Stow boss Andrews delighted to capture ex-Leiston striker Blake

PUBLISHED: 13:14 27 September 2019 | UPDATED: 13:18 27 September 2019

New Stowmarket Town striker, Matt Blake, in action for his former club Leiston against Leatherhead. Picture:  JOHN HEALD

New Stowmarket Town striker, Matt Blake, in action for his former club Leiston against Leatherhead. Picture: JOHN HEALD

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Stowmarket Town, already hot favourites to clinch promotion from the Thurlow Nunn Premier, have boosted their chances still further by signing former Leiston hot-shot Matt Blake.

Experienced goal-poacher Blake has penned a two-year deal with the Greens Meadow club, and subject to the completion of paperwork, he could make his Stow debut at Norwich United in a top-two clash in Norfolk tomorrow afternoon.

Blake signed for Leiston, from Norwich United, so it would be a special occasion if he got to make his bow tomorrow, at Plantation Park.

Manager Rick Andrews was obviously delighted to capture the services of front-man Blake, a player who has scored goals at a prolific rate throughout his career.

"After Matt decided to leave Leiston, we were interested in signing him," explained Andrews.

Matt Blake celebrates scoring his hat-trick for Leiston in the Suffolk Premier Cup final at Portman Road, against Felixstowe & Walton. Picture: ROSS HALLSMatt Blake celebrates scoring his hat-trick for Leiston in the Suffolk Premier Cup final at Portman Road, against Felixstowe & Walton. Picture: ROSS HALLS

"Hopefully, if he gets all the paperwork clearance, he will be able to play this weekend after signing a two-year deal.

"He's scored goals at a higher level, and is someone we have admired at a distance for quite a while. He did very well at Leiston, but there have been some changes at that club of late. He will obviously boost our chances of doing well this season, and achieving our aims.

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"We are very keen to keep our good run going, and keep up the momentum (eight wins and two draws in the first 10 league matches).

Matt Blake celebrates his second goal in the Suffolk Premier Cup final victory over Felixstowe & Walton at Portman Road. Blake has this week signed for Stowmarket Town. Picture: ROSS HALLSMatt Blake celebrates his second goal in the Suffolk Premier Cup final victory over Felixstowe & Walton at Portman Road. Blake has this week signed for Stowmarket Town. Picture: ROSS HALLS

"We have had a few injuries up top this season, which has left us a little bit light and a little bit shy at times.

"Matt's arrival will add competition for places, and give me a plethora of strikers to choose from.

"Matt is different to the other strikers we have got on our books. He's an on-the-shoulder type player, who runs in behind defenders, so he will bring different qualities to the team.

"I had wanted to have four quality strikers at the club, and I feel we have now got that," added Andrews.

Having played for Wroxham and Thetford Town earlier in his career, Blake went on to help Norwich United to a couple of Eastern Counties Premier titles, bagging 119 goals in all competitions over three years.

It was no surprise, therefore, when he became one of Leiston boss Glen Driver's first signings.

Blake spent the last three campaigns at Victory Road, before leaving the Blues earlier this week.

In all, he banged home 79 goals in 153 appearances for Leiston, having hit the ground running by winning the Isthmian League Premier Division Golden Boot in his first season of 2016-17, when he plundered 42 goals in all competitions. He also won the Suffolk Premier Cup twice with the East Suffolk club.

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