Winning start to new campaign for hotly-tipped Stowmarket Town
- Credit: Archant
Thurlow Nunn Premier Stowmarket Town 2 Thetford Town 1 Stowmarket Town made a winning start to the season as goals from Robbie Sweeney and Scott Chaplin helped secure a hard-fought 2-1 win against Thetford Town, writes Alex Moss.
Sweeney broke the deadlock late in the first half and Chaplin doubled Stow’s lead midway through the second half, before Volta Rocha pulled one back for the visitors late on to ensure a nervy finish at Greens Meadow.
The Old Gold and Blacks held on to their lead to kick-off the 2018-19 season with three points in front of a crowd of 251 on the opening weekend of the new campaign.
Stow were without several players for their first game of the season, including 56-goal striker Josh Mayhew, but boss Rick Andrews was able to include summer signings Callum Robinson, Matt Paine, Sam Nunn, Max Melanson, Chaplin and Sweeney in his starting line-up.
Stow opened the scoring on 35 minutes through Sweeney, who showed great composure to drill low past Will Viner, in the Thetford goal, to get on the scoresheet on his competitive debut for the Old Gold and Blacks.
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Just before the hour mark Thetford came close to an equaliser, as Ian Fancett’s free kick struck the crossbar, and his effort seemed to serve as a wake up call to Andrews’ men.
Stow doubled their advantage on 64 minutes after Chaplin fired past Viner with a precise finish into the corner, and it looked like Andrews’ men were on course for a win in their first league fixture of a season for the first time since 2013.
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But Thetford, who reached the final of the League Challenge Cup last season, had not thrown in the towel just yet, and set up a nervy finish when Rocha finished past Robinson in the 81st minute.
Remi Garrett then had two chances to regain Stow’s two-goal cushion, an attempted lob going over the crossbar and then a shot being tipped away by Viner, while at the other end Rocha saw a volley flash wide of the target as Stow held on to start the new Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division season with all three points.