Home   Stowmarket   Sport   Article

Subscribe Now

Stowmarket Town progress into the Suffolk Premier Cup quarter-finals with a 3-0 win against Lakenheath





Stowmarket Town beat Lakenheath 3-0 to advance to the Endeavour Automotive Suffolk Premier Cup quarter-finals and hand Chris Casement his first win as manager tonight.

The Old Gold & Blacks struck either side of half-time through Jack Ainsley and Jack Wilkinson to take command of this second-round tie at Greens Meadow.

And Luke Hipkin's strike in second half added time put the finishing touches to a maiden win in charge for Stow's new boss Casement.

Stowmarket Town players celebrate Jack Ainsley's opener in tonight's 3-0 win against Lakenheath Picture: Mecha Morton
Stowmarket Town players celebrate Jack Ainsley's opener in tonight's 3-0 win against Lakenheath Picture: Mecha Morton

On a bumper night of action across the county which saw all eight ties in the last 16 of Suffolk's leading cup competition take place, Greens Meadow played host to a repeat of one of last season's quarter-finals.

Stow had ran out 3-0 winners when the two sides met at The Nest in March last year on their way to reaching the final, before being forced out of the competition for fielding two ineligible players in their semi-final victory against Leiston.

Tonight marked the club's first appearance in the Premier Cup this term, with newly-appointed manager Casement naming himself in a line-up which included five changes from Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Witham Town, in the Pitching In Isthmian League North Division.

Joe Jefford, Tommy Smith and Hipkin were also recalled, while there was a first start for striker Kieran Morley, as Casement juggled with a squad which was missing Shaun Bammant (work), Craig Parker (illness) and loan players Alfie Cutbush and Harvey Sayer.

Jack Ainsley opened the scoring for Stowmarket Town Picture: Mecha Morton
Jack Ainsley opened the scoring for Stowmarket Town Picture: Mecha Morton

One division separated Stow and Lakenheath, but both teams occupied identical positions in their respective leagues, with Casement's men sitting in seventh after their defeat at the weekend, while a 4-0 home reverse to Ipswich Wanderers on Saturday left the Heath in seventh spot in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division.

Ex-Walsham-le-Willows boss Trevor Collins was once again in the hot seat for Lakenheath, in the absence of Ben Cowling, who returns this weekend, and the lower-league visitors more than held their own during the opening 45 minutes.

Two long kicks forward from goalkeeper Charlie Beckwith caused the Stow defence problems, with the first of them early on being met by Tom Thurlborn, whose touch took him away from goal and an eventual effort was blocked.

Stow's number one James Bradbrook was the busier of the two goalkeepers during the first half and pushed away a shot which came as the result of another of Beckwith's distribution from his hands.

Ollie Okeh, from Stowmarket Town's under-18s, made his first-team debut off the bench Picture: Mecha Morton
Ollie Okeh, from Stowmarket Town's under-18s, made his first-team debut off the bench Picture: Mecha Morton

As the half wore on more fouls were creeping in and made for a very stop-start contest with no real flow to the game, but the hosts ended the half with their best spell which was rewarded with the first goal of the night.

In the second minute of added time, Hipkin slid the ball in to the feet of Morley, who laid it off for Ainsley to send a fine strike beyond the reach of Beckwith and put Stow 1-0 in front.

The goal gave the home side an extra spring in their step and straight after the interval they went in search of a second to give Lakenheath a mountain to climb.

On 49 minutes, an Ed Upson corner found the head of Wilkinson to make it 2-0 and deliver the visitors a real sucker punch at the start of the second half.

Lakenheath's Sam Peters and Stowmarket's Kieran Morley battle for possession Picture: Mecha Morton
Lakenheath's Sam Peters and Stowmarket's Kieran Morley battle for possession Picture: Mecha Morton

To their credit, Lakenheath did not let their heads drop and almost pulled one back midway through the half as the impressive Ross Bailey sent in a cross which Bradbrook pushed away, and the rebound was headed off the line by Jefford.

At the other end, the tireless Morley looked for a goal his efforts deserved leading the Stow line and he saw one effort go over the bar and a glancing header go just wide of the corner.

Morley, who has scored six goals in 10 appearances for the club's reserves this season, showed his eye for goal, while there was also a first-team debut for 16-year-old Ollie Okeh, who came on as a second-half substitute.

Stowmarket's Luke Hipkin looks to beat his man Picture: Mecha Morton
Stowmarket's Luke Hipkin looks to beat his man Picture: Mecha Morton

The Old Gold & Blacks did notch a third to cap off a good night's work, striking in added time again, as Hipkin beat the offside trap and sent his shot past Beckwith in the 92nd minute.

Both sides now turn their attention back to their league campaigns this weekend, with Stow at home to Basildon United and Lakenheath away at Mulbarton Wanderers (both Saturday, 3pm).

Stowmarket Town: Bradbrook, Girling (Bullard 46'), Wilkinson, Casement, Jefford (Okeh 69'), Curry, Upson, Ainsley, Hipkin, K Morley, Smith (Munday 60'). Sub not used: Knight. Booked: Upson, Curry, Morley.

Lakenheath: Beckwith, Wells (Brand 82'), Peters, Yallop, Grogan, Taylor, Bailey, Hammond (Z Morley 82'), Thurlborn, Young, Manels. Subs not used: Miller, Avis. Booked: Yallop, Grogan.

Attendance: 183. Referee: Alex Shipp.

Suffolk News man of the match: He was unfortunate not to come away with a goal from his first start, but Kieran Morley gets the nod for an energetic display up front for Stow. Won his fair share of headers and also played a part in Jack Ainsley's opener on the stroke of half-time.