Chirpy Robins deny Stowmarket a fourth straight victory in entertaining draw
Stowmarket 2 Ely 2
Stowmarket Town remain three points adrift of the top of the Premier Division table after drawing 2-2 with Ely City at Greens Meadow, writes Alex Moss.
The Old Gold and Blacks battled back from a goal behind to lead 2-1, after Remi Garrett’s strike and an own goal had cancelled out Alex Batten’s opener.
But former Stow striker Steve Holder earned a point for the visitors, scoring from the penalty spot to deny Rick Andrews’ men a fourth win in a row.
Stow handed a debut to new signing Robbie Linford, who joined the club on Friday from higher league Dereham Town.
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The midfielder was one of three changes to the side which started in the 2-0 triumph at Gorleston the previous weekend, as Robbie Sweeney and Matt Paine were both recalled to the starting line-up.
The Robins came to Greens Meadow in good form, having picked up 10 points from their last four league games, and it was Brady Stone’s side who struck first.
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Moments after defender Tom Williams had seen his header from a corner flick off the top of the crossbar, Josh Lowe sent in a cross which Batten converted at the back post on 13 minutes.
Stow made a positive response to the set back, as Sweeney tested visiting goalkeeper Harry Reynolds, before Garrett struck midway through the first half to get the hosts back on level terms.
The Stow striker brought the ball down in the box, turned and fired a shot into the far corner to make it 1-1 in the 27th minute.
Paine headed narrowly wide from a Max Melanson free kick as Andrews’ men pushed for the game’s next goal, and their persistence paid off early in the second half when Reynolds turned the ball into his own goal following a scramble in the box.
Stow’s advantage did not last long though, as Holder was brought down in the box and then converted the penalty to make it 2-2.
Both sides had chances in the final minutes to snatch a winner, with Sam Nunn making a goal-line clearance to deny Ely, before the returning Leon Ottley-Gooch came agonisingly close to scoring for Stow in the 90th minute.
Stowmarket head to Hadleigh on Boxing Day.