The Blues do the double over Dorchester
An excellent team performance and a clean sheet sees the Blues win back to back
Match Report by Kevin Hand, photographs by Granty
Stratford Town v Dorchester Town, Saturday 17 February 2018 3.00pm Evo-Stik Southern Premier League at the MoodChimp stadium..
Stratford 2 Dorchester 0 (2-0 HT)
Match sponsored by: Jed Edgington, Club Patron
* A hit, a very palpable hit.
This was game was settled in the last two minutes of the first half when Town took a 2 goal lead through Ahenkorah and Grocott. They never looked likely to surrender the advantage in a robust and well-contested encounter.
Stephens was back in Town’s starting eleven replacing the injured Summerfield with Evans, Marsden and Dawson on the substitutes’ bench. The opening exchanges were mainly played out in mid-field with the only early excitement being a ‘yellow’ for Dorchester’s Ashley Pope on 3 minutes as he interfered with a kick from hand from Town keeper, Louis Connor.
As we approached the half-way point in the first half the game sprang to life. Town began to boss mid-field with Eli Bako having his best game in a Town shirt. But it was Grocott who found his way into the Dorchester area crossing unselfishly to Stephens at the far post. Stephens’ shot was smothered at close range and as the ball fell at the feet of Ahenkorah his shot was deflected for a corner.
The ever willing Taylor won the ball in the inside left channel on 30 minutes and his pass found Bako in space just outside the area. Bako’s fierce drive was tipped over the bar by Dorchester keeper, Chris Weale.
The main drama of the game was played out in the last two minutes of the half. First a long ball from Francis found Ahenkorah galloping onto it as the Dorchester defenders appealed for offside. Ahenkorah finished in the style of an experienced striker as his left-footed strike found the corner of the net.
From the kick off Town was at Dorchester again. Great play from Stephens saw Ahenkorah cut in from the left. His shot was deflected away from goal by the Dorchester keeper but Grocott was on hand to finish emphatically. Not to be outdone the Magpies piled up field and with the Town defence in disarray Archie Collins struck a ‘screamer’ that was brilliantly turned aside by Louis Connor.
The second half saw Dorchester make two substitutions with Ollie Griggs and Lewis Leigh-Gilchrist replacing Billy Lowes and David Jerrard. The Magpies started the better pressing forward but were nearly caught out on 53 minutes Stephens broke from deep. As he closed in on goal he was unable to find the onrushing Taylor as his cross was cut out. This cued the departure of Stephens to be replaced by Marsden as Town once more took control. Later Evans replaced Bako and Dawson, Ahenkorah.
Dorchester’s number 9 Ashley Pope threatened on a number of occasions but he seemed to have left his shooting boots back in Dorset. The only disappointment for Town was Taylor picking up a second yellow deep into stoppage time. A ‘red’ seemed a poor reward for a whole-hearted effort by the Town front man.
Consecutive victories saw the Stratford boys climb to 13th place in the league with strong performances all over the pitch. Hancocks edged man of the match ahead of Recci, Gallinagh, Francis and Grocott.
Man of the Match James Hancocks
A hit, a very palpable hit. Hamlet Act 5 Scene 2
‘On this occasion two hits!’