Comeback kings Stowmarket beat Willows as Mayhew strikes late
Thurlow Premier Stowmarket Town 4 Walsham-le-Willows 3 Josh Mayhew scored an injury time winner to help Stowmarket Town come from behind to beat Walsham-le-Willows 4-3 at Greens Meadow, writes Alex Moss.
In front of a season-high crowd of 364, the Old Gold and Blacks looked to be heading for a defeat to the Willows, after substitute Kehan Whitby had put them 3-2 in front on the hour mark.
But Rick Andrews’ side, who have made a habit of producing late comebacks this season, equalised four minutes from time through Ace Howell, before Mayhew netted his second of the game deep into injury time to secure the points.
These two Suffolk rivals had not met in a competitive fixture for more than six years, but it was well worth the wait as this late morning Boxing Day kick-off conjured up seven goals and a game which swung back and forth.
Stow struck first on 10 minutes when Mayhew fired home from outside the box for his 35th goal of the season, but Walsham responded with a quick-fire double to derail the home side’s bright start.
Jack Brame equalised for the visitors two minutes later with an unstoppable long-range strike, before Lee Warren put Walsham ahead on 14 minutes after his low shot deflected past Craig Brand.
A frenetic opening continued as Stow were back on level terms barely a minute later. Dave Cowley’s corner fell nicely to David Kempson in the box, and the full back made no mistake from close range to score his first goal for Andrews’ side.
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The goal rate slowed up after that, with the game’s next goal not coming until the hour mark when substitute Whitby’s shot wrong footed Brand to put Walsham back in front.
As Stow pressed forward in an attempt to find an equaliser, the visitors created several chances to kill their higher-placed opponents off on the break, but the hosts were indebted to Brand who made several saves to keep his side in contention.
Stow made the Willows pay with Howell firing into the corner on 86 minutes to make it 3-3, before Mayhew grabbed the winner in the final seconds.