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Mayhew bags hat-trick as Stowmarket open up 18-point lead at top of Thurlow Nunn Premier

PUBLISHED: 14:17 22 December 2019 | UPDATED: 14:17 22 December 2019

Dominic Doherty on the ball for Stowmarket Town during their 5-0 win at Swaffham. Picture: HOGAN COBBOLD

Dominic Doherty on the ball for Stowmarket Town during their 5-0 win at Swaffham. Picture: HOGAN COBBOLD

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Swaffham Town 0 Stowmarket Town 5

Josh Mayhew, centre, celebrates one of his three goals as Stowmarket Town thrash hosts Swaffham 5-0. Picture: HOGAN COBBOLDJosh Mayhew, centre, celebrates one of his three goals as Stowmarket Town thrash hosts Swaffham 5-0. Picture: HOGAN COBBOLD

Stowmarket Town moved 18 points clear at the top of the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division after thrashing Swaffham Town 5-0 at Shoemakers Lane.

A Josh Mayhew hat-trick and goals from Christy Finch and Dave Cowley competed a 10th consecutive win in all competitions for the high-flying Old Gold and Blacks on Saturday.

With the rest of Stow's Premier Division rivals not in action, as the recent bad weather severely hampered the weekend fixture list, the win in Norfolk extended the unbeaten league leaders' advantage at the summit to 18 points.

Swaffham were the last side to deny Stow from collecting all three points in the Premier Division, the Pedlars earning a 1-1 draw in the reverse fixture at Greens Meadow on October 19.

Since then, Rick Andrews' side have been on a relentless winning run, advancing through two rounds in the FA Vase and League Challenge Cup, as well as picking up maximum points in the league.

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Stow went in front after just eight minutes at Shoemakers Lane, as a fine ball into the box from left back Seb Dunbar found Mayhew at the back post.

The Premier Division's top goalscorer slid in to fire past Swaffham goalkeeper Tommy Rix for his 22nd goal of the campaign.

Swaffham, who returned to Step 5 this season after winning the First Division North in 2018-19, almost equalised on 14 minutes when Matthew Prudence's strike crashed off the crossbar.

An in-form Mayhew doubled his and Stow's tally two minutes before the break, latching onto Robbie Sweeney's low cross and sending his shot beyond Rix to make it 2-0 in the last moments of the first half.

And seven minutes after the interval Mayhew completed his hat-trick, drilling home from Finch's cross to move on to an impressive 107 goals in 108 games for the Old Gold and Blacks.

Finch bagged his 11th goal of the season just after the hour mark, finishing at the second attempt after substitute Dean Bowditch's delivery had picked him out in the box.

At the other end, Stow goalkeeper James Bradbrook kept out Prudence's weak penalty to preserve his clean sheet, and substitute Cowley's excellent finish two minutes from time capped off another strong performance from Andrews' men.

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