The Beast strikes late to secure Trophy Triumph for Town!
By Andy Chilton
A dramatic 94th minute Mikey Taylor goal sends the Blues into FA Trophy dreamland after epic tie against the Mariners
Match Report by KEVIN HAND, Match Stats by ROD ABRAHAMS, Photographs by GRANTY
Stratford 2 South Shields 1 (HT 0-1)
Saturday 24 November, 2018 3.00 pm at the Arden Garages Stadium,
3rd Qualifying Round Buildbase FA Trophy.
* I am not yet of Percy’s mind………..
Head of Football, Thomas Bailie, was clearly delighted by Town’s victory against a spirited South Shields outfit propelling the home side into the 1st Round proper of the FA Trophy. Dizzy heights and just reward for efforts on and off the pitch.
The game was preceded by a presentation from Club Director, Steve Shipway to popular striker Mike Taylor in recognition of 100 appearances for the club. Chris Cox returned at right wing back and Kieran Westwood was rested.
After a cagey start it was Mike Taylor on 4 minutes who first threatened chasing a long ball and stretching the South Shields defence. Town had the better of the opening exchanges. On 10 minutes Will Grocott skimmed the Mariners’ cross bar and two minutes later Mike Taylor forced a near post save out of keeper, Liam Connell.
But as Town over elaborated it was South Shields who struck on 18 minutes. A shot from distance was spilled by Richard Walton and as it rolled away from goal it was Carl Finnigan who was first to react and calmly put away the rebound. As the half progressed it was South Shields playing the more fluent football. Nathan Lowe for the visitors was impressive in mid field and Philip Turnball was calmness personified at the heart of the Mariners’ defence playing out calmly from the back.
As the half drew to a close a neat passage of play between Carvalho and Grocott saw Skendi forced a save out of Connell. At the other end Gavin Coggan looked to exploit a space on Town’s right only for Jordan Williams to intercept.
The half time talk from Baillie and Machin must have been interesting but it was a different Town that entered the field for the second half. Playing at a greater tempo and in a more incisive fashion. On 50 minutes Wilson Carvalho played in Kynan Isaac on the left and his first time cross deceived everyone.
The pivotal moment of the game arrived on 55 minutes. Town pressure led to a corner. Grocott crossed and McAteer’s header was handled on the line by Lowe who received red. Carvahlo calmly converted. 1-1.
South Shields made 2 defensive substitutions on 60 minutes and it was backs to the wall to the end. Town dominated possession but found it difficult to break down the visitors’ defence. Just when it looked like Stratford was heading north on Tuesday to Tyne and Wear for a replay the game had one more twist. Lewis Wilson crossed from deep and Taylor chested down, swivelled and shot home from close range. Delirium!
Mike Taylor impressed yet again and new signing Andre Olunkanmi also showed distinct promise in a late cameo role. For sheer persistence and mid field drive it was Albi Skendi with the Man of the Match award.
After the game Thomas Baillie talked expansively of his management approach in what appears to be a ‘good cop, bad cop’ arrangement with Scott Machin. Very effective it is too!
* I am not yet of Percy’s mind, the Hotspur of the north. Henry 1V Part 1
Match stats by ROD ABRAHAMS
| Stratford Town|| South Shields|
| 9||Goal Attempts|| 8|
| 6||On Target|| 5|
| 0||Blocked Shots|| 0|
| 0||Hit Woodwork|| 0|
| 3||Corners Won|| 5|
| 5||Crosses into Box|| 6|
| 10||Fouls Conceded|| 8|
| 0||Off Side|| 5|
| 1||Yellow Cards|| 1|
| 0||Red Cards|| 1|
Tuesday 27 November 7.45pm Alvechurch (Away) EvoStik Southern Premier