Thurlow Nunn One is the most exciting and competitive division it has been for many a season – but who will go up?

Diss' Joe Manning slotted home from an acute angle to beat the Woodbridge defence on Saturday.

Diss' Joe Manning slotted home from an acute angle to beat the Woodbridge defence on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

I will go on record as suggesting the current Thurlow Nunn First Division is the most competitive it has been for more than a decade.

What do you think?

Four new sides – Coggeshall, Holland, Framlingham and Wisbech St Mary, have really spiced things up since they joined the league at the start of this season.

A rather stagnant division, as it had become, is now brimming with great games and an exciting title race t’boot.

Coggeshall lead the way at the top of the table, while a resurgent Stowmarket Town and much-improved Woodbridge Town and Diss Town are not far behind – the league is certainly one to savour right now.


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Throw into the mix Haverhill Borough and Halstead Town and suddenly the Thurlow Nunn First Division has a real scramble for the top three places – and promotion to the Premier League.

So, who will make it?

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Well, last week there were two very significant games in the division.

Framlingham and Stowmarket drew 2-2 at Badingham Road, while Diss Town nicked a late winner in a five-goal thriller at Notcutts, home of Woodbridge.

Coggeshall Town continue to lead the way, in no small part to the goalscoring talents of former Colchester United man Nnamdi Nwachuku, while Stowmarket Town and Diss Town are still breathing down their necks.

Diss’ win at Woodbridge was a big blow for Jamie Scales’ Woodpeckers, who are the one team who have always had games in hand on the leaders.

It really is all too tight to call, but I feel Coggeshall and Stowmarket will hang onto, if not the top-two places, certainly both will finish in the top three and go up.

That just leaves a third team to go up.

It’s a case of flipping a coin quite frankly – a coin with about six sides!

I’ll go for Diss, on the basis they have had two terrific away wins recently at Framlingham and Woodbridge.

So, all in all, I’m suggesting that as it sits, with Coggeshall top, Stow second and Diss third, is how it is going to finish - although as someone who has coached at Woodbridge for many years, I do hope the Peckers scrape in!!

While I continue on the subject of the First Division, just a quick note about reserve sides Leiston, AFC Sudbury and Needham Market. All three clubs, whose first teams play in the Ryman Premier Division, are in the bottom five of the division, but all three clubs are promoting youth well.

Fair play to them, the gap between Thurlow One and the Ryman Premier is a big one, but young players need to develop their game, physically as much as technically and all the U-23 games in the world will not prepare them fully for first-team Ryman Premier football.

If Leiston, Needham or AFC Sudbury get one or two players a season come through their reserves, it’s a job very well done.

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