Five-star Stow cruise into the next round of the FA Vase

PUBLISHED: 12:44 15 October 2018

Stowmarket celebrate Robbie Sweeney's goal Photo: DAVID WALKER

Stowmarket celebrate Robbie Sweeney's goal Photo: DAVID WALKER

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Stowmarket Town 5 Harpenden Town 0

Stow's Ollie Canfer gets in a header against Harpenden Photo: DAVID WALKERStow's Ollie Canfer gets in a header against Harpenden Photo: DAVID WALKER

Stowmarket Town eased past Harpenden Town 5-0 to reach the second round of the Buildbase FA Vase for the first time in 18 years, writes Alex Moss.

Goals from Sam Nunn and Josh Mayhew inside the first 25 minutes put the Old Gold and Blacks in control, before an Ollie Canfer brace late in the first half put Stow out of sight.

Substitute Robbie Sweeney rounded off the scoring with an excellent free-kick on the stroke of full-time, as Rick Andrews’ men capped off a pleasing week with back-to-back wins in cup competitions.

After finishing third in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division last season, Stow earned a bye through the first two qualifying rounds of this season’s FA Vase, and entered at the first round, a stage they last graced back in 2003.

Moments after the first whistle, Kyle McLeish had an effort from outside the box saved by Callum Robinson, but that would prove to be the only real time that the Stow goalkeeper was tested.

The Harpenden defence cleared a ball that appeared to be heading over the line moments later, before Sam Nunn turned the ball over the crossbar when well-placed for an Anton Clarke cross.

Nunn, and Stow, would not have to wait much longer to find a breakthrough, though, as on 16 minutes a scramble in the box from a corner fell to Nunn and his shot crossed the line, despite the best efforts of Harpenden custodian Carl Tasker.

Stow doubled their lead in the 23rd minute, Mayhew drilling the ball into the far corner when played through into the box.

Canfer got in on the act on 34 minutes, bundling the ball home from a Remi Garrett cross on the left wing.

The pair combined again six minutes later, this time Garrett crossing in from the right wing and Canfer heading past Tasker to double his tally.

And just as the game was heading into added time, substitute Sweeney curled in a free kick from the edge of the box into the corner to make it 5-0.

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