The Blues bandwagon rolls on with an accomplished victory over the Reds
By Andy Chilton
Town with another cup victory over local rivals Redditch go 11 unbeaten into big FA Trophy tie on Saturday
Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS, Photographs by GRANTY
Stratford v Redditch Tuesday 06 November, 2018
Arden Garages Stadium, CSS League Challenge Cup Round 2.
Stratford 2 Redditch 1 (HT 2-0)
If both sets of supporters were expecting wholesale changes of playing personnel for this league cup-tie managers, Baillie and Smith, outguessed them all as they fielded strong elevens making for a competitive fixture. Cody Fisher, Kynan Isaac and Jimmy Fry started for Town. Westwood and Oulton were rested and Jamie McAteer continued to recover from flu. Lewis Wilson dropped into a Town back four while Isaac played wide on the right.
The conditions were tricky with a swirling wind and rain in the air but Stratford bossed the early exchanges. As early as 5 minutes and the influential Chris Cox was making a lung-busting run down the right that ultimately came to nothing. Isaac then threatened on the right before a Cox cross was headed wide by Taylor.
The game changed on 18 minutes when the forceful Taylor was brought down on the right hand edge of the area. Grocott, Taylor, Wilson – goal – simple! Or so it seems this season!!
Town then dominated exchanges with Grocott denied by a clearance off the line on 25 minutes. Not there was room for complacency as the Reds nearly equalised on 35 minutes. The tricky Mason Birch crossed and David Reynolds’ flick came back off Waltons’ post before being cleared to safety.
Town quickly picked up the pace and were rewarded in added time when a sweeping move saw a Jimmy Fry pile-driver blocked for Kynan Isaac to bundle in the rebound from close range. A first club goal for the persistent winger.
Half time saw Mike Taylor give way for Amos Kabeya and later Kieren Westwood replaced Isaac. The second half was extremely well-managed by Thomas Baillie’s men with Jordan Williams and Lewis Wilson impressive at the back and Skendi and Grocott dominant in midfield.
Chances were few although Town dominated possession. Things briefly got interesting when Redditch pulled a goal back on 82 minutes. Town conceded a free kick on the right and Nyeko Sinclair delivered for Ahmed Ali to head home. Town never looked likely to concede an equalizer and might have wrapped things up on 87. Desperate to keep play moving Redditch keeper Resse Francis lost possession of the ball as he tried to pass the ball out of defence. Grocott latched onto it but was denied by a fine recovering save by the keeper.
In a post match interview Thomas Baillie said the game was probably one we didn’t need with some illness in the camp and players nursing minor injuries. However, he was adamant we’d be full strength for Mickleover Sports on Saturday for the 2nd Round of the FA Vase. He also praised the fitness levels of his squad as an 11 match unbeaten run testifies to.
With impressive performances all over the pitch including Chris Cox and Jordan Williams, Lewis Wilson shaded the Man of the Match award for his goal and an excellent performance covering for Jamie McAteer. A crowd of 166 gave great vocal encouragement in appreciation of another dominant performance.
Man of the Match Lewis Wilson
Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS
|Stratford Town|| Redditch United|
| 13||Goal Attempts|| 7|
| 8||On Target|| 2|
| 0||Blocked Shots|| 0|
| 0||Hit Woodwork|| 1|
| 4||Corners Won|| 3|
| 7||Crosses into Box|| 6|
| 11||Fouls Conceded|| 14|
| 3||Off Side|| 1|
| 2||Yellow Cards|| 1|
| 0||Red Cards|| 0|
Stratford Town Yellow Cards – Isaac & Kabeya
Redditch United Yellow Cards – None received
Saturday 10 November 3.00pm Home vs Mickleover Sports FA Trophy
Tuesday 13 November 7.45pm Away vs Alvechurch EvoStik Southern Premier League Central