Non-league round-up: Stowmarket Town progress in FA Vase, plus the best of the league action
- Credit: Carl Marston
A sensational early strike by Reggie Lambe propelled Stowmarket Town into the fourth round of the FA Vase, at the expense of Norwich CBS in a 2-0 victory at Greens Meadow.
Lambe's wonderful long-range shot on nine minutes put Stow in the driving seat against their Step 6 visitors.
But the Suffolk hosts did not make this third round tie safe until four minutes remaining, when Josh Mayhew's header dropped over the line via the underside of the bar to finally double the lead.
Both sides had good chances inside the first five minutes.
Josh Mayhew had a clear sight of goal on three minutes, only to aim his shot straight at CBS keeper Nathan Pauling, while at the other end Volter Rocha was frustrated to see his downward header drift the wrong side of the far post.
But Lambe showed everyone how to finish by curling home a delightful shot from long range in the ninth minute, the ball soaring into the top far corner of the net.
In truth, Stow should have added two or more three goals during a dominant first half-hour.
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Lambe nearly bagged his second on 12 minutes, only for Pauling to dive to his right to palm away the ball on his goal-line.
Mayhew screwed an angled shot across goal and wide of the far post in the 17th minute, as the hosts continued to dictate, while Jack Ainsley was denied at point blank range by the alert Pauline, with defender Joe Easton hoofing away the loose ball from inside the six-yard box.
On 23 minutes, Mayhew was left cursing his luck as his accurate header, from Seb Dunbar's teasing cross, was again cleared off the goal-line by centre-half Easton.
A few minutes later and Mayhew turned provider to tee up Chris Casement, whose shot was well saved by Pauline.
The visitors came more into the game during the later stages of the first period and Joe Jefford did well to prevent dangerman Rocha from getting in a telling shot at the near post.
Into the second half and livewire Lambe had a shot deflected wide for a corner, from which Ainsley's snap shot was blocked on the edge of the six-yard box with appeals for a penalty for handball being rejected.
Mayhew attempted to curl home an ambitious 25-yarder in the 70th minute, the ball drifting well wide, but the tall striker came closer when nearly managing to nod home Casement's deep cross a minute later.
But Stow finally made the game safe in the 86th minute when Mayhew's close-range header dropped over the line, via the underside of the bar.
STOWMARKET TOWN: Bradbrook, Casement, Dunbar, Ainsley, Jefford, Bullard, Quantrill (sub Docherty, 65), Parker, Lambe, Mayhew, Clarke (sub Sweeney, 76). Unused subs: Read, Collard, Bugg, Potter.
NORWICH CBS: Pauling, Johnson, Rose, Easton (sub Abodunde, 81), Barraclough, Horton (sub Ryland, 81), White, North, Bussens, Rocha, Priddle (sub Sandell, 73). Unused sub: Pye.
Elsewhere, WALSHAM LE WILLOWS claimed a 1-0 win away at Thetford Town in the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division.
Jamie Smith scored the only goal of the match to move the WIllows up to fourth in the table, behind the top three of Wroxham, Norwich United and Brantham Athletic.
Also in the Premier Division, FC Clacton were 2-0 winners at home to Ely City.
There was a seven-goal thriller in the Thurlow Nunn League North, with promotion-chasing LAKENHEATH winning 4-3 at home to CORNARD UNITED.
Shaun Avis scored a late winner for Lakenheath, who are up to fourth in the table. Avis' cross-cum-shot flew into the top corner in the first minute of stoppage time, after Cory Willings had seemingly earned Cornard a point with an 86th minute equaliser.
Earlier, Avis and skipper Sam Hawley had both scored inside 20 minutes to put Lakenheath 2-0 up, with Harrison Banner halving the deficit in the 33rd minute and John Sands restoring Lakenheath's two-goal advantage shortly afterwards.
However, it was 3-2 at half-time, Ezra Drann converting a penalty for Cornard in first-half stoppage time.
The visitors grabbed a late equaliser through Willings, only for Avis to win it at the death.
Also in this division, NEEDHAM MARKET RESERVES won 2-1 away at Downham Town.
IPSWICH WANDERERS were denied an opportunity to move to the top of the Thurlow Nunn League One North table, when their scheduled home match against Diss Town was postponed because of Covid-19 concerns.
Wanderers would have leapfrogged Fakenham Town into top spot with a win, but Covid-19 concerns in the Diss camp caused the game to be called off on Friday night.
HADLEIGH UNITED'S scheduled home match against fellow Suffolk side WHITTON UNITED, in the Thurlow Nunn Premier, was postponed because of a waterlogged pitch.
Meanwhile, with the Isthmian League and Southern League, at Steps 3 and 4, unlikely to be starting up again before mid-January, at the earliest, it has been a frustrating time for the likes of Bury Town, AFC Sudbury, Felixstowe & Walton, Lowestoft and Leiston, although Needham Market were at least in competitive action in midweek in a 4-2 defeat at Gloucester City in the FA Trophy.
BURY TOWN were in action in a friendly fixture at Ram Meadow, coming back from 2-0 down to beat local rivals HAVERHILL ROVERS 5-3.
Meanwhile, in the Suffolk & Ipswich League Senior Division, HENLEY ATHLETIC recorded a fine 3-2 win at HALESWORTH TOWN.
There were 110 fans in attendance at Dairy Hill for this clash between two sides that will feature in the league title at the end of the season.
At the final whistle it was sixth-placed Henley Athletic who prevailed, beating Halesworth in a feisty encounter that saw the home side surrender a 2-0 interval lead and be reduced to 10 men during the second half, that saw numerous yellow cards administered.
Town were unfortunate to lose defender Curtis Moore following a poor challenge after 10 minutes that went unpunished, and the dismissal of the bright Chris Palmer was unlucky having received two yellow cards, the second of which was innocuous in comparison to other overall incidents. Indeed there were times when spectators were often in bewilderment!
The first chance fell to the visitor’s Liam Ablitt, but he was foiled by keeper Karl Goodwin, who made a fine block.
After a tentative start the game opened up and on 28 minutes the home side went in front, against the run of play. Skipper Toby Payne excelled down the wide right before delivering a square ball in to box for Pat Summerfield to tap home from close in.
Shortly afterwards, Halesworth should have extended their lead when Chris Palmer clean through crucially placed his shot wide of keeper Kevin Holland.
However, they added a second in the 39th minute when the excellent Toby Kerslake threaded a superb ball for Pat Summerfield to expertly beat the advancing Holland for his second.
Henley responded on 46 minutes when Shane Whiteman infringed the lively George Ablitt and Clarke Bruce easily scored from the spot, his 13th goal of the season, whilst at the other end Kevin Holland brilliantly saved a fierce dipping shot from Joseph Clark.
Henley continued their fight back and Byron Tejano’s diagonal ball picked out Ablitt, but his ensuing shot was well saved by Goodwin.
However, the same player equalised in the 76th minute with a fine sole goal that went in off the post and moments later Halesworth were reduced to 10 men.
With eight minutes remaining the recovery was complete when following a corner James Whatling headed the winner to grab vital points and inflict Halesworth.
As a result of Halesworth's defeat, BENHALL ST MARYS have leapfrogged to top of the Senior Division following a comfortable 4-0 win at WESTERFIELD UNITED.
Former Ipswich Town youngster Tom Winter scored a brace, with Tom Mower and Kelsey Trotter also on target for the new league leaders.
Behall have now won seven of their first nine fixtures to sit top with 22 points, ahead of Halesworth (21 points from nine) and Bildeston Rangers (19 from six).
Although still down in sixth, Henley Athletic have won five of their six fixtures and so will go top if they can win their three games in hand.
BILDESTON RANGERS moved up to third with a convincing 3-0 home win over Coplestonians.
An in-form David Bart Lorimer scored a brace of goals, with man-of-the-match Chris Cowan netting the other.
CLAYDON are fourth after sharing four goals in a 2-2 home draw against HAUGHLEY UNITED. Claydon were not at their best, but twice equalised through goals by Rudge and Cole to earn a point.
TRIMLEY RED DEVILS have dropped to fifth, following a 3-2 defeat at BOURNE VALE UNITED.
The Red Devils started well, with Ryan Chidlow putting them 1-0 up, before Bourne Vale gained the ascendancy. Alex Breadman did bring the Red Devils level at 2-2, but in the end they suffered their third loss of the campaign.
Hosts CRANE SPORTS defeated lowly LEISTON ST MARGARETS 3-0, the visitors having now lost nine of their first 10 games of the season.
Matty Oxbrow and Marcus Taylor scored dominant Cranes' first two goals, with the other an own goal from Tom Leggett's dangerous cross.