Three second-half goals see Stowmarket to victory over 10-man Hadleigh
- Credit: Archant
Stowmarket Town 3 Hadleigh United 0
Stowmarket Town stretched their lead at the top of the Thurlow Nunn Premier after ending the stubborn resistance of Hadleigh United at Greens Meadow tonight.
After a goalless first half, Rick Andrews' men stepped up a gear in the second period and goals from skipper Ollie Brown, Jack Ainsley (penalty) and Christy Finch secured a sixth successive league win.
Hadleigh ended the match with 10 men, following Matt Paine's 84th minute red card, and they had a spell with just nine men due to an earlier sin-bin.
It was a very tight first half, with Hadleigh more than holding their own and often bossing possession, with right-back Kyle Ferguson a constant danger with his strong running down the flank.
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Stow did have an early chance, Christy Finch scuffing a shot straight at keeper Nick Punter, and Finch also peppered the target with a glancing header that looped over the bar on 17 minutes.
At the other end, Hadleigh striker Joel Glover, drilled in a cross-cum-shot which was hacked away, from inside the six-yard box, and the visitors spurned the best chance of the first half shortly afterwards, in the 23rd minute.
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Kieran Turner latched onto Glover's through ball and rounded keeper James Bradbook, only to slice his shot wide of the near post when slightly off balance, with an empty goal beckoning.
Stow briefly threatened just after the half-hour mark. Robbie Sweeney teed up Finch, but his fierce shot was blocked by keeper Punter, so leaving the score-line blank at half-time.
It was a frustrating first quarter-of-an-hour of the second half, for the hosts, until they finally breached Hadleigh's stubborn defences on 64 minutes.
Brown lifted the ball over keeper Punter from the right edge of the six-yard box to nudge Stow into a 1-0 lead.
The Brettsiders never really looked like finding a way back into the game, so it was only a case of would Stow add to their lead.
Substitutes George Quantrell and George Clarke combined, with the latter unable to poke home from close range in the 75th minute, while Sweeney pulled a shot wide from a good position.
However, the home side did double their lead in the 81st minute, Ainsley dispatching a penalty after Finch's cross had struck a hand in the box.
Turner was sent to the sin-bin before the penalty was taken, and Hadleigh were then reduced to nine men when Paine was sent off following a melee near the touch-line.
Finch added a third deep into injury-time to seal a good night for Stow.
STOWMARKET: Bradbrook, Brown, A Clarke, Jefford, Bullard, Ainsley, Read (sub Quantrell, 61), Sweeney, Mayhew (sub G Clarke, 41), Cowley (sub Murrell, 84), Finch. Unused sub:Nunn.
HADLEIGH: Punter, Ferguson, Ross, Paine, Rose, De'Ath, Smy, Barwick, Glover, Turner, Hayes (sub Andrews, 67). Subs: Elliot, Varden-Barber, Howlett, Lambert.
Meanwhile, WOODBRIDGE TOWN'S 100 per cent record in the Thurlow Nunn was ended dramatically at KIRKLEY & PAKEFIELD tonight, the hosts easing to a 5-2 victory.
The Royals had been blown away at Stowmarket Town on Saturday, suffering a 7-0 defeat, but they put that disappointment behind them with a dominant first half which saw them 4-0 up at the interval.
An on-fire Goldspink broke the deadlock inside two minutes, after good work by Haylock, and Herbert added a second on 20 minutes before Goldpsink netted his second and the Royals' third in the 31st minute. Goldspink completed his hat-trick before half-time.
The Woodpeckers did stage a rally, Mark Ray heading home in the 57th minute and Jack Rudge reducing the deficit to 4-2 on 72 minutes.
However, Goldspink bagged his fourth goal of the night via a 79th minute penalty. The hosts ended the match with 10 men following Haverson's 84th minute dismissal.
Also in the Thurlow Nunn Premier, WHITTON UNITED came from behind to secure a 2-1 home win over LONG MELFORD.
Hassan Ally put the Villagers 1-0 up in the 20th minute, only for Jacob Lay to equalise for Whitton three minutes before half-time.
Harry Wales then bagged what proved to be the winner on 49 minutes. Whitton held on despite being reduced to 10 men by Kevin Inglis' 55th minute red card.
Elsewhere, in-form BURY TOWN followed up their fine 2-0 win at Canvey Island in the league last weekend, with a 5-1 home victory over Suffolk rivals FELIXSTOWE & WALTON UNITED in the Velocity Trophy.
An early goal from Jarid Robson on nine minutes, followed by a mistake from Felixstowe keeper Jack Spurling allowing Robson to net his second two minutes later, meant The Seasiders were soon under pressure.
A third by Ollie Hughes on 28 minutes saw the home side go into the break with a comfortable 3-0 lead. A Tom Debenham penalty just after the break for the visitors wasn't enough for Felixstowe as Bury went on to add two more goals from Emmanuel Machaya and Ryan Jolland.