Stotfold take one big step forward in title race with dramatic win in front of record crowd
- Credit: DANNY LOO PHOTOGRAPHY
A record crowd and a late winner made it a day to remember for Stotfold as they defeated their big rivals in Spartan South Midlands League Division One.
The Eagles had gone into the game one point ahead of Winslow United but have now moved a little further clear after debutant James Younger struck in the 92nd minute to give them a 1-0 win.
It is not quite advantage Stotfold as Winslow still have two games in hand and could yet overhaul Brett Donnelly's men with wins in each match.
But the victory in front of 533 supporters at New Roker Park certainly gives the home side a slight psychological edge and the boss knows that whatever happens next, both sides would make worthy champions.
Donnelly said: "I'm just over the moon we managed to be the team that won.
"To get one over on them after they did a massive job over us earlier in the season feels great.
"We played quite well and I'm happy to get the three points.
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"This win takes a little bit of pressure off, but we can't slip up.
"You've seen the best two teams. They’re a good side, they play the right way and have a good player at every position with no weak links anywhere.
"You don’t see that too often in this league."
A strong wind played a factor in the top of the table clash with a slow start to the first half.
Towards the closing minutes of the half Stotfold started to find their groove with multiple chances, one of which came when winger Kade Bagge breezed past his man and put the ball on a plate for Luke Smith on the edge of the six-yard box.
He could only put his shot over the bar.
Stotfold turned up the heat in the second half, playing with a relentless press that caused Winslow all sorts of problems.
More chances came and went though and as the tension rose, it began to look like it wasn’t going to be Stotfold’s day.
But all that bottled-up pressure was released in the second minute of stoppage time.
Younger, signed from Langford in the week, found himself on the edge of the box before hitting a strike into the net for what could be the biggest goal of Stotfold's season.