Stow 2-0 Highworth Town

Stow continued their recent good form with a 2-0 win over Highworth Town at Wadham Lodge. Kick off was delayed by fifteen minutes as the visitors’ trip from Wiltshire took over four hours, due to an accident a couple of miles from the ground.

Stow started brightly, with Demaray Anyadike cutting inside and curling just past the far post. And it didn’t take long to turn the dominance into a lead. Highworth failed to deal with a corner, and the ball found its way to Callum Ibe, well placed near the corner of the six-yard box. His first-time side-footed finish was driven through a sea of bodies, and into the far corner – a fantastic way for Ibe to mark his 100th appearance for Stow.

There wasn’t much more goalmouth action for the next 25 minutes, but Bilal Sayoud was beginning to pull the strings in midfield. With 37 minutes played, he found space down the left wing and dropped a cross right onto the head of Anyadike who couldn’t miss at the back post.

Stow were now motoring, and Ibe almost made it three with a curling cross/shot which almost caught the keeper out, rattling off the crossbar and cleared to safety.

Two goals was a deserved lead at the break, but the visitors came out with far more fight at the start of the second half. They could, and probably should have had at least one goal.

They started with a series of long shots, which were either off-target or comfortable for Bradley Robinson to deal with, but he had to be most alert to save at the front post with a quarter of an hour gone.

With Highworth sending bodies forward, there was always going to be space for Stow, and Sayoud almost exploited it, breaking from midfield but only able to lift the ball over the bar when one-on-one. It was then Kieran Turner’s go, having an effort well saved after breaking from midfield himself.

Highworth then had their two best chances of the game. Riegan Cook’s thunderous long-range effort was superbly saved by Robinson, and then Ashley Edenborough should have done better when left unmarked in the box, but his header was straight at Stow’s stopper.

That miss knocked the stuffing out of Highworth and Stow controlled the remaining 20 minutes of the game. Sayoud found space again, but saw his effort come back off the far post, before Yannick Kissi found the back of the net from the edge of the box, only for played to be brought back for a foul.

There was to be no more action, as the referee called for full time meaning Stow ould pick up another valuable three points, and more impressively, a fifth clean sheet in the last seven games.

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2022-23