Professional display sees Stowmarket Town advance in the FA Vase
Manager Paul Musgrove hailed a ‘solid’ performance after seeing his Stowmarket Town side overcome a plucky Norwich CBS side to book their place in the last 32 of the Buildbase FA Vase.
An exquisite curling finish from Reggie Lambe in the 10th minute was eventually added to by Josh Mayhew’s header four minutes from time for a 2-0 second-round victory at Greens Meadow on Saturday.
The lower-league visitors did not manage to force a meaningful save out of goalkeeper James Bradbrook in a pleasing display from back to front.
“I thought we were solid with the quality that we needed,” said Musgrove after his second game since succeeding Rick Andrews.
“As I said to the lads, Norwich CBS are a well organised team who work hard with elements of quality and they showed that today.
“We have been patient and worked the ball well and we could have gone in 3-0 up at half-time.”
Stowmarket had a clear sight of goal within two minutes but Josh Mayhew fired his shot straight at visiting ‘keeper Nathan Pauling.
Up the other end, Valter Rocha could not direct a far-post header on target.
It was a real moment of quality which saw the deadlock broken in the 10th minute though. Bermuda international Lambe made it two goals in two games since joining, turning away from his marker just inside the area before curling into the top far-hand corner.
Lambe soon brought a save out of Pauling while Joe Easton was on hand to clear efforts from Jack Ainsley and Mayhew off the line.
Musgrove’s side continued to boss the play in the second half with Lambe forcing another save out of Pauling on the hour mark.
A big appeal for a penalty on Mayhew, who appeared to be bundled over trying to get to Craig Parker’s spilled shot, was waved away.
But Stow’s persistence eventually paid off four minutes from time with Mayhew’s header from substitute Dom Docherty’s fine right-wing cross going in off the underside of the crossbar.
It rounded off a professional if not spectacular display.
“Sometimes you are going to get games where it is not as free-flowing but the discipline and concentration was outstanding,” said Musgrove.
Stow (11th) are set to return to Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division action for the first time since October 22 when they travel to fourth-placed Walsham-le-Willows on Monday (3pm).
Meanwhile, Monday’s draw saw Stowmarket drawn at home against Cobham FC in the fourth round proper, scheduled for January 9.