Mayhew comes off the bench to head home Stow winner over Whitton
- Credit: Archant
Stowmarket 1 Whitton 0
Stowmarket Town are up to fourth after a hard-fought 1-0 win against Whitton United at Greens Meadow on Saturday, writes Alex Moss.
On a day which saw four of the top six in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division drop points, the Old Gold and Blacks climbed two places in the table with a narrow victory over their local rivals.
In a Suffolk derby starved of clear-cut chances for either side, Stow’s joint-top goalscorer Josh Mayhew came off the bench to head home the winner midway through the second half.
There was a familiar look to Whitton’s line-up, with two of Stow’s First Division title-winning squad, Lewis Higgins and Scott Marjoram both starting for the visitors, while a third, Duane Wright, made a cameo off the bench. Whitton manager Shane Coldron, who was assistant to Stow boss Rick Andrews during that memorable 2016-17 campaign, was also in the dugout for the Greens.
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After sitting out the previous weekend, it was a first game in 11 days for Stow, which perhaps could excuse the slow start for the hosts, who rarely threatened during a quiet first half.
Stow left back Anton Clarke unleashed a first-time strike from outside the box that brought out a fine save from Higgins, with Ryan Clark sending the rebound wide of the target.
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Whitton then had a sighting of goal when a Josh Hubert long throw flashed across the face of the Stow goal, and past striker Jamie Cole, and out of play.
Stow returned after the interval with renewed impetus, as Ollie Canfer headed over from an Ollie Brown cross and Clark fired into the hands of Higgins inside the first five minutes.
On the hour mark, Cole beat Stow goalkeeper Callum Robinson to a loose ball in the corner, but his shot went narrowly wide of the far post.
Andrews then shuffled the pack and brought on Mayhew and Luke Read, with the changes making an almost immediate impact as on 67 minutes the deadlock was finally broken.
Tom Matthews hooked the ball over his head and back into the Whitton box, where Mayhew was on hand to head into the corner for his 19th goal of the season.