STANWAY ROVERS continued their impressive Thurlow Nunn League premier division form with a 3-1 win over fellow high-fliers Woodbridge Town this afternoon.

Danny Slatter's side ran out winners at the Hawthorns against their visitors, who started the day just a place behind Rovers in fifth place.

The win helped Stanway move up to third spot and boost their league aspirations along with giving them bragging rights over their opponents, ahead of the FA Vase meeting between the two clubs later this month.

Stanway's joint assistant manager Adam Munn said: "Both sides had opportunities in the first half but we said to the boys that we definitely had the quality in the side to step it up in the second half.

"Credit where credit is due, they went out there and did it in the second half and the players dominated the second half and really showed their quality.

"We're showing our desire, passion and commitment off the ball and that shone through again in the second half.

"They wanted to go out and get the win against a Woodbridge side who are very good and finished second last year.

"They can't be underestimated and to get that win and climb the table again is huge."

Stanway started the contest well and went close in the opening two minutes when Tyler Kemp’s long-range effort flew just over.

And Rovers came near to scoring again soon after through Jamie Shaw, who headed straight at Woodbridge keeper Alfie Stronge following a deep ball into the area.

But Woodbridge slowly began to warm to the task and rattled the woodwork in the 12th minute when George Bowman’s spectacular left-foot volley deflected onto the crossbar before sailing away for a corner.

The visitors came close to scoring again five minutes later through Jake Rudge, who latched onto a ball over the top of the Stanway defence but was denied by a good save from home keeper Danny Wheeler who denied him with his legs from point-blank range.

A matter of seconds later, Rudge fired the ball into the side netting after getting clear of the home defence again and drawing Wheeler out of his goal.

But Stanway had a penalty appeal turned down midway through the first half when former Ipswich Town and Sunderland star Carlos Edwards appeared to handle Kemp’s header in the area.

And Stanway duly went ahead just before the half hour through the impressive Kemp, who fired a low shot home in a crowded area.

The hosts’ joy was short-lived though as Woodbridge got back on level terms, three minutes later.

After left-back Curtis Haynes-Brown was adjudged to have fouled Rudge in the area and was booked, Edwards scored from the spot to equalise.

The remainder of the first half was something of a bad-tempered affair, as the sides went in at the break level.

Kemp lashed over the bar in the opening stages of the second half for Stanway, who regained their lead in the 57th minute when skipper Jonathan Carver decisively headed in from Daniel Cunningham’s corner.

Rovers had a penalty appeal rejected when Shaw went down Sean Rea’s challenge in the area and was booked for diving, as they pushed for a third goal.

The hosts continued to carve out chances; Grimes fired over from close range after Kemp had curled a teasing delivery into the box and Shaw ran at the Woodbridge defence before shooting just wide of the post.

The visitors threatened spasmodically and Callum Sinclair warmed the gloves of keeper Wheeler midway through the second half.

But Stanway came agonisingly close to making it 3-1 with 19 minutes remaining when Cunningham’s excellent free-kick crashed against the woodwork.

And Rovers duly added a third soon after through substitute Jordan Blackwell, who tapped into an empty net after a defensive mix-up saw Woodbridge keeper Stronge miss the ball.

Stronge saved from Shaw before the end as Stanway looked for more goals, as they completed an impressive win.

Elsewhere in the division, FC CLACTON enjoyed an excellent 4-1 win at Ely City.

Goals from Ricky Griggs, Jake Clowsley, Mekhi McKenzie and Adam Hampson gave the Seasiders a resounding away win.

BRANTHAM ATHLETIC were 3-1 winners over Gorleston, with Patrick Brothers bagging a brace and Sean Gunn also on target.