Stow 4-2 Little Oakley

Stow bounced back in the Essex Senior League and started the month with a hard-fought three points against a dangerous Little Oakley side. New signings Charlie Cole and Callum Ibe were in the squad, but John Mackie and Terry Spillane shuffled their pack as the blues were without Jason Beck, Tommy Spillane, Eman Okunja and Jason Hallett.

In driving rain, it was the visitors who started more brightly, and took a deserved lead with ten minutes played. A cross-field pass found Luke Mayhew who cut in and fired a peach of a shot in off the far post.

The goal gave Stow the shot they needed, and were almost level instantly when Harrison Carnegie’s goal-bound effort was blocked on the line. But from the resulting corner, Stow increased the pressure and Carnegie eventually sent a looping cross to the back post where Moses Carvalho nodded home.

Oakley were looking dangerous on the break, but it was Stow who had the lion’s share of chances, and Yemi Adelani was unlucky not to score when his first effort was well saved, and was then denied by the post with a follow-up on 25 minutes.

With the rain continuing to pour, it was always going to be a case of ‘who wanted it more’. It looked like Stow had taken the lead when Adelani curled home, but he was called offside, and at the other end, Amarildo Cekrezi had to be alert to smother a one-on-one effort well.

The turning point came on 51 minutes when Courtney Homans’ pin-point first time cross was nodded down and over the despairing Oakley keeper’s fingertips by Adalberto Pinto.

And mid-way through the half it looked like it was ‘job done’ for Stow when Charlie Cole ran onto a ball over the top and poked home with his first touch in a Stow shirt.

But there was almost a twist in the game when Ed Nobbs volleyed in well to reduce the arrears to one goal.

Stow didn’t panic though, and continued to create chances. The highlight of the afternoon came with a couple of minutes to play when Connor Scully crossed for the returning Callum Ibe to head home, giving Stow a deserved 4-2 win.

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