Suffolk Premier Cup previews: Musgrove happy as Stow hit form at the right time
©2012 Gary Donnison Photography
Assistant manager Paul Musgrove says Stowmarket Town have hit form at the right time ahead of tomorrow night’s KBB NEFF Suffolk Premier Cup semi-final, writes Nick Garnham.
Stowmarket made it eight matches undefeated since losing 3-1 at Long Melford in the Thurow Nunn League Cup quarter-finals in early February.
Five of those matches, including a 2-1 come-from-behind win over Brantham Athletic in the quarter-finals of this competition, have ended in victory.
The most recent was a 3-1 success at Thetford Town on Saturday, following on from beating Woodbridge Town 4-2 and then Kirkley & Pakefield 5-0 at home, ahead of the last-four tie versus Felixstowe & Walton United at Hadleigh United FC, kick-off 7.45pm.
Musgrove said: “We have picked up recently and scored 12 goals and conceded just two in our last three games, so we are on a nice run of form at the right time ahead of the semi-final.
“However, we have only been playing well in patches, not throughout the 90 minutes. Our goals for tally could have been 20 in those three games, if we had been sharper in front of goal.”
Stowmarket’s upturn in fortunes has coincided with the return to fitness of key personnel including midfielder Luke Read and strikers Josh Mayhew and Ollie Canfer.
Musgrove will once again be in charge of the side just as he was on Saturday in the absence of manager Rick Andrews, who is currently abroad.
He admitted: “Having a settled squad and formation and trying to make sure we play to our strengths, rather than off the cuff, has been important to our improved run of form.”
Now that the Thurlow Nunn League title is beyond Stowmarket’s grasp, Musgrove is keen to end the season on a high with a cup final appearance at Portman Road.
He said: “Now that the league has gone it is everybody’s ambition to finish off our season by getting to a cup final – just the same as teams in any division up and down the country – and it would be great to give something back to the committee, the volunteers and the supporters.”
Stowmarket have no injury concerns although they will be without suspended striker Ryan Clark and Ellis Murrell, who is cup-tied.