Reggie Lambe and Willie Clemons suffer promotion heartbreak
Stowmarket Town, which feature Bermudians Reggie Lambe and Willie Clemons on their roster, will spend at least another season in the Isthmian League North after having their promotion hopes dashed in a 2-1 defeat away to Brentwood Town in the play-off semi-final yesterday.
The visitors were forced to chase a cagey affair at The Arena in what was the second meeting between the teams in three days after Brentwood striker Tom Richardson made the breakthrough in the 22nd minute.
The league’s top scorer netted his 37th goal of the season when he drilled Ashley Nzala’s cross from the left into the bottom corner after Town failed to clear their lines.
Midfielder Lambe picked up a booking shortly after as the hosts maintained their slim advantage at the interval.
Winger Clemons joined the fray after coming on as a 52nd-minute replacement for forward Oliver Caley-Brown and was also shown a yellow card, with the visitors still trailing to Richardson’s strike eight minutes from time.
Paul Musgrove’s team pressed on and were finally rewarded when midfielder Craig Parker brought the teams level with a clinical finish in the 86th minute, the goal arriving after Clemons fired a shot over the crossbar.
However, with extra-time looming, the game took another twist as forward Nzala nodded home striker Rob Harvey’s cross for the winner in the third minute of stoppage time.
Brentwood secured home-field advantage in the play-off semi-final in equally dramatic fashion at the weekend as midfielder Andrew Freeman grabbed the winner four minutes from time in a 1-0 win over Town at Greens Meadow in the league finale.
Brentwood will now meet Canvey Island in the promotion play-off final.
Town finished fourth in the league, seven points adrift of champions Aveley, who secured the sole automatic promotion spot.
They secured their spot in the promotion play-off on April 16 with a 3-1 home win over Dereham Town with Lambe whipping in a free-kick which Parker headed in for what proved to be the winner.