EXTRA PRELIMINARY ROUND
Stowmarket Town 1
Haverhill Rovers 4
by Derek Bish at Greens Meadow
STOWMARKET Town general manager John Griffin conceded his side were beaten by a better team after crashing out of the FA Cup to Haverhill Rovers.
The home side were in a good position at half-time after Wayne Proctor gave them the lead midway through the opening period.
However, Haverhill hit back after the break, levelling through Dan Cornwell before two goals in a minute and a late volley from Greg Strong eased the visitors into the preliminary round.
“We had a few cup games against big sides last year when we were leading at half-time and fell away second half,” said Griffin. “We said try and keep it tight for the first five minutes, but they scored straight away and it made it tough for us.
“You find that when you are playing sides from the division above, but we will be okay for our league.”
With Stow’s FA Cup cheerleaders braving the rain on the touchline, Proctor slid in to convert Ross Myhill’s low cross in the 21st minute and give the home side a deserved lead.
Kevin Bugg superbly denied Harry Halls, but it was visiting custodian Jamie Greygoose who was the busier, denying both Proctor and Myhill with smart saves.
However, whatever was said in the Haverhill dressing room at half-time appeared to work and Rovers equalised when Cornwell fired home from close range after Stow failed to deal with Jamie Challis’ right-wing corner.
Two goals within a disastrous 60 seconds settled the tie as Lodge stabbed home Jack Wilkinson’s low cross and then took advantage of Chris Smith’s weak backpass to tuck the ball past Bugg.
Cornwell struck the bar for Haverhill, and the match was settled through Strong’s superb volley.
Stow will be looking to score their first points of the season when they visit Godmanchester Rovers tomorrow and host Whitton United on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Griffin said: “This is when our season starts. We were disrupted by Saffron Walden’s withdrawal and were not really on the ball against Melford, so hopefully it is full steam ahead from here.”
n Stow added to their strikeforce with the signature of Craig Payne from Woodbridge Town this week.