‘Stow Rooted To Bottom After Eighth Straight Loss’
It was another unsuccessful away trip for the Gold & Blacks after losing to a Swaffham side that was lead by hat trick hero Alex Vincent who was on song for his side after working away.
Stow started the brighter of the two sides with both Kieren Joseph and Chris Gray shooting wide in the early exchanges; it wasn’t to count for anything though as Lee Drummond’s header was taken down by Alex Vincent who ran free through the Stow defence and neatly placed the ball into the corner beyond Carl Pearson in the Stow goal. Swaffham had a firm foothold in the game as Stow couldn’t keep possession of the football and it soon paid off, Alex Vincent had a shot blocked from Carl Pearson but there was nothing he could do with the strikers next attempt at goal as a loose ball found its way to the returning forward who tucked the ball away with relative ease to give his side a two goal advantage inside half an hour.
Chris Gray who had served his three match suspension as returned for the Gold & Blacks soon showed why he deserved to come straight back into the side, first his nifty control and turn saw him create space for a shot that he couldn’t take before cutting Swaffham’s defence in half only to see Dean Mayes courageously dive down to collect the loose ball that winger Lee Drummond was about to take.
Town’s keeper Carl Pearson deserved a lot of thanks at the break as he kept his side in with a shout after three fantastic saves just before the referee’s whistle to signal half time. First he tipped over striker Joe Jackson’s attempt at goal before refusing to allow Alex Vincent his half time hat trick that he so eagerly craved by pulling off a fine save after the on form forward struck a ferocious shot at him through a crowd of players. He also stopped Will O’Brien from extending his sides lead just prior to the interval after pushing the midfielder’s effort over showing what brilliant athleticism he has in his game.
Stow came out of the break and had an early opportunity through Chris Gray however he could only blast Captain James Graham’s flick over the bar and from that Swaffham pushed on and got their rewards after Alex Vincent’s cross was headed in by Town’s debutant Dean Cooper. Despite the relatively early set back in the second period Stow battled on and could have grabbed one back through Dean Pleasance who’s fierce drive was turned round the post by Dean Mayes who hadn’t had an awful lot to do in afternoon Swaffham had dominated up until now that was. Chris Gray got on the end of Lee Drummond’s pass beating the defence with his strength and putting the ball beyond Dean Mayes in the Swaffham goal, cue the Stowmarket come back! Lee Drummond’s long throw wasn’t dealt with by the Swaffham defence who looked shaky and with that Kieren Joseph leapt onto the loose ball and blazed a shot diagonally passed Dean Mayes who couldn’t keep the strikers spectacular effort out.
Stow could have completed an amazing comeback after James Graham’s free kick was flicked on by Kieren Joseph to fellow forward Chris Gray who from just a few yards out smashed his shot against the bar and away to safety. James Graham could then have also completed the comeback for the Gold & Blacks but his header flashed over and it was all too late for Stow as Swaffham got another that killed off the game and it was that man again Alex Vincent who completed his hat trick. He reacted first to Dwayne Hockton’s free kick stabbing the ball beyond Carl Pearson.
Alex Vincent was still threatening but new signing Craig Webb-Heath was on hand to clear the striker’s effort off the line. Goalkeeper Carl Pearson was still alert to stop Alex Vincent one more after saving with his chest late on, the keeper also made another important save to keep the score line down after Joe Jackson found room for a shot. Swaffham did however have time for one more, their top scorer Joe Jackson got his reward after playing superbly throughout and smashed home Will O’Brien’s pass to make it eight losses in a row for Stow. It also kept their horrid away form growing, nine matches and nine losses on the road shipping twenty six goals in that time.