The weekend’s Ryman League reports
- Credit: Archant
A review of the weekend’s Ryman Premier and North football, featuring Needham Market, Bury Town, AFC Sudbury, Brightlingsea Regent, Heybridge Swifts, Maldon & Tiptree and Witham Town
Premier Division Needham Market 0 Hendon 3
Hendon had a successful first visit to Needham Market, as they emerged 3-0 winners.
The Green took the lead early on when Leon Smith latched on to a long ball to score. Midway through the first half Aaron Morgan took advantage of a poor backpass to double the lead.
The final goal came in the 72nd minute when Scott Shulton fired the ball just inside the post from around 25 yards.
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Joe Wright was then called into action late on to preserve his clean sheet as he made an excellent save from a looping header.
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Bury Town 4 Witham Town 4
An injury-time leveller from Craig Nurse saw the Blues salvage a point.
Bury got off to a flying start with a goal on seven minutes, Noel Aitkens winning the ball out on the left wing and beating the keeper only to cannon his shot off the post but straight in to the path of Remi Garrett who slotted his shot low past Nick Oakley.
Bradley Barber then put Bury two up on 16 minutes beating his marker and curling his shot low and in to the bottom corner.
Bury were cruising and looked well in control but a lack of concentration allowed Witham to pull a goal back on 18 minutes, Lewis Godbold breaking through the Blues defence and hitting a sweet strike across goal giving Nick Punter no chance.
Witham had the ball in the back of the net again three minutes later only to see the referee rule offside.
Ollie Hughes had a great chance to get Bury’s third on 26 minutes when Tevan Allen battled down the wing and crossed the ball in to the box, Hughes meeting it with an acrobatic scissor kick that went just wide.
Witham started the second half the brighter second half and soon equalized on 51 minutes, John Watson’s vicious strike had Punter saving at full stretch only to see the ball go directly to Scott Kemp for a tap in.
Two minutes later Witham were in front substitute Ryan Charles giving Witham a deserved lead. Bury were struggling to get their momentum going and things got worse on 81 minutes went Eamon Payne scored Witham’s fourth.
Bury found their second wind late in the half and started to dig in and fight for everything.
Bury substitute David Lampshire pulled one back for the Blues with a fine headed goal.
Then in the 94th minute Bury won a corner from which Craig Nurse thundered home a header to send the Blues fan wild and bring to an end a thrilling game at Ram Meadow.
AFC Sudbury 2
Cray Wanderers 6
After three league wins, top of the table AFC Sudbury crashed to their first league defeat when they were hit for six by their opponents who leap-frogged the Suffolk side on goals difference in the league table.
After a heavy midweek defeat in the League Cup, Sudbury brought back key players, but ended well beaten by a Cray side who were clinical in front of goal.
Cray looked dangerous from the start and they took the lead after 12 minutes when Leigh Bremner netted from close range from a left wing cross.
Sudbury enjoyed some good possession but they rarely threatened the Cray goal and the visitors doubled their lead after 28 minutes when Sudbury lost possession in midfield and Karl Dent raced goalwards to score with an unstoppable shot.
Seven minutes before the break Cray made it 3-0 when a free kick found Andre McCollin and he rounded the home keeper to score into an empty net.
Early in the second half Luke Callander went close for Sudbury but his effort was just too high.
Cray went straight to the other end and won a free kick 23 yards out and from it Grant Basey scored to make 4-0 when his shot deflected off the wall to beat the home keeper.
To their credit Sudbury fought back with their best spell and a brace of headed goals from Callander in a four minute spell got them back into the game. His first came from a right wing corner and then he headed home Ben Robinson’s cross.
With Sudbury pressing Cray added two further goals late on. First McCollin scored his second with a good finish from a left wing cross and then Bremner made it 6-2 from close range to seal a comfortable Cray victory.
Elsewhere in Ryman North, Maldon & Tiptree won 2-0 at Haringey Borough, Heybridge Swifts lost 2-0 at home to Dereham Town and Brightlingsea Regent, fresh from their 5-1 win at AFC Sudbury in midweek, went down 1-0 at Thurrock.