Stowmarket Town 0 Newmarket Town 0 match report - Both sides struggle in dull draw
Thurlow Nunn Premier Stowmarket Town 0 Newmarket Town 0 Both sides were looking to bounce back from FA Cup defeats in the past week and on paper this looked like being an appetising game, with Newmarket looking to improve on their third place league finish last season and promoted Stowmarket making a raft of new signings in the close season, including former Ipswich Town star Titus Bramble.
However, there was no Bramble in Saturday’s line-up and neither side really played to their full potential as the game finished goalless.
Ongoing remedial work on the Greens Meadow pitch saw Stow forfeit home advantage as the game was moved to Woodbridge Town’s Notcutts Park.
The visitors thought that they had taken the lead on 9 minutes when Lewis Whitehead volleyed home a bouncing ball on the edge of the area only for his celebrations to be cut short by the assistant referee’s raised flag.
Jamie Thurlbourne then advanced from his left back position to send a low 20 yard drive narrowly wide of Craig Brand’s far post.
Brand was certainly the busier of the two keepers and soon had to deal with further efforts from Whitehead and Steve Spriggs.
Eventually Stow began to get their game together and Alex Archer had to race of his line to block Remi Garrett’s shot. Ollie Brown was beginning to find space for Stow down the right and he cut in from the flank to see his effort deflected wide.
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The second period continued in similar fashion with the Jockeys having most of the few chances that were created though Stow still had a fair share of the play.
Phil Weavers glanced a Danny Cunningham corner just wide at the beginning of the half but back came Newmarket and Brand had to be alert in denying Austin Diaper from close range on the hour.
Thurlbourne then sent in a dangerous cross from the left which was palmed by Brand into the path of Spriggs but the ex-Mildenhall man was unable to finish from a narrow angle.
The introduction of George Bugg injected a bit more pace into the Stowmarket attack and just before the end Ethan Clarke nearly got clear but the Jockeys’ defence recovered and the game remained deadlocked.
Referee Abi Marriott had a fine game in the middle.