Blake nets dramatic injury-time winner for Stowmarket to secure FA Vase win at Colney Heath

PUBLISHED: 17:35 02 November 2019 | UPDATED: 17:46 02 November 2019

Stowmarket Town players celebrate Matt Blake's injury-time winner, at Colney Heath this afternoon. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Stowmarket Town players celebrate Matt Blake's injury-time winner, at Colney Heath this afternoon. Picture: CARL MARSTON

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Colney Heath 0 Stowmarket Town 1

Stowmarket Town's Dave Cowley, in action during this afternoon's FA Vase second round tie at Colney Heath. Cowley was sent off in the 56th minute, but the visitors scored late on to win 1-0. Picture: CARL MARSTONStowmarket Town's Dave Cowley, in action during this afternoon's FA Vase second round tie at Colney Heath. Cowley was sent off in the 56th minute, but the visitors scored late on to win 1-0. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Ten-man Stowmarket Town bagged a dramatic injury-time winner, through a deft back-heel by Matt Blake, to progress into the third round of the FA Vase at the expense of hosts Colney Heath this afternoon.

The Suffolk visitors had to play the final 34 minutes, plus stoppage time, with 10 men following Dave Cowley's rather harsh-looking red card for a lunging challenge.

But Stow stuck to their guns and avoided a replay by scoring in the third minute of stoppage time.

Seb Dunbar's high corner into the six-yard box was forced home by Blake, who had his back to goal. His effort rolled over the line from close range, to seal a superb, gutsy win on the road, in driving, windswept rain.

Matt Blake, on the ball during the first half at Conley Heath. Blake ended up scoring a dramatic injury-time winner for Stowmarket. Picture: CARL MARSTONMatt Blake, on the ball during the first half at Conley Heath. Blake ended up scoring a dramatic injury-time winner for Stowmarket. Picture: CARL MARSTON

Stowmarket had two good chances to break the deadlock, in the first five minutes, before the sweeping rain arrived to make conditions tricky for attacking football.

Striker Blake was narrowly wide with a low shot, after some neat control, inside the first 80 seconds, while Cowley pounced onto a fine flick-on by Josh Mayhew, only to drag his shot wide with a clear sight of goal on five minutes.

Colney Heath, who had suffered their first league defeat of the season, 1-0 at the hands of Oxhey Jets in midweek, after nine straight wins in their Spartan South Midlands League, enjoyed a little purple patch around the mid-point of the first half.

Jack Woods lifted a 25-yard free-kick over the bar in the 24th minute, while Lee Armitt had a shot charged down on the half-hour mark, with the follow-up by Woods flying over the top.

The floodlights flickered into life, after 25 minutes, reflecting just how murky and damp the conditions had become, but it was Stowmarket who continued to light up the match with some dominant possession up until half-tine.

Some patient build-up ended with Ollie Brown delivering a high cross from which Mayhew's header was saved by keeper Conor Samson.

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The best save of the first half - in fact the only real save at either end - arrived in the 32nd minute, Samson doing well to beat away Blake's angled goal-bound drive.

Stow started the second half well and three had headed chances, in quick succession, with the hosts temporarily reduced to 10 men by Woods' sin-bin offence.

Mayhew's downward header, from Anton Clarke's cross, was superbly blocked on the line by keeper Sansom in the 49th minute, and just 60 seconds later, Cowley's header from Brown's cross was well caught by a diving Sansom.

Blake directed a free header wide of the target, from Brown's 51st minute cross, but the visitors suffered a blow when Cowley was shown a straight red card for his lunging tackle on O'Connor., on 56 minutes.

However, Colney Heath failed to really threaten Stow's goal, with the exception of a couple of long range free-kicks by Clements, which James Bradbrook saved with strong hands, and by May, whose effort flew over the top.

Stow weathered the storm, before Blake came up trumps with a last gasp winner to send Stow's visiting fans, who numbered more than 100, into raptures.

Squads

COLNEY HEATH: Samson, May, O'Connor, Boodhoo, Dudrenec, Griffin, Woods, Fitzgerald, Clements, Sears-Black, Armitt.

STOWMARKET: Bradbrook, Brown (sub Williams, 74), Dunbar, Ainsley (su Ottley-Gooch, 82), Bullard, Jefford, Clarke, Reed, Blake, Mayhew, Cowley. Unused subs: Finch, Sweeney, Doherty, Robinson.

Attendance: 172

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