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Stowmarket Town manager Paul Musgrove reflects on back-to-back victories in league and cup



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Manager Paul Musgrove is pleased with how his Stowmarket Town side successfully negotiated their way through two testing encounters in recent days.

On Saturday the Old Gold & Blacks picked up all three points from their Pitching In Isthmian League North Division trip to Tilbury, which was followed on Tuesday by progression in the Turners Hyundai Suffolk Premier Cup at the expense of higher-league Lowestoft Town.

On the 4-1 victory at Tilbury, which came about thanks to goals from Josh Mayhew (2), George Bugg and Willie Clemons, Musgrove said: “We always knew it was going to be a tough place to go but we played really well.

Stowmarket, pictured celebrating a goal at Bury Town on December 27, picked up two wins during the last week. Picture: Mecha Morton
Stowmarket, pictured celebrating a goal at Bury Town on December 27, picked up two wins during the last week. Picture: Mecha Morton

“It was a gluepot pitch but we always felt in control and it was pleasing to see how ruthless we were.”

Clemons was again on target against Step 3 outfit Lowestoft, with Luke Brown’s second-half goal wrapping up a 2-0 win.

Musgrove added: “We saw it as another benchmark game to see where we are at.

Willie Clemons scored in both of Stowmarket's victories. Picture: Mecha Morton
Willie Clemons scored in both of Stowmarket's victories. Picture: Mecha Morton

“I said to the lads before the game that it was not a chance to take our foot off the gas or to get into bad habits because it’s a competition I want to do well in.

“Lowestoft had pretty much there strongest side out so to win the game and keep a clean sheet is a big positive.”

The triumph at Lowestoft’s expense has set up a second-round tie against Ipswich Town’s Under-18 side, who are due to visit Greens Meadow on Tuesday, February 15.

And Musgrove is looking forward to the prospect of his players pitting themselves against a professional outfit.

“To have Ipswich coming down to us is tremendous,” he said. “I’m sure we’ll really embrace it as a club.

“We’ve got a good relationship with Ipswich, they’ve helped us out with a few things so it will be nice to get the chance to say thank you in person.

“It’s a professional football team and a big challenge for our players. It’s another chance to show where we are at.”

Of more immediate concern to Musgrove and his players is tomorrow’s home league encounter against Heybridge Swifts (3pm).

Stowmarket ran out 2-1 winners when the sides met in Essex during September’s reverse fixture – a time when Swifts were struggling for form.

However, Musgrove is expecting a very different proposition this time around.

“When we went there they were in a little bit of turmoil and in between managers,” he said.

“It was early days on their new pitch as well, but we always knew they were in a false position.

“They’ve moved up recently (to 9th) and it’s going to be another massive test.”

Despite winning at Tilbury, Stowmarket have slipped a position to third following Canvey Island’s 3-0 win at AFC Sudbury on Tuesday evening.

Musgrove’s men are two points adrift of the leaders, while second-placed Aveley have the same number of points, but do have a game in hand.

And the Stowmarket boss is expecting the lead to change hands on many more occasions before the season concludes.

“It will happen plenty. You see every weekend in the results that from top to bottom anyone can beat anyone on their day,” he said.

“There is always a shock and surprise result because teams will have dips.

“I’m sure we will as well, but it’s all about making sure that if you fall off the horse, you get back on it as quickly as you can.”

Meanwhile, Musgrove has confirmed long-term injury absentee Dom Docherty has departed the club.

He said: “Dom has had six months out and it’s been hard for him. He wants to play regular football and I understand that. We wish him all the best.”