Stowmarket Town friendly win is ill-tempered affair

Stowmarket's Yani Duka, left.

Stowmarket's Yani Duka, left. - Credit: Archant

Stowmarket Town finished their home pre-eason schedule with a 1-0 win over SIL opponents Stanton, but the result was marred by a bad-tempered final 15 minutes that saw two Town players receive straight red cards and two Stanton players go off through injury.

Rick Andrews made several changes to the side that lost 4-2 to Essex Border League side Stansted seven days ago, Carl Pearson returned between the sticks whilst Keiron Manley made his debut in the middle of the park.

Stow had the better of the opening exchanges, with lively frontmen Paris Tuwizana and Yani Duka both having chances inside the first 15 minutes. Tuwizana saw his attempted lob go wide of the target and Duka’s audacious effort went awry.

Town played the match with an eagerness to start from the back wherever possible, and were almost caught out midway into the first half. The Stanton frontline pounced on a misplaced pass by Dave Kempson, however their rushed strike on goal didn’t trouble Pearson’s goal.

Shortly after it was the home side that had a firm grip on the possession of the ball, creating various chances to break the resolute Stanton defence.

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Ben Licence’s free kick was caught by the goalkeeper before Ash Holmes saw his shot bounce off the crossbar to safety. Then Manley produced a perfect ball over a crowded centre to find Camillo Douglas, whose pass reached Tuwizana inside the Stanton penalty area, but his low shot was saved by the visiting goalkeeper.

With minutes to go in the first half Stow got their goal. Tuwizana was once again denied by excellent keeping, but the rebound fell at the feet of Douglas to poke the ball home and give his side a lead at the interval.

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At half time, Sam Licence came on for Joe English in the Stowmarket defence and just seconds into the second half they were tested when a dangerous cross found the head of Stanton’s Karl Tarpley. But to their relief though the header went inches over the Stow goal and out of play.

After that it was a largely quiet second half as neither side could carve out any strong opportunities.

With a quarter of an hour left a penalty was awarded to the home side. Douglas raced towards goal and was upended just inside the penalty area, Manley stepped up and saw his spot kick smack off the post.

The closing events of the match were ones that no one will have wanted to see as Stow finished with nine men and the visitors had two injured players hobble off the field.

Sam Licence saw a straight red card after a nasty challenge which prompted the recipient of the tackle to leave the pitch and play to be suspended as players argued amongst each other.

Then, only three minutes later, unsavoury scenes saw fighting take place between the two sides, with one Stanton player having to receive treatment after suffering a cut to the head. Duka was given a red card after the fiasco was resolved five minutes later and the match played out to a calm finish.

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