Ryan Maxwell’s men gave the Walthamstow supporters a fitting send-off in their last home game of the season.
Hullbridge Sports’ win against West Essex means a league title is now out of reach, but over the course of a year, Stow have gone from third from bottom to third from top, and the team signed off at home by putting on a show against a St Margaretsbury side who suffered the loss of their manager just a few weeks ago.
It was one-way traffic from the off, and Stow had a great chance to take the lead with just six minutes played, when a penalty was given – perhaps somewhat harshly – for handball in the St Margs’ penalty area. James, looking to atone for his miss a week earlier, aimed right for the corner but saw his kick hit the foot of the post and bounce clear.
Undeterred, Stow continued to press and were rewarded on the stroke of half time. Reece Conway was the provider, holding off two defenders and swinging in a perfect left-footed cross where James atoned for his previous error, sending a looping header over the keeper.
It took Stow a while to get going in the second half, but they still dominated. Vinny Murphy hit the crossbar with a cross from deep, and a corner later flashed by everyone in the six yard box, only needed the slightest touch to go in.
In the end, it was a simple goal that doubled Stow’s advantage. Picking up the ball in midfield, Samrai Gebrai just ran at the visiting defence. They held off long enough for him to pick out Bishop, who made no mistake with a first time finish.
The goal of the game, and possibly season came later. Nicky Symons stole the ball off a St Margs midfielder on the edge of the box and dinked an exquisite lob over the keeper and in off the underside of the bar.
The icing on the cake came in injury time as Tage Kennedy cut in from the left wing and poked the ball between keeper and defender on the line.
The three points for Stow takes their points total to 77, their highest since 1987. The season will finish in three weeks time, away to Southend Manor.