WEEKEND FOOTBALL ROUND-UP + IPSWICH HIGHLIGHTS: Relegation fears grow for Needham

MISSED PENALTY: Michael Brothers failed to score from 12 yards as Needham Market slumped to defeat at home to Farnborough
MISSED PENALTY: Michael Brothers failed to score from 12 yards as Needham Market slumped to defeat at home to Farnborough
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Needham Market remain deep in Ryman League Premier Division relegation trouble following their 2-0 defeat at home to fellow strugglers Farnborough on Saturday afternoon, while there was also wins for AFC Sudbury, Thetford Town and Ely City.

The Marketmen are still one place above the drop zone, but Boro, who are immediately below them and have a game in hand, are now just one point adrift.

Ollie Bailey put the visitors in front with six minutes on the clock at Bloomfields, before Needham’s Michael Brothers crashed a penalty against the post.

The outcome was then made safe for Boro shortly after the restart when Jack Smith found the net.

The loss means that with four matches left to play, Needham’s fate is no longer in their own hands.

Meanwhile, in Division One North, AFC Sudbury’s title celebrations were put on hold, despite the fact that they recorded a 2-1 home win over Wroxham.

Thurrock and Harlow Town, who sit in second and third spot respectively, also picked up maximum points to thwart Jamie Godbold’s men.

However, were those two sides to drop points from their encounters on Tuesday night, that would hand the Yellows the title without kicking a ball.

Harlow’s fixture is a particularly interesting one because they travel to Sudbury’s local rivals Bury Town, who spurned a 3-1 half-time lead to lose 4-3 against Waltham Abbey.

There was also a defeat for Soham Town Rangers as they went down 2-1 at home to Maldon & Tiptree.

In the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, Thetford Town boosted their survival chances with a 1-0 win at Ipswich Wanderers, while there was also victories for Long Melford, Hadleigh United and Newmarket Town.

As for Walsham-le-Willows, they held promotion hopefuls Stanway Rovers to a 1-1 draw at Summer Road.

In the First Division, Stowmarket Town recorded a 2-2 draw against league leaders Wivenhoe Town, with wins also coming for Cornard United, Ely City and Halstead Town.

Diss Town and Team Bury were beaten on their travels, but Needham Market Reserves claimed a draw from their game away at Downham Town.

Elsewhere, in the Barclays Premier League, Norwich City gave their survival chances a huge shot in the arm by beating Newcastle United 3-2 at Carrow Road.

It means that the Canaries are four points above the drop zone with six minutes remaining.

In the Championship, Ipswich Town’s hopes of nabbing a playoff place have been dented after they drew 0-0 away at Wolverhampton Wanderers, leaving them five points behind the top six.

On Tuesday evening, the Tractor Boys return to action at Portman Road against relegation threatened Charlton Athletic (7.45pm).

*Read our fans’ views on both Ipswich Town and Norwich City in our print editions later this week, while extended highlights of Ipswich Town’s Saturday game can be viewed via a payment subscriber service on the club’s official website

RYMAN LEAGUE

Premier Division: Needham Market 0, Farnborough 2.

Division North: AFC Sudbury 2, Wroxham 1; Bury Town 3, Waltham Abbey 4; Soham Town Rangers 1, Maldon & Tiptree 2.

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

Premier Division: Ipswich Wanderers 0, Thetford Town 1; Long Melford 4, Gorleston 0; Walsham le Willows 1, Stanway Rovers 1; FC Clacton 0, Hadleigh Utd 3 (Friday); Haverhill Rovers 1, Newmarket Town 2 (Friday).

First Division: Dereham Town 1, Cornard Utd 3; Downham Town 1, Needham Market Res 1; Ely City 1, Woodbridge Town 0; Leiston 3, Diss Town 1; March Town Utd 2, Team Bury 0; Stowmarket Town 2, Wivenhoe Town 2; Halstead Town 2, AFC Sudbury 0 (Friday).

Suffolk Senior Cup: Haverhill Borough 2, Waveney 2.

*Long Melford v Haverhill Rovers rearranged for Wednesday, April 27

MIDWEEK FIXTURES

RYMAN LEAGUE

Tuesday

Division North: Bury Town v Harlow Town.

THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE

Tuesday

First Division: AFC Sudbury Res v Diss Town; Dereham Town v Needham Market Res; Halstead Town v Braintree Town; King’s Lynn Town v Debenham LC.

Wednesday

First Division: Haverhill Borough v Woodbridge Town