Stowmarket suffer late heartbreak as they bow out of FA Vase at Biggleswade
- Credit: Archant
Biggleswade 1 Stowmarket Town 0
Stowmarket Town were cruelly knocked out of the FA Vase, at the fourth round stage, by a late headed goal from Pat McCafferty at Langford Road this afternoon.
The Suffolk side would have been good value for a draw, and so a replay back at Greens Meadow, but they were thwarted by midfielder McCafferty, who rose unmarked to head home an 86th minute free-kick.
The Gold and Blacks had done well to reach the last 32 of this national competition, but will be disappointed not to progress further in front of a good away following.
Rick Andrews’ men had the better of the chances against their Bedfordshire hosts, with home keeper Dan Child perhaps fortunate to still be on the pitch when saving Ollie Canfer’s attempted lob outside his penalty area on 34 minutes – there was at least a suspicion of handball.
Child later performed heroics to beat away a goalbound header by Leon Otley-Gooch, but it was Biggleswade who finished the stronger to snatch victory late on.
Remi Garrett was a handful for the home defence in the first half, and one of his crosses into the six-yard box on the quarter-hour mark was intercepted by left-back Michael Simpson, otherwise Canfer would surely have scored from a matter of a few feet out.
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Stow continued to press and skipper Jack Baker aimed a fierce 25-yarder straight at keeper Child, who clutched to his midriff.
The main talking point of the first period centred on Child, who unwisely raced out of his box and was beaten to the loose ball by Canfer. The striker attempted to lob the onrushing Child, who blocked the effort, either with his hand or his head.
Child lay on the pitch for several minutes, surrounded by a melee of players, and was eventually shown a yellow card, with a free-kick awarded.
Stowmarket were the better team for much of the second half, with Otley-Gooch twice going close to breaking the deadlock.
From a 52nd minute corner, Otley-Gooch had a close-range shot diverted over the bar, and the centre-half was later denied by a terrific acrobatic save from Child, who clawed away his goal-bound header on 72 minutes.
But McCafferty then finally broke the deadlock, at the other end, to seal Stow’s fate. It was harsh on the visitors, to concede so late in the day.
BIGGLESWADE: Child, Hunt, Simpson, McCafferty, Carroll, Pena, A Marsh, L Marsh, Eze, Northfield, Inskip (sub Leavers, 74). Unused subs: Kelly, George, Drakulic, Woodend.
STOWMARKET: Robinson, Matthews, Kempson, Paine, Nunn, Otley-Gooch, Melanson, Baker, Canfer (sub Carver, 65), Garrett, Chaplin. Unused subs: License, Sweeney, Walters, Brand.