‘More misery for Town as cup run ends’
It wasn’t to be for Stowmarket as they fell to lower league opposition Grundisbrugh in the quarter finals of the Suffolk Senior cup…
The Gold & Blacks simply weren’t good enough in a tie that could have turned their season around. They took on lower league opposition Grundisburgh in the Quarter Finals of the Suffolk Senior Cup but were outplayed throughout most of the game. Stow did have numerous opportunities in the first half before going one down, Captain James Graham had an early effort deflected over but the wind and uphill slope soon took its toll on Stow as Grundisburgh grew into the game.
Craig Brown was first on hand to clear Tom Bradlaugh’s effort away to safety and from the resulting corner Mical Moore could have put the home side in front but failed to keep his header down. Luke Reid, Lyndon Alexander and Franco Mallardo all had glorious chances to put their side in the lead but they didn’t take them and it was looking all the more likely that the two sides were going to go in at the break all level, that was until James Graham lost the ball in midfield and Andy Crump pounced on the loose ball playing in Lyndon Alexander with a defence splitting pace, the striker tucked away his effort into the corner and put the lower league side in front. Stow however knew that they had the upper hand in the second period as the hosts would have to battle against both the wind and the uphill slope.
It was again another case of starting quickly that caught Stow off guard for the third time in two games, this time it was Luke Reid who struck a venomous shot at goal that nearly put the hosts two up but Carl Pearson was equal to it and palmed it clear but only as far as Lyndon Alexander who was first to react to stick the loose ball into the back of the net. The Gold & Black’s looked virtually out of it but battled on regardless and just before the hour mark it was nearly a third for the home side. Tom Bradlaugh’s cross was headed over by Lyndon Alexander who could have completed his hat trick in double quick time.
Lee Drummond had a shot blocked off the line via Matty Cunningham in what was Stow’s only real threat of the second half so far and it wasn’t long before the man on form Lyndon Alexander completed his hat trick in front of a bumper 170 crowd at The Playing Field. The striker ran clean through the defence and tucked away his third to complete his hat trick in just thirty minutes. Andy Crump was then judged to have handled the ball inside the penalty area and a penalty was given to Stow handing what was sure to be the last life line however It wasn’t to be as Lee Drummond attempted to place the ball towards the right hand corner but saw his effort saved by Danny Crump who hadn’t put a foot wrong all game.
With fifteen minutes left on the clock Grundisburgh added a fourth to cut short any hope of a very slim Stow comeback, hat trick hero Lyndon Alexander’s cross was almost turned in by Tom Bradlaugh but Craig Brown was again there to stop the shot from entering the back of the net but it wasn’t to be for Town as Tommy Child’s got on the end of the clearance to tuck home the ball into a virtually open goal. Tom Bradlaugh almost got himself on the score sheet but Carl Pearson was equal to his effort trying to keep the score down as Stow were getting sloppy. Defender Nathan Birch was then sent off for the third time this season as his tackle on Lewis Driver was late and two footed however he did slip and even Grundisburgh players were backing him up, something that the referee was obviously oblivious to in the late stages of the match. The Villagers could have punished the ten men of Stow and nearly did when James Graham almost turned the ball into his own net after Andy Crump’s cross caused problems in the Stow box. Lewis driver headed over and Tom Bradlaugh missed from close range in the last few minutes of the game but it didn’t matter as they had already booked themselves a place in the semi finals for the fourth time in six seasons a record any club would be proud of.