Sawbridgeworth must dread making the trip to Wadham Lodge – they’ve now conceded 16 goals in their last three visits here. But this game may have not have been as straightforward as the scoreline suggests.
Just a couple of days before the game, Sawbo parted company with manager Lee Mackman, and driven on by new manager Kieran Amos, the reds opened the game positively.
Jason Hallett knocked over from close range, but at the other end Daryl Doolan had a good chance after beating his man, but his low shot didn’t quite have enough to get around Amarildo Cekrezi who made a comfortable save.
Stow then began to control the game, but lacked that killer pass. A change of tact was clearly needed, so with just over half an hour played, Jason Hallett unleashed an unstoppable 25-yard first time volley over the head of Toby Smith and into the back of the net.
Just two minutes later, Hallett doubled his side’s lead from close range with another back-heeled finish, but the goal was all down to the persistence of Adalberto Pinto, who did brilliantly to cut the ball back from the bye-line.
Straight from the kick-off Sawbo were put under more pressure, and Hallett was millimeters away from closing down Smith’s clearance. But, under pressure, the keeper could only pick out Pinto on the edge of the box who drilled the ball low and into the far corner for his third in three games.
The three goals in four minutes effectively ended the game as a contest, but Sawbo did have their moments on the break – Tommy Fletcher had to be alert to block Daniel Boldon’s effort after the forward had taken the ball around Cekrezi.
There was even time for Hallett to miss a penalty, with his effort cannoning off the crossbar after he’d been taken down by Cory Rider who had lost possession in the Sawbo box.
The second half followed a similar pattern as the first, with Stow seemingly able to up the tempo at will. Joe Wright’s perfectly weighted pass put Eman Okunja in for his first Stow goal, nutmegging the keeper from six yards, and then Wright was on hand to head home after Jason Beck had knocked Courtney Homans’ free kick into the six yard box.
From then on, Stow controlled the game to completion.