Stowmarket Town fire in three to set up exciting FA Cup away trip to Clapton
Stowmarket Town will face Clapton away on Aveley’s 3G pitch in the Extra Preliminary Round of the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.
The Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division side are keen to ‘stay in the competition as long as possible’, but know it will be a difficult encounter against a fellow Step 5 team in the Essex Senior League Clapton.
Manager Rick Andrews is encouraged by the team’s impressive 3-0 victory at home to Brantham Athletic in the league on Tuesday night, to follow up on a 2-2 draw away to FC Clacton in their opening league match on Saturday.
He said: “We go into Saturday’s game in good form and, with the match being played at Aveley, it will suit us with their 3G.
“Hopefully we can get into the next round. We don’t know our opposition at all, but it’s the FA Cup, it’s always a great occasion and it’s a chance to win a bit of money for the club.
“We don’t look too far ahead, but if we can do that, then we know there’s another difficult tie in the next round in Cheshunt (Isthmian League Premier Division).
“And that will be very difficult, but we want to stay in the competition as long as we can and enjoy the ride.”
Stowmarket failed to fire in their first fixture of the season at Clacton. They had to twice come from behind, with Christy Finch pulling back a goal in the 60th minute before a penalty in the 81st minute, converted by Josh Mayhew, spared the blushes of a loss for the visitors.
Andrews said: “It was disappointing, not just the result but the way we played. Everyone was built up, we’d had a good pre-season and played really good football, so it took us back a little bit.
“But, if it’s going to happen, the first game of the season is the one to do it on. Last season we would have lost that game though, and this year we took something from it, so really pleased we did that.
“I’m very proud with the way we responded at our first home game in front of a crowd of nearly 300. We put on a good performance, and a dominating one across the 90 minutes.”
Stow opened up the scoring in the eighth minute at Greens Meadow in front of a crowd of 297, with Jack Ainsley netting from a goalmouth scramble for his first goal for the club, as they frustrated an attacking Brantham side.
Dave Cowley missed a great chance to double the lead on 30 minutes, to spark a Brantham fight back. Shot stopper James Bradbrook was called into action several times before Cowley more than made up for his first half miss with a goal directly from a corner,54 minutes in.
Seb Dunbar, making his league debut after moving from Leiston last week, then produced the final touch of magic as he a rocket of a shot in from close range in the 80th minute to seal the 3-0 result.
“We scored the goals at the right time, getting one early to settle the nerves,” Andrews added. “Brantham were a little dangerous on the breaks, but once we got one straight from that corner and then another, we became pretty rampant. I thought we were very solid at the back which was pleasing to see.
“We want to keep picking up results and it’s amazing how you start getting a few spins and then all of a sudden you become a hard animal to stop.
“The supporters were incredible and that will do the boys good.”