Big games scheduled on Non-League Day
SUPPORTERS in Suffolk are spoilt for choice on Non-League Day this Saturday.
Originally set up as a social media experiment by James Doe in 2010, Non-League Day has mushroomed to become an annual part of the football calendar and is always scheduled to coincide with an international break.
With Ipswich Town not having a game and Ipswich Town Women playing away, the weekend provides the perfect opportunity to get out and watch a local Non-League game.
Suffolk just happens to be hosting two of the biggest top-of-the-table matches across the Eastern Counties on Saturday.
Hashtag United, one of the biggest names in Non-League football and the current leaders of Isthmian North, will be visiting Suffolk to face Stowmarket Town.
An incredible run of 21 wins in succession has propelled Hashtag to the top of the league and within touching distance of promotion at the expense of Suffolk side AFC Sudbury, who led the table for a long time.
Hashtag will come up against Chris Casement’s in-form Suffolk side who have won their last five matches in a row.
Stowmarket’s most recent success was Tuesday’s 3-1 victory at AFC Sudbury in the Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup Quarter-Finals.
AFC Sudbury, along with Felixstowe & Walton United and Lowestoft Town, are away on Saturday, but Bury Town host New Salamis in the county’s other Step 4 fixture.
Bury Town, like Stowmarket Town, made it through to the last four of the Suffolk Premier Cup thanks to a 2-1 victory over Lowestoft Town on Tuesday night.
Needham Market, courtesy of a 3-1 win at home to Long Melford, were the third side to progress to the semi-finals of the Suffolk Premier Cup on Tuesday.
With Leiston playing away, the Marketmen host the only Step 3 fixture – at home to Nuneaton Borough, who currently occupy fifth place in the Southern League Premier Central.
The day’s other big top-of-the-table fixture sees Ipswich Wanderers host Thetford Town in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.
The Norfolk side have led the league virtually all season, but Wanderers have whittled down their points advantage in recent weeks.
A run of 11 successive league wins sees Wanderers go into the game a single point behind their visitors and knowing that victory would take them top of the table for the first time this season with just five matches remaining.
A full list of fixtures for Suffolk clubs hosting matches in the National League System (Steps 3-6) is below. All matches kick-off at 3pm unless stated:
Southern League Premier Central
Needham Market v Nuneaton Borough
Bury Town v New Salamis
Stowmarket Town v Hashtag United
Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division
Brantham Athletic v Fakenham Town
Hadleigh United v Sheringham
Ipswich Wanderers v Thetford Town
Kirkley & Pakefield v Haverhill Rovers
Newmarket Town v Norwich United
Walsham-le-Willows v Soham Town Rangers
Whitton United v Mildenhall Town
Thurlow Nunn League Division One North
Needham Market U23 v Norwich CBS (1pm)
AFC Sudbury Res v Downham Town
Cornard United v Debenham LC
Haverhill Borough v Great Yarmouth Town
Leiston Res v Swaffham Town
For those looking to watch matches outside the National League System, it is a busy weekend in the Suffolk county cup competitions on both Saturday and Sunday.
For a preview to the games and the full set of fixtures, click on the story link below.
A dozen finalists will book places