Mayhew strikes twice as Stowmarket battle back to win

Josh Mayhew scored twicefor Stowmarket against Walsham-le-Willows: Picture David Walker

Josh Mayhew scored twicefor Stowmarket against Walsham-le-Willows: Picture David Walker - Credit: Archant

Josh Mayhew struck twice to help Stowmarket Town come from behind to beat Walsham-le-Willows 3-2 and move to within a goal of the Thurlow Nunn League goalscoring record.

Mayhew had earlier got Stow back on level terms with his 48th goal of the season just before the hour mark, after Ryan Gibbs had regained Walsham’s lead early in the second half.

It was the second time the Willows had gone in front, after Niall McPhillips had broken the deadlock at Summer Road in the opening 10 minutes, before Jack Baker headed the visitors level late in the first half.

And an entertaining derby ended with Mayhew netted the winning goal in the 84th minute to take his tally for the season up to 49 goals, just one short of Matthew Metcalf’s 50-goal record for most goals scored by a player in a single Thurlow Nunn League top flight campaign.

The hosts went in front after 10 minutes when Ryan Clarke’s cross found McPhillips in the box, and his shot crashed off the crossbar and past Stow goalkeeper Craig Brand to give Walsham the perfect start.

The Old Gold and Blacks ensured they were back on level terms going into the break, though, after Baker met Payton Swatman’s 39th-minute corner with an emphatic header for his first goal of the season.

Walsham regained their advantage three minutes into the second half, as Gibbs pounced on a mistake at the back to finish past Brand to make it 2-1.

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Stow bounced back and equalised on 57 minutes in somewhat fortuitous circumstances, as substitute David Kempson’s cross crashed back off the post and bounced off Mayhew and into the net.

Time was running out for either side to grab a late winner, but with six minutes of normal time to go it was Stow who dealt the killer blow as Mayhew kept his composure in front of goal to slot home.

The hard-working Willows pushed for an equaliser right until the final whistle, with Stow indebted to goalkeeper Brand for a fine save in the closing minutes to preserve his side’s slender lead.

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