All set for a thrilling end to season

PUBLISHED: 13:35 21 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:32 10 September 2010

RIDGEONS LEAGUE: The Ridgeons League title race is edging closer to a potential last-day 'winner-takes-all' meeting of the top two. Soham Town Rangers maintained their nine-point lead after beating Leiston 2-0 - though they didn't make the game safe until Scott Carter scored their controversial second goal in injury time.

The Ridgeons League title race is edging closer to a potential last-day 'winner-takes-all' meeting of the top two.

Soham Town Rangers maintained their nine-point lead after beating Leiston 2-0 - though they didn't make the game safe until Scott Carter scored their controversial second goal in injury time.

But Needham Market, who have three games in hand and finish their season at Soham on May 3, kept in the hunt with a 4-0 romp at Ipswich Wanderers with goals from Daniel Thrower, Rhys Barber, James Evans and Tommy Smith.

The biggest problem for the FA Vase semi-finalists may be fatigue as, apart from league games against Harwich (at home on Thursday), Histon Reserves (at home on Saturday) and Dereham (away on Tuesday, April 29) before the Soham showdown they also have two cup finals - against Leiston in the Suffolk Premier Cup at Portman Road tomorrow and against Gorleston in the Ridgeons League Cup at Diss on Monday, May 5.

Last season's top two met at Trafford Park, where outgoing champions Wroxham lost 2-0 to Mildenhall. Stephen Spriggs and Dave Werthman got the Mildenhall goals - but the Yachtsmen will still beat them to third place. The other big issue remaining in the Premier Division is the third relegation place after Newmarket's demotion - along with Ipswich Wanderers - was confirmed by a 2-1 defeat at Walsham-le-Willows.

Swaffham race a nervous end to the season after losing 8-3 at home to Harwich & Parkeston, who had previously only managed 48 goals in 37 games.

The Pedlars took the lead through Muggleton but were 4-1 down by the interval, largely due to a hat-trick by Defoe, who took his tally to four after the break, when further goals from Julien and King were not enough to keep Swaffham in contention.

The result leaves Swaffham six points ahead of third-bottom Histon Reserves, who have three games in hand, though the picture should be clearer once the Cambs side have played Kirkley at home tomorrow and visited Needham Market on Saturday.

Histon's last three games are against Lowestoft (home, April 29), Walsham-le-Willows (home, May 1) and Norwich United (away, May 3). Swaffham visit Stanway on April 30 before finishing at home to CRC on May 3.

Dereham are still in with a chance of taking fifth place despite a 3-0 defeat at Felixstowe, whose goals came from Keith Hetherington, Neil Calver and Danny Phillips - whose 29th of the season came from the spot just before the end.

Wisbech marked the penultimate league game at Fenland Park by thumping Norwich United 3-0 with goals from Billy Smith, Stuart Ablett and James McManus. The final game before moving to a new ground will be against Woodbridge on May 3.

A thrilling climax is in store in Division One, with only one point separating four teams bidding for the third promotion place behind Tiptree and Ely City.

Hadleigh are third on 60 points, despite drawing 2-2 at Clacton and Saffron Walden trail them on goal difference alone after winning 2-0 at Debenham. Both moved above Diss, who didn't have a game and are a point behind and ahead of Halstead (who drew 0-0 against Gorleston) on goal difference.

The Tangerines will have to do it the hard way, however, as their final two games are away at Saffron Walden on Saturday and Hadleigh on May 3.

At the foot of the table Fakenham kept themselves two points above the bottom two with a 2-2 draw at Clacton.

Yarmouth went down 3-2 at Godmanchester despite two goals from Thompson.

Thetford gave new manager Mick Money his first win on Friday night - 2-1 at Cornard with a first half brace from Patrick Armes.

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