THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Stowmarket Town 2
Rick Andrews admits he will not be forgetting his 100th win as Stowmarket Town manager in a hurry.
The Old Gold and Blacks struck twice in the final 15 minutes as they came back from a goal behind to beat Histon 2-1 at Greens Meadow on Tuesday night, in a game which saw Andrews’ side finish with nine men after red cards for Josh Mayhew and Luke Read.
Mayhew, who had equalled the record for most goals scored by a player in a Thurlow Nunn League season in Saturday’s 1-0 win at Great Yarmouth Town, was shown a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident midway through the first half.
Read’s sending off came just moments after substitute Angelo Harrop had scored from the spot to cancel out James Chivers’ first-half opener, but Jack Baker struck home the winner two minutes from time to help move Stow back up to third in the table and take Andrews’ tally of wins to 100 as manager.
“I won’t forget it, put it that way,” the Stow boss said. “It’s a landmark win for me personally, which is nice, especially because of the way we won it.
“It was great seeing the spectators again coming to the bar and saying what a great night they’ve had.
“It’s a club going places. We’ll get there, how long it takes it doesn’t matter. I think the support is growing and the fans coming down spurred the players on.
“We’ve started to get a following and an atmosphere. The players were phenomenal, the grit and desire and attitude they showed and they’re a credit to the club.”
Barring a run of defeats from Felixstowe & Walton United, in second spot, it looks unlikely that Stow will be gatecrashing the top two automatic promotion spots in their first season back in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.
Andrews’ side remain 14 points adrift of the Seasiders with two games in hand, ahead of trips to Saffron Walden Town (8th) tomorrow (3pm) and Haverhill Rovers (18th) on Tuesday (7.45pm), and then a home clash with bottom side Wivenhoe Town on Thursday (7.45pm).
But the Old Gold and Blacks have shown no sign of letting their season fizzle out over the last three games, digging in deep to record narrow wins against Walsham-le-Willows, Great Yarmouth and Histon already this month.
Mayhew’s match-winning penalty early in the second half at Great Yarmouth on Saturday saw him move on to 50 goals for the season, matching Matthew Metcalf’s 50-goal record haul for Wroxham back in 1992-93.
The Stow striker’s attempt to break the record with his 51st goal of the campaign on Tuesday ended on a sour note, after being sent off for an alleged elbow on Histon’s James Carman on 28 minutes.
At that point Andrews’ men were a goal and a man down, but Harrop’s 77th-minute penalty levelled the contest, before Baker’s low strike from outside the box on 88 minutes won it for the nine men of Stow, who had seen Read shown a straight red card for a high challenge in the 79th minute.
Stow: Brand, Brown, Clarke (Lewis 72), Murrell (Harrop 72), Carver, Weavers, Swatman (Howell 64), Baker, Read, Mayhew, Garrett. Subs not used: Saker, Kempson.
Booked: Lewis. Sent Off: Mayhew, Read.
Free Press man of the match: Jack Baker.