Bullard to miss out on Stow’s home clash with Norwich United

Tom Bullard, who is suspended for this weekend's home match against Norwich United. Picture: HOGAN C

Tom Bullard, who is suspended for this weekend's home match against Norwich United. Picture: HOGAN COBBOLD - Credit: Archant

Stowmarket Town will have to reshuffle their defence this weekend in the absence of the suspended Tom Bullard, writes ALEX MOSS.

The Stow central defender, who joined from Leiston in the summer, has been a near-ever present in Rick Andrews' side so far this season, missing just one of Stow's 26 games in all competitions in 2019-20.

Bullard was one of five Stow players to receive a yellow card in last Saturday's 3-0 win at Stanway Rovers, his fifth caution in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, which rules him out of tomorrow's home clash with Norwich United.

The former Bury Town defender was part of an impressive 18th clean sheet of the campaign on Wednesday night, as the Old Gold and Blacks knocked out holders Long Melford 2-0 to advance to the League Challenge Cup quarter-finals.

Leon Ottley-Gooch, who made his return after a 10-month injury lay-off in last month's last-gasp win at Colney Heath in the FA Vase, could start in Bullard's absence, and Stow boss Andrews is confident of the strength in depth in his table-topping squad.

"I keep banging on about it being a squad game, but it really is," Andrews said.

"If someone is missing, whether that be through injury or suspension, or whatever, someone steps in.

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"Bully picked up a booking at Stanway so he'll miss our game against Norwich United, but that's a chance for someone else to come in.

"The whole squad have worked very hard. They've put the effort in week in week out, and we're seeing the rewards from that with the results we're getting.

"It doesn't matter what competition we're playing in, they all have the same goal each time - to win."

Jack Ainsley and Josh Mayhew both struck in the first half on Wednesday to seal a 2-0 win against Long Melford, in the last remaining third-round tie in the League Challenge Cup.

Stow's reward is a trip to Premier Division rivals Swaffham Town in the quarter-finals on February 4, while the Old Gold and Blacks will meet Brantham Athletic at home in the Suffolk Premier Cup last eight on March 10.

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