Walthamstow made up ground on the top two with a convincing 2-0 victory over 5th-placed Takeley at Wadham Lodge.
With Hullbridge Sports and Stansted sharing the points in a 0-0 draw, Stow are now just four points off the top of the table, with three games left to play.
The home side began the game on the front foot, and set the pace, Dwade James going close with a header from just outside the six yard box.
The deadlock was broken on 17 minutes. Kyan Gulliver put Samrai Gebrai through in space on the left wing, and once Gebrai had completed a neat one-two with Kieran Bishop, he delivered a perfect cross onto the head of James, whose glancing touch left the Ronnie Yates with no chance.
What a goal!!! Stow ahead. pic.twitter.com/4doI39NwMX
— Waltham Rabble (@WalthamRabble) March 30, 2019
And eight minutes later Stow doubled their lead. Yates’ pass out of goal to former Stag Nicky Barrett seemed a reasonable option, until Barrett took too long on the ball, allowing Bishop to block the clearance, take it round Yates and poke it into an empty net.
The game was becoming increasingly niggly in midfield, and Stow were getting frustrated with the number of opposition tackles being put in – on Gebrai in particular.
It came as a surprise then when a penalty was given in Stow’s favour; Jack Folan cut down when moving away from goal on the edge of the Takeley penalty area. Dwade James, normally so clinical from the spot saw his tame effort easily saved by Yates.
Stow’s form in recent weeks has been built on the ability to control matches, and this game was no different. Chances were extremely limited for both sides in the second half, though Bishop should have scored when through one-on-one.
Takeley did force one save from James Bransgrove, a shot from the edge of the area which the keeper turned comfortably around the post.
Despite the number of games running out, Stow are still looking towards the top of the table, and are still in with a shout after an incredible run, including keeping nine clean sheets in the last 10 games.
Image: Bill Badger