Stowmarket score two late goals to reach Suffolk Premier Cup semi-finals
PUBLISHED: 22:04 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 22:04 12 February 2019
Stowmarket Town 2 Brantham Athletic 1
Two goals in the last three minutes rescued Stowmarket Town, and saw them sneak through to the semi-finals of the Suffolk Premier Cup at the expense of plucky Brantham Athletic in front of a crowd of 202 at Greens Meadow tonight.
For so long it looked as though George Clarke’s opportunist fourth minute long-range strike, aided by a blunder from keeper Callum Robinson, would see the Imps through to the last four.
But substitute Ollie Canfer turned to lash home an equaliser, from 10 yards out, in the 87th minute, and there was still time for George Quantrell to tuck home an 89th minute winner with a deadly finish from a central position.
It was a stunning fightback, turning the game on its head for Rick Andrews’ men.
Clarke’s opener came out of the blue as he eyed up the target from 25 yards out with a rasping drive that Robinson looked to have covered. However, the home keeper allowed Clarke’s effort, which was serving in the air, to slip from his grasp and the ball looped up into the roof of the net.
At the other end, Brantham keeper Luke Avenell punched away a couple of corners, while a low angled drive from Robbie Sweeney was deflected wide of the far post on 16 minutes.
Otherwise, though, Stowmarket struggled to plot their way through a well-organised Brantham defence.
An audacious back-heel from goalscorer Clarke almost led to Brantham doubling their lead, in the 55th minute, following a low delivery by Ed Nobbs.
Substitute Luke Read was within a whisker of equalising, with 20 minutes remaining, but his 20-yarder was superbly finger-tipped onto the bar by the acrobatic Avenell.
However, Avenell had no chance when Canfer swivelled to ram home an 87th minute equaliser, and Quantrell completed the smash-and-grab just two minutes later.