THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE
Stowmarket Town 7
Fakenham Town 1
Manager Rick Andrews insists Stowmarket Town must maintain their current winning run if they are to challenge for a top-two finish this season.
Andrews’ side thrashed lowly Fakenham Town 7-1 at Greens Meadow on Saturday to stretch their sequence of victories to six games.
The result also saw Stow move back up to second place in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division table, after Coggeshall Town slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Brantham Athletic on the same day.
Ahead of visiting bottom side Wivenhoe Town tomorrow (3pm), Andrews is wary of declaring his side are back in the promotion race just yet, but admits if they can keep their winning run alive heading into March then he may have to reconsider his stance.
“We’ll keep enjoying our football and if that’s not enough (to get promoted) this season, then so be it,” the Stow boss said.
“When we came back into the Premier Division this season we wanted to compete, and we’ve done that already.
“But do I think Felixstowe will win all the rest of their games? Or Coggeshall or Brantham? No, I don’t.
“It’s up to us to keep winning and maintain the pressure. At this moment in time, there’s no pressure on us.
“Coggeshall have three games in hand on us, which if they win them all would put us eight points behind them.
“So, all we can do is keep playing our way and try to close the gap. If we can get through the rest of this month and get to the end of February, winning all the way, then it could get interesting.”
Stow took just 80 seconds to open their account on home turf in 2018, as the returning David Kempson drilled the ball home inside a crowded Fakenham box.
Josh Mayhew, the Premier Division’s leading goalscorer, doubled his side’s lead from close range on 15 minutes, before excellent strikes from Amar Lewis and Dave Cowley had the hosts comfortably 4-0 in front with half time looming.
Josh Youngs pulled one back for the Norfolk visitors in the 38th minute, but Stow had the final say in the first half when Luke Read dived in from close range to finish off Mayhew’s cross to make it 5-1.
After the break, Mayhew edged ever closer to reaching the 40-goal milestone for the season, firing home from the penalty spot after substitute George Bugg had been brought down in the box.
With 18 minutes still left on the clock, there was still plenty of time for Mayhew to complete his hat trick and score goal number 40, but moments after the penalty the striker was brought off as a precaution, with a stiff back, though Andrews expects him to be fit for this weekend.
Captain Ollie Brown rounded off the scoring in added time to make it 7-1 as Stow’s winning run extended to six, and for the first time in seven weeks Andrews’ side ended the weekend back in the top two.