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‘I was champing at the bit to get on’ – Blake after Stow’s FA Vase exit at Wroxham

PUBLISHED: 12:22 10 February 2020 | UPDATED: 12:22 10 February 2020

A happier occasion: Matt Blake celebrates his goal against Glebe in the fourth round of the FA Vase. Stowmarket lost 2-0 in the fifth round at Wroxham on Saturday. Photo: HOGAN COBBOLD

A happier occasion: Matt Blake celebrates his goal against Glebe in the fourth round of the FA Vase. Stowmarket lost 2-0 in the fifth round at Wroxham on Saturday. Photo: HOGAN COBBOLD

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Stowmarket Town striker Matt Blake admitted that Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Wroxham, in the last 16 of the FA Vase, was a big missed opportunity to go all the way to Wembley.

Wroxham players in a huddle. The Norfolk club reached the quarter-finals of the FA Vase, at the expense of Stowmarket Town. Picture: HOGAN COBBOLDWroxham players in a huddle. The Norfolk club reached the quarter-finals of the FA Vase, at the expense of Stowmarket Town. Picture: HOGAN COBBOLD

Blake came the closest to scoring for the visitors, when his close-range shot from a tight angle cannoned back off the post on 82 minutes.

Wroxham were only 1-0 up at that stage, courtesy of Grant Holt's 65th minute penalty after Tom Bullard had conceded the spot kick and been sent off for a second bookable offence.

"It was a very disappointing day for us," rued Blake.

"We just have to dust ourselves down and go again, because the league is the main thing.

"But this was a nice carrot for the club, potentially getting to Wembley and stuff like that, especially as were the favourites.

"I think in the first half we were not great at all, but in the second half we dominated it, and then they get a penalty. We go all out-attack and hit a post, and have one cleared off the line."

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Referring to his shot that hit the post, Blake said: "I think there was a slight nick (deflection). I hit it cleanly. It's almost one of those chances which you want to scuff and then it goes in the bottom corner. I think if that had gone in then we might have won the game because we had a couple of other little scruffy chances after that.

"It doesn't happen very often, getting into the quarter-finals of the FA Vase. But fair play to Wroxham. They did it in 2010, getting there (to Wembley) for the FA Vase Final) and I hope that they do it again, to be honest.

"But we must move forward."

Ex-Leiston striker Blake had to be content with a place on the bench, and was only unleased as a substitute with 16 minutes to go.

He added: "Wroxham were the better in the first half, and for me, as a striker who likes get in behind, the game was crying out for them to be turned.

"I thought the game plan would have been to get behind them and play in the final third. We kept trying to over-play a little bit, and we sat back off them too much.

"I was champing at the bit to get on. I was actually shaking, and not talking to anyone.

"But that's how it is. There are a lot of strikers at the club and it's been a hard few weeks for me.

"For six or seven weeks I have been playing in a bit of pain, and trying to get over a few injuries. I've kept getting different injuries, every few weeks. I'm not a spring chicken anymore. I am 31, and it takes a lot longer to recover."


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