Dire draw between promotion rivals Stowmarket Town and Woodbridge Town

Woodbridge were denied a penalty despite the ball hitting Stow's Ben Licence in the hands

Woodbridge were denied a penalty despite the ball hitting Stow's Ben Licence in the hands - Credit: Archant

Thurlow Nunn First Division Stowmarket Town 0 Woodbridge 0 Promotion rivals Stowmarket Town and Woodbridge Town played out a dire goalless draw in a match which ended in controversy.

Ben Licence appears to handle the ball for Stowmarket late on

Ben Licence appears to handle the ball for Stowmarket late on - Credit: Archant

A victory for Stow would have seen them virtually secure the first promotion in their 134-year history, with Rick Andrews’ side then only able to be knocked out of the top three on goal difference.

But deep into added time it was Woodbridge who should have been given a chance to snatch all three points, as Stowmarket defender Ben Licence handled the ball in the penalty area.

However, much to the amazement of the visitors, the referee waved away their appeals for a penalty and the two sides finished level, leaving Stow still within touching distance of promotion, and Woodbridge seven points adrift of the top three.

When asked to predict the outcome of this contest, which pitted first against fourth in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division table, and two teams who had already racked up 100 goals each in the league this season, 0-0 would have been the last scoreline to be suggested.

Woodbridge appeal for a penalty late in their 0-0 draw with Stowmarket Town

Woodbridge appeal for a penalty late in their 0-0 draw with Stowmarket Town - Credit: Archant


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But that is exactly what transpired at Greens Meadow, as the two promotion chasers cancelled each other out, in a game which saw chances few and far between and neither side able to test the opposing goalkeeper.

With second place Haverhill Borough occupied by their rearranged Suffolk Senior Cup semi-final, Stow could have moved four points clear at the top with a win against Woodbridge.

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But opportunities to score proved to be at a premium for Andrews’ side, as Anton Clarke saw two efforts go wayward in the first half, before heading Remi Garrett’s inviting cross at the Woodbridge goalkeeper after the break.

While at the other end, the best chance for the visitors in the opening period saw Ryan Keeble fire over after being picked out on the right by George Bowman.

Jamie Scales’ men were then left aggrieved as the match came to a finish, as seconds before the full-time whistle, Licence put his hands in front of his face to block a shot in the box, but, luckily for Stow, no penalty was given.

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