Monday, October 25, 2010

Football: Stow march on

March Town United 1 Stowmarket Town 3

John Griffin reports from the GER Sports Ground
Fifth-placed Stowmarket ended the five-game winning streak of March Town on a wet skiddy Cambridgeshire surface which they found to their liking.
With four changes to the 11 that started against Whitton last Saturday, Stow moved the ball well and found space down the flanks which they exploited to great effect when on 14 minutes Birch narrowly missed the goal with a high reaching header.
Only two minutes later, centre back Birch was now the provider with a strong run into space and a deep cross to Graham who could not quite steer his effort towards the sticks.
March weathered the early storm and through the skilful Escorcio, they started to build some pressing momentum of their own.
His neat one-two with Pepper was snuffed out with a brave sliding six-yard block from McConnell.
If only the Stowmarket defensive wall was as fearless 33 minutes in, when it parted like a bad haircut to see a 22-yard Escorico free-kick fly into the net.
To the Suffolk side's credit they responded well and with Tredray and Smith getting to grips with the March wingers, they flourished towards the end of the half which culminated in the equaliser five minutes before the break.
Graham played a neat through ball to Proctor, who held it up well, turned and found Drummond free down the left. He in turn skipped one tackle, drove inside and unleashed a right foot shot that Brookes could only get his fingers to as it nestled into the net.
With both teams hitting the woodwork before the whistle, they were content to take this encounter into the second 45 all square.
The Hares came out the traps for the second half with real vigour and started to bring their pacey winger Brand more into the game. His free-kick on 61 was saved well by Bugg, who looked very assured despite the wet conditions.
His distribution was also sound and just a minute later he released Myhill down the right whose penetrating cross was narrowly missed by the diving head of Proctor. This move settled Stow and they began to control the game.
Chances for their experienced Wake and Drummond passed by without the score being affected and as March threw more players forward the spaces were there for them to exploit and exploit they did with the lead on 75.
A free-kick by Proctor found the head of Birch who neatly steered the ball into the far corner.
Proctor himself rounded the keeper on 87, only to see his shot cleared off the line, but as the final whistle approached his industrious work paid off when Day was adjudged to have handled the ball trying to defend against him; he dispatched the penalty himself with aplomb.
Stow move up to fifth and with second-placed neighbours Diss on Saturday the three points make that encounter all the more intriguing.

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