Great Yarmouth 0 Stowmarket Town 4
Breeze For Stowmarket On The Coast
Stowmarket brought their army of waistcoat wearing fans to the Wellesley for the first home fixture of the season for the Bloaters, to create something of a carnival atmosphere. The high-flying visitors who have strengthened their squad this year for their assault on the League title, were greeted by a beautifully manicured Wellesley pitch and a bright sunny day. The much maligned Wellesley pitch has undergone a close-season of intensive care and the improvement is remarkable. The pitch was much to the liking of Stow’s genial manager Rick Andrews, whose side would go top of the table with victory at the Wellesley .
The Bloaters had a scare before the game as they found themselves at one o’clock, without a regular ‘keeper as injury to Barnes and availability issues regarding backups were causing frustration for the Bloaters management team. After a few frantic phone calls Barry Franklin was summoned for his first start for the Bloaters having signed earlier. Franklin is the regular ‘keeper for Easton and the club would like to thank Easton FC for their assistance in the matter. For various reasons the home side were also without Lewis, Roots, Holmes, Urry, Forbes and Perfect ,Cullumbine and Ager all made the squad but all had slight niggling injuries.
The visitors kicked off playing towards the Tennis Court end with their vociferous fans roaring them on from the Clubhouse end. The pattern of the game was established very early as in the second minute Sweeney was fouled and Melanson’s freekick was met by Mayhew who headed over. Stow were looking to get their lively wingers into the game at every opportunity and Chaplin provided another cross to the head of Mayhew, but this time Franklin got down to make the save. Stow were making all of the early running but the home defence remained firm despite a few scares. The home side suffered another blow as an injury to Sanders saw the midfielder substituted for youngster Miles Palmer
. When the home side did see a rare glimpse of the ball they were quickly closed down and were unable to retain the ball for any length of time. There were a few speedy raids but nothing to trouble the visitors goal. The deadlock was finally broken in the twenty ninth minute when an innocuous looking cross from the left had Franklin scurrying across his goal and the ball bounced kindly for skipper Brown who headed home from close-range to the delight of the travelling fans. The home side responded when Cullumbine sent over a delightful cross but the visitors defence cleared the ball away, with relative ease. Eight minutes later after another spell of sustained pressure, a powerful shot by Baker was parried out by Franklin only for Canfer to fire in the rebound to double the lead for the visitors. Palmer fired in the first shot just wide of the post before Sweeney supplied another cross for Mayhew which was again headed over by the prolific Mayhew.
The home side would have been pleased to hear the half-time whistle after a dominant first half by the visitors.
HT Great Yarmouth 0 Stowmarket Town 2
The home side were forced into another half-time change as Cullumbine was forced to retire and was replaced by Garret Ward. The sub Ward was soon into the action as Eagleton’s fine ball put the winger in a good position but his shot was high and wide. Franklin had to save a header from a corner as the visitors continued to press. Franklin again was called into action to save a good strike by Sweeney after some good build up play by Stow’. The home side began to show their frustration and bookings for Ager, Oliver and Hagan soon followed. On the hour mark defender Weavers spotted a gap in the home defence and ran through unopposed to fire the visitors into an unassailable 3-0 lead. Franklin then turned away another header from a corner to deny the visitors. The visitors were now content to keep the ball and retain their lead until the 85th minute when Mayhew robbed Ager on the byeline and crossed in for strike partner Canfer to fire home for his second goal and Stow’s fourth.
A comprehensive victory in the sun for the promotion chasing Stowmarket side, who will take some stopping judging by this performance. Joint-Manager Martin Sinclair added “ This was always going to be a tough fixture for us but losing half a dozen important squad players made it virtually impossible. We are grateful that we managed to get a ‘keeper at short notice, with thanks to Barry Franklin and Easton FC. On a positive note all of our subs came on and made a contribution, particularly Louis Skoyles
who filled in as an emergency striker for us when Oliver went off. Stowmarket are formidable opponents and I am sure their supporters had a great day in the sun and it was great to see a decent crowd at the Wellesley , even if it was packed with visiting supporters.”
FT Great Yarmouth Town 0 Stowmarket 4
Great Yarmouth : Franklin, Eagleton, Rose, Bartram, Ager, Ford, Sanders,Davis,cullumbine,Hagan Subs : Ward, Palmer, Perfect, Alp, Skoyles.
Bloaters Man-of the Match sponsored by Matchday Marketing : Charlie Bartram