Match Report & photographs Stratford Town 3 - 1 Bishop's Stortford
Town coast to victory after a committed and focused performance at the MoodChimp Stadium
Match report Kevin Hand photographs by Granty
*Our remedies oft in ourselves do lie,
Which we ascribe to Heaven
Match Report: Stratford Town v Bishop’s Stortford Saturday 04 November 3.00pm 2017 EvoStik Southern Premier League
Stratford 3 Bishop’s Stortford 1 (1-0 HT)
What a difference a game makes! From dull to poor and then sublime and all in the space of 7 days.
Following the mid-week defeat at Frome, Taylor came in up front to replace the suspended Luckie while Marsden slotted into midfield.
The game opened with crisp Town passing as Summerfield twice made progress down the right attacking the golf course end. With the opening exchanges even there was excitement in the 18th minute when the Town defence was opened up and only a brilliant block from Recci prevented a goal. This was to prove an outstanding afternoon for the Town defender.
At the other end Taylor intercepted a back pass and laid it back to Marsden who was robbed in the act of shooting. The game was proving to be an exceptionally open contest with Stephens and Grocott impressing for Stratford.
On 34 minutes Town pressure saw Marsden heading for goal in the inside right position only for a clumsy challenge by the Stortford defender, Marvel Ekipteta, to halt his progress. Grocott despatched the resulting penalty with a minimum of fuss.
By half time Town were well on top and deserving of their lead.
The second half saw Bako replace Taylor and later Fry and Marsden left the fray to be replaced by Evans and Hancocks. These proved to be important substitutions as Bako scored his first goal of the season and Evans and Hancocks contributed greatly to the fluid passing game Town were employing. There were regular murmurs of approval from the crowd at this style of play.
Town dominated much of the second half as Grocott ran midfield and Stephens caused panic in the Stortford back line. At the back Gallinagh, Recci and Francis were at their imperious best.
On 70 minutes Francis strode forward whose pass to Bako was turned onto Grocott. Grocott’s shot was heading for the top left hand corner before Tyler McCarthy turned it aside for a corner. Grocott’s corner was met with a firm header from Recci and as it headed for the net Bako helped it on its way via his chest.
Grocott and Stephens were cutting through the Bishop’s Stortford’s back line at will and it was no surprise that these pair fashioned a third on 75 minutes. Put through by Grocott, Stephens finished with aplomb in a one on one with the visitor’s keeper.
There was a late consolation for Stortford on 86 minutes when substitute Callum Taylor converted following some neat passing. Town saw the game out with no other alarms to a ‘purr of satisfaction’ from the home crowd. Man of the match, Will Grocott, but, in truth, 14 great performances right throughout the starting eleven and three substitutes.
Whether Carl used ‘carrot’ or ‘stick’ today’s turnaround of form was remarkable.
The change not lying in Heaven but in ourselves!
* All’s Well that Ends Well Act 1 Scene 1