Stow slip to home defeat as Kirkley do the double
Thurlow Nunn Premier Stowmarket Town 1 Kirkley & Pakefield 2 Stowmarket Town slipped to a second home league defeat of the season as Kirkley & Pakefield became the first side to do the double over the Old Gold and Blacks in 2017-18, writes Alex Moss.
Rick Andrews’ side were hoping to produce another comeback to get a result after goals from Liam Harvey-Cooper and Lewis Hammond had seen them trail 2-0 to their visitors at half-time.
Luke Read pulled one back for Stow early in the second half, but despite an improved performance after the break they were unable to find an equaliser and have now dropped a place to fourth in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table.
Stow went into the afternoon looking to continue their good record of avenging their league defeats this season, but the visitors, who had recently been on a nine-match unbeaten run in all competitions, had other ideas, taking the lead as early as the eighth minute.
Tarren Grint’s ball forward from defence caused the Stow defence problems, with Leon Ottley-Gooch missing his header, and Harvey-Cooper ran through unopposed on goal, before sending the ball past the onrushing James Bradbrook to put Kirkley in front.
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Kirkley continued to create chances and found the target again on 32 minutes to go 2-0 up. A free kick into the Stow box caused havoc and Hammond fired the loose ball past Bradbrook to double his side’s advantage.
Stow knew they would need to strike first in the second half to stand any chance of taking anything from the game, and they duly obliged with a goal nine minutes after the restart.
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Dave Cowley swung the ball in from the left wing for Josh Mayhew, who headed down for Read to shoot into the corner for his third goal of the season and give the hosts a lifeline.
With time on their side to find an equaliser, Stow had begun to find their stride and substitute Amar Lewis played a one two with Cowley and sent a shot looping over the crossbar, before Cowley saw his corner take a touch and bounce off the crossbar four minutes from time.