Stow stay third after goalless draw with Brantham

Stowmarket Town players leave the pitch after their 0-0 draw at Brantham. Picture: DAWN MATTHEWS

Stowmarket Town players leave the pitch after their 0-0 draw at Brantham. Picture: DAWN MATTHEWS - Credit: Archant

Thurlow Premier Brantham Athletic 0 Stowmarket Town 0 Stowmarket Town remain in third place in the Premier Division table after a goalless draw at Brantham Athletic, writes Alex Moss.

The Old Gold and Blacks struck the woodwork twice on a frustrating afternoon at Brantham Leisure Centre, but the hard-working hosts ensured the points were shared as they became the first side to stop Stow scoring in the league this season.

Ryan Clark, the match winner against Walsham-le-Willows the previous weekend, went close to scoring with a bicycle kick early on, before at the other end Brantham threatened to break the deadlock.

Louie Newland saw an effort go wide of the target, and moments later Lamell Howell, a title winner with the Old Gold and Blacks in 2016-17, tested Craig Brand in the Stow goal.

The Imps were enjoying a good spell as determined work from Dan Rowe opened up a chance for George Clarke, who brought out another save from Brand.

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Midway through the first half, Stow struck the frame of the Brantham goal for the first time, as Clark picked out a free Remi Garrett and his strike crashed off the crossbar.

Garrett went close again early in the second half when Robbie Sweeney’s corner found the Stow forward and he headed over the target, before another corner then saw defender Sam Nunn’s header suffer the same outcome.

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With time running out, Stow’s search for the game’s opening goal continued and with 10 minutes to go it appeared the visitors may have found an elusive breakthrough.

Clark ran through into the Brantham penalty area and rounded goalkeeper Luke Avenell and looked to have an open goal at his mercy, but his shot found the near post to deny the striker a second winner in as many games.

With the top two, Godmanchester Rovers and Histon, both dropping points elsewhere, it was a chance missed for Rick Andrews’ men to close the gap, but in the end the Old Gold and Blacks had to settle for a point against a side they will lock horns with again in two weeks in the quarter-finals of the Suffolk Premier Cup.

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