Stow bid to bounce back after late defeat last week

Stowmarket Town boss Rick Andrews

Stowmarket Town boss Rick Andrews - Credit: Archant

Stowmarket Town could go into today’s home clash with Long Melford no longer top of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, writes Alex Moss.

Rick Andrews’ side have been top of the Thurlow Nunn League’s top flight, for only the second time in their history, since September 1 when they thrashed Great Yarmouth Town 4-0 to climb above Histon.

The Old Gold and Blacks remained top of the pile at the start of this week, despite seeing their perfect away record ended in a 3-2 defeat at Godmanchester Rovers last Saturday.

But ahead of hosting fellow Suffolk side Melford at Greens Meadow tomorrow afternoon (3pm), Andrews’ men may find themselves in second spot, as a victory for Kirkley & Pakefield against Great Yarmouth tonight would have been enough to send the Royals to the top.

Late goals have certainly been the catalyst to Stow’s three Premier Division games which have ended without three points so far this season.

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George Bugg’s 83rd-minute strike condemned Stow to a 3-2 derby defeat to local rivals Walsham-le-Willows, before Sam Applegate struck in the 94th minute to rescue a point for Norwich United in a 1-1 draw.

And this past weekend, Charlie Bowen equalised for Godmanchester in the 87th minute and Mike Hyem then netted a winner in the seventh minute of added time, as Andrews’ side let a 2-1 lead slip in the final minutes.

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“It was obviously gutting to lose on Saturday,” Stow boss Andrews said. “I don’t think we deserved to lose, but they put us under a lot of pressure in the second half.

“I thought we stood up to it well, but we were allowing the ball to come back too quickly, and that invites pressure.

“I felt sorry for the boys as, in terms of work rate, that was probably the hardest a team of mine has worked since I’ve been at the club.

“We have to learn about maintaining the ball better when under pressure.”

Regardless of tonight’s result at Walmer Road, a victory for Stow today would ensure they are at the top heading into next week.

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