There will be celebrations at Stowmarket Town today, whatever the score

Rick Andrews

Rick Andrews - Credit: Archant

Manager Rick Andrews says pride has been restored at Stowmarket Town, with The Old Gold and Blacks’ 90 minutes away from being crowned league champions.

With promotion to the Thurlow Nunn Premier Division assured, Stowmarket lead the First Division table and only need to pick up a point from their home game against AFC Sudbury Reserves at the weekend to clinch the title.

A defeat, and third-placed Coggeshall, who have also been promoted, could overtake them courtesy of a superior goal difference.

However, Andrews says the main objective has been achieved.

“We are on the crest of a wave at the moment and we want to ride it as much as possible,” said Andrews.

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“We have won our first promotion in our 134-year history and are back in the Premier Division after 12 years, so there is a buzz around the club.”

He added: “When we won promotion at home to Debenham I sat in the clubhouse after the game and watched all the people in there.

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“We have put a smile back on peoples’ faces and pride has been restored.”

Despite having accomplished the mission they set out to achieve at the start of the season, there may just be a sense of disappointment at the club if they don’t go up as champions.

“When you are this close you want to win it and it is in our hands,” Andrews added.

“I am not feeling any pressure, I am looking forward to the game. It will be a celebration, as promotions don’t come around very often.

“But I think there is personal pride at stake for the players, who feel they should have probably wrapped up the title at March last Saturday.

“But when one of their players scores a 25-yard screamer in the last minute, with their first shot on target, there is nothing you can do about it.”

That draw was one of 10 Stow have recorded this season, Andrews’ men losing only twice.

“Two losses, 23 clean sheets, in excess of 100 goals scored, conceded 22,” Andrews said.

“I spoke to Martin Westcott at Haverhill recently and congratulated him on his side taking 54 points from their last 60 available.

“I said that was a stat to be proud of and he replied by saying, ‘It’s still not good enough to overtake you.’”

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