Pedlars from Thurlow Nunn League First Division North went ahead via Joe Jackson
By Alex Moss
Swaffham Town FC's Buildbase FA Vase journey is over but not after bowing proudly out 2-1 at higher-ranked Stowmarket Town in a third round replay last night (Tues 4).
The Pedlars, who sit third in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division North and were on their best-ever Vase run, actually went ahead via Joe Jackson but goals from Scott Chaplin and Sam Nunn saw the hosts through at Greens Meadow.
The first tie at Shoemakers Lane on Saturday had finished goalless after extra time.
The comeback win sent Rick Andrews’ Premier Division side into the fourth round of the national competition, matching the club’s record run back in 1982/83, with a trip to either Tring Athletic or Biggleswade awaiting Stow in the last 32 on January 5.
Andrews said. “The last 10 minutes felt like 10 hours when the ball kept coming back at us.”
There may have been one division separating the last two Suffolk and Norfolk sides that were left in this season’s FA Vase, but after three-and-a-half hours it was only Sam Nunn’s header which was the difference in the tie.
It would be the Pedlars that would eventually open the scoring, Jackson pouncing on a defensive error to score 21 minutes into the replay.
Stow were made to pay for a nervy start in front of a season-high 363 crowd at Greens Meadow, but rallied 10 minutes before half time when Chaplin rifled home to send the teams in level at the break.
Andrews’ side appeared to have edged in front for the first time in the tie on 50 minutes, Jack Baker finishing from close range following Nunn’s header across the box, but the goal was ruled out for offside to keep the score at 1-1.
But Stow were not to be denied the game’s next goal, as on 70 minutes Nunn rose highest to head home from a free kick.
And despite being reduced to 10 men in added time when Baker received a straight red card for an off-the-ball incident, Stow held on to progress to the last 32 for only the second time in their history.
Andrews praised the Pedlars: "I was a bit disappointed with how we started the game, but I have to give full credit to Swaffham.
“I said our pitch would suit us in the replay, but I think it suited them as well.”