Stowmarket Town 4 Enfield 1893 FC 5 report – Late strike breaks Stow’s hearts in FA Vase

Enfield players celebrate their dramatic win at Stowmarket in the FA Vase. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Enfield players celebrate their dramatic win at Stowmarket in the FA Vase. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

FA Vase Second Qualifying Round Stowmarket Town 4 Enfield 1893 FC 5 aet Enfield substitute Abiola Balogun struck with virtually the last kick of extra time to send the Essex Senior League club through to the First Round Proper of the FA Vase in a crazy game where both sides could have easily doubled their final tally as defences struggled throughout, writes Dave Meeson.

Substitute Abiola Balogun heads home Enfield's winner in the last minute of extra time. Picture: PAU

Substitute Abiola Balogun heads home Enfield's winner in the last minute of extra time. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

This was Stowmarket’s first game back at Greens Meadow this season after their well-documented pitch problems and those who attended were certainly royally entertained.

The visitors opened the scoring on 14 minutes when Luke Thomas shrugged off the challenge of Anton Clarke before slotting an angled drive past Stow keeper Craig Brand.

Enfield could have extended their lead twice before Carl Mullings eventually doubled their advantage after being playing in by a clever reverse pass from Josh Sykes.

Stow then made a tactical switch sending Ollie Brown over to the left hand side and moving Danny Cunningham into a more central midfield role.

Amar Lewis (far right) watches his header enter the net for Stowmarket's first goal against Enfield

Amar Lewis (far right) watches his header enter the net for Stowmarket's first goal against Enfield 1893. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant


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The hosts began to improve and Amar Lewis got on the end of Billy Clark’s pull back to reduce the deficit 10 minutes before the break.

Stow got on top after the restart though the equaliser came in fortuitous circumstances on 52 minutes as Brown’s low drive squirmed through the hands of Michael Corderoy in the Enfield goal.

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Almost immediately top scorer Josh Mayhew put the Suffolk side ahead diverting home Jack Baker’s low drive. Mayhew then exchanged passes with Lewis and fired into the roof of the net to make it 4-2.

Stow seemed to be in control only for Sykes to volley home a Mullings cross with 10 minutes remaining. Then with 5 minutes of normal time left Stow failed to deal with a long throw and Joe Stauntan netted at the back post to make it 4-4.

Josh Mayhew celebrates the first of his two goals against Enfield 1893. Picture: PAUL VOLLER

Josh Mayhew celebrates the first of his two goals against Enfield 1893. Picture: PAUL VOLLER - Credit: Archant

The home side could have won it in normal time but both George Bugg and Lewis had efforts cleared off the line.

Mayhew and Bugg were denied by Corderoy in the first period of extra time and then Cory Gittens headed over an empty net for Stow.

However, as the game came to a close Enfield got on top and Brand pulled off two point-blank stops before the Stow keeper was left stranded outside his area as Thomas lobbed the ball to the far post and Balogun finished to break Stow hearts.

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