in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division, second-half goals from Adam Daniels and Steve Eaton sealing their fate.

In the FA Cup, Chelmsford will travel to Basingstoke in the next round after the Clarets won 2-1 at Ebbsfleet last night, courtesy of a Marvin Ekpiteta own goal and a Hugo Skepelhorn strike.

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