Stowmarket within one win of perfect week

RIDGEONS LEAGUE: It had been billed as a crunch week in shaping the destiny of Stowmarket Town’s season.

Two vital games against sides around them at the top of the Ridgeons League Division One sandwiched between a cup quarter-final.

And it has been so far so good for the gold and blacks following victories over Cambridge University Press and Team Bury in the last seven days.

If the hat-trick is completed by a win at fifth-placed Gorleston tomorrow, Stowmarket will be just one point from leaders CUP with two games in hand.

Considering the club’s stated aim was promotion within three years from the start of this season, manager Steve Jay is understandably delighted.

He said: “I am really pleased at the moment - the side has gelled together so quickly. We have got ourselves in a nice position in the league and we just have to keep putting points on the board. I have told the players to just take one game at a time and we are looking no further than the Gorleston match.”

Last Saturday’s 1-0 victory over league leaders CUP was the perfect way to start the most important week of Stowmarket’s season so far. And it was followed on Tuesday night with a 5-0 hammering of Team Bury to put Town into the semi-finals of the Ridgeons League Cup.

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“The cup games are a bonus but we are looking forward to the semi-final whoever we get. It will be a good test to see how far we have come in a short time,” said Jay.

While the success has been built on a solid team ethic, striker Wayne Proctor has hit the headlines with 21 league and cup goals this term - making his confident pre-season prediction look pretty sound.

Jay explained: “Wayne is a very lively player and very confident. At the start of the season, he said he would score 35 goals and he has risen to the challenge.

“But it is certainly not just about one man. When we beat Team Bury, one of their team said we had great togetherness and that hit the nail on the head.”

The battle for promotion to the Premier League is shaping up to be one of the most exciting in recent times with six teams in with a decent shout of success.

Fifth-placed Gorleston stand in the way of Stowmarket completing a perfect week when the sides meet in Norfolk tomorrow.

Jay said: “Gorleston will be another difficult match as they have always been a good side at home. They have a nice playing surface and I think it will be a good game.”

Stowmarket are set to be without Lee Drummond (knee) and Chris Smith (stomach) but could have new signing Andy Taylor back in contention after illness. The former FC Clacton full back won’t be available for every game but will still be a valuable addition to Jay’s squad.

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