THURLOW NUNN LEAGUE CHALLENGE CUP
Stowmarket Town 0
Diss Town 3
Rick Andrews admits the self belief needs to return to his Stowmarket Town side after they lost their unbeaten league record at the weekend.
The Old Gold and Blacks tasted defeat in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division for the first time this season after losing 2-1 at Woodbridge Town last Saturday.
And after seeing his side beaten 3-0 by local rivals Diss Town in the Thurlow Nunn League Challenge Cup on Tuesday night, Andrews said his players need to show some character to bounce back this weekend.
Stow (second) host seventh place Halstead Town at Greens Meadow tomorrow (3pm), with the Humbugs now the only unbeaten side left in the First Division.
“We had a cracking game at their place,” Andrews said.“It was 0-0 but as far as 0-0 goes it was one of the best games I’ve been involved in.
“They’re a strong side. They’re unbeaten for a reason, so we expect nothing but a difficult game.
“The players will be up for it. We’ve got players to come back in as well who weren’t available tonight.
“The self belief needs to come back a bit I think. I don’t know why but they’re feeling a little bit of pressure.
“They’ve just got to enjoy their football, when they’re enjoying their football we score goals.
“Every team has a blip. It’s about characters now.”
Tuesday night’s derby at Greens Meadow was the second time Stow have hosted Diss this season, with Andrews’ men running out 3-0 winners in the league fixture back on August 27.
Lewis Higgins was twice called into action for the hosts in the early stages to save two efforts from Diss striker Shaun Hunsdon.
The second, in particular, was a fine save from the Stow goalkeeper after Jason Armes’ deflected shot had fell kindly to Hunsdon in an inviting position.
Stowmarket then began to settle and twice went close to an opener through chances from captain Danny Cunningham and Lamell Howell.
But it was the Tangerines who broke the deadlock on 34 minutes when Armes beat the offside trap and fired past Higgins, despite the home custodian getting a touch to the ball.
Just before the break, a Cunningham free-kick caused havoc in the Diss box and came back off the frame of the goal.
Diss doubled their advantage on 56 minutes when Manning dispossessed Stowmarket’s Anton Clarke and raced into the box before driving a shot into the corner.
Three minutes later and the second round tie was effectively over as Taylor Hastings was shown a straight red card for a foul in his own penalty area, and Hunsdon converted the spot kick to make it 3-0 to the visitors.
Stowmarket Town: Higgins, L Clarke (A Howell 64), L Howell (Licence 62), Hastings, Carver, Marjoram, A Clarke, Cunningham (c), Bugg, Holder, Baker. Booked: A Clarke, L Howell. Sent off: Hastings. Attendance: 72.